1972 Balboa 20 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-21-2009 Thread Starter
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1972 Balboa 20

Still shopping for my first boat and came across this:
http://www.crankyape.com/default.asp...emNumber=17215

Nightmare? Or good boat after a couple grand put into it?
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-21-2009
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The first sailboat I singlehanded was a Balboa 20. She had two little round portlights on each side instead of the larger one that boat has. I helped Dad spruce her up a bit and got to sail her for a few summers. You can see her on the left.



She had pretty nice lines and was fun to sail for me in my teens. Even camped out overnight once or twice with a couple of friends (had to be nice weather, one had to sleep in the cockpit). With the centerboard up she could get into pretty thin water.

I can't really speak to whether that particular one is worth spending money to fix up, though. You could certainly end up with a neat little boat, but the resale value is not going to be much to speak of even in better shape. The leaking could be a simple fix having to do with the centerboard or it could be something pretty serious. "Keep the water on the outside" is one of the first rules of boating, after all. But the trailer and outboard are pluses if they're both operational. Does she have sails?


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post #3 of 11 Old 12-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Not sure about the sails, I have to find that out. I've been doing a little research and it sounds like the cockpit is pretty small and the boat favors a larger cabin, not sure that is ideal for me. I would like something I could sleep in, but it would also be nice to have at least 3 other people seated comfortably in the cockpit.

It is rather difficult to tell what is a good value, it seems as though boat prices in other areas are substantially less than prices in Minnesota.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on the trailer situation? The ad mentions they don't think it is sitting correctly on the trailer. Anyone with more experience see anything obvious going on with how the boat is on the trailer? I'm about an hour away from where it is located, so it would have to make it at least that far before I could work on it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-21-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp375 View Post
Any thoughts on the trailer situation? The ad mentions they don't think it is sitting correctly on the trailer. Anyone with more experience see anything obvious going on with how the boat is on the trailer? I'm about an hour away from where it is located, so it would have to make it at least that far before I could work on it.
Yeah, the boat doesn't look like it's far enough forward...the ctr. board looks like it may be interfering with a trailer cross brace just fwd of it. With the boat that far back, the whole rig will be a little 'squirrely' and fishtail with insufficient tongue weight...especially with a light weight tow vehicle.

Also I noticed that the ad read..."water enters the keel area". I've read that the Balboa's centerboard is a touble spot on other models as well. On the B20, the centerboard weights in at 450 lbs. and if the cable snaps, it's very hard on the pivot pin and the surrounding area. Hopefully you can go inspect this area before you bid. Otherwise, it's a crap shoot.

There's a site that you can look at for more info on the B20 and other Balboas as well. Good luck.

http://www.msogphotosite.com/LyleHess.html

Last edited by fullkeel7; 12-21-2009 at 09:33 PM. Reason: sp
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-21-2009
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Nice little boat. Slower than dirt, but pretty solid like all Lyle Hess designs. This is the same hull as the Ensenada20 and RK20 (made by Coastal Marine). These boats differed in cabin/deck layout and keel configuration; all had keel issues, but they are not terribly difficult to fix.

Iffy whether to dump "a couple grand" into a Balboa/RK/E20, just because these boats typically sell for $1500 in sail-away condition. Seen em as low as $800, ready to go with newer canvas. A decent boat, but not perhaps one I'd spend four figures repairing. If you are clever with fiberglass and willing to drop the keel to address the trunk, then go for it!

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SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-22-2009
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fullkeel, thanks for the link that has the brochure.

Love how they show the B20 being towed (and hauled) by an old 'Vette!


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post #8 of 11 Old 12-22-2009 Thread Starter
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Nice little boat. Slower than dirt, but pretty solid like all Lyle Hess designs. This is the same hull as the Ensenada20 and RK20 (made by Coastal Marine). These boats differed in cabin/deck layout and keel configuration; all had keel issues, but they are not terribly difficult to fix.

Iffy whether to dump "a couple grand" into a Balboa/RK/E20, just because these boats typically sell for $1500 in sail-away condition. Seen em as low as $800, ready to go with newer canvas. A decent boat, but not perhaps one I'd spend four figures repairing. If you are clever with fiberglass and willing to drop the keel to address the trunk, then go for it!

See that's the thing, I've yet to find a boat in my area in what I consider 'sail-way condition' for less than about $3500. (asking price anyway). Do I just need to make some lowball offers?

I'm leaning towards staying away from this one. Just a bit more work than I am after. If the trailer was decent and there wasn't the known leak issue, then I would be all over it.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-22-2009
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If you can't find anything else in sail-away condition for under $3,500, and you're reasonably handy and willing to invest some repair time, how much are you risking if you buy it for, say, $750?

I buy and sell trailer-boats frequently and I am always amazed at the people who spend 2 years looking for the "perfect deal"... all the while they are high-and-dry without a boat!

Buy it and go sailing... just be sure you have a decent bilge pump or stay close to shore till you see how bad the "leak" is. I've had several centerboarders that take in maybe a gallon or two an hour through a leaky trunk... 30 seconds with the bilge pump and you're sialing for another couple hours. Just don't take it 20 miles offshore.

Good Luck.

Note: Balboa 20 was designed by Lyle Hess who has (he's passed away) a devoted following. His designs are known to be safe and stout though a bit slow. Look over a Balboa 20 or Ensenada 20 then go look at a San Juan 21... the Hess boat will seem like a Jeep while the SJ seems like a 1990 Hyundai.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hriehl1 View Post
Note: Balboa 20 was designed by Lyle Hess who has (he's passed away) a devoted following. His designs are known to be safe and stout though a bit slow. Look over a Balboa 20 or Ensenada 20 then go look at a San Juan 21... the Hess boat will seem like a Jeep while the SJ seems like a 1990 Hyundai.
Not a good comparison, given the reliability ratings of Jeep v. Hyundai. Yah, the SJ21 isn't exactly built like a tank. But it will lap a Balboa20 around the buoys. Twice.

The problem with sailing a boat that's leaking a gallon per hour around the keel box ... is that you fall off the back of one wave, and suddenly you are taking on twenty gallons a minute and your little daysail just got a whole bunch more interesting. You can drown on Lake Winnebago as well as in the south Atlantic.

I like the B/E/RK20, but it is as old, beat-up, and expensive to keep in sailing trim as any other 35 yr old plastic boat. For my money, I wanted a boat that at least had good sailing qualities. If you can get the B20 for a song and are willing to put 100 hours into it, then by all means. You'll end up with a sluggish boat worth $1500 resale. I personally know a nice, devoted, and highly-skilled woman with an E20 who bought the boat, began working on the keel (leaks around the box, pitted cast iron), and has been off the water for several years as she tears into the hull -- at each step finding another major problem that needs addressing before the boat can be safely reassembled & splashed again. The endless repairs that come w/ sailboat ownership are a lot easier to cope with if you can sail in between them. The keel/trunk of the B/E/RK is a known problem area and has allegedly resulted in lost keels; it should be addressed.

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SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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