You're probably better off getting Don Casey's Inspecting the Aging Sailboat or This Old Boat. The first focuses on evaluating used sailboats, the second has a chapter or appendix on doing so IIRC.
I bought a copy of
and used it to create this initiall checkoff sheet. I used it in my recent search for my Catalina 30 Tall Rig. I would still buy one of the books SD mentions because it will tell you if your findings from the checkoff list are truly bad or just cosmetic. Of course this is no substitute for a full marine and/or rig survey. But it might eliminate the project boat clutter. By the way most of the brokers hated seeing my list when we walked onto the boat. The good brokers just sat down and let me do my thing. Good Luck.
Scott - Namaste - Long Beach, Ca.
1. Walk quickly around the hull looking for irregularities. Look at the flow of the hull-to-deck joint for separation.
1. Deck delamination: Start at the bow and sound the deck and cabin top with the screwdriver handles. Sharp report – OK, dull thud – delamination.
2. Bedding: Look for beads of silicone or other caulk along toerails and window frames.
3. Gelcoat Cracks: Look for stress cracks in the gelcoat.
4. Stanchion & Lifelines: Check stanchions to see if they are erect and study. Check the end fittings on lifelines for corrosion and cracking.
5. Helm: Move the tiller/wheel to check for binding or play
6. Winches: Rotate each winch once around, listen for the regular click of the prawls.
7. Canvas: Give all canvas on deck a quick once-over, observing vibrancy and age clues. Check the stitching and look for chafe and tears.
8. Working Sails: Uncover any sail stowed on a boom. Examine the sail leech near a batton. Pull out the first 3 or 4 feet of a roller-furled sail.
1. Mast: Sight up the mast to see if it is straight. What does the finish look like?
2. Step: Inspect the base of a deck stepped mast
3. Spreaders: From the stern , see if the tip elevation of port and starboard spreaders match. Move the upper shrouds vigorously fore and aft, watching the spreader bases to see if they are attached.
5. Chainplates: Check condition of the chainplates. Are they properly lined up?
1. Leaks: Look for salt crystals and water stains.
2. Tabbing: Find access to some bulkhead tabbing and check it. Bulkheads should be tabbed on both sides with several layers.
3. Chainplates: Check if you have access.
4. Mast Support: If the mast is keel stepped, check the supporting floors for cracks or rot, look for corrosion.
5. Door Alignment: Look at cabinet and bulkhead doors
6. Rot: Tab around the edges of the cabin sole and at the bottom of bulkheads.
7. Head: Is the toilet dry and clean or leaky and disgusting?
8. Batteries: Are they clean and corrosion free? How old are they?
9. Electrics: Switch on each electrical item.
10. Through Hull Fittings: Do seacocks appear clean and operational or green and frozen?
11. Keel Bolts: Pull up floorboards and look at the keel bolts for corrosion or leakage. Note if the material under the washers or backing plates is solid or cracked.
12. Bilge: Is the bilge clean and dry or full of oil and debris
13. Engine: Is the engine rusting or painted and clean? Is the compartment black with oil or belt dust? Rub across the underside of the engine and fuel pumps.
14. Other sails: Check bagged sails.