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I have a contingent contract...
on a Catalina 30, subject to an acceptable survey. I looked at the Cal and the cabin was pretty well trashed and there was some damage to the starboard side hull (owner said it rubbed against a piling during a storm). Also, he had welded the boom with an aluminum collar about halfway down the length. He said he broke it in half while sailing it pretty hard in some heavy air. It was a real project boat and I would rather be sailing than working.
The Cat 30 I found just went on the market last week and I have had a broker looking for a boat for me. He called and said the boat was well-maintained and a one owner. Although it was more than I wanted to spend, he arranged for me to see it, which I did on Sunday, and we negotiated a price on Sunday night. Although it is a 1983, it looks nearly brand new. This owner was meticulous in his care and he continually upgraded the boat. Last year he installed a Raymarine autopilot and replaced the main sail cover and dodger. He purchased a new Sobstad main and a 135 genoa in 2002 and a 150 genoa in 2003. The gps and vhf was new in 2004 and the depth, speed and wind new in 2002. Stove/oven is CNG and he installed a new Harkin traveler in 2004. It was just heads and tails above the other boats I looked at on Sunday (Hunter 30 and Ericson 30, both 1978 models).
Anyway, I had originally targeted a budget of 15-18,000, but I ended up at $24,000 for the Cat. It just made more sense to get a boat that was in this kind of shape (and met my criteria) and I figured if I bought something less expensive, I would end up putting $5,000 or more into it to get to my liking. So, I'm hoping the survey doesn't uncover any deal breakers, because I should be able to get one more month of sailing up here on Lake Erie. Thanks to all of your input during my search. This website was most valuable and confirms that the sailing community is a classy group.