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jcwhite 04-22-2011 01:39 AM

Cascade 29 - Good deal/Bad deal?
Alright, I'm going to go and look at a boat this weekend: A Cascade 29. I'll link to the craigslist ad (which has a link to some photos), and I'll post the e-mail I got from the owner. What do you folks think? Is it a fair price? Is it a fair boat? My main concerns are construction quality and engine - what would yours be?

My story is on another post, but here's the summary. I need a boat I can live on, take my SO out for the weekend with, and sail single-handed (in roughly that order). It doesn't need to be fancy, but it will be my home and I don't want to live in a hovel. I'm on a tight budget and have limited free time, but am a skilled carpenter. I won't buy a full project, but expect to do a certain amount of start-up work. I live in Victoria, BC, and will be cruising mostly around the Salish Sea, but would like to be able to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. For the price he's asking I would have a reasonable amount of slosh for upgrades, but obviously never enough (ain't that always the way of it ...).

Ad: 29' cruising sloop

photo album (password is "spring"): Shaw Photo Share

E-mail the owner sent me:
"Hi Joel,

Its a Cascade 29, built in bullet proof glass in a hand layup process in 1964. (It really is bullet proof. The Cascade Yacht Constructors team fired a 45 calibre round into one of their hulls at point blank range back in the day. Nothing happened!) Deck and cabin were redone in 2005 in my backyard with the help of a Crescent Beach ship builder at $25 an hour. Cabin is all 3/4 inch mahogany. Deck is 1/2 inch mahogany plywood with glass over. Poured $25 thou in, got 8 years of cruising out, averaging 3 weeks a year. I took the original Palmer gas engine out, put in a diesel, took that out 3 years ago and hung the outboard on the back. Gained a ton of space, the cabin smells sweet, boat handles well under power in calmer conditions. Not meant to be used as a motor sailer.
Maintenance records are just one big file.

Come on over this weekend. Its not in Sidney. Its on my mooring buoy at Horton Bay. I'll take you out and about with my friends who arrive tomorrow. You might have to help dress her up. All her cushions and gear have been in dry storage all winter.

If you're thinking this through, at what place would you consider joining us and taking the boat away? We REALLY want to get to the Broughtons this year. I taught up there for 10 years, and have never gotten back on my own sailboat. Family emergencies always pulled us back before we got past Quadra.

Have you looked at the pictures?

I was on her today. Rebedded a couple of lifeline stanchions, cleaned the bilge. Tomorrow, I'm glassing over some more of the mahogany at the roof line. Kept her dry in a tent all year so I could do this. That'll nail a couple of leaks from the bow end of the cabin. Unfortunately, the beauty of the mahogany wood cabin will become just another glass job.

Check out Cascade Yachts


Faster 04-22-2011 09:41 AM

Cascades are well known in this region and many have done serious offshore passages. A caution, though, as many were kit boats and so the fit and finish will vary (a good craftsman might produce something better than 'factory', but unfortunately a poor one will take shortcuts with parts, materials, etc. some of which will not be immediately apparent)

She won't be the spriteliest performer in our summer light airs, I reckon, but might be a decent inexpensive boat for your needs. Looks a bit cramped, too, but liveable. The windlass is a bonus, though I wonder how the O/B keeps up with the batteries.

A good survey should let you know if this is a 'good one'....

sailingfool 04-22-2011 12:58 PM

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To each their own...but I think you can get into a more modern 30' like a Tartan 30 for this type of money, and have a lot more room, better sailing, and a proper auxhiliary inboard that would serve all your needs better, 'cepting perhaps rounding Cape Horn should that be a need.

jcwhite 04-24-2011 01:49 AM

I went across and looked at her today. I will not be making an offer.

This one was completely rebuilt by the current owner, to an acceptable but not exceptional degree of care. The entire boat would require a thorough scrubbing and re-painting, and most of the interior would require re-finishing (including the building over covers and cabinets and such). The wiring and plumbing were both functional but not impressive or particularly fail-safe, and since I'm least competent at fixing those, they rank highest (along with the engine) on my priorities list. I'd rather have stuff that I trust will work for a while, rather than stuff that I'll have to tinker with every other week.

However, it was a very pleasant trip out to the island where it's moored, and the owners fed me a delicious lunch of crab trapped that morning. Hard to complain about that!

As SailingFool states, I can probably get a much better (possibly more modern) boat for that money. Live and learn.

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