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Old 05-22-2009
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First Big Boat: '73 Cal 27 Pop-Top?

A marina near my home has a 1973 Cal 27 that they are willing to sell for $800. The boat was abandoned by the previous owner (financial difficulties), but is in decent shape, other than a filthy cabin and no cushions. It seems to be a good deal, and frankly it's about all we can afford. We had it looked over by a couple people, and they gave it the thumbs way up. Does anyone know of any inherent problems with this boat that we should look for?

My husband and I have wanted to start sailing a big, over-niter boat, but we don't have experience with sailing anything larger than a Catalina 18 and a sunfish. Are we crazy to get the Cal?

I'd like to take a class, but the ASA Basic Keelboat class is prohibitively expensive for the two of us (more expensive than the boat!). Are there any other classes we can take? Or maybe we can hire someone more knowledgeable for a day of training on the boat? We have several more experienced friends and family members, but I don't know if I can count on them to teach us what we need to know.
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Old 05-22-2009
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I don't have experience with the 27 but a friend has a Cal 34 and loves it. Having said that I would caution you that buying the boat is only the start of spending money. It's amazing how quick money goes when a boat is around. maintenance, dockage, registration and taxes all add up.

If you do decide to go for it, congratulations. By the way, welcome to Sailnet.
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Old 05-22-2009
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Thanks, rdstanley!
I was adding up all the costs, and yikes, it is a big tally. We have a bit of luck in that we are eligible through my in-laws for a slip that is very reasonable in price, especially for CT. I found a marina that will winter it for $25/foot, including hauling in and out. Does that seem reasonable?
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Old 05-22-2009
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Life is short, get sailing,,

I'm by no means an expert sailor but I am a relatively new owner of a 1966 Cal 28 and couldn't be more happier with it. I am sure that has a lot to do with attitude though... I will say I have been nothing but impressed with how well the boat is built. I've never sailed a day in my life before I got this boat last August, but I have already managed a 4 day trip from San Diego to Puerto Salina Mexico and the boat was a dream. I have also managed to be out in 25 - 35 knot winds with twenty foot swells out in the ocean off La Jolla and It was a great confidence builder in the boat. It was originally sailed here to San Diego from Hawaii by it's original owners so its def a capable boat. If you guys dream of sailing and the boat appears to be sea worthy "as is", I say go for it and work out the small stuff later. $800 sounds like a steal if its ready to sail. I will admit I'm partial to Cal's now but im sure that's what your looking to hear : ) . I have a great link to a cal boat only website but I cant port here because I'm new but message me if you want it. Good Luck and get sailing. Chris
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Old 05-22-2009
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I don't know if a 27 qualifies as a big boat. I've always thought boats in 20 to 30ish size were mid size.

A suggestion: get it surveyed!
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Old 05-22-2009
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Chris, Thanks for your comments. You make me feel more confident about the boat, and our ability to handle it.

Denise, You're right, it's not a BIG boat, but for us it's "big". I guess I really meant a boat that we can take on weekend trips around Long Island Sound. We also looked at a Pearson 26, but for some reason the Cal 27 seemed a lot bigger than that additional foot would have you think (aside from the height of the cabin, which is the one big drawback of the Cal).

I thought about getting it surveyed, but I don't know the typical cost involved. My father, who is a sailor with 20+ years experience, gave it a thorough look over and said that it is currently sea-worthy, but he also pointed out the things we should replace now and down the road. I was hoping his advice could be relied upon instead of paying for a professional boat surveyor. Needless to say, he seemed pretty excited about the prospect of a boat being back in the family.
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Old 05-22-2009
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Enjoy!!

We were also impressed with how much larger the 27 was than a 25 for instance, when shopping.

After going out a few times one gets used to it in a hurry!!
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Old 05-22-2009
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I found this owners review:
Cal 2-27 specs and photo gallery
Hope your Dad comes with tools! I'm actually starting to feel my O30 is getting smaller. I'm getting the "5 footitis" again and thinking 35-38 ft (if I ever become a live aboard) in retrospect I'd suggest buying a boat 5ft bigger then you think you need. Oh the P26 is a great boat too!

Things to think about.. title and papers.. are they clear. Many abandoned boats don't have titles and they sit for years mostly because of that reason.
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Last edited by deniseO30; 05-22-2009 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 05-22-2009
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The Cal 27 sounds like a great opportunity. Congrats.

Recommend you look at the 'sticky' thread by Sailingdog; "Boat Buying Trip Tips." Here you will find a fairly comprehensive list of things to examine on the boat, and a systematic approach to doing this inspection, that will help you decide whether or not to buy it. But ff you decide after using SDs Tips that you still want the boat, I would still recommend a professional survey. I don't know how much it would cost you, it usually depends on the size of the boat, the distance the surveyor must travel to get there, etc., but it will be worth it in the long run. You will either learn that this diamond in the rough is a great buy or you will be thankful that you narrowly escaped a huge money pit.

Take a look on the forum here at a thread entitled "Boat Buying Assistance." You might find another Sailnet member who can help with your inspection, and also find out who is a good surveyor in your area.

Good luck. Keep us posted. Even though I currently sail a small trailer-sailer, Cals are on my short list of 'my next boat."

Fair winds, and welcome to the Net.

Pat
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Old 05-22-2009
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I think the Cal 27 is a desirable boat and a good beginner boat. It sailsl very nicely and handles well. A quality design.

I would caution you double-over regarding the costs of fixing up a fixer-upper. I would expect new cushions for that boat to run $2000 or so. You didn't mention the engine or sails, usually the most expensive upgrades. For $2800 I'd bet you could find a Cal 27 with cushions in clean shape ready, to go. Not to say you shouldn't carefully consider this boat, but appreciate how boat expenses quickly add up. It is very easy, and in my opinion more the rule than not, to buy a cheap boat and end up putting so much money into it you end up seriously financially underwater (youl lose a lot when you finally sell). Generally its wiser to buy a good boat for a fair price, especially if you are going into one for the first time.

Good luck.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 05-23-2009 at 10:01 AM.
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