Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Elizabeth First Gilmpse

I had been watching Elizabeth online for about a year. Originally she was priced in the 20K range and so was a bit out of my league, though not by much. After the Pearson deal fell through I looked again and she was down to 15K. Now we were talking. I went to see her on July 13th, fully six months after I first started looking for a new boat.

I only spent about two hours looking over her and knew she was the one. The asking price seemed about right, about 3 grand below blue book and I figured she had about 3 grand of work needed to get her seaworthy again.

Her story is short -- she was purchased in Rhode Island and was sailed extensively by her original owner. About a year and a half before I found her she was purchased and trucked to Baltimore. Her new owner intended to fix her up and live aboard. Sadly, he lost his job and had to relocate to Texas where new employment awaited. He did not want to truck her down there. So she sat on the dry for a year and a half, untouched.

The soft spot is between the hatch and the mast.
Looking her over I had only two concerns: the viability of the drive train and moisture in the deck. The drive train was, as before, a required condition of any offer. There was already evidence of moisture in her deck - a large soft spot just forward of the mast. There was a hole in the deck that was not well sealed and water had obviously found its way in. There was also a spot where one of the stanchions was bent and the lamination around its base had cracked and lifted -- there was obviously water there, though no delamination. I figured where there is a little water there is a lot of water.

The condition of the keel was also a concern, as rust was showing through the bottom paint and there was a crack along the length of the hull to keel joint. I worried that the joint was compromised and perhaps the keel bolts would have to be replaced. The bolts are stainless and looked good in the bilge, but crevice corrosion at the joint was a real possibility.

Overall she was in better shape than the Pearson, and I reasoned worth the few gran more I would pay for her. I offered 14.5K for her.

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