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'77 Cal 2-27 I'm looking to buy - what do you think?

Nov 30, 2020
12
Macgregor 25 San Francisco Bay
Hello! I recently found a 1977 CAL 2-27 for sale by the original owner, and I wanted to reach out the forum to ask a couple things before making the purchase,

First, photos:
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Here is the quote from the seller:
"WINDAGE is a Cal 2-27 fully loaded: North Sails, full batten main, lazy jacks, club jib with cockpit downhaul, spinnaker & pole, all lines to cockpit, full canvas covers, auto pilot, 12volt refer in galley, very good condition ATOMIC 4 (engine has hour meter), depth, knot, GPS, manual/automatic bilge pumps, (3) new batteries: house & starting. Check photos. Seller motivated - make reasonable offer "

Questions:
  1. What do you think? Anything stand out?
  2. Currently listed for $7500, does that sound right?
  3. What things do I want to check/ ask about when buy a Cal 2-27?
  4. Does it makes sense to get marine survey for something like this?
  5. What is that rig for the headsail called?
  6. Any other advice for buying?
Thanks so much for looking, any advice and/or cal 2-27 knowledge is greatly appreciated!
 
May 25, 2012
3,807
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
do not buy with a a proper marine survey. there is no way around it. it is a must do. :cool:
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,170
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
Looks well cared for. If the engine looks that good and runs well..... I agree with Jon on the survey unless you have a lot of experience with boats and can afford to take a chance on $7500.
survey may be required anyway for insurance and moorage.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,914
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Looks nice. If I had to nitpick: I don't like gasoline engines.
Any chance of inspecting below the waterline?
 
May 25, 2012
3,807
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
nice design, nice bling. what do you want to check on a 44 year old cal. the plywood used to make the deck will be needed to be checked for rot, the fiberglass around the keel will be needed to be checked for delamination. the chain plates for leaks into the deck core. the bulkheads must be checked for attachment to the hull. the hull deck seal must be checked. every base to all stanchions checked. rudder bearings. engine compression.
this is some of the usual stuff the need to be checked on a 44 year old boat.

boats are like roofs, the wear with time
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,991
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
We looked at the exact model and year back in 2004. I'm pretty sure the price had been reduced to less than $8,000 at that time, so the value seems about right. The boat we looked at was also in very good shape and somebody else made an offer before we did. We thought about it for a few days. We ended up with a 1984 Starwind 27 at about the same price.

What I remember about the boat that we didn't like:
1) Very shallow bilge & the flooring was basically the hull of the boat (sloping) except over the bilge cover. The complaint was that bilge water ends up on floor if there is just a little water in the bilge.
2) Atomic engine - not diesel …. not that I have anything against a gas engine. I just wanted to get familiar with diesel, figuring that any future boat would have diesel. As it turns out, the original engine in my Starwind was not in very good condition and after 10 years I put in a new engine.
3) No aft quarter berth - it did have very nice lockers from the cockpit. We wanted the interior space.
4) Tiller vs wheel was not really an issue, but we favored the wheel.

I remember it as a heavy boat … 7,000 plus for 27' is pretty heavy. The weight is stability … good. Despite the weight, it is recognized as a pretty decent performer, but not particularly speedy.

I would probably not bother with a survey for that boat unless there was something that stands out that bothers you. If it is as clean and un-abused as the photos look, it probably is well worth the money. You have to figure that you will have expenses and things to repair or upgrade for any boat that is 40 plus years. This one looks like it has been regularly sailed, and if it has been for 40 years, it's bound to stand up for 40 more! I'd assume that the jib boom is an added feature to the boat. It is very useful as a self-tacking jib. It may not have an overlapping genoa, but it has a spinnaker for downwind.

It looks like a very decent boat and the price seems right. If you snooze, you may lose!
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Justin_NSA
May 25, 2012
3,807
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
atomic four is a nice engine, check the 44 year old tanks for leaks.
standing rigging in the salt air. when was that replaced? spreader brackets and mast head shives. when were they replaced?

so, not all surveyors check all these things. get one that will!
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,991
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
atomic four is a nice engine, check the 44 year old tanks for leaks.
standing rigging in the salt air. when was that replaced? spreader brackets and mast head shives. when were they replaced?

so, not all surveyors check all these things. get one that will!
Leaking tanks can be a big problem. I have a question about the standing rigging. What do you do when you know its 20 plus years but there is no obvious faults? The surveyor isn't likely to tell you anything unless there is an obvious problem. The Seller isn't going to agree to any price reduction at this price, based on anything the surveyor might say about the rigging. When you buy a boat that is 20 plus years and the rigging hasn't been replaced, I figure that you are going to either sail it or replace it based on your own gut feeling. I replaced the forestay on our first 20 year old boat within the first year, then I waited another 12 years or so and replaced all of the standing rigging, for no other reason than I figured it was about the right time.

Now, I just bought a 20-year old boat and the surveyor said nothing bad about the rigging, and I don't see anything wrong with the rigging other than I don't like the stem fitting. Guess what … I'm definitely replacing the stem fitting this winter and I'm getting quotes for all of the standing rigging. I bought the boat with no expectation for a price reduction for 20 year old rigging, and full expectation that I am going to replace it soon.
 
May 25, 2012
3,807
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
scott, this is a 44 year old vessel in salt air that the OP is looking at. an inspection is just that. inspect every stay, inspect every fitting. anything less is not right. "feelings" has nothing to due with boat inspections.
scott, suggesting to any buyer that you do not need a survey is not a good idea. buying a vessel without a top quality survey is a fools game.

that's right! i said it! :cool:
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,914
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
"What is that rig for the headsail called?". Are you referring to a furler?

Practical Sailor did a review on these:
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,991
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
scott, this is a 44 year old vessel in salt air that the OP is looking at. an inspection is just that. inspect every stay, inspect every fitting. anything less is not right. "feelings" has nothing to due with boat inspections.
scott, suggesting to any buyer that you do not need a survey is not a good idea. buying a vessel without a top quality survey is a fools game.

that's right! i said it! :cool:
There probably would be a lot more expense involve in actually doing a rigger's inspection. A standard survey isn't going to cover it. No survey that I have known went up a rig to look at every terminal. They look for the obvious at deck level and that's it.

I'd bet that the owner is a pretty stand-up guy and probably replaced rigging on the boat at least once, maybe more. I'd simply ask and probably trust the answer. I provided the receipts for items like that when I sold my boat. Sometimes I get the impression that the responses imply that no buyer should expect anything less than a perfect boat and a survey is needed to guarantee a perfect boat.

I've got news … just about every 40 year old boat is going to be far from perfect, and no surveyor that I have ever heard of considered every defect a deal breaker. And I've also heard that a standard survey frequently misses plenty. I'd bet that most people know if they are buying or not, without bothering to consider the survey once they have it. If you know you are buying, why bother with it. I'd also guess that the purchase price isn't really a big risk.
 
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Oct 26, 2008
4,991
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
"What is that rig for the headsail called?". Are you referring to a furler?
It looks to me like under the cover there is a jib boom. He described it as a "club foot jib". I'm assuming that is an add-on to make the jib self-tacking. The biggest drawback would be that the jib can't be overlapping.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,914
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
There was a good point made that some insurers require one. The OP should check with his potential company
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,914
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
It looks to me like under the cover there is a jib boom. He described it as a "club foot jib". I'm assuming that is an add-on to make the jib self-tacking. The biggest drawback would be that the jib can't be overlapping.
I was trying to see more in the pics but not much there. The seller may have made it self tacking. A new overlapping genoa will come at the buyer's expense unless there is an old one stowed somewhere
 
Nov 8, 2007
1,392
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
Looks like a self tacking jib to me. Means that you can tack without touching the sails. The price is that the sail is probably a 90 jib. But the loss of foresail area is probably a good thing in the high winds of the Bay.

I agree with the value of a survey. It’s an assurance when you buy, often pays for itself in price reductions, and outlines your long term maintenance schedule for you.

We have cruised a ‘77 h27 for 21 years now. There are very few unique problems to one brand. So look for any evidence of water or corrosion damage. Fiberglass is very resilient, but impact damage is cumulative. Structural cracks around the keel, or bow or anywhere you can see would require follow up. Every deck penetration (mast, stanchions, etc.) is an opportunity for water to do long term damage.

If the standing rigging has not been replaced that’s a real issue. It’s unlikely to last more than 20 years in a salt water environment.

Looks well presented to me - could be a good opportunity. I’d write a survey into my purchase contract, with rights to cancel if the survey is unsat in your opinion.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,902
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Good advice, except for the survey stuff. In my own mind anything over $5,000 should get a survey. For a boat that size you're not looking at that much money to save you from a potential horror show. Your boat, your choie. :) and your money.

Have you Googled Cal 27? Do they have an owners association or google group? Always helpful to have that kind of assistance to avoid reinventing the wheel on the same horse. :)

Good luck. We had a C22 (5) and a C25 (13 years). Cals are nice boats, many in San Fracisco where I used to sail. Depending on where you're gonna be sailing, that club footed jib could be really handy. A lot of people here say big jibs are necessary for lite air, but I disagree:

Jib Size Selection
Jib Size Selection
 
Aug 7, 2018
179
Catalina 350 Great Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario
I am not sure I would spend upwards of a 1k for a survey on a 7.5k boat. That money could be spent on repairs if needed. If the original poster is a boat owner and has sailing experience he may have the best eye for the inspection. It's his money at risk. Surveys come with a 50/50 guarantee, 50 feet or 50 seconds.

Consider this: It's in the water and floats, if the motor runs and the sails are serviceable you are a long way into feeling good about spending $7,500 wisley. Sea trials with the seller may seal the deal.

He may want to hire the yard to haul the boat and inspect below the water line himself. He can "learn" what to look for above the deck for signs of water intrusion and core integrity. The yard may also be able to give the engine a look. I owned a 77 Cal 3-30. Nice boat, well built and a pleasure to sail.

Perspective: I would not spend 1k to get a 7.5k car inspected. I have paid for 2 surveys and found value in each but they did not find anything I wasn't already aware of from my own inspection, a review of available work orders, maintenance records and discussion with the seller. My surveys were required for insurance.
 
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Nov 30, 2020
12
Macgregor 25 San Francisco Bay
Thank you everyone for all the feedback and comments, this is a great forum

check the 44 year old tanks for leaks.
standing rigging in the salt air. when was that replaced? spreader brackets and mast head shives. when were they replaced?
Thanks for all the comments @jon hansen - Definitely checking all tanks for leaks/ general condition is on my list. I asked him today and he's not sure when the rigging was replaced, but the boat has been in the same sailing club since it was splashed in 1977 so he thinks he can find out when that work was done. Definitely need to check spreaders and other rigging. I'm expecting to have to put some money into it at some point though.

When you buy a boat that is 20 plus years and the rigging hasn't been replaced, I figure that you are going to either sail it or replace it based on your own gut feeling
Thanks for the thoughts/ comments @Scott T-Bird - I agree, this pre-purchase survey would be more of a hull inspection, as well as checking the head, plumbing, electrical and ultimately would be because the marina closest to me requires it. Totally agree I'll feel which parts of the rigging need attention while under sail and will just have to be ready to put some money into it

For a boat that size you're not looking at that much money to save you from a potential horror show. Your boat, your choie. :) and your money.
100% agree, thanks @Stu Jackson

Have you Googled Cal 27? Do they have an owners association or google group? Always helpful to have that kind of assistance to avoid reinventing the wheel on the same horse. :)
Also really good advice, there's definitely some Cal 27 groups here in the bay

Consider this: It's in the water and floats, if the motor runs and the sails are serviceable you are a long way into feeling good about spending $7,500 wisley. Sea trials with the seller may seal the deal.
All very fair points, thanks for your thoughts @daviddp
 

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
758
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
I am not sure I would spend upwards of a 1k for a survey on a 7.5k boat. That money could be spent on repairs if needed. If the original poster is a boat owner and has sailing experience he may have the best eye for the inspection. It's his money at risk. Surveys come with a 50/50 guarantee, 50 feet or 50 seconds.

Consider this: It's in the water and floats, if the motor runs and the sails are serviceable you are a long way into feeling good about spending $7,500 wisley. Sea trials with the seller may seal the deal.

He may want to hire the yard to haul the boat and inspect below the water line himself. He can "learn" what to look for above the deck for signs of water intrusion and core integrity. The yard may also be able to give the engine a look. I owned a 77 Cal 3-30. Nice boat, well built and a pleasure to sail.

Perspective: I would not spend 1k to get a 7.5k car inspected. I have paid for 2 surveys and found value in each but they did not find anything I wasn't already aware of from my own inspection, a review of available work orders, maintenance records and discussion with the seller. My surveys were required for insurance.
I would not spend upwards of $6k for a survey on a $7.5k boat. Or $9k for a survey on a $7.5k boat. Where does it say that a survey has to cost $1000? Even if it does cost as much as $1000, if it determines that the engine is not long for this world (as opposed to simply running during the survey or sea trial) that will avoid perhaps $10k of "surprise" replacement costs. A good ROI in my book.
 
Nov 30, 2020
12
Macgregor 25 San Francisco Bay
A little update - Talked to the guy today, he is 70 years old and is selling this after the recent passing of his wife. He is very kind and seems like a stand up guy. Apparently they loved this boat though and used to sail/ race it every weekend for years with folks from their sailing club. I am going to take a look at the boat tomorrow so I'll get to take a closer look

Here are some photos from Aug 2019 when the boat was out of the water last, currently berthed in a fresh water river:

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Kind of funny how stuff works - I have a little 2dr green jeep too, and we are both named Mike...

Will post an update here tomorrow after seeing the boat in person, hopefully with good news!

Thanks everyone :beer: