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How old is too old?

Sep 21, 2020
103
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
There is a 35 ft Pearson Alberg for sale on Craigslist, built in 1961. It looks to have been very well taken care of, balsa core replaced, looks like new, frankly. The question is - is there a life expectancy for something like this? And yes, I would have it surveyed, but I'm not sure I would trust something that old. On the other hand, for $25K, I could probably sell the engine, electronics, and fittings and not get hurt too bad. Thoughts/opinions? Pearson Alberg 35 - boats - by owner - marine sale
 
Jan 4, 2010
968
Farr 30 San Francisco
Surprised it has balsa. I think those old boats were overbuilt as FG was a new material. $25k seems a pretty high price.
 
Sep 21, 2020
103
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
Surprised it has balsa. I think those old boats were overbuilt as FG was a new material. $25k seems a pretty high price.
Agreed about the price, but assuming I can get to a reasonable price - does it have 20 years left, so do I want it at all even for free?
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,178
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
Tehani was built in 1961. I had to do a bunch of repairs as she hadbeen abandoned for15 years. But sincethen Ihave put 12,000 cruising miles on her, and in numerable daysails
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,860
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Do a thorough and professional survey. The age isn't as important as the condition. How old the boat is might tell you some things to pay attention to, but it doesn't say anymore about the boat's condition than it does with old sailors. Some need to retire early while other are as vigorous and capable as they ever were. Let the boat tell you if it's too old.

-Will
 
May 29, 2018
291
Canel 25 foot Shiogama, japan
On the other hand, for $25K, I could probably sell the engine, electronics, and fittings and not get hurt too bad.

With a plan like that you could really get hurt.
Transport costs.
Disposal of the hull costs.
Storage costs while you are waiting for someone to walk in and buy your gear.

I would have it surveyed, but I'm not sure I would trust something that old.
I am old and you can trust me.!!! (just kidding)

Buy it and sail or find a better way to spend your time and money.

gary
 
Oct 1, 2007
1,724
Boston Whaler Super Sport Pt. Judith
There is a 35 ft Pearson Alberg for sale on Craigslist, built in 1961. It looks to have been very well taken care of, balsa core replaced, looks like new, frankly. The question is - is there a life expectancy for something like this? And yes, I would have it surveyed, but I'm not sure I would trust something that old. On the other hand, for $25K, I could probably sell the engine, electronics, and fittings and not get hurt too bad. Thoughts/opinions? Pearson Alberg 35 - boats - by owner - marine sale
To me she looks beautiful. She looks like a boat who has been cherished and cared for meticulously. The only concern I could think of if she is insurable, at least for liability and fuel leaking.
Otherwise, don't overthink it. I think she will sell fast. $25k is peanuts in the boat market.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,740
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
so do I want it at all even for free?
Unlikely to get the price down to free. A free boat is almost never worth the price.
That said she has a pretty shape. Appears cared for. Lots of detail in the listing. Guessing the owner has a bit of pride wrapped up in the boat.

Key elements for me if I was to go sailing with her,
  1. Is the hull sound
  2. Is the standing rigging sound. The Norseman fittings are nice but will fail if not properly constructed
  3. Will I be satisfied with doing 5-6 knots
  4. There will be a fair amount of maintenance on the boat, Is that my thing?
 
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dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,770
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
From my perspective, I would not be so concerned with the age from a structural standpoint but rather a design standpoint. Do I want a narrow full keel boat? Do I want a boat that likely doesn't perform very well in light air? Do I want a boat with all the design constraints inherent in that 1961 design?

If the answer to all those questions are yes, then I'd go look at the condition of the standing rigging, running rigging etc., etc.

If all that checks out, and I'm happy with the fundamental design and condition of the boat, I'd begin negociating on price based off the actual condition of the boat.

Hard to give any numbers here as I don't know all conditions. The posting said the instruments are having intermittent communication problems...

dj
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,776
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I think if you like the design, and the boat has been well cared-for, it is fine. Get a survey to make sure there are major underlying issues, and take the plunge.

Cheers,


Greg
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,600
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
Replies 9 and 10, among others, seem like a really good way to view this. The basic FRP construction will likely last another 40 years. Or, a lot longer
Most of the time a "classic" boat design, whether a vintage runabout with a flathead engine, or an older sailboat design, is attractive the way (sort of) that a 50's sports car or a 40's light airplane might be...... a little bit like falling in love... !
If you have the budget and family consent, or at least informed agreement, go for it. :)

And no, I do not have the $$ for a sports car, and a plane will be forever out of reach. We did just use our pandemic year to do a full re-fit of our boat, tho. :waycool: Next, we hope the Canadian border will open up for some more cruising, at least by by 2022.
Remember the old saying about being "all dressed up and no place to go"? Now, it's "all vaccinated and nowhere to sail"........ (sigh)

ps: just read the ad and scrolled the photos. The low hour engine is almost worth the asking price. That's a nicely equipped boat. IF it's the style and 'look' that you want. It's all personal:
Some folks like a decent microbrew Lager and others have to have an IPA that will curl their hair! :) They are both 'right'.......
 
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Nov 12, 2009
169
J/ 32 NCYC, Western Lake Erie
Since you're questioning the merit of buying a 60 year old boat you might also think about potential buyers in another 5 or 10 years if/when you decide to sell. You might be the one trying to find someone willing to accept a "freebie".
 
Jun 16, 2020
60
Hinckley Sou’wester 30 Falmouth ME
Agree with all the above. We have a 1963 Sou'wester. It has been kept in good shape its entire life and we have taken over its stewardship. We had a survey done before we bought her and the report was positive - only minor issues.

The one thing I have heard is the manufacturers were less familiar with fiberglass in the 60’s so they generally made it thicker than what boat makers are using today to make lighter and faster boats. So perhaps the boat is heavier, but their hulls are pretty tough.