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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I have come across a '76 Catalina 27 for $1500. I guess the guy bought it as a derelict at a marina auction a year ago or so for a friend. Said friend never decided to buy the boat from him, so he is trying to get rid of is so that he doesnt have to pay slip fees anymore.

I'm wondering what all things "must" be in good condition for a boat of that price. I have a few dollars to invest in repairs and refitting, so thats not a problem, Especially at that price. All of the standing rigging is present, and sails look to be ok. Has an atomic 4 that he has never started, but I'm pretty good with small gas motors so i'm pretty confident that I can make her go so long as the bottom end has not come unglued.

This thing is definitely a project to put it gently. I guess someone has stolen the drop boards and the exterior teak work:hothead, but I'm trying to figure out what faults this boat could have to make me run away. I found another thread on this from '09 and was hoping for some more info. One of the guys on that thread said to check:
-Title
-Hull
-Engine
-Deck

I dont want to get into a re-core project or have to do any major hull repairs. Other than that, what do you guys think that I should be mindful of? It has apparently been in the water for a while, so it is due for a bottom paint as well.

Thanks!
 

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You'll probably invest more in the boat that it ends up being worth, especially if it has an Atomic 4. You'll hear a lot of responses from people that say they love theirs, but when you turn around to sell it, a lot of buyers will snub their nose at the gas engines.

You'll want to evaluate the cost of what you could sell the finished boat for and make sure it's a project worth taking up. With most projects, you'll lose money, but the loss can be mitigated by restoring the right type of boat and your enjoyment of the restored boat. We sold our restored Cape Dory 27 for around 80% of our investment in the boat. IMHO, Catalina 27's are not worth restoration, they are a dime a dozen and, especially the older models, the selling result will be mediocre compared to some other manufacturers. With a C27, you could easily spend 50% of the value just performing delayed maintenance (rigging, sails, etc).

If you decide to go forward, you'll want to inspect everything you normally do and prioritize what needs to be done to the boat. Some items (deck repairs, keel repairs, hull repairs, rudder, etc) can all cost thousands on their own, then you add the cost of rigging replacement, sails, bottom paint, and so forth, it starts to add up. If you are doing it to save money and do a "restoration finance", some items can wait (e.g. paint), but others can't (rigging, sails, etc). You'll have to prioritize based on your budget. It obviously helps if you can do the work yourself, but then you have to ask if it's worth your time vs a boat that is more worthy of restoration?

I enjoyed restoring our last boat, it was a fun project, but we were only able to sail her about half the time we had her due to constant work being done. The end result is a boat we knew well, but rarely had the time to enjoy before moving on.

Then don't get me started on our new "not project" boat...
 

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All depends on the condition. Frankly, for $1500 I wouldn't expect much. All depends on your willingness and ability to do projects. For me the problem with a boat like that is that you are now the one taking on the slip fees which will add up to more than $1500 pretty quick.
 

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Just buy my '87 for $20K. I've already done the work and sweated for you. And it'll still be cheaper what you have in mind. :)

ETA: here's what I had to do (and it's not really for sale).
new sails and sail cover
new asym and hardware
new running rigging
mast, spreaders, and standing rigging (previous owner)
new lifelines
teak restored
new compass binacle
new autopilot
new vhf w/ dcs
new cockpit cushions
new cabin cushions and curtains
new windex
new prop shaft, cutlass bearing, stuffing box
2 new deep cycle house batteries
1 new starting (reserve) battery
new battery charger
new battery combiner
engine compression tested above spec
new water pump
Racor fuel filter installed
new cooling hoses and fuel lines
new governor spring
new fuel bleeder valve
upgraded alternator bracket
new gauges
new blower
freshwater tank cleaned and inspection port added
new freshwater hoses
new galley faucet
new head faucet
new electric head
new bilge pump and switch
new propane locker and stovetop
35w solar panel with controller
new shore power outlet and power cord
new anchors (2)
new docklines, fenders

not to mention countless hours fixing leaks, rebedding, and general tweaking of everything.
 

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Corsair 24
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the biggest issue with the catalina 27 disregarding everything else related to a big prioject is the condition of the keel bolts and keel hull joint

if that is the reason for the low price you can fix it easily with the supplied keel kit catalina still sells

of its not and the keel is in good shape then look for issues elsewhere

just cause its 1500 doesnt mean its scrap and you have to invest 20k...

sometimes you get lucky and if you are knowledgeable enough certain fixes can get you back on the water and sailing for pennies.
 
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69' Coronado 25
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I bought a $1500 Coronado 25 and it was mostly elbow grease and a few accessories, if you get it make a list of the stuff you need NOW, marine swapmeets are a blessing also put ads in Craigslist(s) of parts you need and for the right price you might get 50% or more off. The most important thing is the underbody and it's components ie... Thru hulls and seacocks, rudder, keel, blisters. The engine is not a big deal, you can toss it and mount an OB if need to, many C27's have OB power. have a rigger give you an inspection, could be the best $150.00+ you spend for piece of mind knowing the rig should stay up. Sails can be bought used at many different places. Gluk (good luck) and keep us posted...
 

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There are about 8 similar boats awaiting auction at the Harbor Patrol dock in my marina, I'm pretty sure they'd let you have ALL of them for $1500.
 

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Put more money into a boat that's in the water and ready to sail. I can't stress that enough.

You either want to restore boats or you want to sail. The two don't usually mix very well. You'll always work on your boat in improvements and maintenance - so you get that "benefit". But at least you'll be having a blast between projects, watching the long-faces of the poor restoring bastards watch you leave the marina. You might even invite them out to remind them what they're working toward.
 

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One of None
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Just buy my '87 for $20K. I've already done the work and sweated for you. And it'll still be cheaper what you have in mind. :)

ETA: here's what I had to do (and it's not really for sale).
new sails and sail cover
new asym and hardware
new running rigging
mast, spreaders, and standing rigging (previous owner)
new lifelines
teak restored
new compass binacle
new autopilot
new vhf w/ dcs
new cockpit cushions
new cabin cushions and curtains
new windex
new prop shaft, cutlass bearing, stuffing box
2 new deep cycle house batteries
1 new starting (reserve) battery
new battery charger
new battery combiner
engine compression tested above spec
new water pump
Racor fuel filter installed
new cooling hoses and fuel lines
new governor spring
new fuel bleeder valve
upgraded alternator bracket
new gauges
new blower
freshwater tank cleaned and inspection port added
new freshwater hoses
new galley faucet
new head faucet
new electric head
new bilge pump and switch
new propane locker and stovetop
35w solar panel with controller
new shore power outlet and power cord
new anchors (2)
new docklines, fenders

not to mention countless hours fixing leaks, rebedding, and general tweaking of everything.
then you can buy mine for 18!
 

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S/V Calypso
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Put more money into a boat that's in the water and ready to sail. I can't stress that enough.

You either want to restore boats or you want to sail. The two don't usually mix very well. You'll always work on your boat in improvements and maintenance - so you get that "benefit". But at least you'll be having a blast between projects, watching the long-faces of the poor restoring bastards watch you leave the marina. You might even invite them out to remind them what they're working toward.
This is EXACTLY right. We are still pending money/time on our boat but we are sailing her! It makes all the work worth it.

-Chris
 

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And, there's a Cat27 for $5K that's sail-able just about everywhere. For the $3500 difference you'll get way more than $3500 worth of value.

The $1500 boat is better termed "parts," and since the keel isn't lead, it's not worth that as parts.
 

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I bought a Cal 25 for $1900 that had a good set of sails (including a spinnaker and pole), and 9.9 outboard in good condition. All I had to do was give it a desperately needed bottom job and it was fun day sailor (the interior was trashed when I bought it and only a little better when I sold it).

But, I had a lot of fun on that boat (I kept it on a mooring on a creek off of the Severn River) near Annapolis. :)
 

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A person in the desert somewhat near here in SoCal had a nice enterprise going buying sailboats cheap, cutting off and cutting up the lead keels and selling the lead. Then he would sell whatever parts were saleable. He did a lot of C27s specifically because it was a solid lead keel, not lead shot, and didn't have filler such as bricks, etc.

But as to the OP's question, mid 70s C27s just aren't worth very much. Some obviously more than others, but really not worth a substantial investment of time and money. I have one and I like it, but I know what it is really worth in dollars, too.
 

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Yeah, listen to Smack and others. I bought my C27 Tall Rig for 2K and it had new interior covers, everything intact, 5 headsails (in various condition), and I sailed that day. Put another $2K in it so far and it is great.

But you WILL NOT do that. Just the missing parts will run you up that much. There are just too many "ready to sail" C27s to buy. And all of those need somne work, really they do.

I bought a couple of projects before, and you want one ready to go. Even a sailable boat is enough of a project!

They all look great when they are cheap, but gettingon the water first is the key. Better to buy a POS and learn what is important, and what costs a lot, then scrap it and buy a boat you can enjoy.
 

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Put more money into a boat that's in the water and ready to sail. I can't stress that enough.

You either want to restore boats or you want to sail. The two don't usually mix very well. You'll always work on your boat in improvements and maintenance - so you get that "benefit". But at least you'll be having a blast between projects, watching the long-faces of the poor restoring bastards watch you leave the marina. You might even invite them out to remind them what they're working toward.
On flip side, however, when one does all the work to "restore" a boat, you learn more about your boat and boat systems in general than you could ever learn with a "ready to sail" boat.

At least I think I know a lot ;)

But the junker I bought was pretty sailable (and motorable) before I threw my wallet and hard labor at it. I upgraded it as I went.
 

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"I guess someone has stolen the drop boards and the exterior teak work"
I'm sure whoever stole the teak did not plug the holes to prevent core damage and water damage to the interior. Sounds like a major project boat.
Pass.
 

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On flip side, however, when one does all the work to "restore" a boat, you learn more about your boat and boat systems in general than you could ever learn with a "ready to sail" boat.
Still, any 20-30 year old boat (or more) may be sail away, but will still need enough work that you will get to know her better than you may want to.
 

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Ask some people who are doing project boats if they would do it again. I think 90% of them would say "No way!"

Regards,
Brad
 

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Consider what you'll have when you are done with a total refit... an updated Catalina 27. Worth maybe 10 grand if the stars align (after you put 15 grand and countless hours into it). I made a similar mistake refitting a Hinterhoeller HR28, I love the boat but it has no pedigree.

I thoroughly enjoyed refitting my boat, but if I were to do it again, I'd choose something with some cache... rewiring a Catalina is the same effort and expense as a Sabre, Tartan, Ericson or even more upscale boat. But when you are done you have a better boat.

Would you rebuild a Dodge Dart or a Camaro?
 
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