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I actually looked at this boat while it was still slipped in the water. We took it out for a 1 hour sail. My question is, I asked the owner if the bilge was dry and he said yes but when I looked down in it, it had about some water down in it. Do boats in slips normally get water in the bilge no matter how good they are? Should i walk away from it?

Here is the boat for sale:

American Spirit 23 sailboat for sale
 

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S2 7.9 Bear Lake, UT
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Sponge the water out and if it is back the next time you look at it, there may be problems. As someone suggested centerboards will give you more options for shallower bays, but will give you more options for leaking and failure, it is a compromise, I would not make if I was not looking to trailer my boat.

If the Catalina 25 was too light a boat for Gulf Coast cruising this will be worse as it is a lighter boat. Don't know much about them but probably more tender and less room than the Catalina 25.

Just did a Craiglist search for you in Houston. Not sure of your budget but since you were willing to spend $9k on the Catalina I will base some suggestions in that range.

Ericson 23
Ericson 30
Pearson 26
Catalina 25s from 5-7K available.
Columbia 30
Flicka

These suggestions are based on your sailing mission, price range and boat reputations (most of which I have learned by doing web searches to see what has been said about individual boats). Since you seem new to sailing, read Sailing Dogs inspection trip
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/48177-boat-inspection-trip-tips.html to see how to evaluate the boat yourself.

If it passes the self evaluation hire a professional surveyor. A surveyor should let you know of the overall condition of the boat and give you an idea of what you will have to spend right away to get the boat in tip-top shape or what you may have to replace or watch out for down the road. It will also provide a list of issues you can use to possibly reduce the price of the boat to offset the potential issues. Also if the boat has been listed for a long time, the price may very negotiable.
 

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Craigslist searching suggestions

Here is how I go about searching Craigslist.

I chose Houston go under boats, put sail in the search parameters. Also try putting the following into your search parameters.
  • Sailboat
  • Sail boat
  • "Sailboat, trailer" if thats what your looking for.
Trying all variations my find you different boats.

Next go under Texas, and Louisiana and look at different areas you would be willing to drive to and try the same searches.
 

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79' Na23

Just picked up this liitle boat on the MS Coast for 500$ w/ trailer. had to patch 2 little holes, but she's about ready to be back in the water. Sails, All Rigging in good shape, Interior is there, but it's 30 years old, so thats the next step.

Need a front hatch and don't want to pay some guy 300$ for it, since that's almost as much as I have in it. Anybody got one laying around? Or a rudder template?

Here's a link to some pics I have right now. Some of it on the coast and after we fixed the trailer and dragged it back home.

Paul Sims's Photos - Work in Progress.. | Facebook
 

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I owned one of these; an 1980 for over ten years.. she was my first and fun to sail. I can't say it was the best built boat- the builder was Glastron that make so so power boats. But I loved her and she taught me alot. She had alot of blisters like most boats of the vintage.. I would most certainly check out that.

If this one had occasional water in the bilge, the likley source are the ports not the centerboard.. altho it certainly could be that too if the connection through the bilge was failing..

Good luck!
 

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i have a true na 23 that was made by north american, not glastron. im trying to get inside photo and location of the centerboard winch. the boat had been sitting for 10 years on a trailer and the interior was trashed. im having to rework the inside, any photos or help would be appreciated
 
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