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Sail cloth is completely different from screen material, and they don't produce any chalkiness or fine grit when they age. The fact that the sailcloth feels stiff and crinkly as that is a sign that the cloth is still in good condition. Old cloth gets very soft and pliable.

It sounds to me like the sails are the least of your concerns. The seller seems very eager to unload the boat if he is willing to share the cost of storage, and replace the fuel tank.

It does seem strange that such a small boat has an Atomic4 in it, and I wonder why the fuel tank needs to be replaced. Keep in mind that the A4 is a gasoline engine, so great care must be taken that there are no fuel leaks and that the engine compartment is properly vented. Do you trust that the seller has the skills to ensure a leak free, correctly installed fuel tank? Over the years the Atomic 4 earned the nickname Atomic Bomb. Just sayin....

I am skeptical about the sellers response about the source of the water in the boat. He "thinks" it is the propshaft packing? It takes about 30 seconds to verify if that is leaking. I am sure he has no idea where the leaks are.

The seized winch...assume you are going to be replacing it. Not that big a deal, you may be able to find a used replacement, but either way it will cost time and money.

I am VERY concerned about the ugly core repair job you refer to. I would be curious to see pics, but you don't replace core with silicone, so either the seller, or the previous owner have no clue. Core is there for structure, and that structure is likely compromised.

There are a lot of red flags on that boat. There is a saying "there is no more expensive boat than a free boat"!

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I don't want this to come off critically, rather potentially helpful. I wonder if the misunderstanding on the engine translates to the other maintenance and repair matters. The representation that a cored deck was repaired with silicon in the core, was a huge red flag to me. I hate to start the OPs review over again, but maybe it's worth paying someone to go take a look at it to get the assessment straight.
OP has already decided to walk away from that boat. A wise decision I think.

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