A Pearson 30 with "softness in the cabin roof." Yea or Nay? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-30-2008
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A Pearson 30 with "softness in the cabin roof." Yea or Nay?

Hey everyone, I'm looking to buy a boat for cheap for the summer with 3 friends, fix it up in New England and sail down the East coast until I have to go to grad school in August (in Colorado, which is landlocked- bummer). Anyway, we've been looking at boats in the Boston area and a '74 Pearson 30 caught my eye. He wants $1500, but we may be able to talk it down.
It has sails and a motor and all the extras, but it has "some softness in the cabin roof, stress cracks in the deck, and the hull needs to be compounded." Now, I've sent the guy an email but he hasn't responded yet and really, I'm wondering:

a) Is this worth pursuing? I know softness in the deck speaks of water damage to the deck core and might be difficult or impossible to repair.
b) If the deck is soft, what will I have to do to repair it? I can invest a lot of time, but not a lot of money.
c) What should I ask the guy, or what should I look for if I go look at the boat?

I think a survey is out of the question for our price range, and we're not afraid of a little hard work, but we don't want to be stuck with a boat we can't sail and can't use. SailNet, please help!
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Old 04-30-2008
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I should mention that we all have some sailing experience on boats of this size, we all have degrees in engineering (mechanical, electrical, civil, although that last one isn't quite as handy on a boat), and we're all handy with tools.
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Old 04-30-2008
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Quote:
a) Is this worth pursuing? I know softness in the deck speaks of water damage to the deck core and might be difficult or impossible to repair.
No it is not worth pursuing.
Quote:
b) If the deck is soft, what will I have to do to repair it? I can invest a lot of time, but not a lot of money.
The supplies alone are going to cost you five or six times what you are planning on paying for the boat.
Quote:
c) What should I ask the guy, or what should I look for if I go look at the boat?
You should look for other boats in the yard. Do not waste time looking at this one.

A used 30 foot boat in good condition costs between 30 and 50 thousand dollars. It doesn't matter if you buy a rotten carcass such as you are describing, and then invest time and money to rejuvenate the boat, or if you buy something in decent condition to begin with. You will spend that amount.

You can try to convince yourself otherwise, but it's a waste of time to do so.

Good Luck

Last edited by Sailormann; 04-30-2008 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 05-01-2008
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Sounds like you haven't seen the boat. A decent P30 of that vintage is probably going for about $10,000 so at $1500 this must be wreck. If the only problem (which I doubt) is a soft deck plus some cosmetic work, and you only want something to use for the summer, it might be worth a look. But getting rid of the boat at the end of the summer will be very difficult and then you will be saddled with winter storage bills, insurance, etc.
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Old 05-01-2008
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Soft decks are repairable, but at the cost of time and money. How much time and money? Well, how much deck rot is there? How extensive is the issue? It could be a major deal breaker or something you could fix in a week's time. Don't proceed until you know the full extent of the damage.

Even if you were to get said P30 for free, you've still got plenty of spending left to do in refits, cleaning, upkeep, storage, maintainence, etc. Make certain the purchase (or gift!) is worth the time and money you'll spend after you own it.

"There's nothing more expensive than a cheap boat!"
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Old 05-01-2008
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The boat could ber perfect for you if your summer plans are to spend time fixing it. If you really want to sail and move down the East Coast, you better find another boat. You may be in Colorado before the boat is done.
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Old 05-01-2008
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Ditto the others comments,

But if you want a project, love messing with boats, and have 3 other willing pairs of hands to work for months for free, it might be a new toy.

The value of a sailing boat is (in descending order) in its
Hull
Deck
Engine
Rigging
Sails
other equipment.

At $1500, you couldn't even get a good 30 ft hull, so assume its not just the deck that needs (a lot of) attention.

On the other hand, the owner might just want to get rid of the boat at any price. Remember boats are legal oddities - they can carry their debts (mortgages, etc., ...) onto new owners.
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Old 05-01-2008
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$1500? Just buy the boat and have fun with it if it's at all sea worthy. Fix it up where you can cheaply and sell it when you're done. If you go too far in the restoration direction, you'll never get any sailing done by August. Even if you gave the boat away when you're done, if you're splitting the cost between three people, then you can hardly lose.

As to the recore. You can just stablize by rebedding the surrounding hardware - evacuate the existing core, fill the hole with eopxy, re-bed through the epoxy plug using lots of sealant.

If you absoultely feel you have to recore, then you can do it from the top or bottom (do it from the bottom if you don't want to restore the deck (it's easier to refinish a cabin top). As to the cost of the recore, unless the area is HUGE, then you can do it for $300, max.

A 2'x4' sheet of balsa is about $30
Epoxy will cost about $125
Fiberglass tape will cost about $30
Tools will cost about $75 (spreaders, rollers, mixing cups, Tyvek suit, resirator, sand paper)

The project will probably take 4 - 5 days, given cure times, etc.

Of course, the clocks ticking. If this boat is sailable, it's a lot of boat for the money. If it's a disaster, move on - but not many boats have sunk from soft decks.
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Old 05-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLAsailing View Post
$1500? Just buy the boat and have fun with it if it's at all sea worthy. Fix it up where you can cheaply and sell it when you're done.
I'm with Jason on this one as it seems the OP is basically looking for a summer throw away toy. I do think that contacting a surveyor, or at least someone that plays one on Sailnet , to look at it to determine if it can be made 'coastal seaworthy' for small bucks would be a good idea. I don't know if a surveyor will do anything less than a full 'purchase survey' but having a pro's opinion would be wise as there are still plenty of ways to get killed, badly hurt, or need a $rescue$ just along the coast.
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Old 05-01-2008
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punctualAlex,
Pretty sure THIS is the boat you are is considering. If so, it might work out for a few months of sailing, but not likely without a few months of hard work to make seaworthy.

I wouldn't have even called the owner for a look, let alone buy this project boat. Good luck though, if you decide to go for it.
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