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  #1  
Old 11-29-2008
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Buying advice - O'Day 30

Hello,

First, I want to apologize if this has been answered before in some way but I searched for a while and cold not find anything on this...
So here we go.
I am looking at buying my first boat. I have sailed most of life on a variety of boats but never owned one.
This boat is to be used on the East coast of Florida for day sailing and light cruising to the keys and maybe eventually to the Bahamas if appropriate.
Two adults and 3 younger boys (5, 7, 9).
So... Now that I have bored you to death with my pedigree, the real question comes regarding this 1978 O'Day 30 I'm looking at.
Asking $8500.
New mast, boom, standing and running rigging, mostly new sails, spinaker, etc.
Atomic 4 (original I believe), starts and runs smoothly.
Shoal Draft (3 1/2. I am told the swing keel/centerboard part was sealed up years ago).
I will of course have a survey done.
The boat needs a cleaning and bottom pain for sure.
Interior is clean and basic but old. Could use a major freshening-up, at least all the cushions and side upholstery.
Stove was removed years ago.
Nav equipment is simple/non-existent.
No Depth Sounder, just a compass and VHF.
Looks like a newer water pump and head macerator.
Any advice/concern on this deal?
I don't want to bother with the survey if everyone tells me to run away from this
I don't know anything about O'Days.
I feel like it's a decent price, considering the new rigging, mast, etc. as long as the haul-out and survey is good.
I do wish it had a diesel (any idea what an eventual diesel replacement would cost?).
Any comment and advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Last edited by JSailer; 11-29-2008 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Changed the title
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2008
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O'day made a pretty good coastal cruiser. The 30 would be good for a week or two at sea. I have a O'day 302 and take a 9 day cruise every summer with two friends, one year we stayed on the boat for the entire trip with no problems.
You will have to set the boat up for trips longer then a week end but it can be done. You will need nav equipment.
Good luck and have fun.
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Hey stuffit "Get a life"
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2008
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Hello,

The O'day line of boats were decent, well made, typical production type boats. Not much different than Catalina, Newport, S2, C&C and the like.

The price is good. As long as there survey shows no serious damage, the boat would be fine for your use. It won't be the best boat for going upwind, but it should give you many years of good service.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 11-30-2008
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Thanks for the quick replies.
Any idea what an eventual conversion to a diesel would cost, installed?
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Old 11-30-2008
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A new appropriately sized diesel will run you as much as you're paying for the boat.....give or take, and depending on what happens with the economy. Yeah.......OUCH! Maybe you'll find a deal for $6500, but I wouldn't think anything less for a new setup. Used? A pull from a wreck? You might get lucky for considerably less. All is not lost with the A4. It has quite the legacy following and improvements have been developed through the years to make them even more reliable. I just read a quote on another thread for an A4 drop-in diesel replacement for a Pearson 10M....$12K. That A4 is looking pretty good right about now, huh?

Last edited by seabreeze_97; 11-30-2008 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 12-01-2008
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go O'Day!! Nice sailing boat with a better than average layout below (good storage space, etc.) Make sure you get a mechanical survey/compression check on the A4. It's a great, reliable engine if it's in good shape. Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2008
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I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to buy O'Day (again). The 30 looks like an ideal cruising/weekender type boat. Check the chainplates & hull deck joint.
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Old 12-01-2008
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My family owned a 1980 O'Day 28 for a bunch of years (we bought it new though). As others mentioned, they are about the same quality as other basic production boats of the era. For your intended use (daysailing and weekends), there's no reason it can't be a good boat. While I personally prefer a diesel, but my understanding is that Atomic 4s are reliable if properly maintained. There are online companies that offer parts for A4s, so that should help. Our O'Day 28 had an OMC saildrive, gas engine as well. We never had problems, but our boat was new at the time.

The centerboard would have been nice to have when working your way upwind. However, there are plenty of boats that track all right without the boards--I don't have personal experience with the O'Day 30 on that issue.

You already mentioned getting survey, which is definitely paramount, even in this price range. As a result of the survey, you may be able to negotiate even more off the price, but most important (in my opinion), you'll know more about the condition of the boat. Knowing what you're getting into will help you witht he decision. Check for moisture in the deck (standard procedure on survey, but can be a problem on O'Days from that era).

Others are right that the diesel engine replacement would cost as much as the boat, if not more.

If you want to know more about the O'Day 30, there's a review of the boat at Practical Sailor. You have to pay for the review, but it might be worth it.
Hope this helps!
-J
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Old 12-01-2008
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One thought is if you could find a similar boat with more updates. To sail with family you are going to want a stove, nav equipment, sounder and updated interior (old upolstry can smell as bad as it looks). A reliable motor takes on more importance with kids on board. If you add up the cost of all this you might be better off paying more for a more complete boat and even get the diesel you want. With the economy what it is there may well be a greater supply of good used boats to choose from, particularly in the 30 foot range. Remember that updates like those above will not increase the value of the boat to match what you put into it, so why not find a boat where somebody else has made the initial investment?
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Old 12-01-2008
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Just curious, why would you want a diesel to replace a perfectly good Atomic A4?? It is a very expensive upgrade that will not be recouped if you sell the boat. An Atomic A4 is a simple and relatively bullet-proof engine.

As for the swing keel/centerboard being sealed up...that's a minus in my book. The centerboard helps with the boat pointing in deeper waters and helps prevent leeway. Without it, you've got a boat that is shoal draft, but doesn't point very high or well, and tends to sideslip far more than she should.

Would highly recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I posted a while back. It should help you figure out if this boat is worth proceeding further with.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 12-01-2008 at 01:18 PM.
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