SailNet Community banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So first off, i hope this is in the right forum, I looked at a 89 Catalina 25 with a fin keel today, an end of season deal before he puts in away for winter. The price is right, very inexpensive and he is even willing to split winter storage. It has an inboard atomic 4 that starts right up. It does need to have the fuel tank replaced, but he is willing to do that for me if i buy it and winterize the engine to boot. It has sails in great shape, roller furling jib, based on my reading on inspecting boats the rigging, sheets and mast are in great shape for its age. Also, every thing about this guys makes me think i can trust him and i feel like i am a pretty good judge of character. The price is roughly 2k, + a little. I have a few concerns though, 1 there was water in the boat, some in the bilge, but it has sat and he thinks the shaft of the engine needs repacked, also the boat is on the Chesapeake bay and the water didn't taste very salty, we have had really heavy rains recently and i feel like some water is understandable cause something probably leaks. And I can always seal that, but am i being stupid?

second, there is some ugly patching on the deck, I checked it and there are NO soft spots, but he said the previous owner cut into it and replaced the wood core with silicone./ To what i know that makes sense and a little ugly is worth the low cost, but am i being stupid?

Third a small issue, there is a winch, i assume for the main halyard, but it does not turn by hand, I guess it frozen no big deal if it is that seems an easy fix, but I have no idea if there is some weird super torque winches out there.

And finally, and this is the one that weirds me out, there are cracks all along the bottom of the cockpit, where the floor of the cockpit meets the interior walls of the storage and benches, I just find that odd, the cockpit floor doesn't seems soft, but i am scared this is indicative of some crazy issue i never heard of.

So all you guys are always super helpful and super knowledgeable, any thoughts. Am I just gun shy or are these real concerns, again the sails alone are probably worth the price he is asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to take a different tack than some have. At $2K it can be a good learner boat. Don't try to cross an ocean with it. Pick good days, light winds, and stay close to home until you know your skills and, especially, the boat. But it depends on your financial status. Rhetorical question: Is $2K a lot for you or just dinner money? You have to be able to walk away from the sunk cost in the boat and not feel bad about it. And walk away isn't free, you might have to pay to have the boat junked.

".... there are cracks all along the bottom of the cockpit, where the floor of the cockpit meets the interior walls of the storage and benches, .... the cockpit floor doesn't seems soft, ...." Sounds like spider cracks which are expected on a boat of this quality class at this age and probably insignificant. But ask someone with experience to check that.
Thank you very much for that reply, and maybe for context i should point out , to learn to sail is exactly what i am looking for. I am thinking of it like that car you buy your kid with 150,000 miles on it, and while 2 grand is not gonna break my bank, it is also something i would preferer not to lose, or make an ass of myself buying a **** boat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I get a bad vibe all around. All $2k boats will need more money put into them, just to keep them safe, let alone maintained. You need to be sure it won't require more than the boat is worth, if fully fixed up. I'm curious what makes you confident the sails are in good shape. How old are they?

If you can't make that determination, you have to view the $2k as rent. Can you afford to scrap the boat, after using it a little while and realizing it's not worth fixing up. Then endure the gut punch of another grand to have it cutup and hauled away, which is likely cheaper than the storage cost, while you wait to sell it (if it can be resold).

It's not that you couldn't win this gamble, but it's a gamble. Can you afford to gamble?
In regard to the sails, as others have pointed out, i really don't know anything yet, but i have been reading like a MoFO for the last 6 months and been looking at boats for about 4 months now, So the call on the sails was party because I knew to run my hand over and look for stiffness, i can say that compared to the boats I have rented and learned on the sails are way stiffer.. almost surprisingly, like I was thinking how hard it would be to fold, and also I do actually a bout 6 years experience working in AV and have worked with fast fold screens a lot, they are similar in they are a plastic Woven fabric that has been treated, not a sail but I looked at the threads on the edges and they were fresh, no hairs still stiff, the sails were very clean, and felt smooth, i assume that the coating break down like Fast Folds and I may be wrong but you can feel a fine powdery grit when they are getting old, I might be wrong to think sails do that. Also, they just seemed new to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So you after all this feedback, I have to agree there are too many question marks here for this to be smart, and I am not rich enough to be stupid (or more importantly my wife thinks I am not ). I am just going to have to assume that I can find something in the 24 to 26 ft range to learn on in the spring, and hopefully i will have saved up a few more pennies to get a survey. However, my desire to be on the bay, learn to work on boats this winter, and understand more about sailing stands, so if any of you guys on the Chessie need help doing work over the winter, hit me up. If you can put up with a lot of stupid question ( and i think you have some idea how stupid ).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Since you all went down this rabbit hole, it was not an Atomic 4, it was Universal, i misquoted, was thinking of another boat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arcb

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Perfectly happy to field your questions. Pictures will help as well.

The only deal breaker for me would have been the Atomic 4. Not because it's a bad engine, but because it's much more of a challenge than a diesel.

On a 30 year old boat, you will have all of the problems you described. Wear and tear, questionable repairs by the previous owner. Lots of mystery leaks... And if you are looking at $2k, you are going to put in A LOT of time and effort keeping her up. That is not to say it's not worth doing or won't be rewarding, but just know that the boat teaches you at her own pace.

Assuming you accept that you will have lots of repair and maintenance to do in any case, I would submit this as a list of deal breakers on an old boat:
-Damage to the hull exceeding dockrash.
-Squishy deck.
-Questionable standing rigging (broken strands, excessively rusty or cracked swages or chain plates)
-Rotten bulkheads are a major structural issue. (look for evidence of water intrusion below deck penetrations around the chain plates. Look to see if it's rotten, tap on it, poke it with a screwdriver)
-Not a common brand diesel engine: not only do you want a reliable engine, you want to be able to get parts.
-Not able to personally observe the engine running. (everything ran when it was parked...)
-If a deck stepped mast: deck depression around the mast foot. Inspect the structure all the way down to the bilge, something has given way.
-Badly corroded keel bolts

It really depends on how you want to spend your time: sailing vs. maintaining/repairing. The difference between a $2k boat and a $8K boat in the same size range is the sailing time /maintenance time ratio. Over the long term, they will likely cost about the same.

Best of luck!
Thanks again, and yes I was expecting damage, I have the Don Casey book on inspecting aging boats, I mean I know that is probably not enough, but anything short of hull damage was never a deal breaker for me. I may not get this boat, but i do want to do work on the boat I get, it is right that people say learning experience etc. My thought is get a cheap boat that takes work so I know what I am looking for and what to do when I do get THE boat. All that aside, I see the wisdom of not getting a boat I can work on but not sail. Also of not biting off more than I can chew with engines or fiberglass repair, which are the two things I am actually pretty concerned about doing. I guess the question is will I get the learner boat for 2k or 6k. And if i get it for 2k and i paying another 2k to get it cut up at the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
From all indications, it was a good decision. I'm only wondering, if something as straight forward as the motor was misunderstood, whether the overall indication of this boat was equally flawed.
I don't think he had a good handle on sailing but he says his dad is a crabber, so taht could go either way, well here 1985 Catalina 25

you will notice the deck damage is not seen in pics, but you can make it out from the interior... I probably shouldn't post this, i am gonna get a whole nother round of "how green I am"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
So for all you who might still care, he did list it as an Atomic 4, and then i looked it up and Atomics were gas ( I didn't know) but eh whole time he was talking about diesel, and it smelled pretty dieselly, and since he was running out of attached tank, i wondered if that explains the whole tank issue, i am thinking a tank for regular gas might not work so well with a diesel engine.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top