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post #1 of 23 Old 02-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Advice for buying this Catalina 30

Hi,
I am new to sailing. Have only been on a boat once but have been reading a lot about it. I looked at a Catalina 30 and did a self inspection and would appreciate experienced advice and recommendation on purchasing a boat in this condition. I would like to know which of these are deal breakers and which are regular for an old boat and should be expected.
It's a 1979 and going for 10,000.

-- Current owner of 2 years has never sailed and doesn't know anything about sailing. He was only living aboard, as was the owner before him.
-- Boat has only motored around a few times in last several years.
-- Boat has not been taken out of water for years and has growth on hull and rudder from what I could see (slime and a few barnacles).
-- Owner wet suited underneath and says it's a solid hull.....
-- Deck does not feel spongy
-- The backstay was flopping around totally loose
-- The wind speed indicator at top of mast was not turning and it was really windy out.
-- Mast spreader bars did not look like they had protective boots to prevent sail chafing.
-- Mainsail is destroyed. Has another "unknown" sail inside in "good" condition.
-- No roller furling setup which I prefer.
-- Mast stays seem rusted because there is a protective boot material on it but is totally wore out but still holding moisture for rust to form.
-- Rudder handle is falling off
-- Universal 5411 motor starts up and runs good. 900 hours on it.
-- He only changed impeller once and didn't put a gasket on the cover plate so it started spraying everywhere when he started it up.
-- Lower part of engine has rust everywhere and oil.
-- He didn't know where the oil dipstick was when I asked him.
-- Oil level is ok but is really black. No water or milkiness in it.
-- All through-hulls are seacocks and no gate-valves
-- Could not see keel bolts because it was covered in black water which he said is "always there". Even after pumping the water out with manual bilge which he says has to be done every few months, there was still enough water I couldn't see anything except the very top surface of the keel bolts. Is always having water there normal?
-- I looked in another hatch near the keel and he looked in it and said: "oh, looks like there's a bilge pump in there, I didn't know that"
-- Chainplates looked good and rust free with a solid metal bar mounted to wood bulkhead.
-- Electrical system is functioning but sailing instruments in cockpit will need replaced/updated.
-- Two holes in the upper deck for previous location of heater and new location of heater, both are all caulked up and will most likely need fiberglassed again.
-- One window leaks

I am most likely not going to buy this because it's not worth my time to fix all of these issues just to get it barely ready for safe sailing but I was wondering how well this boat is priced at 10,000 for these issues. How normal is it that there is always water in the bilge and that the backstay is flopping around?
Thank you!!!!
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-07-2015
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

He should be paying you $10,000 to take it.
Run away.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-07-2015
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

Yeah, like the wind, my friend.

A boat like the one you describe isn't where I'd send someone new to sailing. An experienced sailor, with lots of experience in maintenance and repair, and for the right price, sure.

You however, should run, run, run.

P.S.
Only one window leaks? Remarkable.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-07-2015
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

Well just to compare, the Catalina that I grew up sailing on recently sold for $2,500 because it had some moisture in the cockpit sole. It had an upgraded diesel, and was owned by a very fastidious mechanical engineer since new and had frequent upgrades. Pulled every fall, fresh bottom paint applied each spring, any leaking ports were fixed immediately. Always freshwater sailed and had good 8 year old sails, recent rigging and had only ever been sailed in fresh water. I would have bought the boat but it was too far away from me.

So $10,000 is likely 8 or 9,000 too much.

I have seen lots of very good ones selling for around that price range.
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

Ha ha! Thanks for your opinions, I knew it wasn't a good situation when I was telling him things he didn't know about his own boat.
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

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Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
Well just to compare, the Catalina that I grew up sailing on recently sold for $2,500 because it had some moisture in the cockpit sole. It had an upgraded diesel, and was owned by a very fastidious mechanical engineer since new and had frequent upgrades. Pulled every fall, fresh bottom paint applied each spring, any leaking ports were fixed immediately. Always freshwater sailed and had good 8 year old sails, recent rigging and had only ever been sailed in fresh water. I would have bought the boat but it was too far away from me.

So $10,000 is likely 8 or 9,000 too much.

I have seen lots of very good ones selling for around that price range.

Ok, that's an interesting price comparison. I will keep that example in mind. Thanks!
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

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Originally Posted by mtcaddis View Post
Ok, that's an interesting price comparison. I will keep that example in mind. Thanks!
And that was a 30 footer as well. I think likely 80 or 81 somewhere in that range.
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-07-2015
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

10 grand is a lot of money for such a boat. It's sailing value is probably close to zero - too much money and work to bring it back to sailing standard. They are likely sailing it for the floating condo value. If you want to sail, there are lots of boats for 10 grand that you can sail away right after purchase. Walk away from this one. There is a ton of good, inexpensive boats out there, buyers market for sure.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Plato
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-07-2015
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

as a former C-30 owner, agree with others, that boat is grossly over priced.

On my old 30, I didn't have roller furling either and swore if I ever bought another sailboat, I would have it. Now I do have it and swear if I ever have another sailboat, I'm getting main furling as well.

As far as oil in the engine being black, that's pretty much par for the course. You can change the oil and after only an hour or two of running, the oil will be black.

Catalina 34
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-08-2015
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Re: Advice for buying this Catalina 30

Last year a client bought a the same boat for about the same money. His boat however was sailed every day by someone who took care of everything.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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catalina , deal breaker , first boat , inspection , purchase

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