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beebopbogo 10-02-2012 05:33 PM

Mason 43 for under $40,000!
I've been shopping around for a good blue-water sailboat for about a year now and this Mason 43 just popped onto my radar for around $30-40k. My buddy was talking with his neighbor at the docks who said the owner is done with the boat and just wants to get rid of it. It has sat at the slip for 4 years straight without a single person setting foot on it. He's sick and doesn't want to show the boat, he doesn't want to deal with it, and just wants it gone. It sounds like it could be an amazing deal, but I'm currently deployed and have to trust my friend (owner and sailor of his Catalina 40) to be my eyes and ears for me.

4 years ago, the boat showed up in the slip next to my friend's in perfect condition. Shiny teak, new rigging, freshly painted hull, and new engine. Then it was never touched since. In fact, the new engine hasn't even been hooked up yet. My friend just did a walk-through and he says it is now covered in dirt, one of the interior ports was open, some water got in, and the engine is half sitting in water. I'm not sure if the water is fresh or salt, but he's going to look at it again tomorrow. This boat will probably sell very quickly, being such an amazing deal.

So, any recommendations? It almost seems a no-brainer. Even if I find some horrible problems, I could still put another $60,000 into it and be sailing my $150,000 dream boat around the world. I guess my question is, what could possibly be the worst case scenario if I buy this boat? What could make me regret buying it?

Thanks all!

davidpm 10-02-2012 05:41 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Could be a great deal but the survey will tell you what is left after 4 years of neglect.
Depending on where you are, frost damage may have taken out the engine.
If the engine is damaged, electric is damaged, plumbing was never dealt with, cushions need replacing, sails rat eaten, running rigging gone the asking price may be just about right.

It is real simple.
Start going through the boat system by system and count up what is wrong and put a price on it.
Double that number and it will probably only cost you twice that to put it in good condition.

chef2sail 10-02-2012 06:53 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Mason 43/ 44 is the top boat I am looking for as my last boat. Not looking for a fixer upper though. They are very well made.


SloopJonB 10-03-2012 01:59 AM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
If your buddy has a decent "eye" and says do it, put in an offer subject to survey and get a pro to look at it. A lot can go wrong in 4 years but it could also be a once in a lifetime deal.

miatapaul 10-04-2012 12:43 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Now there are exceptions, but the old adage if it is too good to be true, it likely is. I doubt it will sell that fast. The thing is most people will not spend 30 to 40 thousand on a project boat, they will risk a few thousand, but not 40,000 for a project boat. Granted the payoff in the end could be high. They look to be asking around $100,000 on yachtworld (asking not selling) so figure you can get 70-75 for it after your done if up to good standards. I could see a 43 foot abandoned boat needing well over 40,000 in work, especially if it has taken on water over the engine. That is a lot of teak that would need to be replaced not to mention the engine. Upholstery could be several thousand in materials alone. I have heard of folks spending 4,000 or more on cushions for a 30 foot boat. The motor for that boat will be at least $10,000 just for the motor, not including install.

So be careful, it could be a bottomless pit and if your not going to do your own work, run! If you do your own work you might get lucky and break even. Of course boats are not a good investment anyway.

Look at this one for $100,000 looks good and he says he will take offers
Mason 43 For Sale - Simplicity
I have not seen it, but makes you pause before getting involved in a project.

Skipper Jer 10-04-2012 12:58 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Tell us where the boat is located. Some of us will take a look at her and render an opinion or two about the condition.

canucksailorguy 10-04-2012 01:17 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Been there, done that -
My boat (1975 Dufour 34) sat on the hard for 7 years waiting for a buyer. When I first saw her, there was water to the level of the floorboards and it had clearly, at some point, been higher. Fortunately, the floorboards and upholstery had been removed, so they were fine. The sails were in good shape with a new main, all stored off the boat.
The engine was toast though, since it had been at least a quarter immersed in water. Since it was a donation boat, I paid very (VERY!) little for it, and even now, do not have $25k into it - that's with a very lightly used new engine, hull repaint, bimini/dodger, new electronics, new stove (original was removed) on and on....all the work done by myself, quality secondhand equipment purchased when/where feasible.
Since then, this boat has done three trips to the Great Lakes, three to the Bahamas, two to Cuba, and 20 up and down the US east coast, for over 30k miles. It's been a good deal in other words.
The key here when buying a boat that has suffered neglect is that the boat is a quality boat. That means its components will hold up better and not so much need replacement as refurbishing. If you do the work yourself (I did), it can save you a fortune (which I didn't/don't have) and you'll know your boat intimately, for those times in harbours where you're a long way from the nearest marine tradesman.
The owner of this Mason is asking $40k, which seems like a good price, but it's asking so you could do better. If you're going to do the work yourself, it's worth it. If not - I'd take a look at Simplicity, posted above.

TomandKarens34 10-04-2012 02:14 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Simplicity hasn't sold for two years because of the life expectancy of her equipment. She has over 5000 hours on her engine and the balance of her is nearing the end of service. While the woodwork on a Mason is mind boggling, so is ripping it out to get to chain plates and such. Masons have issues with the shower leaking and doing tons of damage. Iron fuel tanks are not easily removed and replaced. There are a host of issues with older Masons similar to the other Asian cruisers. Go to the Mason owner's site and check out the posts. Many have dropped $50,000 fixing the tired systems. What you don't spend up front you will spend later. Overhauling a 43 foot boat is a mind numbing job. I've overhauled two boats and I'm about out of patience with the work. I've lost 5 years of sailing doing maintenance and in the final analysis, I would have done better not to have spent the time. I can make money. I cannot make time.

canucksailorguy 10-04-2012 02:23 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
No question that's a valid response regarding the work involved in renewing a boat. In my case, I've never brought the boat back to 'new' - instead, I brought it back to serviceable, and have worked on it while underway.
This of course leads to new adventures and friends when things break down or need replacing, usually in awkward and hard to work from locations - but I don't consider the time spent, for example, replacing my engine in Belhaven NC, to have been lost time. I've made great friends and discovered some wonderful places. You just have to have a Gold Boat US package and be able to handle the shame of being towed in occasionally.

TomandKarens34 10-04-2012 02:29 PM

Re: Mason 43 for under $40,000!
Thinking about it, the Masons have teak decks. They fail at around 30 years. There's $10,000 right there. That's if there is not major core damage. Core replacement will about double that figure. Figure a year of your time to repair just that, if you DIY. A beta marine diesel is $14800 for the 60 HP. model and you're just starting. Woodwork, fuel tanks, standing and running rigging, and the other items mentioned by the other posters. Under 40 might be no bargain.

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