As for the reduction in the price, I think I am looking at about $3000 to get the boat ready for fun, so I thought that the absentee owner might foot some of that. Is it fairly standard when buying used to drop that amount of $ to square things away, or is this higher than usual?montenido
The amount of $ required to get the boat ready for the new owners standards depends on many thing, mostly on the purchase price. As you can imagine, the higher the purchase price (relative to the price of models of the same brand) the less dollars the new owner has to spend.
I don't recall the year of the boat you are looking at, if it is early to mid 80's, with the bigger, fresh water cooled engine, and the interior is in good condition (cushions recovered or serviceable, etc.) then the price seems reasonable. What did your surveyor report on the price, etc.?
The first 'big boat' I bought, a 1986 Newport 28, required a lot of cleaning and some simple repairs before *I* was happy with it (others may have required a lot more work). I spent about $1000 on a new head, lots of safety gear, new anchor and rode, shore power cord, etc. My current boat, a 1986 O'day 35, was very cheap relative to other O'day 35's (all I could afford), so it required more money for my to get it right. Most of that was because I knew the boat needed a bottom job (about 20 years of old paint, etc), and a new headsail (original 150 was still being used).
If I were you, I would get the price for a yard to correct the head and engine problems. Then, to be fair, I would split it with the current owner. So I would ask for a reduction of 1/2 the yard price. Since you are doing the work yourself, you will come out ahead of the game.
If I were the boat owner, I would not give you anything for the RUNNING rigging. You should have known the condition it was in before making an offer on the boat. I would also not do anything about the battery mounting. I would tell you "if you don't like the battery's I will take the two off the boat".
Lastly, back in 2004 I was looking to buy a Catalina 30. You could not buy anything decent for under $20K, and most were closer to $25. I gave up because almost all the boats in my price range ($15 - 20K) were just junk. I bought my Newport for $15 and was very happy with it.