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Old 09-18-2012
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Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

I'm thinking of buying a 1979 J/24. Knowing that such older boats have lots of issues, I need some help to determine if it's woth my dime and time to buy it.

To my untrained eye, the boot looks used but not abused and in better shape than other boats I've seen. The deck layout is modified to comply with 1998 regulations and the mast is anodised Alu. I walked all over the decks and couldn'y detect any soft spots. I also tried to wiggle the pulpits and stanchions and they were firmly attached to the dack with no visible signs of leakage through the deck (underside). There were a few hairline cracks around the fore hatch but the deck was solid in that area, same around the mast partners.

Let me know what you think. Thanks,

(Since I can't post pics, maybe some of you would be willing to check the pics out on Flicker)

First the vermiculite: I think it has been replaced but I'm not sure: see the images below for the bilge.

flic.kr/p/dbJ4Kv

Mast support beam in the v-berth:

flic.kr/p/dbJ5fH

What's the uggly yellowish sealant? The beam looks like two pices: the one painted in white and the anodised Alu one...

flic.kr/p/dbJ74S

The boat has been out of water the whole summer and is very dry (uncovered) but here - port side coat storage - I've found some water

flic.kr/p/dbJ6So

The ceiling in the cabin - this side of the partition wall has some gaps where it meets the ceiling:

flic.kr/p/dbJ6Gm
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Water found is probably rainwater, any through bolts could leak/drip (could also be the aforementioned hatch)...

Lots of surface/mildew, so it's obviously be shut up for a while

Keel bolts look OK.

Pintals look Ok... Gudgeons, maybe OK (not familiar with the J/24, is it supposed to be double stacked on the lower like that?).

Looks like you have your work cut out for you for fairing of the rudder/bottom. It's called roll and tip for a reason, looks like someone used a 3/4" nap roller, and forgot the tip. for the topside paint.

Can't comment on the other parts, not familiar enough with the J/24s. There definitely looks like there was work done on that mast support/step though.

How do the standing rigging and the sails look?
How about is it on a cradle or a trailer?

Good versions of these older J/24s CAN be found for low dollar amounts. The price should be under $5k with a trailer, in the condition I'd say more like $4k, and all sails working (no tears), but old (10+).

Example, here's a local boat, that I've seen up close, that looks as good as it does in these pictures, and they want $5500 for it.
1979 Champion Johnston J-24 for sale | Lake Wallenpaupack, PA
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Thanks, SHNOOL. The boat comes on a single axle trailer, with two complete sets of sails (no rips/tears from what I've seen - I checked them in the cabin) and the price is in the ballpark you mentioned.

The vermiculite replacement and the mast beam/step are my main concerns. The vermiculite looks like it has been replaced based on the new type bilge sole and the look of the stuff in the bilge.

Thanks,
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Any other opinions?
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Eh it's not enough money really to worry... if you are 100% paid for to do it go for it, you only live once... if it explodes after a year, well, you had fun right?

Sorry you are in my ballpark of boat prices it sounds, and my take is, my boat could sink today, and I'd be out nothing. Sure I'd miss her, but I've sailed her bottom off too and have gotten my monies worth out of her. I plan to push her for every second of fun I can going forward for sure, and I'll make her as safe as I can, and sail as good as I can (money will continue to be sunk in my 30+ year old boat regardless), but hey it's PAID FOR, and properly insured, and registered!

Sounds like your thinking is very much like mine, going for the most "smiles per gallon."
Buy it, sail it, fix it up, but realize it's 30+ and living on borrowed time. Sure it's a tough boat, and might need work to keep her sailing, but that's gravy.

PS: still sounds like a bargain
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Great piece of advice, thank you! I'm sitting on the fence but you might have just given me the push

Best,
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

I haven't seen a price mentioned, but I just sold our J24 this past summer (~$4500) and the main issues with these boats are about the kinds of things you are looking at. It seems that most of the big things are solid, but the deck areas around the winches and shrouds/chainplates and stanchions are the most likely for water intrusion. These boats will last as long as there are people willing to continue to fix them up (which will probably be forever), and they are very easy to work on. The quickest easiest method to tell if you have vermiculite in the sump is to push an awl or small screwdriver down into it and see if it goes in easily. Vermiculite is the mushy stuff that helps potting soil retain water- you'll know right away if it's not. If it's as hard as a rock, then it's not vermiculite. Be sure you're not testing very tough paint, though. Replacing rigging, toggles, forestays and worn out hardware is common. Just be sure you go through everything and know what you're getting into. A single axle trailer isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a double is much easier to tow- all depends on your vehicle. If you have choices of other boats in your area, I'd definitely take the time to look at them all.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

I remember that leakage around the chainplates and core rot in the area were problems for the J-24 owners that I knew. You might give that a close look. It's fixable, but something to be aware of before a final price is negoiated.
Nice sailing boats but the one design racing is too intense for some folks.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

on a J24 or any boat in that price range, Do not buy one that needs any major work. there are many J 24 for sale and paying a few thousand more for one that needs no repair work is money in the bank. there are no boats that have sat for a while that only need sweat to clean them up. if they need any parts or materials to repair then you will be spending way more time and money then the boat is worth. this type of boat is on a trailer so you can get one from anywhere and just tow it to your home port.
Remember even a brand new boat will require more time to maintain properly then most people are willing to spend. thats why there are fixer uppers all over the place
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Quote:
Originally Posted by farscape View Post
Thanks, SHNOOL. The boat comes on a single axle trailer, with two complete sets of sails (no rips/tears from what I've seen - I checked them in the cabin) and the price is in the ballpark you mentioned.

The vermiculite replacement and the mast beam/step are my main concerns. The vermiculite looks like it has been replaced based on the new type bilge sole and the look of the stuff in the bilge.

Thanks,
That's a lot of weight for a single axle trailer. Probably O/K for launching and retrieving at a club or something but I wouldn't take it on the highway or any other distance.

I'd also sound the deck with a plastic hammer, not just walk on it. Wet core can still be stiff enough to pass the walk test (don't ask how I know).
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