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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking for a boat for a couple of years now and am just recently getting more serious about it. I have talked with Jeff_H via email and he has helpfully pointed out that my requirements are complete crap and I am delusional. :) He did not put it that way but that was the general gist and I thank him for smacking me back down to earth. My jumping around in geographical area did not help matters much.

That being said. I am going to look at an 82 30' Islander bahama. It is currently in storage so I will have a chance to look at the bottom. It was in the water as recently as august of 08 so has been used. From the pictures it looks like it is in good shape(from what you can tell from pictures). Looking at the specs for it and where I am at on the Treasure coast of Florida I picked up a chart and the water is shallow here but not as shallow as the gulf coast. With a draft of a bit over 5' I will have to pay attention. But I don't really want to have to deal with a swing keel on an older boat. I like to keep things simple and if that means I am restricted to where I can go then I will make that trade off.

I sailed a 36' islander on the great lakes and it was a really nice boat. It pointed well and I liked how things were laid out. Until I actually am on the water with it I won't know but searching the tubes would seem to say that the 30' is a boat that sails really well and is easy to handle.

Soooo the point of this is just to ask people if they have any big issues to look for while I am looking at the boat. It is out of the water so I should be able to see just about anything. I have read over the boat buyers guide and I have enough knowledge to do everything but poke a hole in someone elses boat to check for moisture so that will have to be done by the surveyer. Mostly what I want is issues that these boats were known for. The seller said that the blisters were taken care of already with a recent interlux barrier coating.

So feel free to call me names and or do whatever. I am a big kid and can deal with abuse. I was married at one time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Spent a couple of hours looking at the boat and talking to the owner who was a really nice guy. It is in excellent shape except for some rust on the staples used to line the interior and the teak on the deck either needs replacing or some very serious work. The autopilot is a bit dated but the owner says it is still functional(Its a belt driven one that attaches to the wheel). He wanted to put bottom paint on it before it went back into the water and offered to show me how so I would have an idea next time if I wanted to do it.

I was wrong about the boat being in the water recently. It has been on stands for 14 months or so. His father started to have health problems and could not get around as well. So he is not using it anymore and seems motivated to get rid of it.

Does anyone know of or have any recomendations for surveyors in the Stuart/Ft Peirce/Palm Beach area of Florida? I need to start putting together costs and timelines. Do surveyors like to see the boat in or out of the water? Or does it depend on the surveyor?
 

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Before calling a surveyor, I'd highly recommend you go over the boat with a fine tooth comb, as described in the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started. :)
 

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Sorry I missed your original post. I own a 80' Islander Bahama and it is truly a joy to sail. The age of the auto pilot won't be a big issue unless it starts to quit working. You'll experience very little weather helm on the boat.
They are quite easy to sail and my boat points nicely up to about 30 degrees to the wind.
The zippers on the headliner are all plastic but they still tend to stick. One place I would take a quick peek is in the bathroom just under the mast. I've seen several (including mine) that develop a dimple next to the mast. Despite my best efforts I've yet to discover what is causing this but even after giving in the "rubber mallet test" everything seems to be fine.
I would also take as close a look as I can at the chain plates for any signs of leakage. One of the maintenance issues I've dealt with is keeping them bedded.
The volvo motor does a good job but is a bit under powered. The previous owner put a three blade prop on and this has all but eliminated any prop walk on the boat and it handles great in tight spots. Be sure and take a long look all around the engine. One of the more difficult things I have to do on a regular basis is replace the impeller. Seems you have to hold your tongue just right to get the input and output lines for the water pump to stop leaking. They are just a compression fitting and there's nothing to screw down, you just have to align it just right.
My only other issue is that the boat is fairly tight and tends to have some mold problems when she's closed up. I installed a couple of 12 volt computer fans on the clam shell vents in the back and leave them on when I'm gone. I'm able to leave "fiasco" plugged in when I'm gone so running the battery down is not an issue. I think part of the problem may be that the ice box drains into the bilge so we make sure and scoop out all the ice before we leave each time. This has also translated into the drain hose becoming clogges at times. I try to remember to pour a little bleach down the ice box drain hole a couple of times a year and this seems to eliminate the problem. I also try to leave all the lockers open and take cushions off and open up any spaces while I'm gone as the hull tends to sweat at times BUT she seems to be laid up very well and to date I've had no blistering problems on the hull.
Hope you get to buy the boat. They are a heck of a good deal for the money. Even a well found Islander can go for $20,000 which can be a heck of a deal.
Good luck!
 

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Roadkillibus Texanis
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I've never owned a Bahama 30 but I got to crew (ballast) in a race on one a few years ago. I absolutely loved that boat!

Good luck!
 

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Good luck with her

We just got a 30' '84 Islander last fall. It has been a great boat so far except for a few small issues. Easy to sail and points well. Working on a plan to fix 2 leaking port windows on the port side, but that is the most serious problem so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I read through the boat inspection tips and tried to follow it as best I could. I was not prepared to poke holes in the guys boat and check for moisture though. I pulled on everything that I thought could be loose and checked for signs of water damage. The only places I saw any water damage were in the vberth where the anchor locker would be and the owner said that was caused by a clogged drain in the anchor locker. Also where the hot water heater was the floor had delaminated or rotted out in about a 10x4 inch area. It did not look too bad but would be a good source of splinters in bare feet.

It has a 2 bladed prop and the shaft is solid. The owner said the cutlass bearing had been replaced a couple of years ago. One of the bolts in the engine pan had a very slight leak that he said he just wiped up as the bolt was pretty hard to get at. He had new hoses and the engine looked to be in pretty good shape. Hard to tell much about it by how it looks though.

One are of concern I had was the holding tank pump out had been sealed up. It is still there but it has been covered and sealed up with some kind of clear caulk. He said they did not use the head much and when they did they would just pump it over the side. I would rather have the option of having it pumped out so would need to have that sorted.

I could not tell a whole lot about the bilge and the wet areas as he had repainted it when he was doing the rest of the boat so the paint was still pretty clean. he said the bilge was very dry though and he did say he had wiped it out before I got there just so it would be clean. Since it has been on the hard for 14 months I would not expect water to be in there unless it was rainwater.

So the only real problems I found were the pump out, the spot on the floor by the water heater and the rusting staples in the wall linings in a couple of places. I did not find any evidence of damage, water or things being replaced in any of the storage areas or the bilge.

I sailed on an islander 36 on the great lakes and it was a very nice boat to sail. One issue that boat had was the chain plates for the stays coming up. The owner had put in metal brackets to hold the chain plates similar to what this boat had except they the brackets looked like they came from the factory. So they probably fixed that issue in this model.

I need to go out and get insurance quotes and see what a slip would cost here before I make any big decisions but this is a very nice boat. I would still like to get a jaded professional opinion on it just to make sure I am not looking through rosy glasses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As far as surveyers go. A quick google comes up with a few:
Miley Marine Surveying & Consulting, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA - Noel A. Miley, SAMS® AMS®
Going through The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Inc.® - (SAMS®) there are quite a few people listed in Stuart(where I am) and Jupiter which is pretty close.

How do you pick a good surveyor? A lot of them have just list yachts and small craft but don't say whether they know anything about sailboats. I don't see that many sailboats here relative to the number of powerboats so I am assuming most surveyors are focused on power.

Do I just call them up and ask or should I plan on meeting a few of them and talking to them to see what they plan on doing? I am personally not a big fan of accrediting but are there certifications for surveyors that are meaningful to look at or is more about experience?

Sorry I have so many questions but I am a bit out of my element here. I have a friend who is in the car business and I always talk to him when I looking at cars because he is jaded and angry about all of them and can run down a list of things that are wrong with any car so thats much more helpful IMHO than someone who just says "looks nice"... Criticism is much more useful than encouragement with decision making in my experience.
 

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Hugu...Cardiac Paul is a member here and a surveyor and I believe he is close to you and really needs some work as the Cuban has his credit card! :D Just kidding...but if he is available...I'm sure he would do a good job for you...give him a PM.
I like the Islander...but your statement that she has been on stands for 14 months in the Florida sun and rain...and that "the teak on the deck either needs replacing or some very serious work."...leads me to think that you are gonna find BIG problems within that deck under the teak that needs to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hugu...Cardiac Paul is a member here and a surveyor and I believe he is close to you and really needs some work as the Cuban has his credit card! :D Just kidding...but if he is available...I'm sure he would do a good job for you...give him a PM.
I like the Islander...but your statement that she has been on stands for 14 months in the Florida sun and rain...and that "the teak on the deck either needs replacing or some very serious work."...leads me to think that you are gonna find BIG problems within that deck under the teak that needs to be replaced.
Sent CardiacPaul a PM. thanks for the info. It says his location is a state of confusion so I am not sure if he is close or not. :)

I will keep an eye on the surveyor when he checks for moisture so next time I can do it myself. The degradation is mostly on the top part of the handles. The bottom where they attach are still in recoverable shape. Being a piece of safety equipment though I don't want one to fail when I trying to use it to stay aboard. In any case though I hope it does not have a problem like that. I don't want to learn how to replace deck core this soon...

I have a few reservations too thats why I am soliciting advice. I am ok with certain things but there are some things that I am just not going to be able to cope with. Going in with eyes wide open as they say. Any big capital outlay should bring with it reservations otherwise we would be running up a huge deficit. Oh wait...
 

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His physical location is Florida, his mental location would be State of Confusion. :) Be aware that he will be out of Florida for the Mid-West Sailnet gathering towards the end of this month, since the Cuban is dragging him there... :)
Sent CardiacPaul a PM. thanks for the info. It says his location is a state of confusion so I am not sure if he is close or not. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yep just the handrails on the cabin top. No teak decks or anything like that. Not much wood on the boat but what there is on top is in need of serious help. There is new awl grip all over the deck so that part looks pretty good. I think I will wait until I have more free time to get a boat with a lot of wood on it. :)
 

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LOL...thanks for the update... not particularly surprised the Cuban likes the warmer climate of Florida, versus the deep freeze climate of Chicago in January.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I had the surveyor out and he spent about 6 hours with a bunch of wasps that had decided to make a home somewhere in the stern. I really hate bees so was not terribly enthused about sitting around but since the surveyor was on my dime I sucked it up and got a lot of good information.

One thing that came up was the chainplate in the back of the boat had a crack in the middle of it. The surveyor said it should really be replaced before it is loaded and I agree as losing the mast would likely cause a bunch of more expensive problems. Does anyone know if the islander rear chainplate is still available from some retailer or will one need to be fabricated to replace it? Any idea on how much it will cost? I have googled but had not had much luck besides people recounting the horror stories on the cost of replacing them.
 

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Huguley3—

If you have the measurements, there are a few places online that you can get a quote for it from. You'll want to make the chainplates out of 316L stainless steel, preferably a single piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Talked with the owner and he got a quote from a place locally. I was figuring it would be close to a thousand dollars since that is the number that seems to come up every time something important breaks. The estimate was quite a bit less than that so that makes me happy. :)

We have come to an agreement and if everything goes well I may have my very own hole in the water to consume any remaining money and time I have.

Thanks to everyone who has posted here over the years I have been here. I have learned a lot of how to do things and even better what things not to do. Nothing like learning from experience though. Something about feeling the pain first hand makes it stick in your mind better. :)
 

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Congrats....post photos when you can.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Everything has moved along pretty smoothly. The engine was ran the other day so that is at least functional. It needs to be checked on the sea trial yet but its a good sign that it fired up. :)

So by next week sometime its quite likely that I will have some new to consume my remaining time and sanity.

Heres a pic of the side with a fresh coat of wax and the bimini up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh and I forgot. There was a boat next to it in the marina with my new favorite boat name. It was called "Never Again III". I thought that was pretty good.
 
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