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Looking at a First 375

Jun 8, 2004
2,417
Catalina 320 Dana Point
Well the price is for sure in line, with what needs to be done. ( extremely under priced vs what I have found nationwide for any 375 First ) A few of my friends where I live, know the owner, and have giving me information on how he kept it. I am not trying to point at neglect, but seems to be overall comments I received for them.
I overall was not wanting to get into a project boat, but with the price on it, I am leaning towards worth it.
I think it's going to cost more to store and fix than it will be worth, and will prevent you from sailing for a long time. Sorry, try to never get emotionally involved with a problem boat that isn't your problem. A survey on that boat is going to be thick as a book, the owners list ain't half of it. Prices for other boats assume a "ready to sail" condition, it's going to take a lot of money to get this one even to that "low bar".
 
Jan 4, 2010
882
Farr 30 San Francisco
Well a little Bondo on the bow and it looks like he can go sailing tomorrow. If he wants nice floorboards he has to revarnish them. If he wants modern instruments he needs to go buy them. For the moment Navionics on a Smart phone is perfectly adequate chart plotter for day sailing. Assuming the motor works and he has an anchor for the emergency brake.
 
Oct 7, 2019
13
Beneteau First 375 Whitehall
Able to look at the interior yesterday. All new true meaning to neglect was found.
Companion way forward slider was left about three to four inches open. ( for about two years )
Standing water on the base of companion way stairs leading down, at the trim edge for the doors leading to the head and the aft cabin.
When stepping on the floor boarding, shifting popping noises heard from the boards, as they have all ended up swelling over the last few years. Water also coming up from the boards because of the weight. Pulling on the board rings only pulled the rings out of the floor boards because of the over time swelling. I had to take a knife and pry at the edges to pull the boards.
The entire boat, from bilge at the start of the V birth, to the engine area was water level with the floor boards. He had two new two years ago but now dead batteries onboard, manual bilge pump after two mins of pumping did nothing.
I went to my vehicle, and pull my deep cycle from my trunk that I had from winterizing my boat a few weeks ago.
Hooked up and turned on boat power, with the electric bilge pump kicking on straight away. Emptied apporix 20 plus gallons of water.
Problem being, that I believe the boat slowly shifted from sitting center ( ground level, not in the cradle ) as I emptied the bilge at the center of the boat, but only dropped water level in the galley apporix two to three inches down before the electric bilge pump shut down because then bilge there was dry.
The owner is sending up an employee to finish pumping out everything in the next few days.

The owner himself was unable to see the inside, and I showed him at the time only a few out of twenty some pictures I took. Am compressing a file with all of them to send to him.
Will attach a few here
 

Attachments

Oct 7, 2019
13
Beneteau First 375 Whitehall
One thing I did become concerned with would be the amount of water that could have entered the transmission. From what I can tell, it should have been okay ( comparing placement to motor water level ) if anyone can comfirm.
Sadly, wife is getting more and more set on this boat the more I find wrong with it.
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
1,900
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
If you do end up purchasing that boat, you aren’t going to have enough time to get it dried out before winter. Is there any possibility of getting the mast down and the boat into heated indoor storage? Is the boat in a yard where you are allowed to work on it during the winter (assuming you can get to it).
Are you going to take a chance on the boat without having a survey, which you are probably going to need in order to get insurance?

I am not trying to discourage you from getting the boat if you have your heart set on it. It may be well worth the time and effort. Just consider the fact that you may have to put some serious money and time into it, and some of the work may turn out to be above your pay grade. Its going to have to be a labor of love.
 
Oct 7, 2019
13
Beneteau First 375 Whitehall
The boat ( against my wife's wishes ) at this point is probably a dead no in terms of picking it up.
Where it is located in Michigan, there is no indoor heated storage ( I have checked already ) along with the few pictures I posted above, I sent over twenty in total to my surveyor I use ( any boat I where to pick up I would have surveyed by him ) and even my surveyor knowing the price I would be picking it up for is dead against it now.
Which he got a hold of me less then an hour ago, where he and I spend about a solid thirty mins discussing everything on the phone with each other.
As an investment, after bring it to Whitehall ( where I would have indoor heated storage and work area ) and estimated 25k to 30k in repairs ( my surveyor knows what I can and can not do on my own ) I could have it the level I would want for the boat. ( lol probably still under your condition @DougM )
As it is, there is too much unknown to the internal damage, but is known that it has suffered at least one Michigan winter of freeze damage with water inside.
Short of having him come survey it as it sits ( would be about two weeks out, and across state travel expense for me to have him come out ) he suggested passing on the boat.
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,830
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
ya that is a hard pass for me too. Keep looking, my wife got attached a few times and then we sort of said forget about it and the 310 fell into our lap.
 

arf145

.
Nov 4, 2010
402
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
Sorry the interior inspection went so bad Jeffrey! No way would I go with a boat with all that standing water in it, let alone water that has no doubt frozen in the past.
 
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Jan 4, 2010
882
Farr 30 San Francisco
I think it is generally better to buy a boat that has been well cared for. They are more expensive but not as much more expensive as the $ it would take to bring a neglected boat to good/excellent condition. You could also look at the First 36.7 faster than the 375 a more modern design but I think still more or less the same inside.
 
Oct 7, 2019
13
Beneteau First 375 Whitehall
as I pointed out in the start, the main attraction to this boat was the selling price ( way below anything I had seen listed ) and that it was a private sale, so not listed with people to compete with.
had I found this boat two years ago, when the owner first injured himself, and most of the damage from neglect had not taken place, then I think it would have been a different story.
I was told upfront about the owners habits of buying things and neglecting them, but the mistake about leaving campaign way open for two years after he was injured was just too much. even at the price I got him down to.

I have switched gears looking at a Palmer Johnson New York 40 Peterson instead, just next to no information out there on custom boats where there where only 21 made.
Have found contact to two owners, so getting some information about them.
Thanks for everyone's advice and comments
 

arf145

.
Nov 4, 2010
402
Beneteau 331 Deale, MD
That's too bad, Jeffrey, but a smart call, I think. The owner wasted a likely good boat by leaving it that way.