Well..... that was interesting!
Spent an hour or so going over that Watkins. Took a long-time boater along to point out the generic "boat" items I might miss . I was impressed with the build, as I expected from reviews and posts here. Quite the over-engineered ol'tub!
The hull was sound. Nowhere that I could see or reach in the many interior shell ports or cockpit lockers did I find any delamination, peeling or soft spots. I was led to believe that Watkins used considerable chopper-gun 'glass in (mostly) unseen areas, I saw little evidence of that. I found it surprisingly roomy. The space felt quite large, in fact; probably due to the layout and close-to 6 foot height of the cabin. At the centerline, the sole is only a few inches above the bottom of the bilge
The few negatives, considering this is a 35 year old and left to it's own devices for some time boat are;
Some cracking of the gel coat around stressed fixtures; mainly the cleat
on the coaming, a tad about the coaming mounted winches
:shrugs:, the central stay leading to /thru the spreaders, stress cracks in the gel where the deck had been bent over underlying supports and some other small spots. Not too horrible considering and definitely "do-able"
Typical port crazing. One could tell that the Starboard side had ben exposed to the weather/sun a lot more than the Port. The biggest trouble I could see (and feel), was the delam of the foredeck,abit alongside the cabin and at the cabin top on one side of the mast. Probably a couple weekends work with the scalpel an a bucket of goo
One small bit of interior wood rot where a leaky toe rail screw has dripped long term onto the inner Port side stowage cubby just below the deck joint/overhang. The 2X2 (?) carrying the stern end of the panel had rotted. The tiller was delaminated for nearly 1/3 of it's length from the bronze coupling and starting to rot. Neither a biggie for me to deal with.
Not a single interior hatch
cover was present. Two in the sole and four in the settee/berths. Again; no big thing! A sheet of marine-grade ply, a few hours (if that!) with a saber saw and sander, and a couple coats of paint
The forward hatch
had recently lost it's glazing.. the butyl tape was still sticky! A piece of Lexan will fix it. Most of the exterior wood was all too well weathered. A good candidate for new.The fore corner of the head cabinet bears the mast compression, The coach roof was only slightly depressed...perhaps 3/16 inch.. if that. The sole directly under the corner of the head was tough to feel. as it was there that the hull shape took over from the sole. Using my MK I eyeball and the v.5.0 fingers, it felt as there was just mebbe 1/8 " deflection over perhaps 6 inches of deck. Not too bad all considered. The head hatch
was sitting evenly in the door frame and the full length piano hinge
didn't bind at all. A good indication that nothing's tweaked by the sag of the mast. Offweight the mast, section the deck, inspect and repair
the blocking to the keel and replace the deck bits. Piece of cake!
The engine had been replaced a while back with a Beta20. It looks as if the installer simply sawzall'd a bigger hole in the FG bulkhead and slipped it in. There is NO hatch
/cover or surround; just a cleanly sawn hole Not much slime in that region of the bilge; but a slight seeping of water; nearly undetectable, running to the lower area under the sole ahead of the engine compartment.My boat buddy told me that was common for most shaft packing boxes?? Speaking of/to the motor... It appeared to be used; but well maintained. No evidence of being cleaned/whitewashed; just a little honest grime.. where it belonged! The Beta cockpit controls matched; tho it almost looked like someone applied the Beta controls into the original, larger and different plate. The hour meter *could* have been transplanted along with the motor; but I wouldn't make book on it...read 79 hours! The compass
and depthfinder were gone/busted. Empty mount for the comm was there. NO radio
; but wires intact
All the appropriate plumbing and sieves/filters were OK and clean thru hulls were proper, correct and dry. Same wit the manual head and associated plbg, as well as the holding tank
Port side, abaft the beam toe rail flange was pitted superficially and going green with mold (?) The Port side had bounced around on the piling a bit during Sandy and the rub rail and it's mating plastic mount were damaged. Nothing some 3M auto trim goop won;t fix
New running rigging
is in order; not much to it tho
All of the deck fittings will need to be R&R'd and sealed; typical maintenance.
Foresail is hank-on. no roller furler
here. Oh well.. gotta learn old-school ta start,I guess
All the hardware, spars, winches
and standing rigging
were in apparent good health.
The sails found aboard were a bit stained and somewhat dirty, had only one sewing chafe and one fuzzy spot on a reinforcing pc on one clew and a few grommets were starting to grow green and white fuzz Still reasonably stiff ; but wrinkled at the folds (balled up!.. Savages!)
I found virtually all of the topside gelcoat to be only slightly chalked and mostly solid. A good buffing will take care of it. Slight swiping of the hull on the piling from the storm will prolly buff out too
I liked the FG liner of the interior. No saggy vinyl or ugly battens to deal with
The only drawback being that it appears to be one piece...stem to stern, Top to toe!. Problematic fr clearing the cabin side of the foredeck for repairs
; but I have a little buzzer/vibratory too that makes sweet, thin cuts, and an additional piece of teak trim overhead won;t look shabby, either
I was MOST IMPRESSED with the main stay chain plates! Shame to call them that, as they are NOT plates at all; but HUGE, (apparently) cast aluminum,I-beam-like "elbows" that run from the hull, turn upwards and terminate at the underside of the deck. I'm talkin' BIG here! Perhaps 3.5" wide across the approx. 1/2' flange and 4+ inches deep. Mebbe 6"d x 9"h. No telling without a (BIG) mic what the web section is. The center/spreader stay chainplate comes to rest against a rather large slab of FG wrapped ply nearly an inch thick, the two edges glassed to the hull/deck joint.
Most of the bare-finished teak (oiled?) interior bulkheads and trim were in decent shape. Typical hinged and mounted to the bulkhead teak veneer table. Folded out, it reaches well the Starboard settee; but alas,the legs were AWOL...no worry. While the sole is bare FG; it's almost 'level' and straight. A nice teak or holly sole begs to be installed; but a couple of sisal or hemp knotted rugs will suffice.I can practice my macrame' LOL. All the blue/beige/gray foam pads for the seating
/bedding were in great shape; once again, considering.No smell, stains or tears; but could use a good cleaning regardless.
The galley area is well placed and suits my needs well. The butcher block Formica is amazingly intact and sound. The sink is missing the drain/ found under the cabinet; but booger'd...needs replaced. The ice box-in-counter is OK; but I would pick up a tote along, cold-plate cooler for refrigeration tho. The electric panel was OK, panel mounted fuse holders and switches all seemed intact, a main batt switch looked new. There was an old, residential looking metal power cut off box in the cabinet under the stove
. Some nasty old romex came trailing out of it. Gone at first opportunity, I'd hope.
My only gripe wit the interior is the squeeze-point in gaining access to the vee berth. The scant space a'tween that goofy half-height "closet" and the Head cabinet is small... really small! Were I of stout proportions, it would be sleeping on the settee for me! Might only be 16 inches clearance! There's a fold-up platform aside the Port settee that once barrel bolted in place, has room for the detachable rear cushion to m lay out and make a standard single-sized bed...tho the dimensions of the settees are sufficient for a single sleeper. The vee isn;t super-sized; but with the filler in the knee-hole, it would be deep/long enuff for my 5'-9" frame or two.
The cockpit size and layout is large enuff to stretch out ; but not so big as to be un-snug. Coaming rises just enuff to make a (short) backrest. I'd say roomy enuff for 4 under way without climbing atop one another. Two nice sized lockers in the seating
and a well supported aft rail wth matching stanchions running fwd with white vinyl clad safety lines
to the pulpit rail. Sadly, no anchor
/was present; tho there were lines
aboard and anchor rode
in the fwd locker.
I guess that covers it!?! No way or desire to pull it out and survey the bottom; at least not on first visit. Compared to the Islander 26 I viewed earlier that day, the Watkins was huge inside! Given that they are both 10' beam and the I 26 is only a foot shorter...I wonder how they did that!?!? My buddy is used to a 34' X 12' X 6'+ Wellcraft sport cruiser and HE was impressed with the room.
Once I see how finances are and I feel I'm ready to deal, cash-in-hand; I'll go back and look at some others and mill about some before taking up the issues and dickering with the dealer/yard on the boat.Then I'll wangle a turn about the marina to check the engine and if weather hold, hoist the sails..just ta see what they look like
Thanks SailNet! Y'all have been a big help. I expect I'll be leanin' on ya's more in the future; but hope to contribute in return.
Holy Cow! I didn't realize I rambled on so.. sorry for being so long winded.