Can any C27 owners please give me some feedback as to what I should be looking for? I found a clean C27 that seems almost too good to be true for the price and I'd be interested in seeing what most owners would be most concerned about.
It has minor Catalina Smiles on front and back of the keel but they are small and don't appear to be bad. The keel bolts are rusted more than I would feel comfortable with to tighten them but they are only rusted on the threads- they look structurally solid and the spot where they touch the hull in the bilge feels/looks solid.
The engine is an Atomic 4 that I'm going to start soon to listen to it.
The interior is in good shape although it is obvious it has been sitting for a while. Nothing major, just a good cleaning would go a long way.
The bilges are all dry except for the center one where there is approximately 1/2" of water where the bilge pump can't pull any lower.
The hull appears to be very solid with only bottom paint required. The deck is very solid with no sags or soft spots when I walked around.
The rigging is all complete and has two sails- one mail and one 150% furler jib.
I noticed that a few of the life line posts are slightly loose and are likely leaking a bit. That seems like a very easy fix.
The fuel tank has surface corrosion on the outside and is made of aluminum. It appears to be in good shape but who know what lies inside.
The head appears to be in good shape and some of the fittings for the tank, through hulls, etc have been replaced sometime recently judging by their appearance.
This is what I have noticed so far. I wasn't sure if there are any specific trouble areas on C27s to look for...
Welcome to SailNet. The C27 is a remarkable boat for the price, with 6000 produced and still sailing. They probably can't handle the worst conditions, but they're easy to sail, fairly fast, and best of all, fairly easy to maintain.
When buying a boat, really the most important things are the condition of the hull and rigging, and the condition of the motor.
So, the general concerns I've heard about are insufficient support for shrouds, and deck delamination. Walk around on the deck and check for spongy or squishy spots. Repair of this problem is challenging and involves not sailing for a while. There's lots of related info on this forum. The upper shrouds should be fastened to chainplates which run through sealed holes in the side decks and bolt with many many bolts to the bulkheads. Older C27s had the upper shrouds bolted through the side decks to backing plates, like the lowers. I have no idea how difficult it would be upgrade the older system, though I believe Catalina used to sell kits.
As for the motor, if it's old there's probably a lot wrong with it, unless the PO can give you evidence of maintenance. Don't assume that just because the PO or broker started it up for you, it will start up when you try it yourself. Motors are remarkably reliable -- if properly cared for. It's hard to check the condition of a carburetor, impeller, or starter motor with just a ten-second start and run test. On the other hand, a bad motor is not expensive to replace (I used a $1000 4 hp last season while the 10 hp was out of commission) or repair, if you can do the work yourself.
One of the things I'm not happy with on my boat is the state of the wiring, which should be neatly tucked away but in my case is sort of... hanging around everywhere. Fortunately this is something you can also fix yourself.
More things you can fix yourself: worn rigging (buy a splicing kit and learn to use it), minor sail damage (anybody can sew), tiny pockmarks in the gelcoat (spinnaker poles and anchors on deck will turn your gelcoat into swiss cheese; not structurally problematic if dealt with early, and not a job that you need a professional for).
Just because the price seems too good to be true, doesn't mean it is, especially nowadays. Just don't let the juicy accessories (like sails) distract you from the important stuff (hull and motor). Also, use that money you're saving to get a thorough surveyor.
I sail a C27. They are great boats as far as I'm concerned. But, bear in mind that I've been sailing for about a year and can only compare to other boats I've occasionally sailed (O'Day, Hunter). There are other more experienced guys around here that can give you a more informed opinion.
Thanks guys. I appreciate the valuable feedback and advice.
Adam- the deck is rock solid. I walked all over it and it felt like I was walking on concrete. I also agree with you on the wiring, it didn't impress me with it's organization or layout. That will be something of attention for me.
I actually decided to put a deposit down on it. I figured that at it's price and basic condition it won't last long. The seller seems to be a very straight forward guy and he described the boat exactly as I found it. As almost everything seems to be in workable condition, I don't think that whatever could or is wrong with the boat could offset the general price too much.
I figure that even if the Atomic 4 is having serious issues the costs involved in rebuilding/replacing those motors is pretty low and maintenance on it is very simple.
I should be taking delivery sometime this weekend!
I didn't put a condition of having a survey. I'm no surveyor, but I did crawl all over this thing for an hour trying to find something wrong. Hull, deck, and rigging wise it seems quite solid. My only concern is going to be with the Atomic 4 which I don't think will be too much trouble.
In addition to walking around on the deck, take a screwdriver handle and tap around the deck fixtures to see if there are any dull sounds which could indicate water damage. Check the inside bulkhead along the sides and bottom for rot. Not a bid deal to repair just time consuming. The stantions I believe are not in a cored section of the deck so being loose will not cause a deck problem.
I would be most worried about the keel bolts, there are a couple of post showing nasty corrosion below the nuts. I would pull one nut and look to see if there is major damage to the bolt below the nut.
The boat does have the Cat smile so the keel bolts are something of attention for me. Since it is a 77 I intend on removing the keel bolts to get access to the wood in the keel stub but I think that will be a project for this winter.