Catalina 27 - how hard to maintain? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-09-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your advice. The C250 that I was considering sold over the weekend. No regrets - I had decided that we definitely want a 27 or 28 footer.

After reflecting on the C27, I have a couple of specific "red flag" issues that I would appreciate your advice on. They are the main sticking points preventing me from making an offer at this point.
  • The head has been modified in a less-than-ideal way. The C27's head is forward of the saloon on the starboard side, and forms the aft starboard wall of the v-berth. One of the prior owners was apparently very overweight, and could not fit into the head easily. So he removed the head door and trimmed the forward bulkhead back significantly. This creates two big problems - anyone who sleeps in the v-berth had his head in the head , and the loss of part of the bulkhead might compromise the structure, though I doubt in a major way. Do any of you have comments on creative ways to fix these problems? Would hanging track curtains (like used in hospitals) work to create privacy? (Though they would not eliminate any odor problems.) With thousands of C27's out there, is there any chance I might find a surplus wall and door to replace this one?
  • I asked about spider cracks and other issues. The owner took me to the bow and I saw one in on the cabin bulkhead, and one midships on the port side that had been poorly repaired with a line of gelcoat that had actually developed another hairline crack in the repair. He said there had been another similar repair done by a previous owner that looked awful, so he applied some rubber textured mat (I forgot the brand name) to the anchor door and the non-skid areas directly behind it. Like all of the things this guy had done to the boat, his workmanship was first rate and the mats looked great. They were perfectly trimmed to match the original non-skid areas, grey color matched perfectly, and very strongly adhered to the deck to create an apparently solid seal. Only question is whether the mats sealed water out or sealed it in. Is a surveyor's moisture meter able to detect water under a 1/8" thick rubber mat like this?

If anyone can provide advice on the above items I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm trying to determine whether these items are insurmountable "deal breakers" or just the normal compromises with purchasing a bargain-priced boat of this age. At under $10k, the boat seems to be a great bargain, especially compared to the much newer and pricier C28 that we're considering on another thread.

Thanks,

Rick
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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It makes no sense to me to buy something this common with bulkheads hacked up UNLESS you feel you can do a good DIY repiar

The real RED flag on the older C27s is the plywood keel sump which can be repaired BUT may not have been and the other issue is a lot of these older boats have raw water cooled motors which is a big issue compared to a freshwater cooled motor (heat exchanger)

I walked away from a 1981 "bargin" C30 with the same issue becasue it had been ignored so long the keel bolts were junk and it had a raw water diesel

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post #13 of 21 Old 11-10-2009 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tommays View Post
It makes no sense to me to buy something this common with bulkheads hacked up UNLESS you feel you can do a good DIY repiar

The real RED flag on the older C27s is the plywood keel sump which can be repaired BUT may not have been and the other issue is a lot of these older boats have raw water cooled motors which is a big issue compared to a freshwater cooled motor (heat exchanger)

I walked away from a 1981 "bargin" C30 with the same issue becasue it had been ignored so long the keel bolts were junk and it had a raw water diesel
On this particular boat, he has replaced the keel bolts and refaired the keel-hull joint within the last couple of years. I did not ask whether he removed the plywood and filled with epoxy - I will ask if I decide to proceed. He seems like a guy who does his homework, so I would expect that he did the repair properly (i.e., removed the plywood), but I do need to ask.

The motor is freshwater cooled.

It is a real shame about the head modification. On the positive side, the bulkhead that was reduced is not the one with chainplate mounts - those mount to the aft wall of the head - and the corresponding closet wall on the port side.
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post

It is a real shame about the head modification. On the positive side, the bulkhead that was reduced is not the one with chainplate mounts - those mount to the aft wall of the head - and the corresponding closet wall on the port side.
I guess it comes down to a two part question: Can you live with the head modification? If not are you comfortable enough with your wood working skills to replace the bulkhead?

If you move forward PM me and I can let you know where to get a good prices locally on marine plywood and mahogany. I can also give you the name of a good local surveyor who doesn't turn their nose up at boats in this price range.

Jim

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post #15 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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If it was my choice I'd go for the Cat 27. Much better boat. Diesel is much nicer to live with than outboard IMO. Very good owners support with C27. They only quit making them because they were so successful. It became too difficult to sell new ones with so many available on the resell market. Due not to being a dog but because they were so good that they sold many, many. IMO one of the best small boat bargains around. David
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post #16 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
On this particular boat, he has replaced the keel bolts and refaired the keel-hull joint within the last couple of years. I did not ask whether he removed the plywood and filled with epoxy - I will ask if I decide to proceed. He seems like a guy who does his homework, so I would expect that he did the repair properly (i.e., removed the plywood), but I do need to ask.

The motor is freshwater cooled.

It is a real shame about the head modification. On the positive side, the bulkhead that was reduced is not the one with chainplate mounts - those mount to the aft wall of the head - and the corresponding closet wall on the port side.
I know exactly where you're talking about since I have one...and that really sucks. Are you saying that he essentially sawzalled a "window" in that v-berth bulkhead? I don't know how that particular piece fits within the structural design of the boat, but do you think you could square it and brace/fill it instead of completely replacing it?

Since the major load bearing happens in that aft bulkhead between the head and the galley (where the compression post is), it seems like it might be salvageable. But I'd definitely want to find out for sure from someone who knows.

Jeez - people sure can dream up some crazy modifications.

BTW - you should see the bubble machine I installed using my thru-hulls. Very cool.

PS - Is it just mine, or do all C27s point like a mofo?
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post #17 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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PS - Is it just mine, or do all C27s point like a mofo?
None of them will point when you running a 150% to 170% headsail. Smack get a 120% or a 110% on that boat and Asymmetrical. She will point and you also have a light air sail. I don't why you Catalina owners think the bigger headsail sail the better.


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post #18 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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No - I actually meant that my boat DOES point really, really well. You're right, the 150 isn't as good as the 110 was - but it is pretty amazing.

I've also noticed that she seems much stiffer than many other boats. We'll be beating hard with several boats on their ear - and we stay upright pretty well. Not so good when you want a wet rail - but it's been pretty cool to see.
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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A C27 is a good all around boat. I sailed a few others peoples and I have like the boat. They aways seemed to running a head sail larger than I would have liked, but thats just me.


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post #20 of 21 Old 11-10-2009
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The Catalina's sail better than some would give them credit for, and their customer service is top notch -- even if you have an older boat.

Jim

95 Catalina 30 Island Time

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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