I'm going to disagree with most of the other posters here, nothing new about that.
First there are different sub species of racers. I worked with Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada. Anything less than perfection was simply not acceptable to him and the boat was gone over with a fine toothed comb every time it returned to harbour. This is a rare breed of racer at a very elite level.
Another racer species i.e. the Tuesday night club racers (most of them) seem to know little about rigging stresses, structural elements, diesels or electrical or mechanical systems. They fire her up, full throttle out of the harbour, shut her down, circle the cans then again abuse the diesel on the way back to the bar. The majority of Tuesday night warrior boats I've surveyed (probably close to 700 out of almost 5,000) are among the worst I see.
What you have going for you on the Catalina is that it's not a boat admired by the Tuesday night warriors for it's racing prowess. If it was raced it most likely was the Monday night white sail races where the old guys get together for a relaxing evening on the water.
Marine Survey 101
may help show you how to inspect her
While I agree that there are different "sub-species" of racer, I would take issue with the generalization that they abuse their boats and don't understand them.
In my experience the casual racer is doing so because it is a good excuse to get out on the water and use their boats more. They are the same ones I see down at the docks working on their boats far more than the owners of the Dock Queens, that sit quietly in their slips waiting for their owner's vacation days. The casual racers are the ones that are replacing blocks, or doing maintenance on their winches because they are annoyed at how rough they have become. They are the ones cleaning their bottoms, making sure their instruments are working. They are the ones taking their sails to the sailmaker for maintenance and recuts. And yes, they are the ones changing the oil on their engines and flushing the cooling systems. They are the ones with the Loos gauge tuning their rigs. Why? Because they love their boats, and enjoy using them and tinkering with them.
While there may be some benefit to buying a lightly used Dock Queen, that has spent years sitting mostly unused, waiting for her annual cruise, that could also mean a lot more little things wrong that need to be addressed.
That's not to say there aren't some boats that were raced hard and put away wet, but those are pretty easy to spot. The interior woodwork takes a beating, and is often water stained for starters.
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