First Sailboat - Cal 29? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-25-2010 Thread Starter
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First Sailboat - Cal 29?

I looked at a 1969 Cal 29 today. She was in the water.

We are looking for a boat for the Chesapeake Bay to expand our sailing experience daysailing, go around the DeMarVa loop, and perhaps visit Bermuda and the Caribbean. The Cal 29 has a good reputation and seems to me that she may work.

This boat appears to be in good shape but has some issues related to neglect:
- all the teak needs to be refinished
- gel coat is crazed
- cabin needs a through scrubbing
- the cabin paint is peeling in places and has spots of mold
- cushions need cleaning
- below decks the wood needs refinishing
- head is missing
- small counter top in the head needs replacing
- 2 opening portholes may need replacement (but they do not appear to leak)
- needs batteries
- needs to be hauled and paint the bottom (last done in 2008)
- the engine was winterized and I did not start it (Atomic 4)

It looks like she could be cleaned up, bottom painted by the yard, etc with about 40 hours work on my part and $1,000. So I should be able to get it done in 2 weeks and $1,500.

The good things include no obvious leaks, seacocks work, deck is firm, wood is solid, full suite of sails (6), the main and jib are crisp (i did not look at all of them), rigging and lines look good, no bad smells, comfortable cockpit and plenty of room to move around in below.

I read the concerns about "the beam" under the mast of a Cal 29. It is hard to see, but the tab under the port berth looked fine, no rust. The bolts and nuts looked new. But the floor pan looked original. I could not figure out how the beam could have been replaced without cutting the floor. So don't know what to think about this.

The boat is a donation so I have not talked with the PO. The director of the organization sailed her across the Bay to her current slip. He said she sailed fine and the engine worked. He sailed for several hours and motored for 30 min to charge the batteries. After doing this several times the starter failed. He has since replace the starter. He said the electrical system (lights and radio) worked fine.

It looks like most of the work is just manual labor and the type of finish work I am comfortable with. The cabin will never look perfect because of the uneven surfaces where the paint is peeling. I don't think the gel coat crazing can be addressed.

So the questions are:
- is this a good boat for my intended use for our family of three?
- Am I under estimating the importance of the issues?
- Does $2,500 seem like a reasonable price?
- What am I missing?

Thanks for any ideas and comments.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-25-2010
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Been There, Done That, Still Fixing It



while it looks good



And was worth saving to me



There are Cal 29 issues that go beyond elbow grease and there pretty much a given like the steel mast step



very prone to the chain plate leaks killing the bulkheads you have to POKE ALL OF THEM AS THEY WILL LOOK FINE



And wet rotted plywood decks which were FIRM

You really gotta check out the boat carefully as it just has to have some issues under the skin and my A4 is freshwater cooled or i would have passed on the boat

You will not be able to get real insurance without a survey and it will bring up issues that will have to be updated

1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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1981 J24 Tangent 2930
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Last edited by tommays; 09-25-2010 at 07:48 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-25-2010 Thread Starter
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A dose of reality. Thank you.

I came to the same conclusion over dinner, that I have to go back and slowly go through it again. I will poke the bulkheads. The chain plates looked good as far as I could see but I will poke them also. i misspoke when discussing hours. I think the basic initial clean up, painting, batteries, etc can be finished in about a weeks work. The woodwork, counter top replacement, etc will take more time.

What do you think about the steel beam as I described it? The tab does not have any rust and the bolts look brand new, as if they were installed last week. They can't be 40 years old. Is it possible to replace the beam without cutting out the floor pan?

Have you gotten yours wet or has it just been the work so far?
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-25-2010
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Wow

Just checked out your blog Tommay. I am very impressed at how much work you've done in just one year. Looks like you've mostly rebuilt everything in a short time.

Excellent and inspiring work.

Jordan
West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
Oceanside CA
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-26-2010
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The beam could be OK as most of the water comes from the head area pan drain and ice box hose BUT it takes surgery to change

Make sure you see the tab in the middle near the compression post as my beam was perfect except the very center

That being said the beam was one of the fairly easy fixes for me



You could well use the boat as is and have a great time kicking around the Chesapeake Bay IF its found to be fairly sound but i don't think it would be UP for your long range plan without a lot of upgrades

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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Last edited by tommays; 09-26-2010 at 06:30 AM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-26-2010 Thread Starter
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OK. I saw a tool at Home Depot that was an eye and light on the end of a 3' probe. That would allow me to see the center of the beam.

How would I check the decks? They are firm and sound OK to me. Are there specific places of concern? Is there any way to check short of a moisture meter?

Tommay, you say that upgrades will be needed for the off shore trips. Are you saying this is a 40 year old boat and a reasonable person would have the rigging examined and the rest of the boat looked at prior to the trip or are you talking about something more specific than that?

I second jephtog. You have done a remarkable job on your boat. Your blog is very interesting. My hope is to avoid these types of major surgery.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-26-2010
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Read SD's sticky at the top of this section on Boat Inspection Tips. It discusses the use of a moisture meter to check the decks. Most of the issues you mention are cosmetic. The major ones (like structrural, engine) are a bit harder to find and potentially much more expensive.

A 40 year old 29 footer is fine for cruising the Bay, but not what I would take to Bermuda or Caribbean.
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