Boat swap - C22 and J24

Jul 25, 2019
26
Catalina 22 914 Honolulu, HI
I purchased a bargain basement 1971 Catalina 22 about a month ago, with the thought that it was structurally sound and just needed some above the water work that I could do myself over time, while getting more experience sailing (I'm a novice). Unfortunately, after having a diver attempt to clean the bottom, I have learned the boat is in need of a haul out to remove the heavy barnacle growth and have blisters removed and a new paint job. Additionally, I'm confident all the keel hardware needs to be replaced, at a minimum. Not sure if the keel needs structural repair. Based on information I have so far, the haul out with cleaning and paint job will cost about $3500. That is not including any work on the keel. Only paid 1200 for the boat to begin with.

I've now come across a 1979 J/24 that looks to be in good condition, aside from some cosmetic issues. The current owner has offered to repaint the bottom and sides (for extra $, fine) and assures me it is in good sailing condition and he races it frequently. This weekend I'm going to inspect it underwater and we're going to sail it.

It has the original vermiculite sump material, which does have a few cracks. My question is: if the boat is structurally sound and sails well, am I crazy to buy it knowing that it may need the vermiculite removed and replaced one day? If it's hung in there for 40 years, I guess there's no reason to believe it's going to suddenly fail.

Not planning to race. My wife and I just want something we can sail around O'ahu and maybe take to some of the other islands one day down the road when we are more competent. Thanks!
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,061
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Be careful about old J24s many have been raced hard and put away wet. A significant area of concern is the deck. A 40 year old J24 has probably had much of its hardware moved with the balsa core becoming wet and rotted. I've sailed on a 24s where the deck felt like a trampoline or perhaps a well used mattress. It might be a boat to sail around Kaneohe Bay, but certainly not a boat I would take across the Molokai Channel.

Stick with the Catalina 22. Unless the Marina has rules against it, you can do this work yourself. Or buy a trailer and take it home and do the work in your driveway. The 22 owners will know more about the swing keel, however, it is iron and probably rusted in there. With proper technique and time, I'm pretty sure it will yield to the right persuasion. And for what it's worth, I would be hesitant to sail the 22 to other islands. The inter island channels can be wild.
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,136
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 Portland OR
NOT trying to single out the OP..... but this narrative points up the risk anytime anyone shops in the bottom end of the boat market.
Fixing up (or junking out) an old boat is more than money lost -- it's your Time Lost.
When in (any) doubt, get a survey. The cheaper the price, the more you need a survey. That's one reason why free boats are also always the most expensive boats.
(When you find a sail-able vessel on the cheap, remember that 'exceptions prove the rule'.)
:(

ps: given the open ocean conditions around and between the islands, I would also echo the advice to get a bigger and stronger boat.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
6,594
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
NOT trying to single out the OP..... but this narrative points up the risk anytime anyone shops in the bottom end of the boat market.
Fixing up (or junking out) an old boat is more than money lost -- it's your Time Lost.
When in (any) doubt, get a survey. The cheaper the price, the more you need a survey. That's one reason why free boats are also always the most expensive boats.
(When you find a sail-able vessel on the cheap, remember that 'exceptions prove the rule'.)
:(

ps: given the open ocean conditions around and between the islands, I would also echo the advice to get a bigger and stronger boat.
:plus:

Right, the $1200 you paid plus the $3500 for the paint and the $1500 for keel hardware and you are at $6,200. You could have purchased an awesome weekender for that price... ready to sail.
 
Jun 25, 2004
511
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
How do you know there are blisters? Did the diver find them after cleaning the bottom?

I’d ignore blisters on a 40 year old boat. The boat won’t fall a part unless the hull laminate is peeling off in hunks.

Just sand the bottom and apply some new aantifouling bottom paint. Please Make sure you don’t pollute when you sand it. Or have a boatyard do it for you. I don’t know what yard costs are in Hawaii, but I’m guessing it’s around $1800 -2500 to have the bottom done in a yard. That’s what a bottom paint job for a C22 would cost around here in San Francisco Bay.
 
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Jul 25, 2019
26
Catalina 22 914 Honolulu, HI
Points taken. Selection here is limited, especially in the sub-$10k range. I had been on a waiting list for a slip in the local marina for 18 months, and had to place a boat in the slip within 14 days of accepting the slip or lose my spot. So, I acted fast on the lowest priced boat I could find, but didn't really do my due diligence.

The diver basically reported that the degree of barnacle growth was such that he could not clean it by hand and that all of the bottom paint was gone. He also said there were blisters and that the hull was "frozen" in place by the barnacles.

I may not be thinking rationally, but at this point, paying $2750 for a different boat, if we like the way it sails (which we should sort of find out on Saturday) seems reasonable compared to the wait for a sport at the boatyard (Dec 16 as of today) and the cost of at least $3500. I have not sailed on a J24 before, but people I have spoke to about it say it's an extremely fun boat to sail.

Thanks again.
 
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Jan 19, 2010
6,594
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
I once crewed on a sail from Molokai to Maui on a MacGregor 26S. It was a lumpy ride. We had to first cross the channel to Lanai to get out of the current working against us and then sail along the coast of Lanai to Maui. I caught the puddle hopper single prop. back to Molokai as the skipper was staying the night on Maui and I was not. I'm thinking the sail back with the current on your stern quarter would have been a blast but...:rolleyes:
 
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Nov 26, 2012
1,071
Hunter 34 Berkeley
The J-24 is a racing boat. Tender and not very comfortable. The C-22 would be better for day sailing and exploring. Pull the C-22 and do it yourself if you can.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,594
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
The J-24 is a racing boat. Tender and not very comfortable. The C-22 would be better for day sailing and exploring. Pull the C-22 and do it yourself if you can.
The OP said he had to keep a boat at the yard or loose his slip.
 
Jun 25, 2004
511
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
How much is the asking price for J24? Does it have new antifouling bottom paint? Does it have new sails? New sails will set you back at least $3500. New antifouling paint will cost $1500 and up if you hire some one else to do it professionally.

Btw, Bottom paint has nothing to do with preventing blisters. It’s another tern for antifouling paint. All boats that are kept in salt water need antifouling paint on a regular schedule. Bottom paint is a maintenance item, and needs to be redone every 1 to 2.5 years, depending on the quality of the paint used and the local conditions.

A boat with a properly done, recent anti fouling bottom paint put job will cost more. So you can either pay upfront at purchase, or pay to do it after buy the boat.

IMO, you really should educate yourself about boat maintenance costs before you buy another boat ina rush. The three most important things to consider when buying a boat older than 10 years are
1. Condition
2. Condition and
3. Condition
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,110
Marblehead Skiff 14' Greenport, NY
I'd take the J24 over the C-22 with a stuck keel and needing a bottom job. I don't know about local sailing conditions there but It's my impression that neither boat is suitable for open water sailing. I've often heard of the discomfort of the J-24 but I sailed on one for part of a season and didn't find it that uncomfortable.
 
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Jul 25, 2019
26
Catalina 22 914 Honolulu, HI
The J24 is going for $2750, with mainsail, genoa and spinnaker included. The current owner has a small boatyard that he is closing down and has offered to give me bottom paint for free and even offered to do the paint job for a little extra.

My primary concern with the J is the vermiculite material in the sump, where the keel bolts are located. I have read about issues with it becoming "soggy" over time and causing the keel to loosen. When I checked the sump on this boat, the vermiculite is rock hard, though there is some cracking. I plan to investigate this more when I go back Saturday, although I'm not sure how well I can investigate it aside from just how the boat functions. But, from a practical standpoint, if there is no keel loosening now, after 40 years, it seems reasonable to think there won't be any catastrophe for a couple more years.

At this point, we're really looking for something we can enjoy while we figure out how big a part of our life sailing will be. Getting a boat that we can sail right away for less than $5k seems like a reasonable deal to me, even if we have to confront major work a couple of years down the road. At that point, at least we should know whether we want to keep this boat and invest in some permanent fixes; buy a bigger, newer boat; or get out of boat ownership altogether. As Dr.Judy said, it will need new bottom paint in a couple years anyway, so the vermiculite problem (if it is a problem) can be addressed then.

I've heard the same about the discomfort of the J24, but I don't quite understand it. My dad had a C-22 about 20 years ago and always wanted a J-24, which he had sailed on a handful of times. As far as I can tell, you are sitting on a fiberglass bench when you are sailing either one. I understand there's more gymnastics involved in climbing around a J24 during a race, but I don't think we will ever do that. We're just looking for something that will be fun to sail within sight of the island. The J24 sounds exciting to me.

Any open water sailing we might do would be far in the future and only from one island to another (if we ever even did that). You can see Moloka'i from O'ahu. Room for bad things to happen, sure; but not exactly open ocean.

I appreciate all the thoughts. I'm trying not to do anything stupid! Hopefully any red flags will manifest themselves during the sea trial Saturday.
 
Dec 28, 2015
502
Laser, Hunter H30 Standard Tacoma
So your going to be a two boat owner? I recommend reading all of the posts to this thread in totality and maybe slow your roll a bit.
 
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May 17, 2004
1,880
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I wouldn't go for the J. You have a reasonably known quantity in the Catalina, assuming you've confirmed the deck, rigging, and sails are good. If the problems are limited to the bottom that's not a reason to essentially throw it away. Any boat will need the bottom repainted every year or two, and barnacles will build up eventually. The hull will need to be hauled to evaluate the bluster situation, but it's probably not a catastrophe, and it's certainly not a unique condition. If it were me I'd sail the boat as-is until the hull can be cleaned. If it's really so fouled that it's not usable I'd look for something to charter periodically until it can be hauled, rather than putting that money into a second boat. A second boat is going to bring its own problems and expenses, and getting it now just so you don't need to wait until the haul out in December seems risky.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
4,061
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Any open water sailing we might do would be far in the future and only from one island to another (if we ever even did that). You can see Moloka'i from O'ahu. Room for bad things to happen, sure; but not exactly open ocean.
Talk to some local sailors who have done the O'ahu-Maui trip. The channels between the islands can be worse than the open ocean due to currents and the wind funneling between the mountains. One of the worst is the Kona, Hawai'i to Maui route. The trade winds funnel between a 10K ft and a 13.5K ft mountain. Not much Aloha in the channel.
 
Jul 25, 2019
26
Catalina 22 914 Honolulu, HI
All good advice, thanks. We'll see how we feel after sailing the J on Saturday. Seems like it might be a fun ride. If we decide to go that way, we would sell the Catalina, not keep 2 boats. If we don't like the J or don't feel good about buying it, I think we'll hang onto the Catalina and maybe sail her a couple of times and see how bad the barnacles really drag us down, as @Davidasailor26 suggested. In the meantime, we can work on the top and see if anything great pops up on Craigslist. I do worry, though, about putting money into replacing rigging, etc, and then finding out she needs an entirely new keel or something crazy when she gets hauled out in December.

The Catalina has decent sails and the deck is solid, but all of the plywood in the cabin has been eaten by termites and the standing rigging needs to be replaced. The forward hatch is also completely dry-rotted, with a little bit of exposure of the internal deck plywood there, but no serious rot. So, plenty of work to be done aside from the bottom. But, I think that is all work I can do on my own. Even if I could get the boat to my house/yard, I don't really have any desire to sand the bottom or deal with the keel. I love to tinker, but that is maybe a step too far for me.

As far as the interisland trips: no need to worry about attempting anything crazy. We are NOWHERE near ready to try anything remotely like that. Just getting out in Waikiki on our own a few times is the first order of business. Doubt we venture past Diamond Head for at least a year.
 
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Aug 9, 2011
1,019
Beneteau 310 Cheney KS (Wichita)
I had my 1979 J 24 for 30 years and loved it. Should have kept it as a second boat for racing. We did the sump job. Mine was rock hard on the surface but had cracks and when we chiseled it out, found some of the vermiculite was mushy beneath the surface. We bought the "kit" from J Boats (now get it from their builder) to repair/reinforce the sump area and replace the cut out floor section with a teak and holly sole. It's not a particularly difficult or technical job but I elected to have "my fiberglass guy" do the work. Never regretted doing it and felt better about having all that sump area exposed where it was easy to keep clean and inspected.
Copy of J24_1427_0014_SML.jpg
J24_1427_0051_SML.jpg


I second the idea of having a survey. If that deck has not been cared for along the way, you will surely have mushy balsa core between the deck and the liner. Can be fixed from the inside relatively easily with no evidence of the repair when viewed from the outside. You can do a "poor man's" survey of the deck by tapping it with the handle of a screwdriver. A good solid deck will "ring"/sound solid but a wet one will sound like you are thumping a watermelon - dull thud and a wet deck when bounced on will feel like the trampoline the previous poster mentioned. Same test on the forward bulkhead up near where the chainplates are attached. You are looking for a wet bulkhead or one that has been wet and is dry rotted. I fixed the problem by installing an aluminum plate on the forward side and through bolting it to spread the load from the shrouds over a larger area on the bulkhead. I did this before the wet/soft bulkhead showed up so in my case, I never had to replace the bulkhead.

J24_1427_0004_SML.jpg
J24_1427_0011_SML.jpg
Recommend you go to the J24 Class association website and search for the "Buyers Guide/tips for buyers". There should be some documents there that list the things to look for and look out for when buying a 24. Great boat, for sure. Much better than the C22 based on my experience. The buyers guide will list all the modifications that should have been made along the way as J Boats and owners figured out what was underbuilt or could have been built better. Good luck and if you find the boat acceptable, enjoy.
 
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Jun 25, 2004
511
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
I find it hard to believe that you’re going to find a boat In good condition with good sails for less than the price of a set of sails. . The asking price on the J24 is less than what a suit of entry level replacement sails costs. I’m worried that you’re looking at a boat that’s going to cost you a lot more than you are planning for.

Take some pictures of the sails at the dock and a lot more pictures while sailing. Shoot from the foot of the sail looking up. Note the wind speed and whether you’re pointing or reaching or running. Try to get the windex at the top of the mast in the picture. Post them here.

And how’s the Outboard? Does the boat come with one? You’re going to need a reliable Outboard too.
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,061
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The Catalina has decent sails and the deck is solid, but all of the plywood in the cabin has been eaten by termites and the standing rigging needs to be replaced.
When you say all of the plywood inside is termite eaten, do you mean the bulkheads? the vertical pieces of plywood that go between the cabin sole and the headliner? Those are important structural pieces as they transmit the force of the rig to the hull, keep the deck from collapsing, and keep the sides of the boat apart.
 
May 23, 2016
808
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
gorilla.....I followed your posts on the C22 section and gave some advice. The C22 guys are great and have talked many newbies (myself included) thru most anything. However, this is the first I've heard of termites! The only EXPOSED interior plywood on that boat are the two bulkheads. That said, this is a wood cored deck, you have rot (or perhaps termites) in the fwd hatch surround. That would lead me to believe you could easily have termites in the cored deck, not good! AND, if they're in the deck, then they may be in the chainplate, maststep and stantion areas (all are adjacent to the bulkheads) - now we're talkin' safety & structural issues!

All this coupled with your significant bottom/keel issues suggests an intervention is needed. Cut your losses now, take a ride on the J (but don't buy it!), charter occasionally and see if you and your family actually enjoy sailing, all the costs (ongoing) and responsibility involved....2 cents....
 
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