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Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the community...looking to purchase my first boat. I've found one that I'm interested in, but concerned about the condition of the mast as it runs through the cabin.

What I have found is some cracking in the fiberglass around the hardware coming from the deck. It feels solid when I push on it, as if there is no water damage, but the cracks themselves worry me. Also, the trim around the head area is cracked. It is a 1974...is this something to be expected with an older used boat?







Also, the portion of the mast in the bilge is concerning me. The bilge itself has a fair amount of water, which leads me to believe the pump is just not working or hooked up correctly. Regardless, there is alot of corrosion on the hardware and bubbling of the paint on the mast toward the bottom.





I intend to get a survey if I get serious, but I just wanted some opinions on these issues before hand. If it is a major concern and large expense, it would help me avoid the cost of the survey to begin with.

Thanks so much for any suggestions/comments!
-Steve

Last edited by gatorsteven586; 1 Week Ago at 05:42 PM. Reason: Resized pictures
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

PLEASE go back and resize those images.. They are far too large and difficult to view, besides messing up the forum page.

Those cracks clearly show that something's shifted over time and a good surveyor can tell you how bad it is. The bilge appearance is, while not uncommon, also not a good thing.

What boat? What size?

But first things first... fix those images.
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

I see you've used the SN gallery... pic image size is better managed by a site like Photobucket.. use the IMG code to embed the pic - it resizes appropriately.

Looking further at your pics it looks to me like the mast step is collapsing, and the deck strap is putting the downward load on the deck leading to those visible cracks in the headliner.
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Don't buy it. It is a buyer's market. There are plenty of good boats available. Why buy a problem/potential problem?

Think of the bilge as a battery. There are dissimiliar metals in a salt solution. Galvanic metal corrosion ensues. The lower metals degrade. You may have to cut the mast, install a foot, re-step and cure the water ingress problem. In addition, there may be a keel bolt problem from degradation.

On a keel-stepped mast, movement of the mast in column puts stress on the cabintop opening. There are supposed to be shims there preventing movement. Think of the mast as a giant lever pushing down on the keel and pulling up on the sides (shrouds) and ends (stays) of the boat. If there are too many poorly installed fittings in the area surrounding the mast which is not sufficiently strong, and too much mast movement, the fiberglass cracks. There are probably greater problem there than simply repairing the cracks.
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Pretty ugly pictures Gator. If you don’t mind me asking, what is the boat and the asking price? Link to a website? It looks like you have a lot of water intrusion where the turning blocks are through bolted near the mast partners. I would be very surprised if you didn’t have core rot around the mast. You have water damage on the bulkhead and sole. Most likely from a leaky port. If the source of that water is the through bolts/ mast partners, you got a serious leak (and problem). That amount of water in the bilge is also not a good sign as is the massive corrosion at the base of the mast.
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Sorry! Hopefully I have sized them correctly this time.

It is a Pearson M10 33ft - 1974

I have tapped on the mast itself and it seems sturdy, I am just concerned about the cracking along the top of the cabin, and the corrosion at the bottom in the bilge area. I don't know if this should make me turn and run, or if it is worth getting a surveyor involved since I am interested in the rest of the boat.

Thanks again!
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorsteven586 View Post
...
I have tapped on the mast itself and it seems sturdy, I am just concerned about the cracking along the top of the cabin, and the corrosion at the bottom in the bilge area. I don't know if this should make me turn and run, ...

Thanks again!
Run. Yes. As the others said above.

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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

James...those are good points about the deterioration of the metals in that area. I surely don't want to get into anything like that right off the bat.

George...the boat was online, but then they took it down as they had a potential offer. That offer fell through, so they called me back to come take a look. I haven't seen it reposted so I don't have a link, but the asking price at the time was 12k.

Everything else seems very solid throughout the boat. No idea what the bottom condition is yet. Just this mast issue is most concerning. Kind of a bummer to see this. :-(
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorsteven586 View Post
Sorry! Hopefully I have sized them correctly this time.

It is a Pearson M10 33ft - 1974

I have tapped on the mast itself and it seems sturdy, I am just concerned about the cracking along the top of the cabin, and the corrosion at the bottom in the bilge area. I don't know if this should make me turn and run, or if it is worth getting a surveyor involved since I am interested in the rest of the boat.

Thanks again!
Gator--Don't go there. Don't even think of going there. Don't even think about thinking of going there....
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Re: Concerned about condition of the mast before buying. Advice?!

Gator,
Don't waste your money on a survey! I agree with the others & suggest you find another.
Good luck in your search!
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