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  #1  
Old 11-09-2010
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Question Opinions Please

So while I have suceeded in finding two boats close to home that could be "the one," I have found a few listings that really intrigue me and so I wanted some expert opinions.
the first boat I found is in St. Simons island in GA. It is a 1975 Irwin 28'. the link is here: 1975 Irwin 28 - Boats.com Now I am wondering what affect that AC unit could have on the hatch. I DO NOT want AC, especially something so gawdy and in the way as that set-up. I worry though that it's being there has somehow compromised the hatches water-tightness.. am I just being overly cautious? Thoughts on the ad? It would be a good 4-5 hour drive to go see the boat so I am wondering if anyone has some good tips for learning more about the boat so I do not make a wasted trip to find in person the boat is slammed with problems. (I spoke to the guy working there but I fear his opinions are slated to making the sale.)

The second boat is a 1979 Catalina 27'. The link to it is here: 1979 Catalina - Boats.com
Again, what are some of your thoughts and opinions based on the ad and what is within? It is such a long distance friom me (400+ miles) but it really looks like a deal... Pictures though, so easy to misinform...

Lastly, a 1973 Dufour 27'. The link to it is here: 1973 Dufour 27 - Boats.com

So, what are your thoughts? What are your thoughts on the ads and the boats in general and which is the best of the bunch (I lean towards IRwin.)
Do not fear being overly specific, I am looking for really detailed responses because I have never bought a sailboat and I do not want to invest close to a grand for a survey on a lemon. Also, I do not want to drive 6+ hours to a boat that upon general inspection proves to be a lemon. I feel like over the past months I have learned so much about ACTUALLY sailing, but I still feel very unsure about the process of actually BUYING one.
I like to stay local, and I have two boats that are local that I could survey, but man those three boats look pretty fierce. I have a hard time thinking about why they are so cheap, it makes me worry incessantly. SailNet, Please help!
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Old 11-09-2010
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Take a look at the Catalina and the Dufour, pass on the Irwin. The Irwin has lots of mods, it appears none of them done well, and an owner who is less than careful about his boatkeeping (look at how the fenders are hung). Irwins are boats that were arguably built to the lower end of the production standard of the day, and don't take kindly to neglect.

Also the Catalina and the Dufour, in addition to being superior boats to start with, are in the same general vicinity, so you can look at both back to back and form some sort of solid impression.
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Old 11-09-2010
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I'd pass on the Irwin too. The Dufour would be my choice. The only one of the three with a diesel and looks to be in better condition than the Catalina.

I would not pay for a survey on a boat in that price range. But I would do my own including buying or borrowing a moisture meter. See the boat inspection tips thread on this forum.
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Old 11-09-2010
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Ok thank you. May I ask a follow up question? What would be a rough-outline of the process for buying a boat 3 states away? What I mean is,
Should I plan on an initial trip for inspection, a second trip for survey and a third for pick up/transport? Im just being generic here don't crucify me please. I would have to have is transported to FL since I couldn't drive there and sail back (my car would not fit on deck =) )
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Old 11-09-2010
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Agreed. Forget the Irwin. The hull is a chalky mess and there is an ominous dark area at the foot of the bulkhead in the cabin. If it's rot, that's a significant job. Don't worry about the A/C unit; while I don't like them, they are very common on boats. You can do better than this boat.

In my view, the Catalina may have the edge. The cushions are new so the mold smell should be reduced. The interior looks pretty clean and the hull actually shines. The owner clearly cared about the boat. The engine is gas which is a worry for me, but with care an explosion can be easily avoided through blowers, etc.

The Dufour looks a little more ragged. It has a diesel which is a plus in my book. The outside needs love, the interior is pretty clean but not as much as the Catalina. The instruments are old and it would be good to know if they work.
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I was considering opting out of a survey and relying heavily on SD's thread and my "Inspecting the aging sailboat," book since a survey is roughly 25% of the boats value in this case. Also, I was going to attempt to trick my self out on this site in hopes I may find some more experienced sailors in the area whos idea of a good time is meeting a young sailing enthusiast and inspecting some cheap ol' boats
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Old 11-09-2010
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If you're not having a survey, then the Catalina has the definite edge since you can see the hull and won't have to pay to have it hauled.

If you have a strong desire for a particular boat, schedule a long day or two and do an in depth survey. If you have to pay for a hotel, it's cheap money compared with making a bad decision. If you like it, make an offer 20% below asking and settle on 10% below asking. Then schedule another trip for pickup.
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Old 11-09-2010
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while not related to the boat choice, before you put a lot of time into it you may want to get some quotes on moving those boats, as it could really affect your budget. once you figure in the travel/transport cost, you may be able to get something nicer closer to home.
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Old 11-09-2010
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Roughly $1300 USD from Oriental NC to JAX Florida. A pretty penny yes, but not a deal breaker. I am looking close to home as well (two on my short list)
I just want to make sure I have been thorough in my research. I just want a good boat.
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Old 11-09-2010
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Sorry to hijack my own thread but do any of you know some more websites like boats.com or boattrader.com that has up to date listings?
OR
Should I go down my list of 30+ marinas and call them up indivudally to ask if they have anything for sale close to what I am looking for?

I really have gotten lucky on the two boats I have found close to home, they were both in the Marina right down the street. However, I want to have as large a selection as possible without wasting time/resources.
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