Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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That is a tough question, or perhaps a whole lot of questions. A lot of the answer depends on how the owner handled the various issues involved.
If you think about the impact involved there is a lot of potential damage besides the masthead. You would think that the headstay would transmit a lot of force to the stemhead fitting, and forward hull to deck joint, and if the jibstay was rigged it would transmit a lot of force to its attachment point and the bulkhead below. If the mast was actually "torqued" then you would expect big loads on the spreader bases, and to the forward lowers on one side and aft lowers on the other. Then there is the impact to fittings on the mast itself. Obviously the masthead fittings were looked at, but then there is the attachment point for the jibstay, which would have taken a big load as well. Depending on where the impact occurred, there also could have been a huge load on the backstay, its attachment point, mast partners and maststep (bowstring affect). Of course the furler and halyard would have taken a real hit and probably should have been replaced (at least in part).
And that is just the structural implications. The repairs have almost equal potential impact. Working through this, did the simply cut off the masthead 1 foot. That would be the cheapest and easiest. But even that implies a range of implications. For example, how did they cut down the mainsail? The right but expensive way is to rework the leech. Cutting the foot means it will be short costing you extra of sail area. Were the shrouds replaced or simply cut down a foot. Does this boat have in mast furling? You can see where this is going.
No matter what this boat should be cheaper than an identical boat that has not been damaged. My current boat had a collision years before I bought her. I spoke to a number of brokers and surveyors who collectively and pretty much unanimously suggested that a collision reduces the value somewhere between 15% to 20% of the fair market value. And then you need to evaluate the risks. I spoke to the yard that made the repair, discussing materials and methods in detail, looked at before, after and during photos, and examined the final repair years later before deciding the risk was worth taking. There is real cost in doing that kind of due diligence and that should be factored into your thinking. If I sell my boat, I will reveal what I know about the collision and that will impact the cost of resale as well, which also should be factored in.