I'm looking at buying my first sailboat (that's over 15ft) in the very near future, maybe even by this weekend, survey depending. I've grown up around boats and have spent many weeks out to sea on sailboats in the past, so I'm confident that I am buying the type of boat that is in my budget, and will suit my needs (weekend trips for 2-4 people out in Long Island Sound, and some scuba diving while out). The problem is that I'm having trouble deciding which boat to get.
I've narrowed the field down to two very promising, but opposite boats, a 1977 Catalina 27' (non deck step mast), and a 1990 Hunter 27' (deck step mast) Both I can get for around the same price.
On one hand I've got the older Catalina which has been worked on and retro fitted many times over in it's life with new pieces of gear (little of which was done in the last 5 years, most of which is nearing it's end of usefull life) and shows the evidence of that with many old screw holes filled with silocone both above and below decks. The cabin has little spots of old mold growth that shouldn't be that hard to clean, but I wonder if it's gotten into the wood and will grow back at the first introducion of moisture. The port chainplate has regular steel washers, and they have some significant rust. While the current owner just finished sanding and re-doing all the wood and re-bedding the winches
, the decks show many signs of spidering in the gelcoat around those areas (but does not appear to be recent). Additionally one of the winches
looks like the plastic around the top has been broken and epoxied back together. She sleeps 5, the only double berth is the forward V berth. On the plus side the sails are in good condition and it has a pretty new Yamaha 9.9 four stroke to power it and includes an old GPS
unit (tested, working). She is in the water now and could be taken out as soon as paperwork is done.
On the hand I've got the newer Hunter that shows very little evidence of having ever being used, aside from a bad paint
job on the hull that's peeling in spots, and needs scraped (sanded?) and re-painted. The interior is pristine (she almost still has the "new boat smell" to her), fiberglass still has a good shine to it, and the gelcoat while slightly chalky, should clean up nice with little effort. The teak (what little there is) has been let go to gray, but looks to be in good condition otherwise. She only has a standard jib
, no roller furling
. Also has a porta-john style head (I would replace with a regular head / holding tank
+ Y valve). She sleeps 4, in two double berths (forward V and rear under the cockpit) Powerhead is a 8 HP Tohatsu with control box and remote ignition setup in the cockpit. Essentially this boat comes with very little gear and options (doesn't even have a main selector switch for the batteries, they are just wired straight to the panel!). She is currently on the hard and won't be able to get launched for 3-5 weeks by the yard (which would give plenty of time to get the hull done)
My Dilemma is this:
A. Buy an older boat that was someone else's project that they are now done with, and Iíll spend my non-sailing time repairing and replacing worn out gear / patching old screw holes in the deck and cabin, plus the long list of other maintenance issues that will come up from an older boat over the next couple years (things like bilge pumps
, old wireing, winches
, and lines
needing replacing, etc...)
B. Buy a newer boat that is in basically pristine condition that Iíll spend my non-sailing time purchasing and installing in new gear (thereís very little to replace), and end up with a boat that is truly mine.
With A, I end up with the same thing I started with and wonít really be able to sell the boat for anything more then I bought it for.
However with B I end up with a like new boat (and probably 5-10k more money spent when itís all said and done), and can probably sell it for my original purchase price, plus 40-50% of the out of pocket expenses for the new gear and equipment (not counting any labor)
Any input or advice is greatly apprecieated!!