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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the community...looking to purchase my first boat. I've found one that I'm interested in, but concerned about the condition of the mast as it runs through the cabin.

What I have found is some cracking in the fiberglass around the hardware coming from the deck. It feels solid when I push on it, as if there is no water damage, but the cracks themselves worry me. Also, the trim around the head area is cracked. It is a 1974...is this something to be expected with an older used boat?







Also, the portion of the mast in the bilge is concerning me. The bilge itself has a fair amount of water, which leads me to believe the pump is just not working or hooked up correctly. Regardless, there is alot of corrosion on the hardware and bubbling of the paint on the mast toward the bottom.





I intend to get a survey if I get serious, but I just wanted some opinions on these issues before hand. If it is a major concern and large expense, it would help me avoid the cost of the survey to begin with.

Thanks so much for any suggestions/comments!
-Steve
 

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Senior Member
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PLEASE go back and resize those images.. They are far too large and difficult to view, besides messing up the forum page.

Those cracks clearly show that something's shifted over time and a good surveyor can tell you how bad it is. The bilge appearance is, while not uncommon, also not a good thing.

What boat? What size?

But first things first... fix those images.
 

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I see you've used the SN gallery... pic image size is better managed by a site like Photobucket.. use the IMG code to embed the pic - it resizes appropriately.

Looking further at your pics it looks to me like the mast step is collapsing, and the deck strap is putting the downward load on the deck leading to those visible cracks in the headliner.
 

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Senior Smart Aleck
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Don't buy it. It is a buyer's market. There are plenty of good boats available. Why buy a problem/potential problem?

Think of the bilge as a battery. There are dissimiliar metals in a salt solution. Galvanic metal corrosion ensues. The lower metals degrade. You may have to cut the mast, install a foot, re-step and cure the water ingress problem. In addition, there may be a keel bolt problem from degradation.

On a keel-stepped mast, movement of the mast in column puts stress on the cabintop opening. There are supposed to be shims there preventing movement. Think of the mast as a giant lever pushing down on the keel and pulling up on the sides (shrouds) and ends (stays) of the boat. If there are too many poorly installed fittings in the area surrounding the mast which is not sufficiently strong, and too much mast movement, the fiberglass cracks. There are probably greater problem there than simply repairing the cracks.
 

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Pretty ugly pictures Gator. If you don’t mind me asking, what is the boat and the asking price? Link to a website? It looks like you have a lot of water intrusion where the turning blocks are through bolted near the mast partners. I would be very surprised if you didn’t have core rot around the mast. You have water damage on the bulkhead and sole. Most likely from a leaky port. If the source of that water is the through bolts/ mast partners, you got a serious leak (and problem). That amount of water in the bilge is also not a good sign as is the massive corrosion at the base of the mast.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry! Hopefully I have sized them correctly this time.

It is a Pearson M10 33ft - 1974

I have tapped on the mast itself and it seems sturdy, I am just concerned about the cracking along the top of the cabin, and the corrosion at the bottom in the bilge area. I don't know if this should make me turn and run, or if it is worth getting a surveyor involved since I am interested in the rest of the boat.

Thanks again!
 

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...
I have tapped on the mast itself and it seems sturdy, I am just concerned about the cracking along the top of the cabin, and the corrosion at the bottom in the bilge area. I don't know if this should make me turn and run, ...

Thanks again!
Run. Yes. As the others said above.

There are plenty of boats for sale. Move on to the next one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
James...those are good points about the deterioration of the metals in that area. I surely don't want to get into anything like that right off the bat.

George...the boat was online, but then they took it down as they had a potential offer. That offer fell through, so they called me back to come take a look. I haven't seen it reposted so I don't have a link, but the asking price at the time was 12k.

Everything else seems very solid throughout the boat. No idea what the bottom condition is yet. Just this mast issue is most concerning. Kind of a bummer to see this. :-(
 

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Sorry! Hopefully I have sized them correctly this time.

It is a Pearson M10 33ft - 1974

I have tapped on the mast itself and it seems sturdy, I am just concerned about the cracking along the top of the cabin, and the corrosion at the bottom in the bilge area. I don't know if this should make me turn and run, or if it is worth getting a surveyor involved since I am interested in the rest of the boat.

Thanks again!
Gator--Don't go there. Don't even think of going there. Don't even think about thinking of going there....
 
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grumpy old man
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We should talk.
The crack in the overhead is a crack in the headliner. No big deal.
Those stupid little washers can be replaced by a two piece big collar.
You might have to saw off the lower 1.35" of the mast and clean it up.
Maybe add a spacer there to make up for what you cut off. Easy.
 

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First of all it is a 40 year old boat, so expect some issues.

I don't see anything there that is major. The base of the mast is not pretty but I think it is mostly paint bubbling. Budget for pulling the stick and giving the mast and rigging a very close inspection. Even if the mast base is severely corroded that is an easy fix, just cut off a few inches and raise the mast step correspondingly. Cracks at the spreaders and or winches would worry me.

12 k seems quite a lot for 40 year old 34 ft boat, it better have a good diesel and a dry deck.

If you like the rest of the boat use those mast issues as negotiating items.
 

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Jeez there are some bodgers around.

Note the rust around MOST of the (non-stainless, looks like zinc-plated steel!) fasteners around the mast, so the bedding compound (if any was used) has failed. Expect a wet core in the deck, perhaps another reason for the cracks.

Too lazy to cut the bolts flush.

Too lazy to make proper backing plates out of stainless steel.

I wonder what else the previous owner has "upgraded"? If these were the only faults, you could budget for them and negotiate a discount for the repairs. However, I suspect there are many more horrors waiting to be discovered.
 

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If it is a major concern and large expense, it would help me avoid the cost of the survey to begin with.

It is if you are just going to write cheques for the repairs. If the boat is cheap and you could do the work yourself, it is not that big a deal, as Bob P. points out. It WILL be quite a bit of work - a month or more of all your spare time.

The mast has to come out. At a minimum the lower part will have to be refinished, possibly trimmed off. The step will have to have a lot of work done to clean it up or replace it. The deck will almost certainly be wet around the partners so it will have to be opened up and repaired and finally all that hardware will have to be remounted - properly this time.
 

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I appreciate what Bob Perry wrote! If you are near competent people, a decent yard and supplies (used, improvised) and the price is right, and you research the matter... it may take time. Probably will. Seen worse -- depends how into it you are. Can't quite understand why people say "run." Yeah, if a reasonable solution can't be figured out, sure. You seem interested so ...
 

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The boat is not properly taken care of. The bolts and nuts, the foot of the mast, even the hose clamps on the hoses of bilge pump, and the connection of two pieces of hose tells me to keep clear.
 
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