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post #1 of 7 Old 06-17-2004 Thread Starter
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Worth it or not

Hello - I''m looking at a 1984 sailboat that has balsa core hull and I''m concerned on what I uncovered. I''m not sure I want to spend the money to even have the boat surveyed. Unfortunately since this is my first boat I''m not sure if these are real issues or not. If you don''t mind check out the pictures I took and let me know what you think. http://home.comcast.net/~sailbums/boatpics.htm

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-17-2004
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Worth it or not

It appears that this boat has had quite a few glass repairs. What caused the damage? The stress cracking isn''t pretty - may or may not be indicative of problems with the glass. Without a survey, I wouldn''t touch it. You NEED to have someone who know''s about glass take a look.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-17-2004
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Worth it or not

everything looks ratty on that boat,I would run... or is it real cheap? What boat is it ?

Nethertheless dont do it w/o a surveye.
I bought mine without surveyer, but the boat was looking better than new in most places ( 81 ---- J 30 )
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-17-2004
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Worth it or not

That boat has a wild mix of conditions. Some look simply cosmetic, while others look pretty scary. This is clearly a boat that has been ridden hard and put away wet. There are a series of repairs that look scary to me such as the dissimilar metals on the thru-hull fittings, and the glass over pain repair back by the rudder post. From what can be seen there are some wild variations in original build quality. Of course build quality will vary with the builder. Who built this boat anyway?

I guess that I would suggest that you talk to a surveyor about giving the boat a first look. Depending on how close the surveyor is based to the boat you might get a surveyor to spend an hour or so and give you a solid impression of what you are looking at, at least in terms of whether the boat is worth even making an offer on. Most surveyors will simply bill you for the hour or so spent and some will credit the costs toward a full survey later.

Good Luck,
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-17-2004
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Worth it or not

I do not think this is a boat anymore. I think it has crossed the line into being a boat-shaped-object...Used to lure the unwarry into spending their hearts out for no real rewards.

I have two guesses and one certainty about this boat.

Guess number one, An earlier owner has turned it bannana shaped by having the shrouds so incorectly tightened that one side has actually pulled out of line and the glass cracking everywhere is a consequence. Does the companianway hatch slide easily and bear no marks of "adjustment"(chisel or angle grinder)? Does the front hatch open cleanly and bed down on its seals properly?
Is the mast foot area on the cabin roof also cracked and crazed in a radiating pattern form the mast foot?

Turn away now and run!

Guess number two: The boat was made "wrong" in the first place. Sometimes it just happens with small budget builders. he workshop is not climate controlled and sometimes the weather just means the glass does not "go off" properly and is extra brittle or does not bind the way it should.
Sometimes an apprentice mixes the resin in incorect proportions and there is no way to spot the error until after the hull is laid up (and sometimes not till way after).
At this point many a small builder has been known to either "patch" the craft and hope for the best, or if they are honest, sell it as a "second" for (hopefully) the cot of materials.
These boats, as a rule, go on to live very sad lives of being patched and repaired by progressively less and less skilled owners as they are bought enthusiastically by a bargain hunter and then sold for usually less to the next sucker by a now wiser and sadder (and poorer) owner.

Do you want to be the next in this sad chain?

These boats NEVER come up to the standard of their properly built brothers, but ironically, often end up costing several times as much when all of the "repairs" by all of the owners are taken into account.

Enough of the guesses, now for the certainty.
Based on the pictures you have provided alone, it is more then clear that the level of maintanence and repair of this vessel has been from poor to woefull. You will in effect be buying everyone else''s incompetence and then need to somehow undo them or learn to enjoy playing russian roulette with your sailing (trusting that someone else''s repair, which looks like crap and is as amateur as hell, will hold together long enough for you to get back to shore.) Can you really relax and enjoy sailing under these conditions?

You do not need to buy a pristine boat with nary a smudge of winch grease out of place, there are real bargains to be had out there and boats that can be brought back to life with a little TLC (or even major amounts of it)...but the important factor should be that the effort and money should be justified by the result. And that reall satisfaction should hopefully be gained along the way as well as after completion. I do not think this hulk offers either hope much chance.

You could sneak off with the self-tailing winches though!

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-18-2004 Thread Starter
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Worth it or not

Thank you everyone for you help and insight. I going to move on and look at other boats because of the issues with this one. BTW the boat is Freedom and was built by TPI the same company that does the J boats and Alden’s. I think the real issue with this boat, are the past owners never took the proper steps to maintain the boat correctly.

Thanks again,
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-19-2004
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Worth it or not

Is this the freedom 32 on smith mt lake? if not then it sure looks like it. I looked at it almost a year ago, that is not the type of work you want to do on a boat. Cracks everywhere on the deck, but even worse did you see the cracks all around that big carbon mast? thats scary. And the hull had a good case of blisters too. Would you be sailing it on smith mt lake? Personally I would prefer a smaller and lighter boat on a relatively small lake like that.
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