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post #1 of 18 Old 11-03-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

That leak/drip does look like its starting at the keel joint which suggests water is coming through. The issue with these boats is that the keel stub is part plywood which can rot & collapse - that lets the keel drop a bit (forming the dreaded Catalina smile). If you just add more keel bolts next to the old ones they will still be (un)supported by the same rotten wood. My understanding is that to do this right you have to dig out the wood & rebuild the stub with glass which is a project.

I will say that don't know when they stopped using plywood in the stub- an '80s might differ. There are lots of these boats around-I'd keep looking for one without this kind of issue.
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-03-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

If you've owned a boat before and know what you're getting into, have at it.

If this is your first boat, run away. I don't recommend that anyone ever get a project boat as a first boat. Find something you can sail, enjoy, and learn on.

$7000 is a very tight budget for a 27' boat. You'll likely have to invest $20,000 or so (plus yard fees for storing the boat while you work on it), and you'll end up with a boat that cost you $27,000 but you’ll re-sell for $7000.

If you're not in a hurry, I'd suggest you save up some more money and buy a boat in good condition that you'll be able to sail right away, and then resell for about what you paid. Purchase price is just the initiation fee, and your dues for joining the owners' club with a project boat will be very high and nonrefundable. Buying a newer or better restored boat has a higher initiation fee but lower dues, and if you take care of it you'll get your money out when you're done.

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post #3 of 18 Old 11-03-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

To the OP: your bio is empty. Different areas will have somewhat different sorts of boats and prices.
Where are you shopping?

In my area you can get a good boat in that size range for 7 to 10K, but a fully restored "ready to go sailing and cruising" one will run you more like 12K to 15K.

The advice you've received already is spot on. I am probably not the only one here with hundreds of hours spent crawling around inside of boats doing glass work and replacing/reformatting mechanical systems....


One bit of advice, if I may: buy quality construction and engineering. All of the systems on any old boat will need to be replaced anyway. Just be sure that the hull to deck joint is strong and that that keel (ballast) is well attached.

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post #4 of 18 Old 11-05-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

An outboard equipped Capri 26 will sail circles around a 27 for less money, parked next to each other few can tell the difference, they usually sell quickly when available.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-05-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

No freakin' way will you have to put $20K into a 27' boat unless it's a complete piece of trash and you want the nicest 27' boat in the marina. In fact, you should never put that much money into ANY smaller used boat unless it's a rare classic or you just don't understand or care about money.

In general C27s are really good starter boats. That was our first boat (a '79). ~$7K should get you a pretty nice, ready-to-sale boat as you can see here...

Catalina 27 boats for sale - BoatTrader.com

Our C27 was in pretty rough shape when we bought her in the $4K range, but she was in the water and ready to sail. We just spruced her up a bit (new varnish, cushions, bimini, etc.) for less than $2K and had a blast on her for several years.





I had absolutely no desire to dump a bunch of money into her. Not worth it. So we sailed her, then moved up to a bigger, newer, nicer boat.

Remember, if you have $7K, don't shy away from the boats that are listed for $10K. These boats are getting old while demand for smaller boats is decreasing and people need to sell them. Drive a hard bargain for the best one you can find - and pay the few hundred for a good survey.

Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-05-2017 at 05:03 PM.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-05-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

My first sailboat was a 1983 Catalina 27, which I purchased from Living Classrooms, which is part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, for $2,000. It had been a derelict at an Eastern Shore marina for years, had a foot of rainwater in the cabin, but the engine was not submerged. I put about $1,500 in it to fix things, mostly the mast post and get the engine running. The A4 was in sad shape, but still had good compression and needed a new generator and carb, plus a good tune-up, points, plugs, distributor cap, rotor, capacitor, and a couple new batteries. The boat came with 5 sails, two of which were brand new mains. I installed an Alado roller furling system and purchased a new condition, used jib from Bacon Sails and sailed that boat for the next five years. It sailed great, just not enough room to live aboard, which I intended to do while cruising the east coast.

Knowing Catalina used a lot of low grade plywood in those boats back then, and seeing the rust from the keel, I would not consider that boat to be a contender. You should probably look around the local boat yards - they are filled with derelicts that can be had for a lot less than $7,000 and many of them just need to be cleaned up in order to go sailing.

Good luck on your quest,

Gary
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-05-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
No freakin' way will you have to put $20K into a 27' boat unless it's a complete piece of trash and you want the nicest 27' boat in the marina. In fact, you should never put that much money into ANY smaller used boat unless it's a rare classic or you just don't understand or care about money.

In general C27s are really good starter boats. That was our first boat (a '79). ~$7K should get you a pretty nice, ready-to-sale boat as you can see here...

Catalina 27 boats for sale - BoatTrader.com

Our C27 was in pretty rough shape when we bought her in the $4K range, but she was in the water and ready to sail. We just spruced her up a bit (new varnish, cushions, bimini, etc.) for less than $2K and had a blast on her for several years.





I had absolutely no desire to dump a bunch of money into her. Not worth it. So we sailed her, then moved up to a bigger, newer, nicer boat.

Remember, if you have $7K, don't shy away from the boats that are listed for $10K. These boats are getting old while demand for smaller boats is decreasing and people need to sell them. Drive a hard bargain for the best one you can find - and pay the few hundred for a good survey.
I put over $20K into my '87 catalina that I paid about seven grand for about 10 years ago:

sails
sail cover
cushions
curtains
running rigging
lifelines
galley faucet
head faucet
toilet
raw water pump
freshwater hoses
freshwater clean/ports added
voltmeter
alternator rewire
blower
bilge pump
battery charger
lpg & stove
bottom scraped
gel coat stripe
propshaft, coupler, cutlass bearing
stuffing box
autopilot
intake hose, heat exhcanger hose
gps
vhfs
bow cleat rebedded/inspection port added
lifeline/horshoebuoy
life jackets
anchor stem
nav lights
hatch knobs
fire extinguisher LED
teak restored
hatches rebedded/painted
sink drain
fenders
dock lines
old reg stickers removed
wheel brake
shore power cord
ice box liner
macerator
head gfci
rubline
2 anchors
water heater thermostat
compass binnacle
anchor hatch repair
mast cleats
throttle cable adjustment
stereo
autopilot
fan
lighter socket rewired
solar rewired
flag
pictures
barometer
hose
winches repaired
table hinge
head vented loop
furler repaired
tool kit
pedestal holder
muffler
fuel injectors
racor filter
governor spring replaced
new starter switch
new blower switch
new panel alarm
rebedded chainplate
rebedded bow pulpit
traveler cam cleats
fishing pole holder
2 new deep cycle batteries in parallel
1 starter backup battery
battery combiner
terminal fuses on batteres
battery tie down straps
dedicated ground bus
governor springs replaced
new solar controller
K&N air filter
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-05-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

You "win".

PS - That table hinge was completely unnecessary. And, honestly, how much did it take to remove those old reg stickers?
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-05-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

I agree that that's probably not the boat for you, but there are good deals out there. My C27 was less than $7000, came with new sails and a new diesel, and had already had the recommended keel work done. I have not (and will not) put $20k into her.
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-06-2017
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Re: Catalina 27 Question....

In Florida at least - if you put $20K into a $7K Catalina 27- you have a $7K Catalina 27 that you better keep for a long time.
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