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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Short list?

Puddinlegs,

If that is the short list, I'd hate to see the long list. That is daunting! I may need to take up bowling:rolleyes: or win the lottery to maintain a sailboat.

dhays,

You are adding to the growing list of posters suggesting the boat be purchased from the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, at this point, the boats I'm really drawn to are not really in the Great Lakes in my price range. Hopefully, that will change, but if the choice comes down to a boat that has been in saltwater versus a Great Lakes boat that doesn't make my heart race, I think I gotta go with the saltwater.

GRR
 

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Here's some more info on the Tartan Owner's list that may help you:

Tartan 33

Be careful though, there were a few versions. If you get the Sheel Keel, you'll be set for gunkholing. If you get the T-33R, that's the deeper draft fin keel version. Great for racing, not so much for shallow water cruising.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Here's some more info on the Tartan Owner's list that may help you:

Tartan 33

Be careful though, there were a few versions. If you get the Sheel Keel, you'll be set for gunkholing. If you get the T-33R, that's the deeper draft fin keel version. Great for racing, not so much for shallow water cruising.
Right. Starting to get some input from Great Lakes sailors that shallow draft is not really important even for cruising the islands and channels. Some have said anywhere between 5-6 ft of draft is fine for this purpose.

The T-33 seems to a have a bit of a quirky interior.

Thanks for the link.

GRR
 

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When I was shopping for a boat in the 32-35 foot range a couple of years ago, my short list included many of the boats mentioned and a few that were not - Sabre 34-2, Pearson 34, J34c, Tartan 34-2, C&C 99, Catalina 320, Catalina 34, Tartan 3500, Cal 33-2. Ended up with a very clean Cal 33-2 at a great price. In the last two years of ownership, I've "only" spent $3000 or so on replacements and upgrades, though new sails are on the list in the next couple of years. Love the boat and would do it all over again.

I find the rule-of-thumb for upgrading costs based on some percentage of the cost of the boat make no sense. An older project boat is going to cost several times its purchase cost to make decent. A newer well maintained boat of the same size that costs many times the project boat may only need normal maintainance. You really have to take it boat by boat and add up what needs to be done to make it like you want it.
 

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GRR,

For what it's worth, Without listing everything.... It looks like Sabremans and puddlinglegs lists and timeline are very similar to mine,
in six years of ownership of my current Sabre 34. I have easily put 40% of the
cost back into upgrades and repairs.

New sails, running rigging, new cushions in the cabin, GPS Plotter, Dinghy and Motor, Dodger and Bimini, Bulkhead work, replaced heat exchanger, tri-color, deck light, anchor. etc etc.
Not to mention all the routine stuff like batteries, hoses, refinishing the cabin sole, taking apart all the winches, seacocks to clean and lube..and so forth...
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
On reasonable and expected maintenance costs

I find the rule-of-thumb for upgrading costs based on some percentage of the cost of the boat make no sense. An older project boat is going to cost several times its purchase cost to make decent. A newer well maintained boat of the same size that costs many times the project boat may only need normal maintainance. You really have to take it boat by boat and add up what needs to be done to make it like you want it.
Jim,

Congrats on finding boat you are really happy with. I think I'm really looking for the well-maintained boat that needs only normal maintenance. Maybe a tall order. Certainly not a project boat. I would expect to have to do the usual maintenance. Of course, no one can predict surprises except maybe to say they will occur. As to frequency or severity of the issue...it seems a bit of a gamble.

It is good to hear a somewhat different perspective on boat maintenance/repair costs.

GRR
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Valuable Info

GRR,

For what it's worth, Without listing everything.... It looks like Sabremans and puddlinglegs lists and timeline are very similar to mine,
in six years of ownership of my current Sabre 34. I have easily put 40% of the
cost back into upgrades and repairs.

New sails, running rigging, new cushions in the cabin, GPS Plotter, Dinghy and Motor, Dodger and Bimini, Bulkhead work, replaced heat exchanger, tri-color, deck light, anchor. etc etc.
Not to mention all the routine stuff like batteries, hoses, refinishing the cabin sole, taking apart all the winches, seacocks to clean and lube..and so forth...
Tempest,

To a new sailor, it is worth a lot. As were the lists by Sabreman and Puddinlegs...just a bit overwhelming. Perhaps I'll have to downgrade my sights from a small cruiser to a dinghy. :mad:

GRR
 

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Hope our list didn't scare you away! Honestly, many of the jobs just aren't that big a deal, especially if you like boat work. The biggies, re-powering and re-coring, where from the results of the pre purchase survey. We made our initial offer, did the survey, found some issues, got estimates, subtracted those costs from the original offer, adjusted the offer, accepted, got the boat, and fixed the problems. It took about 2, 2 1/2 weeks of work for the deck. The engine was about 3 days. Both the engine and deck where professionally done. The rest is just my own sweat equity which saves a ton of money. Lots of stuff is just changing things out. Splicing new lines is kind of a zen exercise. It's actually relaxing. Yeah, our list was a little surprising to me as well. It just doesn't feel like it's been all that much work. Even with the money spent, we're still miles below what a new 34' boat would cost, and with arguably, a much better design and build quality than 95% of what's currently available new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Newbie double whammy

Hope our list didn't scare you away! Honestly, many of the jobs just aren't that big a deal, especially if you like boat work. The biggies, re-powering and re-coring, where from the results of the pre purchase survey. We made our initial offer, did the survey, found some issues, got estimates, subtracted those costs from the original offer, adjusted the offer, accepted, got the boat, and fixed the problems. It took about 2, 2 1/2 weeks of work for the deck. The engine was about 3 days. Both the engine and deck where professionally done. The rest is just my own sweat equity which saves a ton of money. Lots of stuff is just changing things out. Splicing new lines is kind of a zen exercise. It's actually relaxing. Yeah, our list was a little surprising to me as well. It just doesn't feel like it's been all that much work. Even with the money spent, we're still miles below what a new 34' boat would cost, and with arguably, a much better design and build quality than 95% of what's currently available new.
For me, the issue is that not only am I new to sailing, but I am also new to sailboats. I did not grow up around or have exposure to people who owned them, so initially I had no concept of what was required for maintenance, etc. How could I with no exposure? My girlfriend's brother has been sailing for a long time and we have been talking the last few months and I'm learning a lot. But it is a steep learning curve when you've had no prior exposure and some of the information on costs is surprising/sobering and takes a little bit of the enthusiasm off (just a little). But that is okay...it is part of the deal and I'd rather know ahead of time what I'm getting myself into before dropping a big chunk of change on a boat.

So no, you did not scare me away. I'm still pretty stoked about getting a boat.:D And I appreciate sailors giving their input...that is how I broad my exposure to people who have been there.
 

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GRR,

We're Lake Michigan sailors who know folks with these boats but haven't sailed them. A T34C from the '70s that's 2/3 of the way through a total restoration is 2 slips from us, with an '80s Tartan 34 across the finger pier from it. Other friends have a Sabre 34 from the '80s. All are boats beloved by their owners - and reportedly sail well. We also know folks who have had Pearsons and Ericsons and were happy with them. Well-maintained, all are good boats, especially with full draft or keel/centerboard combinations, on the Lakes. I would add to this list the S2 11 meter, another well-built boat from the '80s (there were few 10.3s built and they are hard to find on the used market).

If you intend to do some distance cruising on the Lakes and have time constraints, upwind sailing performance is important, as undoubtedly you'll have to do some of this. In our experience, a Catalina 30 with a wing keel or the much newer Jeanneau SO34.2 or SO35 with a shoal-draft keel will have more leeway and not make as much progress upwind as a boat with a full keel or a shoal keel with a deeper centerboard, absent assistance from the Iron Genny. The shoal draft is useful in the few shallow harbors and when anchoring in some places, but not nearly as necessary in the Lakes as it is reputed to be in Chesapeake Bay. Unless you wish to frequent a harbor or anchorage where deep draft just doesn't fit.

Some Pearson models/years have deck core issues which we understand arise from faulty bedding of the lifeline stanchions. Sabres are hard to find on the Lakes and priced higher than the other boats. While Catalinas are OK boats, have great mutual support among their owners, and the Catalina owners we know all like their boats, the makes you mentioned in your first post are better if well-maintained.

And keep in mind that a freshwater-only boat will usually have fewer problems than one that has been in salt water, all else equal.

--Karl
 

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I would also be looking into the C&C 35 of thiis era as they are sturdy, well built and perform better on many points of saIL than most of the boats already mentioned.Additionally these is quite a fleet of them on the Great lakes as they were built in this era. This is in no way a put down of the Tartans, Ericksons, Personas or Sabres. They are all fine boats. In fact when I purchased Haleakula it was between her and a Tartan 37 and a Sabre 36. The C&C 35MKIII was in better condition. Thats what drove me to buy her. All are good quality boats.

Dave
 

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Some Pearson models/years have deck core issues which we understand arise from faulty bedding of the lifeline stanchions.
I believe the Pearson 31 and 33-2 built in the mid 80s had that issue. Pearson used gaskets under the stanchion bases rather than traditional bedding. Didn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Pearson 31-2/33-2 Design Flaw

I believe the Pearson 31 and 33-2 built in the mid 80s had that issue. Pearson used gaskets under the stanchion bases rather than traditional bedding. Didn't work.
That is too bad. I was considering going to look at both of these models. Is this a major project to fix? Would this design flaw rule out this class of boats or would a good example be worth looking at and repairing if needed?
 

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That is too bad. I was considering going to look at both of these models. Is this a major project to fix? Would this design flaw rule out this class of boats or would a good example be worth looking at and repairing if needed?
No, it wouldn't rule it out. Every boat has some kind of flaw. Don't let "Perfect" be the enemy of "Good Enough".

You're asking all the right questions and doing your research but I think you're starting to suffer from information overload a bit. ;)

In the case of the P-31 and 33-2, early owners may have caught this problem early and fixed it. Later owners may have repaired soggy core and sealed the stanchions. Go look at the boats, and just have the surveyor (or you) check for stains, soft spots, and use a moisture meter. Tap around and listen for a dull thud that indicates a soggy core.
 

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GRR,

I would add to this list the S2 11 meter, another well-built boat from the '80s (there were few 10.3s built and they are hard to find on the used market)

--Karl
Ah! That's what I meant... the 11, not the 10.3. A friend has one and loves it. He and his wife have been chipping away at upgrades, replacements, repairs, etc... it has to be one of the nicest S2 11's around!
 

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GRR, Pearson used the brilliant gasket method under the stanchions of our 87 P28-2, which we bought 4 years ago. It's not necessarily that big a deal. No doubt it depends on the boat, but here's how ours went. The surveyor found our decks to be solid everywhere, and dry for the most part. He found elevated moisture and some dead soundings around the bow pulpit and near the stbd jib track. Otherwise all good. I have since potted and rebed all stanchions and really only had wet core and around 3, with some localized rot out maybe 2 inches around the 2 pulpit supports. I was able to scrape out the bad stuff with pieces of coat hangers to get to good core and then refill these areas with thickened epoxy during the potting.

So, yeah, repotting-rebedding is a pain, but I'd plan to do that on any boat that old that hadn't had it done. It certainly shouldn't disqualify any Pearson you're interested in without inspection--and really, once you know how to inspect, you can do a good preliminary check on this yourself.
 

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Overload of Information

Here's an additional thought that might help. We have literally searched for and looked at (online and in person) hundreds, maybe thousands of boats. We finally started an eliminatiion process in size, prices, style and quality. By elimination (price first) and setting realistic ranges we narrowed our search down a lot, but we also found a number of less well know names that fit our requirements. If you can be really specific (in your own mind) about what you must have you'll find fewer boats to consider, but that special beauty may come out of the pack, and you may never have heard of the builder before. We recently have had that experience and found a wonderful boat (for us) at a price we could afford that many do not recognize.

Good luck, and remember, the journey is usually as rewarding as the destination.

boatted9
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Pearson 31-2 Deck Surgery

GRR, Pearson used the brilliant gasket method under the stanchions of our 87 P28-2, which we bought 4 years ago. It's not necessarily that big a deal. No doubt it depends on the boat, but here's how ours went. The surveyor found our decks to be solid everywhere, and dry for the most part. He found elevated moisture and some dead soundings around the bow pulpit and near the stbd jib track. Otherwise all good. I have since potted and rebed all stanchions and really only had wet core and around 3, with some localized rot out maybe 2 inches around the 2 pulpit supports. I was able to scrape out the bad stuff with pieces of coat hangers to get to good core and then refill these areas with thickened epoxy during the potting.

So, yeah, repotting-rebedding is a pain, but I'd plan to do that on any boat that old that hadn't had it done. It certainly shouldn't disqualify any Pearson you're interested in without inspection--and really, once you know how to inspect, you can do a good preliminary check on this yourself.
arf145,

Thank you for this information. Shortly after previous posts about the stanchion-deck issues on Pearson 31-2 and 33-2, I contacted a broker about a late 1980's model 31-2. He said it is a very fine boat, but a recent survey found wet decks, mostly around the bow area on both starboard and port. They finally decided the problem was at the toerails and upon removing these discovered that all of the "caulking" was gone. The balsa core was tested and found to be wet, but to have no rot. So, they hired a company called Dry Boat (ever heard of this?) to fix the problem. As it was explained by the broker, all of the toerail was removed, holes were drilled in around the deck horizontally rather than vertically, and then a bunch of small tubes were inserted and air was injected through the tubes over a period of time to dry the core. Then the toerails were bedded. He said a surveyor was involved throughout the process to check the work.

As part of this process, he said they also rebedded the stanchions. If someone were to rebed the stanchions on these boats properly, would the gaskets remain or would this be replaced by something else?

I am going to go see this boat in a couple of weeks. I am a bit leery about a boat that has had such major surgery, but maybe that fixed the problem (or maybe it didn't :(). At the very least, it will give me an opportunity to see whether I like this model and whether it is worth pursuing other examples.

GRR
 
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