You guys are the greatest. Lots of good information, some that I didn't know the proper sequence on, other things I just didn't think about.
It is a "for sale by owner" deal. I wouldn't have had so many questions if there was a broker involved, though I might have still asked as the broker works for the seller, not buyer.
I'm not sure why I was confused on the price; obviously I can only offer what I'm willing to pay, and if that isn't satisfactory then there's no deal. I guess I was concerned about offending the seller with a low price, but as long as there can be negotiation afterwards there should be no cause for offense. We're both looking for a good deal, with how badly I want the boat and how badly he wants to sell it as the final determiner of what that price will be.
As for the state of the boat, I see several things with my limited knowledge.
1) the bilge had some water in it. To me that's a risky deal right there. But maybe it shouldn't necessarily be. He told me that he'd just installed a dripless stuffing box so it's either not working or the source is somewhere else. I didn't taste it (if it'd been my boat I wouldn't have hesitated, but since it's someone elses......., I'll bring a refractometer if I go back to the boat to see if its salt or fresh.)
2) crazing of the gel coat ondeck. There's quite a bit of it, not sure how serious or how it can be repaired (DIY or hire) As mentioned earlier, I had a Searunner 31 for 10 yrs., so no stranger to glass work, but never had this to do.
3) While the woodwork on deck will require a lot of work, the woodwork below will too. There is damage severe enough on several ports that a replacement of the panel on the starboard side should be pursued. Not a cheap job, but one I can do myself, I feel. The owner kinda blew it off, saying everything just needed a coat of oil and it'd be fine.
4) The engine is likely original, so will need an overhaul, at least, in the near future. It looks good now, but a bath in degreaser and a paint job could have achieved that.
5) No history on the standing rigging. It looks okay, but if it's 29 years how much longer can it go before needing replacement?
6) The one improvement is a new bottom job. Reviews state that this vintage boat (1982) can be subject to osmotic blistering. No info from seller on this either.
Thanks for the help guys. We're excited about getting on the water again, and would like for this to be the boat, but not so much that we're willing to make a bad investment.