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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I are l going to look at a Dana and I was wondering if any Dana owners could shed some light on what we should keep our eyes open for. We will request a survey but other than that are there any issues with the '89's we should be aware of? Any comments on the boat would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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We owned an '86 for a number of years. They are nice, solid, easy to sail boats, offering the feel and most of the amenities of a much larger boat.

PSC puts their aluminum fuel tanks in the deep bilge area. This is a good location from the point of view of ballast and storage, but one down side is that the tanks are exposed to the corrosive effects of bilge water. So definitely have the fuel tank checked carefully. The good news is that the tanks are easily removed for repair or replacement -- no destruction necessary. Many boats of that era have had the tanks replaced already.

An '89 should have the newer design rectangular portlights. If so, you're in luck because these generally have less maintenance issues than the older (prettier) oval style portlights.

If the boat has oval portlights, then more than likely the boat was built in '88 (with an '89 model year designation). You can confirm this with the tenth digit of the H.I.N. (if the tenth digit is an "8", then the boat was built in '88, if a "9", then built in '89). The reason I mention this is that those were the transition years when PSC switched over from polyester to vinylester resins in the outer laminate layer for improved resistance to osmotic blistering. So if the boat was built with polyester resins, you should mention this to the surveyor so he/she can check more carefully for blistering. Generally not a big issue, though.

Hopefully this boat has the nice dedicated propane locker in the port quarter. That is a nice feature, as well as the adjacent anchor locker. Double anchor rollers forward are also nice to have.

Some Danas had the optional aft water tank. I have mixed views on this one -- since I would be reluctant to give-up the cockpit locker space. The standard forward tank is already quite large. But if you need the tankage, it would be good to have.

Check the condition of the sprit. If it has been well treated (paint/varnish/other) it should still be going strong. But I have seen some that were neglected and in need of attention.

Those are just a few points that come to mind. If I think of others I'll post again. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks John. I really appreciate you taking the time to post this. I have found another post for the same boat which says it is an '88. We will certainly take our time looking it over and having it surveyed.
Kelle
 

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You're welcome, Kelle.

There are quite a few highly knowledgeable PSC owners here on Sailnet, so be sure to ask away as questions come up.

I saw this comment on another thread:

My husband is 63 and I am 50. We are buying our first sailboat and we are planning on enjoying his retirement. Age is just a number as long as you are proactive with your health, diet and exercise. We decided to do this after taking sailing lessons and I saw the look of contentment on his face. We don't want to have regrets at the end of our lives and too many people get hung up on age. Go out there and enjoy yourselves now while you are able... You only get one short walk around this block of life. Make it a good one.
I was somewhat curious about your planned itinerary. Given your experience levels, I think the Dana would be a great boat for the two of you for coastal cruising and short-medium distance ocean crossings (Bahamas, Bermuda, Carribean, etc). The modest size makes it easy to handle short-handed and contributes to affordability, yet it has enough heft to inspire confidence.

But if you are planning some serious ocean passages (trans-Atlantic, etc), you might be better off with more waterline, tankage, etc.
 

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We plan on cruising the coast of New England and possibly up to Canada at some point; down the coast to FL and possibly to the Bahamas. We have no plans to do a trans-Atlantic crossing.
 

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We plan on cruising the coast of New England and possibly up to Canada at some point; down the coast to FL and possibly to the Bahamas. We have no plans to do a trans-Atlantic crossing.
If you don't have a 2nd tank, you will need to monitor your water usage
carefully and probably carry a extra jug or two.
Tom
 

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We plan on cruising the coast of New England and possibly up to Canada at some point; down the coast to FL and possibly to the Bahamas. We have no plans to do a trans-Atlantic crossing.
I think the Dana would be ideally suited for this itinerary. The previous owners of our Dana (a couple) had taken it up and down the east coast in much the same way you plan to.
 

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I think the Dana would be ideally suited for this itinerary. The previous owners of our Dana (a couple) had taken it up and down the east coast in much the same way you plan to.
You will have to develop patience, you won't be able to go as fast
and hence as far as the longer waterline boats, but the good news is
your shallow draft opens up anchorage space. The lack of speed becomes
an issue in S. Florida ICW because all the bridges are on a schedule and
designed so a boat that goes 5+ knts can make all the openings with little
delay. Depending on tide, you won't be able to do the 5+ knts and will
have long delays waiting for next opening or slow yourself way down.
To go anywhere in a small sailboat safely, you need time and patience.
If you don't have either, might want to consider a motor boat.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess that is the beauty of being retired and sailing... no time constraints ;) . I would rather paddle my kayak than use a power boat...
 
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