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Old 03-15-2006
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"Does anybody on the forum know who the more reputable brokers are in the New England area? "

You can pursue a new boat through either of two strategies: personal effort or a broker.

With personal effort you do all the footwork and may waste a lot of time tire-kicking deadend boatss, but may save some money in a private sale, if the buyer gives up some of the broker fee savings...My last three purchases I dd myself but ended up buying brokered boats anyway. I guess a question is whether you consider all the unsuccessful looking fun or not. There's a lot of ifs in doing it yourself.

If you just want a good boat with minimal effort, use a broker - turn the whole boat search over to him/her. For example, Warren Trafton is an expert and knowledgeable broker who could figure out what you want and find it for you. You may be able to find someone similar more local, although that doesn't really matter. If I were buying again, I'd tell Warren what my needs and wants and budget are, and within four weeks I'm certain I'd have seen the 6 or 7 best fits for my needs in the Northeast US. Brokers can wrangle more honest or complete descriptions out of other brokers than we can, heading off many deadends.

Every boat on has broker contract on it. Going with a broker can save you a lot of time, provide free expertise and end up not costing you anything.
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Old 03-15-2006
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More questions. Always with the questions.....

First, is there a book that is considered the definitive reference on purchasing a used boat? I'm keep having to look up the significance of terms like "delamination" and "... needs to be released and rebedded" on these 25 year old boats.

I'm finding salt water boats along the coast are much better equipped for the same money as the boats in and around Lake Champlain. I can't imagine a boat on the Seacoast of NH spends much more time in the water than a boat in Vermont.

I've found two more boats that catch my eye, am I getting warmer?

1981 Catalina 30

1981 S 2 28' (this specific boat is a little harder to find info on)
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Old 03-22-2006
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Shopping for a boat in that age range you can expect to find the occasional blemish, pimple and smelly bits... Your best protection by far is to be sure to get it checked by a reputable surveyor.
There are plenty of decent designs around in the range you are looking at, and current quality can have as much to do with upkeep quality over the last 25 years as it does with original build.
While cored decks are pretty much unavoidable, a cursory inspection with a soft hammer (or even the end of a small screwdriver handle) will quickly sort out any major delamination issues without the cost of a surveyor. Any dull thuds will indicate moisture and/or delamination. Also creaks and the "springboard effect" while walking around is a giveaway. Also in that era you will find a mix of cored and solid glass hulls, generally I think the solid hulls will be a safer bet, especially if the boat was built in the early days of cored construction. (we had a friend with a Buccaneer 305 that, after several years of leaking hull ports, proved to have totally saturated hull coring - a major major repair. Built by Bayliner so there you go....)

C&C, CS, Viking, Ontario Yachts,are generally recognized as reasonable well built, well performing boats, the Catalinas, while a bit common, seem to be doing well and there are lots of them around, which keeps the asking prices reasonable. The 30 is probably the most volume/foot/buck from that era, its a very stiff boat. Depending on your intended usage, the 70's and 80's Rangers & Cals, Ericsons make decent starter boats if you find a well maintained example.
Good Hunting!
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Old 04-01-2006
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I also own a Cal 25 and while we do not race there was one in the Oriental area that did quite well racing. I got mine for less that 10k also and have enjoyed it. The reason the price is low as this is a 24 year old boat. It takes some work to maintain but this is generally fun to do. I always figured that the value could not go down to much more, so as long as I didn't crash or sink it I would be able to sell it and get some money back for it. UNTIL the motor died. I now have a great boat with a new beta marine engine and the better gauge package and new prop and new shift mechanism etc, etc. I put more into the boat that I did to buy the boat. But it is agreat boat.

I could not tell if the kids are 5 years old or you have 5 kids. If the kids are 5 years old this is a great boat. They can climb up the swim ladder easily and run and jump off the cabin back into the water. Put them to sleep in the vberth and sit in the cockpit and watch the stars come out. Life is good.

Our v berth is about 1/2" to small for me. I can sleep but I can't stretch out. I'd climb in the v berth for a test before you buy one though. Good Luck
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Old 04-01-2006
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I am in a similar situation, buying 1st keelboat, although not a racer. I have been working through Eastern Yacht Sales in Hingham MA, just south of Boston. There are a lot of boats on the lot there. I have a purchase agreement for a 1988 Catalina 30. If you find a broker you like, similar to real estate, they will show you all boats listed, because they split the commission. They can act as a buyer's broker too. For what it's worth, in my research I was advised to stay away from Hunter and O'Day

Good luck...
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Old 04-05-2006
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The Contessas are also very solid boats, and well worth looking at. I'd advise you to look at the two-volume Practical Sailor buying guide book set, and to look at Good Old Boat magazine, as both will help you with reviews, advice and comparisons of various similar boats.
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Old 04-07-2006
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I just came across a 1984 Cal 27 Mk III. I'm going to take a look at it in the next couple days. Inboard diesel. Sounds like the boat that might get me through my first couple seasons.

I've found some information on the 'net about the boat, but not as much as I'd expect for a boat with the production numbers this model has.

Anybody have info they want to share on this boat? Know of anything specific I should be looking out for?
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Old 04-07-2006
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If you haven't seen it, check out this Cal Forum:

There's several Cal 27 owners there, and they discuss details about their boats. I have a Cal 20 and contribute there occasionally.

I've always liked the Cals, owning one, and having seen the 25s and 29s. If the 27 was similar, I'd expect it to have a superior interior layout compared to a Catalina 27. One issue to look out for on these boats: if the diesel is a Farymann, it may be more difficult/expensive to get parts for. If it's a single cylinder Yanmar, beware of engine vibration, leading to damaged mounts, etc.

For an inexpensive keelboat, inboard engine repair/replacement costs can be a nasty surprise (as in equaling the cost of the boat). Consider paying more during the survey, or having a specialist evaluate the engine before you buy, even if it costs a bit.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Jim H
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Old 04-12-2006
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Me again...

I looked at the Cal 27 - nice little boat but this particular example has been used a little more than I'd like. Had it been in better shape I would have been quite serious about it. While looking at the Cal, I discovered an 83 Ericson 30+ which appears to be in good shape. A different price category but it seems to hit the spot on a cruising and performance mix. There are at least four decent examples within a reasonable distance.

What is the lowdown on the Ericson's?
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Old 04-13-2006
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Find the boat that looks comfortable and suitable for your family and hire a good surveyor to check it out. An older Oday is OK or else it would not have made it to "older" Most production boats are OK, and certainly those that have been mentioned here would all work for your purposes. None of the boats mentioned have a reputation for sinking suddenly or for falling apart from under you. Check prices to be sure you are getting an OK deal and go with it. Time to sell, most of the boats mentioned may take up to a year or more to sell. You have enough experience to know what a good boat is. Ask 20 sailors and your will get 20 different answers.
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