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cghubbell 08-06-2009 02:15 PM

CS27 Specific issue to look for?

I've been lurking from some time now, and finally have cause to post. I'm going to look at a 1977 CS27 tomorrow which at first glance seems to be in appealing condition. Could be the start of a 20 year dream finally coming true.

I'm a fairly new sailor, just finishing lessons which are going great. My intent is day sailing, hoping to build up to overnights and weekend trips with my family (three of us in all) and want something stable and comfortable that I can build skills on without dropping a fortune. I'm a DIY kind of guy, so not at all afraid of projects. Primary stomping ground will be Lake Ontario.

I have done a lot of research on surveying, and have a pretty good feel for things I need to look at in general. Just wanted to check with a group of folks familiar with CS to see if there's anything specific to the CS27, or CS in general that I ought to pay particular attention to.

I did see the CSOA yahoo group - planning to go there depending on how my visit goes.

Thanks in advance,

CS271409 08-06-2009 08:34 PM

It's great to hear you are considering joining the enlightened group of us CS27 owners. We took the plunge four years ago and have CS27 #1409 which is a 1978 model. Here are my thoughts on what to look for:

1. The boat is 32 years old so don't expect perfection.
2. Check out the bottom for blisters but don't be too scared by a few along the waterline. I have some blisters on mine along the waterline at the stern. The largest is about the size of a quarter. No issues for me.
3. There may be some moisture in the deck, particularly around the electrical through deck fittngs for the mast lights, VHF, etc. My surveyor's moisture meter showed some on mine but he thought it was trifling and not a cause for concern.
4. I had one cockpit seat that was soft. It didn't show in the survey but I noticed it give a bit when I stepped on it and it didn't give the reassuring solid "thunk" when it hit it with a mallet. We went two seasons then I took it home over the winter and recored it. Not very difficult at all. send me a message if you need help.
5. Check out the motor mounts to ensure they are sound and the engne is lined up. I assume it has the YSB8 in it. Recognize that parts are getting harder to find for the YSB8 but it is a simple engine that will run virtually forever. (It does run rough) Having said that, we replaced our YSB8 last year with a new Yanmar 2GM15 to get more HP for some of our long treks across Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. Not a good $$$ decision but we love the boat and we are happy with the new engine.
Make sure you start the engne and take if for a short run if it is in the water.
6. The keel is cast iron vs lead which is used in many boats. Cast iron is less expensive and slightly less dense so lead is preferable but... big deal. There was some rust showing on my keel so I ground it down to bare metal and applied 5 coats of Interprotect 2000 to it. So far, so good.
7. Does the boat you are considering have one large and one small deadlight (window) on each side or three small deadlights. Thet changed sometime in 1977 / 1978. I think they found the unsupported span of the large deadlight was causing more deck movement than desired and moved to put some fibreglass support in place of the large deadlight. I have seem many CS27s with the large deadlight with no issues.
8. The seacocks are likely gate valves instead of ball valves. This is not acceptable on newer boats but was common on earlier boats. I changed all of mine to proper flanged seacocks in 2008. It isn't too hard although it cost a bit of money. "Mainesail" has a great website showing how to do it.
When I inspected the gate valves after tearing them out, they were in perfect condition.
9. The icebox is poorly insulated. Most come up with some way to improve insulation through temporary or semipermanent means.
10. A survey would be a good investment... you will likely need it for insurance anyway.

Check out Ewan Cambell's comments on the CS27. Peter at Holland Marine Products (HMP) on Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto is also very knowledgable and he has most factory parts that you may eventually need.

I get many compliments on our boat. CS27 is known to be a very strong boat robustly built by a good company. The wide beam makes for lots of room inside although at the expense of deck space.
I am biased, but I doubt that you will find a better boat for your purpose. Although we only cruise with two of us on board, it will accommodate three comfortably.
Even though you will love this boat, take a credit card with a high limit to the 2010 Toronto Boat Show and pick up some deals on things you will want / need.

Let us know how you make out.

cghubbell 08-06-2009 09:26 PM


Sounds like exactly what my research has dug up in terms of issues. Glad to hear I'm on the right track. I have no illusions about a boat of this age being perfect, but I have a lot of ambition for the potential it holds after a few years of slow-but-steady resuscitation. I want to have the experience of working on the boat to learn more about it.

As far as the engine goes, all I know is that it has an 8hp Yanmar diesel. Not sure about the specific model. I'll get that information tomorrow. I'm counting myself lucky that it has an inboard. Lots of boats under 30' I've seen had outboards, and that's not my preference at all.

The boat has a recent survey according to the current owner, so I'm hoping that will suffice. Will do it again if necessary, but on a boat in the price range I'm looking at a survey is a chunk of change that could go into repairs. I'd do it in a second if I had doubts, but if all looks well it would be tempting to accept some risk. The boat is in the water, and still used regularly, so the owner is confident in it at the moment.

I'm sure I'll be posting some more questions after my initial survey tomorrow, but thanks for helping to get me ready!


Gary M 08-06-2009 10:02 PM

I had a 77 that I bought in 97. Good little boat very well built as were all of the CS s. I had the same moisture problem where the wiring went thorugh the deck. Not a big deal with these boats as the outer skin is strong and even if the core is gone there is no flexing. They are a very sound design but a little slow. On mine with the 8 hp I could only get 3-4 knots motoring into a headway with some wave action. It is always better to sail. :)

Good Luck.


cghubbell 08-07-2009 09:00 PM

Well, I'm back from the visit, and it went very well. The owner appeared to me as trying to be very honest about his boat, and offered to share the text of his recent survey with me. I got the impression he really liked the boat and took care of all the major stuff at the expense of some minor items.

There were a lot of general upkeep and aesthetic issues. Sails are a bit worn, but very useable. Lines are all showing UV damage and will need to be rotated out of service as budget allows. All reasonable things for a 30 year old boat.

The only thing that I didn't feel comfortable with was a through-hull gate valve stuck open. Not cool. There don't appear to be a lot of through hulls on this boat, but I'm thinking I'll want to have it hauled and get that valve replaced with a seacock if I make the purchase. Hopefully that repair won't break the bank as I would love to spend some time sailing her this summer.

Engine looked great and had new mounts, ran as smooth as it can :)... Bilge was clean, hull had been stripped and barrier coated about ten years ago, no blistering to speak of. The keel bolts had been replaced at some point and were nice and shiny. Interior woodwork needs some refinishing, but that's the fun I'm looking for. Going to need some re-sealing of the ports as well, but again, that's no biggie.

She appeared pretty sound, so I'm just waiting for the survey for a final review. Much thanks for the feedback on this boat - I think she has the potential to be a great first boat for my family. I just wish that a 6'-3" I could find more boats under 30' I fit into!

CS271409 08-07-2009 09:22 PM

Great news on the boat. I'm 6'2" and I hear you. My wife is a foot shorter which works well for us fitting into the V berth. I have never been uncomfortable in the boat due to lack of standing head room... well maybe once. I suggest the following rule... the seacover hatch is either closed all the way or open all the way... never half way. Ouch!

Which gate valve is stuck open? If it is one of the cockpit drains, I wouldn't worry about it. Others should be fixed but if I were you, I would enjoy the rest of the season and deal with it at fall haulout. (gee... after that advice I hope the boat doesn't sink in the slip!!) Have a tapered plug nearby in case of disaster.

When I bought my boat, the galley drain valve was cracked and held together with duct tape. :eek: Since I was trucking the boat to it's new home, I fixed that right away.

Keep the info flowing!

cghubbell 08-07-2009 09:33 PM


Originally Posted by CS271409 (Post 512135)
Which gate valve is stuck open? If it is one of the cockpit drains, I wouldn't worry about it. Others should be fixed but if I were you, I would enjoy the rest of the season and deal with it at fall haulout. (gee... after that advice I hope the boat doesn't sink in the slip!!) Have a tapered plug nearby in case of disaster.

To be honest I'm not 100% sure what the raison d'etra is for this particular fitting. It's on the port side in the vicinity of the u-shaped settee. I believe it's for the head, but not 100% sure. This one really looked to me like it would be very much not-good if it let go. I know the chances are ridiculously small, but I don't want to take chances that involve sinking somewhere on Lake Ontario with my family on board.

It's tempting to just handle it in the fall, but on the other hand it would really suck if my new boat sank :eek: Might be the end of my spousal sailing approvals.

CS271409 08-08-2009 12:16 AM

I have two valves on the port side under the settee. They are under the small cushion up against the bulkhead. One is the toilet water intake and one is the head sink drain. Any through hull valve or hose letting go is a major problem. Although it seems non-intuitive, it would be worse if it let go with nobody aboard than if it let go while sailing. Sinking at the dock is a real possibility with nobody around to detect it and take corrective action. On the other hand, there is no more effective bailing device than a frantic sailor with a bucket. :eek:

If it's easy and cheap (ha ha) to haul the boat out and fix it, do it for sure. If not, could you swim to the through hull and pound a plug in or stuff it with something that would fill the hole?

A few other ideas:
Obviously, the danger is if the hose lets go. Is the hose double clamped? If not, do so. Does the hose look and feel sound or does it feel like the rad hose on a 1974 Ford Pinto? If the hose is sound, double clamped and it doesn't get whacked with stuff while sailing, it's likely OK... but then it's not my boat ...or my family :o .

Good luck!

cghubbell 08-13-2009 10:09 PM

Had sea trials tonight, and I have to say she was much more impressive under sail than in the slip (not surprising, right?). We had very light wind tonight, and a brief period of nice puffs so I got a feel for how she responds. Much better in light winds than I'd anticipated, and the wheel wasn't as big a problem as I'd thought (wanted a tiller ideally). The motor ran very smooth as well (for a YSB8!!). Bottom line: I love the boat and agreed on a price with the current owner.

Just a little paperwork to go, and I'll be on the doorsteps of a dream that's been lingering for 28 years. And a lot of work!

My first job is polishing up the deck and fittings, fixing the seacock, and getting her new name in place. She'll be reborn as "Ravat" as soon as I have time to wet-sand the current faded art and have a proper ceremony.

Thanks again for the tips - I'm sure I'll pop up again soon with more questions.

CS271409 08-15-2009 11:02 PM

Congratulations on the boat. I just returned home from a brief 6 day trip to the North Channel and love our CS27 more and more each year.

Warning - do the name change ceremony - any ceremony! We took our boat out for a brief one hour sail immediately after applying the new name to her and I promptly ripped the ring out of the head of the jib leaving the jib head damaged and the jib halyard at the top of the forestay. Nothing a trip to the sailmaker and a trip up the mast in a borrowed bosun's chair couldn't fix but we certainly didn't move the boat again until we had our name changing ceremony.

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