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Shortnsalty 05-11-2012 05:07 PM

Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
Ready to buy the small "learning" boat. Although I will not be spending a lot of money on her I still wanna be sure there is nothing major to repair. I realize for the prices of some of these boats and the ages they are there will be some money to put into her. I was wondering if board members wouldn't mind sharing their knowledge of what to look for on some of these "2500" boats with trailers I will be looking at over the next couple of months. Like ; make sure there are no screws set "here" or if the swing keel wobbles etc.
I'm really looking hard at the cat 22's since there are so many readily available in my area. There are some better boats around however I've come to the conclusion I would rather spend the least for now and get the simple in and out of the water boat.
Thx all :)

sea_hunter 05-11-2012 05:20 PM

Get a surveyor.

Shortnsalty 05-11-2012 05:26 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
I thought about that and I'll have to look into more. I wouldn't mind paying a pro to really check it out if it's "the boat" I am strongly considering. I will though be looking at a lot of boats and don't wanna hire someone on the other side of the state to check a boat that when I get to in person is something "other" than what the add/photos are saying/showing. That's why I was hoping to get some tips on warning signs and opinions of once overs so I can check out a bunch of boats and then when I find a boat that might be it get a pro to do an official inspection.

TQA 05-11-2012 05:29 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
At that price paying a surveyor does not make sense.

Don Casey's book Sailboat Maintenance has a section on being your own surveyor.

There is a good thread in this forum here. clicky

I recently spent several months looking for my forever boat and the two things I relied on were

1 a checklist with space for comments.

2 a digital camera and lots of pics with comments.

BTW my first boat was a Jaguar 22 which is a British Catalina 22. Mine had the swing keel. It treated me well and took me all over the West Coast of Scotland and the Adriatic.

Siamese 05-11-2012 05:30 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
Even an inexpensive boat can be a colossal money pit. Try this book:

MobiusALilBitTwisted 05-11-2012 05:33 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?

Shortnsalty 05-11-2012 07:21 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
Thx alot all.

dabnis 05-11-2012 07:32 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?

Originally Posted by MobiusALilBitTwisted (Post 870208)

A very good, detailed link. On a smaller boat that you are interested in a lot of that info may not apply. Suggest you be wary of cored hull and decks. Check inside bulkhead tabbing to the hull very carefully as it carries a lot of stress. Look for stress cracks or de-lamination. Same for outboard well area or transom mounted outboard brackets. Wiring should probably be simple on boats that size. I have no experience with swing keels or centerboards but, as on the inside and outside inspections, look for anything that looks like it has been patched or repaired, is frayed, or corroded. Spider like surface cracks in the gelcoat may not be critical but look on the inside of the area. If there are cracks inside , they may be stress cracks indicating excessive movement of joint areas. Don't be in a hurry.

Paul T

eherlihy 05-11-2012 09:13 PM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
You could tell us where you are, and someone nearby may volunteer to give you their opinion.

You could join an owners group for Catalina 22s, and ask them to share their insight.
Here is one; Catalina 22 -
Here is another; Home

What I did was; look at a lot of boats, take a lot of pictures of each boat, take copious notes on each boat, made offers on the boats that I thought had fewest modifications, were in the best shape, and were priced "right."

Then I spent a fortune in time and money bringing her up to snuff.

JoeDiver 05-12-2012 10:19 AM

Re: Rdy to buy HOW to Inspect?
At this price point, and for a first boat, don't bother with a survey. It's just not cost effective to spend 20% of the purchase price.

Most reasonably intelligent people can look at a boat and determine if it's junk or if it's a good boat. You do need to know what to look for.

The link to Don's book above is what you need, but I'll go a step further and say get this:
This is all 6 of Don's books in one volume, including the Inspecting the Aging Sailboat volume. It will be a very valuable book for you before and after the purchase.

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