Possible Deck Stepped Mast Problems - SailNet Community

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Old 03-23-2011
CWC CWC is offline
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Possible Deck Stepped Mast Problems

New SailNet member and first time poster. Considering a purchase of a Contessa JJ Taylor 26 1984. It is in above average condition but it stepped deck mast appears to have been reset and worked on. The liner under the step in the cabin shows some deformation. Also appears to be a repair/ding around one of mast steps. Owner is clueless to causes. Asking price is about 15000. Is this step problem a deal breaker?
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Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWC View Post
..... Asking price is about 15000. Is this step problem a deal breaker?
If it's not a deal breaker it's definitely a price breaker!

It is something to be very careful about assessing. Visible deformation is never a good thing. This requires a careful inspection by a qualified, knowledgeable person. It's certainly repairable, but now the issue is who's going to cover the cost?

It's a negotiation item, but you need to be sure you, or whoever you hire, is sure to effect a solid repair for the expected cost. The asking price might even be high for a pristine example in today's market...
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Old 03-23-2011
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CW, you might want to hire a surveyor.

I have no idea on the worth of that boat, but when a deck or mast step has collapsed, "dinged" or otherwise, it indicates a structural problem. Could be the mast was tensioned down too much, could be the core of the deck is all rotted out from water leaks (very expensive repair, yes) could just be a local spot that can be repaired. You need someone who knows what they are looking at, to take a look at the boat itself. Could be a surveyor, or it could be "let's take it to the shipyard and get an estimate".

If you're happy with the price of the boat, you can always ask the seller to work with you. Maybe you pay $10k and put $5k into an escrow fund (a bank or attorney or broker can set that up for you) under the terms that the $5k will be used to pay for professional repairs and the seller gets anything left over. If the repairs exceed that amount, that's your problem, so an estimate is still a good idea.

If the seller thinks the repairs will be a couple of hundred bucks...he's got no reason not to take the risk, right? Odds are, he knows what those dings will cost to repair, and whether there are issues with the deck core. If not, you'll both find out when the survey or estimate is done.
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Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWC View Post
New SailNet member and first time poster. Considering a purchase of a Contessa JJ Taylor 26 1984. It is in above average condition but it stepped deck mast appears to have been reset and worked on. The liner under the step in the cabin shows some deformation. Also appears to be a repair/ding around one of mast steps. Owner is clueless to causes. Asking price is about 15000. Is this step problem a deal breaker?
CWC
Yes assuming there is a problem and you are not able to repair it yourself.

15000$ for a CO26 is not a low ball price for this boat, If there is concern about the beam supporting the mast/deck compression then a survey is a requirement as others have said. If damage is pointed out in the survey, consider a much lower price if you are capable of the required repair or look for another co26 there are others around.

In case you haven't seen it yet, there is a website dedicated to the contessa 26

The Contessa Corner - A site for Contessa owners, sailors and dreamers.

It doesn't have a lot of traffic from day to day but when questions are asked they get responses fairly quickly.

Good luck in your future purchase,
John


edit: just re-read your post, compression on the cabin deck is what I am referring to in my above response, as to damage around one of the mast steps? Do you mean mast steps going up the mast and there is damage to the mast?

Last edited by johnnyandjebus; 03-23-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011
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I own a 25 footer with a deck stepped mast. When we picked the boat up at the marina, the "experts" had put her on the trailer and strapped her down, ready to haul (to the tune of $800). I had no clue about boats at the time. Well, come spring time, I noticed that the tabernacle had been mangled. I took it off, put it in a vice and beat on it until the shape was functional. Needless to say, I was livid. Fast forward to the next season. I wanted a quicker easier way to step the mast so among other things, I build my own tabernacle. So . . . long story, but I'd say somebody's mast got away from them and the tabernacle needed repair or replacement. Wanna hear how to step a mast in 25 knot winds? Next time!
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Old 03-23-2011
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Welcome to SailNet. The price is around the going asking price for the Contessa, however, the mast step and structure below the mast step should be looked at by your surveyor. This is definitely a bargaining point depending on the cost to make repairs. I can't believe the seller does not know anything about the mast step. If the surveyor thinks the repair costs are reasonable, then you can negotiate price with the owner. If the owner does not want to negotiate, I would walk away and look for another boat. Keep in mind that it is still a buyers market.
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Old 03-23-2011
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Do you have pictures ? If you can evaluate or determine there is damage, you might not want to waste your money paying a surveyor and just keep looking. *Was the mast Up or Down when you saw it ? If it is up, you might see if the turnbuckles are at or near the end of adjustment--because mast lowered. Or; You might ask seller if he had to adjust the rigging ( because the Mast lowered into the deck). I had one seller who volunteered this info to me. But, as you know that would only be part of the answer you are looking for (as far as how much damage). Maybe if you look at the Contessa again you just might see something yourself.
I know its not easy to find a Contessa

Last edited by sidney777; 03-24-2011 at 01:26 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 03-24-2011
CWC CWC is offline
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Great Forum

All responses are much appreciated. There was good information to consider in every reply. I'm going to take a second look at the boat this weekend and take some pictures to post here. Thanks - great forum.
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Old 03-30-2011
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Pictures

After a second look and more consideration, have decided to pass. Here are the pictures I took:

http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/...326_131031.jpg
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/...326_132023.jpg
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/...326_132512.jpg
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/...326_132018.jpg
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