Crazing/Cracks on an 87 O'day 272
I saw a nice clean O'day 272 today. The boat is well priced and in good shape overall. However, it has some crazing and light cracks around the mast step. I couldn't feel any softness but....Should I even consider this boat?
Assuming you will not buy without a survey. Surveyor will sound out the deck with his little brass hammer and tell you if the deck is sound. is the mast deck stepped? If so check the compression post. Is the mast keel stepped? If so then check the mast step to see if it is allowing the mast to move and move the deck with it.
Agree that you need a competent survey for peace of mind (and to get insurance), but you can do your own prescreening with a small plastic hammer or even a small screwdriver handle.
Tapping around the suspect area you should hear a sharp, solid "Thunk" if the deck is sound. A delaminated or softened area will show up as a definite hollow "thud". Once you find an example it's easy to tell the difference. Another place you can often find some delam is around the cabintop halyard winches (due to the stress of hoisting sails and the torsional forces from the cranking of the handle). This is especially true if the winches were installed after the fact by an owner moving them off the mast.
Back to your mast step, if the crazing is not deep, there is no apparent deflection of the area of the mast step (assuming deck stepped), and it sounds out OK then it's worth persuing and getting a more professional assessment. This is a high stress area and gelcoat crazing is not unusual in older boats. If it sounds out like there's nothing but "porridge" between deck skins, walk away....
Another place that the deck commonly delaminates is around the chainplates. I would recommend checking the area around the chainplates fairly thouroughly.
Also, if the mast is deck-stepped, then look in the cabin, and check to see if the cabin roof is sagging or not. If it is, regardless of whether there is a compression post, you will need some work. In some cases, the compression post isn't properly aligned with the mast foot, so the mast foot transfers loads to the cabin roof and causes a sag.
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