I'm interested in a clean, apparently well maintained, 1984 Tartan 28, but it has some issues. Should I be so concerned about the following issues to walk away from the deal ($5,500 below appraised value)?
Don't put too much faith in "appraised value" - it doesn't mean a lot in the boating world. A boat's value is what someone else is willing to pay for it. I would venture that right now pretty well everything is selling for $5,000.00 or so less than its "appraised value"
(1) a few small areas of crazing on the coach roof near one of two forward stays and also near a block, described by the surveyor as delamination (not visible on the surface);
Crazing is not a serious issue, but delamination can be expensive to fix. Crazing usually refers to the surface layer of gelcoat. It is common and not difficult to repair. Delamination can be fairly minor, or it can render the boat worthless. Fixing it is not easy and can be a long, costly process.(2)
"some moisture" in the balsa deck core near jib travelers which the seller reportedly removed, re-sealed and re-seated;
If the seller simply removed the hardware and resealed the area without drying it out, the situation inside there is probably worse than it was when the repair was done. In order to repair that properly, the core would have to either have been replaced, or else dried out thoroughly, reinforced and closed up. Drying it out would take a few weeks at a minimum
.(3) possible moisture - a trickle of water - around a keel bolt, but the seller insists its not coming in through the keel bolt but was from an external source ("recent rain")
are you saying that water is coming into the boat around the keel boat ? Can you watch it happen ? If so, this is not a good thing. At a minimum the keel bolts would need to be tightened, but it is more likely that the keel would need to be dropped and rebedded.
although seller also states that the surveyor suggested that he re-seal the keel-hull edge with epoxy, which he reportedly did (bilge otherwise dry);
This is a fairly common issue.
and (4) finally, seller admits that the boat was damaged by a hurricane on the east coast years ago, but states that only the rudder was damaged and had to be replaced, including the bent stem (I may ask for insurance claim documents, but would be surprised if still available) - is it like a bent frame in a car after an accident, i.e. never the same as new (the survey reports keel and hull are faired).
Given the state of the boat market right now, and the large number of nice craft available at a good price, I would have moved on from the boat after the hearing about the delamination issue. But the hurricane issue is really a deal-breaker for me. There is no way of knowing what happened to the boat and fibreglass can be brittle. There could be cracks and weaknesses in there that noboady has found yet. Personally, I would never buy a hurricane boat. Did think about it once but wised up, and am thankful to this day.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Good Luck. If it were me I'd keep on looking. I think you may find that boats become a bit cheaper about 30days from now, and that there will be more on the market.
Hope everything works out !