I can answer the original question!
Ive recently have been bitten by the sailing bug and have taken a beginner sailing class and spend copious amounts of time reading about it on the internet. I'm looking to buy a boat before next season and ran across this listing on ebay for a 70's model Cape Dory 28.
And the answer is yes, it just might be (too good to be true). I bought that boat, sight-unseen. I placed what I thought was a low-ball bid (for a CD28 in good shape) and "accidentally" won the thing! Got out to see it last weekend, and after a good look around my impression can be summed up as: Not as good as I'd hoped, but not as bad as I'd feared.
The boat has been on the hard at least a year (nobody at the marina seems to remember, so I've heard a few different stories). There's a high-water mark inside a few inches above the floor, and I found everything under the settees still very wet, and a thin layer of mud. I also found the prior owner's maintenance and sailing logs, which each have exactly one page completed, all the way back in April 2005, when they bought the boat. I get the impression the boat hasn't been used much, if at all, since then. The varnish in particular has clearly not been touched in years, so any other maintenance is doubtful.
I had it surveyed this week, and the surveyor's initial reaction was "well, it's almost certainly worth the $4600." That was heartening, especially considering he assumed I'd be paying to have all of the needed work done, which I won't. The hull is in very good shape (dry), and the deck is in good shape, with just a couple of soft-ish spots. The cockpit floor is very wet, and will need recoring, although it feels fine underfoot.
He believes the hull-deck joint is leaking, which is a condition I hadn't seen to be a problem in the research I've done, but the starboard teak rub strake has all it's teak plugs removed, so obviously some work was being done there.
The engine does look nasty where the thermostat goes (as seen in pics), but he didn't seem too concerned about that, so maybe it's not as bad as I thought. He did note that the hoses needed replacing, but that's no surprise. Either way, when I bid I assumed a new (or rebuilt more likely) engine would be a strong possibility.
The mainsail looks brand spanking new. I really don't think it was used much, or possibly at all, since purchase. The genny is supposed to be of the same vintage, so I have high hopes for that as well, although it was too windy for me to try to unfurl it the day I was there. Even the old, original, sails don't look bad--well used but not bad at all, good spares.
There's a lot of new-ish running rigging on board, although much like the winches, I believe most of it is TOO BIG! The mainsheet looks brand new, but it's clearly larger than what belongs in that gear, and won't run freely at all. In fact, I'll have to pull it out of the cam-cleat to use it at all for the time being. So, good lines, which I'll end up having to replace anyway.
Oh, and as I suspected due to the carefully selected pictures, there's no marine head, just a PortaPotti. So she'll need a new complete and legal (my first!) head installation. I've never dealt with a PortaPotti, and I don't want to.
My first order of business is to get her across the Bay back to my (western) side. I've asked the marina to get the engine back into running (if indeed possible!) condition, and asked for a rigger to inspect and tune the rig. Even though she's going back on the hard immediately, I don't trust the condition of the engine, so would like to have some faith in the rig.
My apologies for the long post, but I'm hoping to get some good advice here over the next few months on what to do with what and how. I've been lurking here for some time now, so it's good to finally come out of the closet. This boat was on my short list of candidates to buy and go places on when my youngest graduates high school in a couple of years. I'd budgeted much more to begin with, but the market crash sort of changed that. In all the research I've done I've sort of concluded that I could spend $20K on an old boat, and end up needing another $15-20K to get her ready; or I could spend $5K on a boat, and still end up needing the same $15-20 to get to the same place. Am I delusional? Well, I bought this one, didn't I? :laugher
I guess I'm going to be doing more work that I'd hope--which I don't really mind except for the time issue. The exact issue which caused me to give up my last boat 8 years ago! Oh well.