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How big of an issue is this???

Discussion in 'Ask A Catalina Owner' started by lostintime, May 29, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. lostintime


    Joined Aug 4, 2015
    27 posts, 5 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Gibralter Boat Yard
    I'm looking at an '84 Catalina 30 to purchase. It's a considerably dirty inside but cleanable. There is a crack in the keel and I don't know if it is a simple repair or a major issue. The crack is on both sides and is about 8 inches. It is located on the upper aft portion of the keel. The boat has been on the hard all last season and you can clearly see rust stains dripping from the crack. See attached photos.

    Simple question:
    Buy the boat? - Asking 12,000.00 can most likely get if for 10,000.00.

    P.S. How the heck do you crack the upper aft part of the keel without messing up the rudder?

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
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      2.3 MB
    • 2.jpg
      File size:
      2.1 MB

  2. Warren Milberg

    Warren Milberg

    Joined Dec 1, 1999
    2,356 posts, 96 likes
    Hunter 28.5
    US Chesapeake Bay
    A boat that is "considerably dirty" indicates an owner who doesn't care about a lot of things, visible and invisible, on his/her boat. Unless you are looking for a project boat that you can buy for bupkis, walk away. There are a lot of Cat 30's on the market that have been cared for and selling for reasonable prices.

    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  3. Roland5048


    Joined May 12, 2004
    1,131 posts, 350 likes
    Hunter Cherubini 30
    US New Port Richey
    Looks like she took a hard grounding at one point. Dirtiness aside, that would give me pause. I have to agree with Warren. Lots of Cat 30s out there.

  4. Joe


    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,571 posts, 370 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    The only way to really know is to grind off the paint and filler. I doubt the keel is cracked.... rather it is the fairing compound or barrier coat under the paint that is the culprit.

    That said, I agree with other comments that say this issue is indicative of previous owner neglect. Chances are other problems exist... you need a thorough inspection by a qualified surveyor. If this boat is a repo I can understand why it hasn't been fixed so you need to do your due diligence. If it's for sale by owner, why hasn't that owner addressed the problem? Ask him.

    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  5. AlastairLC


    Joined Jan 2, 2017
    392 posts, 119 likes
    O'Day 322
    US Lake Pleasant
    Catalina’s are know for their “smile” (crack where keel meets hull). This boat doesn’t look like it has one. This crack is something different and probably more serious. (Why is rust coming out of it?)

  6. jeepbluetj


    Joined Jan 18, 2016
    475 posts, 145 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Dana Point
    They made 6430 Catalina 30's. Pick another one, or get it cheap cheap cheap and be willing to scrap it - 'cause it looks to me like it's currently worth the salvage value of the lead. (I'm not an expert, however.. I could be very wrong)

  7. lostintime


    Joined Aug 4, 2015
    27 posts, 5 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Gibralter Boat Yard
    (Why is rust coming out of it?)[/QUOTE]
    Indeed.....that is the basis of my concerns.

    Thats enough replies to confirm my doubts. The boat was owned by two guys and one passed the winter before last, so the boat has sat with the shrink wrap on and no air movement. It would take a lot of effort to get the mildew smells out from down below. Anyway.....moving on. Thanks for the replies.

    JamesG161 likes this.
  8. JK_Boston_Catalina310


    Joined Nov 18, 2010
    2,000 posts, 98 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Hingham, MA
    My first glance feeling is that you are looking at a mostly cosmetic problem. Catalinas have lead keels (this is a good thing). The keel meets the hull about two inches above this crack (see the previous crack that has been repaired). The keel is then covered with a fairing compound (think plaster or bondo) to make it look smooth and uniform. From where this crack is I think your issue was in improper prep job on the fairing compound when it was redone following a "Catalina Smile" repair.

    The Catalina smile is cause by using wood in the laminate for the keel stub in pre-1988 boats. The bolts go through the wood and over time water got into the fiberglass sandwich and rotted the wood. The keel then sags and separates from the hull. The fix includes removal of the wood and replacing it with solid epoxy. The keel is typically dropped during this so the bolts can be checked or replaced. Then the whole keel is refaired and painted.

    My guess is water got behind the fairing and leaked out and cracked the fairing compound at the crack you see.

    Now the only way to know for sure is to grind off the paint and fairing compound and check the keel. Also check the keel stub in the bilge for moisture and signs of the repair (check for the same issue in the mast step while you are at it). If it were me and I felt the repair was fixable I would tell the seller about all the potential issues and say that either he can investigate them himself before you make an offer or take $2K for the boat.

    As others have said, you can get a boat in better shape for the money the seller is asking.

    Good luck and fair winds,


  9. Kermit


    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,826 posts, 2,025 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  10. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    3,481 posts, 1,602 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    knowing nothing else about it, I'd guess this boat is stored in a Northern state and you are looking at the results of a frozen water invasion of the keel. The fact that it seems to cut right around the aft edge makes me think there is a fracture, not a problem with the faring. It looks broken outward and water rusted material is escaping as it thawed. If this boat isn't in a Northern climate, than it hit something, something hit it or she is sitting too hard on her keel. But, ice is my guess.

    - Will (Dragonfly)

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