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Hey all, I recently found a 1978 J24 for sale, previously used by a college sailing team. Asking price is below $2000. It has recently replaced lines, upgraded traveler and car, and backstay adjustment assembly. Includes an outboard, but no trailer. The boats too far for me to check it out in person, but Ive been in contact with the seller and received a few pics and a detailed description. The price also includes delivery. He says there arent any cracks, soft spots, or other noticeable deck trouble. The hull below waterline is developing some osmotic blistering, but is described as being only cosmetic at this point. The V berth has some rot in the lower wood (pictured) Is it a dumb idea to consider buying a boat without inspecting in person? I really want to get into racing, and hope to upgrade this as time goes on. The price is perfect for me (Im 20, in college), but realize it IS going to need work and more $$. Any input or wise words would be greatfull :)

-Andrew



Here are the pictures from the seller (not the best but gets the idea across):























 

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You can't take a road trip to check it out? I just graduated college 3 years ago so I know what you mean about the money situation. However taking a boat off someone's word can be a risky bet especially if the boat is in much worse condition than they claim it is. Plus if it was used by a college racing team it could have been beat to hell and once it is delivered, you are then left with a 3100lb mess on yours hands that cost could more to get rid of!

With that in mind, the boat could be as they claim, a little soft in areas but otherwise worth the $2k and it does its job and gets you on the water. But I would try and at least check it out first before you commit and have it delevered.

Also just curious, what school do you go to?

Goodluck,
Nick
 

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This is a 7700 dollar 1981 J24 with trailer NEW motor and two GOOD sets of sails and hatches that don't LEAK (this happened mid 1980 )

This boat still required a LOT of time and money just to get in safe basic sailing order

My thoughts from being a two time J24 owner is #1 you have to check the keel for vermiculite as my friends boat still has IT :eek:

Those old style hatches have leaked so long i can see the forward ROT

The picture of the inside shows the Lazarets bulkheads upgrade was never done to close off the boat from flooding during a knockdown
 

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STARBOARD!!
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(Im 20, in college), but realize it IS going to need work and more $$. Any input or wise words would be greatfull :)
You answered your own question IMHO. You're 20 YO, in college and it will need work and more money. I'd save that money; charter for daysailing when you have time, and graduate. Don't get caught up in owning a money pit that will waste your time and interrupt your studies; regardless of how good it looks on paper.

Graduate, get a good job near the water, save some cash (and emergency funds) and then buy a small boat if you want to own one. For the most part owning a boat is for someone who wants to live aboard or is already wealthy enough to justify the ongoing expenses of owning one.

If you are trying to buy a boat and your parents are supporting you in school; well I hope you ASK THEM what they think of this before you spend anything on it. Too many young adults spend themselves into oblivion these days before they even graduate; don't fall into this financial trap!
 

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Telstar 28
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I'd also point out that the exposed plywood and peeling paint in this photo indicates that there's water getting in, and the plywood looks pretty much shot...

 

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Keelhaulin has it right. Here's what I tell people... the purchase price of a boat is like the cover charge at the bar. It just lets you belly up and start spending real money. If you're struggling with the purchase price, once you add storage, maintenance, etc., it's probably something you're best off waiting to do.
 

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Moose,

I have to agree with the others. This does not seem like a good deal under the circumstances.

First, it is generally a very bad idea to purchase a keelboat sight-unseen. A trip to inspect it, as well as a survey by a professional surveyor, is generally money well spent. It can save you a small fortune in the long run. Some wealthy folks can afford to take that kind of financial risk -- but this does not sound like you.

If you go over to YouTube, you can do a search for a video that shows a seemingly nice J-30 being crushed and destroyed at a waste processing facility. You see what appears to be a decent boat being torn to pieces by a backhoe, with the owner onlooking. What the photos don't and can't show, is the extensive rot inside the hull that would have cost many times the boats market value to repair. The photos you have can't show that sort of damage either.

Second, based on what little we and you know about this boat from the photos and history provided above, there is plenty of available info that would cause anyone to pause on this boat. College boats generally take a beating, and often don't get lavished with attention. The photos confirm that this will be a serious project boat.

Third, you received some VERY VALUABLE advice from "Tommays" above. You are new here to SailNet, so let me vouch that Tommays could be considered our "resident expert" on J24s. He has raced and owned multiple hulls for many years. He knows these boats. You should give great deference to his opinions.

Finally, there is your circumstances as a college student. Taking on the expense of a keelboat right now would be a major financial drain and distraction.

But the good news is, if you want to get into racing, you should be able to with little difficulty. What you need to do is get the word out at your nearest J24 or J22 fleet that you are seriously available to crew. Then show up early to help get the boat ready before the race, and linger afterwards to help clean it up and put her to bed. If you show-up consistently, you will be asked back consistently. You will learn a lot about racing and boat ownership and expenses. And you will probably get some good leads on well-maintained boats that might be coming available after you graduate.

Take a pass on this one. There will be other nicer examples in the future, when timing is better.
 

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You will find J24s in 3 price ranges

1. LOW: what your looking at now

2. MEDIUM: One like my boat that needs a LOT of elbow grease and a fair amount of money BUT you have GOOD sails which is a BIG deal because there really costly even USED compared to other boats

A new set of 4 new sails at 1700 dollars EACH is reaching allmost 7 K with good used ones about 1/2 that price

3. HIGH: These boats have had bottom and keel work done(10K in value) and pretty much everything on the boats is close to NEW and they will be in the 15 to 25 k range and UP
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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Having just gotten to sail a J-24 a couple of weeks ago for the first time, I have to say that these are super fun to sail. Just a blast.

I've sailed on the J boat a couple of times in the last weeks. How did I get to sail on these so regularly? The sailing club I go to has a couple of these boats. Lots of sailing schools/clubs use these and have them available for charter. It would be a far better idea to join a sailing club while you are in school and pay to play as it were. Once you graduate and are gainfully emploeyd, you can buy your boat and will have the added benefit of being certain of what you want on a boat.

I'm no expert on condition by any stretch of the imagination but the photos of the water damage to the boat are fairly obvious to me. One of the things I first started looking for when boat shopping was interior water damage. Even before I knew a shroud from a backstay, I figured you did not want evidence of water inside the boat. Water damage inside boat= leaky boat. Leaky boat= not fit for purpose. :)
 

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IMHO The key question is the hull and deck situation. If there is significant water penetration with lots of core rot and or delamination esp. if there is oilcanning then forget it.

Minor blistering or the odd bit of rotted plywood will not stop you sailing. You aren't going to win many [ANY] races but you will be on the water, as most J24 fleets are very competitive with boats down to minimum weight and new sail wardrobes every year.

There is a good thread somewhere on Sailnet about buying cheap boats and getting them fixed up enough to sail without spending big bucks. They may even take less than what they are asking!
.

Here is a link to used bits and pieces International J/24 Class Association > IJCA Forums > General Interest > Accessories For Sale
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the responses. The boat isnt TOO far (about 300 miles), I just dont think I can find the time to take a drive at this point in time. To Tommay, if I were to see it in person, what would be some tell tale signs to keep an eye out for? Obviously look at interior rot, see if there is more than pictured. Also, how would I be able to tell if the deck's core is wet? Would the laminate be blistering or cracking in these areas? The owner seems fairly negotiable on the price, but does this boat seem too far gone to use even recreationally? Im so persistant because I simply want to get on the water with something I can hopefully race in the future.
 

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J/24 #140 - Renovation

This is the best one i have seen on the work needed on and old hull





Thanks to Rich & Andrea

The BIG issue is that the old hatches LEAK no mater WHAT you do and the boats DO NOT have a SUMP to collect the WATER like the post mid 1980 boats

I LOVE the boats BUT the early boats were a MESS and i have seen a bunch that never got the upgrades which can cost a LOT of money JUST in materials
 

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Some thoughts,
I sailed in college and can not imagine owning a keelboat at that point in my life. Short of a trust fund, keeping a good boat maintained is a lot of time and money and would be behond the resources of most students. This is not a good boat. It is hard to imagine a harder life for a boat than one used by a college team. Most college racing is not on keelboats anyway, and this keelboat will not be competative without a LOT of money. For the amount of money they are asking you could buy a competative used laser, get a new sail, and be racing by next week in a class that probably already exists in your area. The money you save by not storing and maintaining a keelboat could be used to charter one for longer trips etc. Sorry to be so negative, but I sailed lasers for years, including in college, and now that I am gainfully employed have a keelboat. I still have a small boat (laser 2) and love both.
 

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If you're going to go look at a boat, I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether the boats you look at are even worth going forward on, saving you the price of a survey for boats that aren't worth looking at further.

Thanks for the responses. The boat isnt TOO far (about 300 miles), I just dont think I can find the time to take a drive at this point in time. To Tommay, if I were to see it in person, what would be some tell tale signs to keep an eye out for? Obviously look at interior rot, see if there is more than pictured. Also, how would I be able to tell if the deck's core is wet? Would the laminate be blistering or cracking in these areas? The owner seems fairly negotiable on the price, but does this boat seem too far gone to use even recreationally? Im so persistant because I simply want to get on the water with something I can hopefully race in the future.
 

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You need to ask a couple of basic, but very serious questions before undertaking rebuilding an inexpensive sailboat. (I am currently in the midst of doing my second wrecked boat)

1) DO you have somewhere you can work on it? A backyard, a shed, an old barn? Is it close enough to where you live to go over a number of times every week? (This rebuild will be a loud, messy process which will cause some inconvenience for any neighbours nearby.)

2) What do you have in the way of tools? At a bare minimum you need a grinder, drill, orbital sander, shop vac, and some basic hand tools (screwdrivers, wrenches)? May not seem like much, but I have gotten away with just those and a swiss army knife.

3) Have you put together a budget for the whole project? The boat may only be $2000, but that is the starting point. Every time you go and spend $5 on sandpaper, sanding disks, etc., it adds up. Have you priced bottom paint, lines, hardware? This is a major financial undertaking and the purchase price is the starting point for your budget.

4) Are you willing to undertake recoring the deck? If the core is wet, you will have to cut off the top skin on the deck, remove the rotten core, replace it, and reglass it (or replace the original skin you cut out). MAJOR JOB!

5) Are the bulkheads rotten? Another major job replacing these. Done right, 30 hours work (I am assuming you have never done this and will take a little longer than someone who has done it before) and about $300-$400 in wood, epoxy, and glass. It has to be done right,it is a racing boat.

6) Do you have available time to do this? In your post you state that you do not have enough time to drive to look at the boat. The boat does not repair itself once it arrives; it requires a huge dedication on your part to do the work and do it correctly. Make a list of all the jobs you think need doing, add up all of the hours to complete these jobs, and then TRIPLE this number. That should give you an idea of what is involved. When I bought my last boat, I told the guy I bought it from that it would require 250-300 hours of work. He thought I was just trying to bargain him down, as he believed with 20-30 hours the boat would be fine. So far , I have over 200 hours in and the finish line is not in sight yet.

Please, I am not trying to scare you away from doing this project, but I want you to be aware of the commitment of time and money required to do this correctly. Lots of people like the idea of reviving an old boat; go onto Ebay and you can find a lot of those projects for sale half completed! I think you have to love rebuilding the boat as much as you do sailing one.

Good luck!
 

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I'm so persistant because I simply want to get on the water with something I can hopefully race in the future.
I hear ya, but trust all of the posters who are describing how much time and money it will cost you to get that thing in the water and sailing, don't even think about being competitive.

For my two cents worth, I'd suggest finding a dingy fleet that races near you. Laser, Albacore, whatever... You should have no trouble finding one under your $2000 budget that will be able to give you that instant gratification of getting you out on the water *now*.
 

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J-24

Keep looking the market is in your favor. When I was younger I managed a yard that sold J-boats. I have done many bulkhead jobs on j-24s not too bad to do. Even recoring is not to bad. J-boats are very simple to maintain and make go fast. I did all the prep, rigging, fairing, Awlgrip on Charlie Scott's J27 that won the MORC nationals also the J41 that he won SORC with.
 
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