Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser
My '74 P30 had the original Atomic 4 engine, Datamarine instruments, the main and genoa were only about 3 years old when I bought her but the spin was about 10 years old with little use. The PO also left everything; anchors, flares, PFD's, boat hook, tools, spares, etc. It was very well appointed. I was the third owner. One of the PO's put the fresh water cooling mod on the engine, a cold plate in the ice box, a Profurl roller furler, two speed self tailing winches, tri-color mast head light and anchor light, and took care of the compression post rot at the base. It was in great sail away condition. No issues.
I chose to add a few things to make my life easier. None of these were required:
- Electronic ignition: < $100 and an hour of work (don't recall the cost exactly)
- Spin pole bracket to keep the pole secure on deck : 1 hr work
- 4 position key switch for the blower, starter, and ignition : 1 hr work
- Added a solar panel
- Changed lights to LED's inside and out
- Updated the VHF
- Updated the battery charger from the original
- Added a galvanic isolator (my marina had significant stray electrical current)
- Rewired the entire boat : My choice since the wires were 40 years old, I was doing other electrical upgrades (above), and I had access to affordable supplies
- Stocked the ice chest with beer
I had to occasionally rebed some hardware and through deck fittings and replace lines, and paint the bottom as you will on all sailboats.The gelcoat was faded but some time with a buffing wheel would have fixed that. I just used NuFinish twice a year for protection and left it alone. The non-skid on the deck had the swirls from a manufactuing issue back in the '70's. I never got around to painting them but the person who bought the boat from me did and it looks great.
Outside of the rewiring everyting I did was pretty simple, did not take much time (I did most of it on days that the wind was light), and was reasonable in cost. I did the projects over two seasons (including the wiring). I sailed at least 3 days per week from mid March through November except for the time I was hauled out to paint the bottom or I was traveling for work.
I have found these boats to be solidly built, easy to work on, and parts are still available with good support networks. If I had $20K to spend at the time I may have bought a newer boat, but I would not discount boats from this era. Especially, if you plan to upgrade in a few years.
These are my opinions and experiences. This worked for me at that point in my life. Your situation may be different. Before you buy anything, get rides in as many different boats as you can.
EDIT: As you can see now, I have a very different kind of boat that fits my current needs.
1986 O'Day 222
1974 Pearson 30 (previous)