I impulsively bought a 1972 Coronado 27 that seems to sail OK but is in awful shape cosmetically and system-wise. I plan to do a refit, but everyone has told me that I shouldn't waste my time restoring the Coronado because it is a piece of junk. So now I am looking at other boats to restore and possibly selling the Coronado. Do you think this would be a good idea or should I go ahead and restore this boat?
Matthew J. Cherry
Don Casey responds:
The old Coronado was built to be the lowest priced 27-footer on the market in the early '70s, so it isn't a very good boat, construction-wise. That doesn't mean it won't sail well. It is from the board of Bill Tripp, a legendary designer, so it will hold its own against other boats of similar size and age.
This is not a boat I would try to turn into a yacht, but it is the perfect boat on which to develop your skills. The problem with amateur boatwrights is that by the time we get the technique mastered, the job is finished. So a practice run will ultimately make your perfect boat that much better.
First, sail the Coronado and enjoy it. Second, if the idea appeals to you, do some of the inexpensive but often time-consuming cosmetic repairs to the boatpaint, varnish, portlights, etc.just for the experience. These things will make the boat easier to sell when the time comes, and they should increase its value more than what you spend. But even if you don't get the money back, you get the value of the experience.
As for what boat to chose for your "real" project, look at lots of boats, ask around, and read. A boat will come along that will push your button, and not just because the price is right.