About to buy a N33 -- getting cold feet? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-21-2010
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About to buy a N33 -- getting cold feet?

Hi all,

I've just joined this forum because I'm in the final stages of buying a '83 Newport 33. I like the boat a lot, but am having a hard time deciding if this is a good deal. This will be my first boat, used for SF bay day sailing and weekend cruising with the family to start, later maybe some coastal trips. I've crewed around the bay, up and down the coast, and to Hawaii once, but not much experience being responsible for a boat.

Plusses:
In the last three years, it gotten all new standing and running rigging, new cruising laminate sails, new prop and shaft, new Garhouer rigid vang, rebuilt masthead, new custom built gooseneck, adj back stay, all lines run aft, new lifelines, blisters ground and new bottom paint. Has Harken roller furling, cockpit cushions, Autohelm 3000 that works. The survey went well with no real problems -- a solid hull. Gell coat is not bad -- a few repairs on the hull, some cosmetic cracking on the decks but not too bad for a 27 yr old boat.The rudder bushings have little play. The interior looks pretty nice, with servicable cushions and pretty nice woodwork. Pressure water works, head and holding tank are good. 12V refridgeration works. New Marelon ball valves and hoses on all through-hulls. Transmission shift easily and smoothly and controls are nice.

Minuses:
Took it sailing Thursday, was somewhat discincerted when it became hard to control as the winds hit 20kts with full sail. It developed a heavy weather helm, and would round up somewhat violently with gusts. Furling the 125% genoa by 20% seemed to return it to sanity. I've read about this complaint with Newports before, sounds like shortening the forestay can help (or maybe just reefing). Universal diesel starts easily and runs well at 180deg @5.5kts, but has corrosion down the front and particularly on the oil pan from an old leak in the raw water pump (fresh water cooled). Mucky underneath. The hour meter is broken with 1200hrs so I have no idea how many it has. oil is black. The windows leak -- it was raining during the survey and water was coming in around at least two windows. Appeared to be coming under the frames rather than through the rubber; maybe some from port chainplate. Stains on the teak, but no rot. Teak and holly sole is thin veneer that was sanded through during a refinish. CNG stove and water heater don't work (Seller said the stove works). Masthead light doesn't work. The fiberglass hatches are ugly but appear sound.

I know he has $34k in the boat in three years. He's accepted my offer of $22k. This is a bigger boat than I planned on buying and more money than I was going to spend, and the monthly costs are of course correspondingly higher, but it's got a lot of big-ticket items done.

Any opinions/advice to push me one way or the other? Hope my long-winded post doesn't offend anyone.

Thanks for any input!

Last edited by sailorpilot; 11-21-2010 at 12:24 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-21-2010
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Given your apprehension with the sailing characteristics...I would decline, but seems that as you have offered and he has accepted...you may be stuck,legally...

that being said - in this economy there are newer, better condition boats at your price point that may be better to your liking..
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My offer was contingent on the sea trials and survey, so I have an out.
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Old 11-21-2010
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As far as the minuses are concerned, this thread is worthless without pics. One man's "mucky" is another man's "clean" bilge, for instance.

Gut check yourself:
IF you would lose your deposit if you back out, would you still back out?
If the answer is "yes', then you have your answer.
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Old 11-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Gut check yourself:
IF you would lose your deposit if you back out, would you still back out?
If the answer is "yes', then you have your answer.
That's a good yardstick.

However many many boats will need some reefing and sailplan adjustments at 20 knots of breeze, so that in itself is not so alarming - it's a matter of learning each boat's preferences.

Leaks can be fixed and sumps/bilges cleaned. The N33 yachtworld listings currently range from $23 - 36K so you're at the lower end of that scale. If somebody's sanded through the teak and holly sole, that's an eyesore that could cost close to $1K to fix, ammunition for perhaps yet another price adjustment.

If you can get past Jones' gut check, and feel you can do/get the work done, go from there.
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He was fine with no deposit, but I'd be out the $800 for haul and survey. Things like the windows, wiring, water heater , stove repair (parts?) and sole I can do myself (mechanical engineer/woodworker). Here's a link to some pictures, tho you may still deem these "worthless" as there are none of the engine. Picasa Web Albums - Roger - Newport 33 - ... The bilge is actually clean, it's just the pan under the engine, which concerned me as it may indicate leaks.
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Being out the survey fees is par for the course...

As a woodworker replacing the sole will not be onerous, just pricey ('teak & holly' plywood runs around $300/ sheet) It looks like the boat is in relatively good shape and clean, esp outside. A gasket set and a few days work may well address any leaks around the engine.

With a reasonable survey, this looks like quite a lot of boat for around $20K. Since you say it's larger than you intended to buy, the last thing is to be certain you can carry the increased costs of the larger boat (moorage, sails, lines, etc will all cost more)

That said, you're in an easy position with no real penalty for walking away - there's no shortage of boats for sale these days.
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Last edited by Faster; 11-21-2010 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 11-21-2010
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Sounds like about as reasonable a situation for a used boat as one is likely to get. Any used boat is going to have a list of maintenance/repair issues. the ones you mention are all minor - if these are all thee are, then you would be doing better than most used boat buyers...

Your difficulty with the strong breeze just sounds like getting used to it, most boats need a reef and a reduced jib as you get to 20 knots, and will become a handful if you have too much sail up. an i trust the seller wasn't on board to advise on boat handling?
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I've been looking for 3 months at 28-30 footers, and I like this boat the most of the bunch for cockpit and cabin layout, sails and rigging, etc. If I buy a 30' for $16k, new sails and rigging (which all of the boats I've looked at could use) would put me over the cost of this boat. NOt to say that it doesn't need somethign expenive too.

Thanks for the input.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Your difficulty with the strong breeze just sounds like getting used to it, most boats need a reef and a reduced jib as you get to 20 knots, and will become a handful if you have too much sail up. an i trust the seller wasn't on board to advise on boat handling?
He was on board, and suggested reefing the genoa, which as I said seemed to do the trick. I was only concerned about this because I had read this was a problem with Newports. I don't have enough experience to say if this is a common trait, and its only a matter of proper sail trimming. Seems like that's the case. We reefed the main as well a bit later, and the handling seemed fine, not a lot of heel, and making 6 knots in gusts to 25.

Last edited by Faster; 11-21-2010 at 05:35 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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