For Sale, But Read Carefully

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I will post an ad from Craigslist, and I personally went to look at the boat. I just hope some potential buyers will shop carefully and avoid wasting time and money. Here is the ad and is from Dec. 25, 2008.

"Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-12-25, 10:30AM EST

This is a 91 sunfish in good condition with new parts including racing tiller and centerboard, ropes, and racing sail ect it also comes with a new dolly. Although the boat is old its still very light I bought it from Larry Sutter a family friend who trains Olympic sailors! This boat is perfect for beginner sailors or anybody interested in sailing.
The boat is a 91 still verylight in good condition but the parts are all new as well as the dolly i bought the boat for 1800 and then the dolly for 500 so the price is right!
email me with any questions"

I emailed and finally looked at the boat as soon as possible. I am not in the market for a boat, as I have a fairly newer one, but an always looking for a decent boat just in case we have a visitor who needs a boat. This being said, I look for a boat that wont be totally slow, need very little investment, or be cheap enough to bring to market value, if I need to put some money into it.... So here is my assesment on this ad...
1. the boat is NOT a 91, it was an 89 (this is the infamous Pearson hull vintage)
2. the seller said it was dry. but also told me it had "duct tape closing the hole in the back of the boat." Since the Sunfish does not come with transom drain plugs, this was put in later to try to drain the boat.
3. "very Light" to him meant compared to water logged recreational beach boats. a hull should be about 129 lbs.
4. So i went to look at the boat. There was sealant and an inspection port placed in back and around the coaming. This is generally done when a leak is detected in the boat. The cockpit had aging yellow sealant to hold the rubber that lines the edge of teh cock pit... it would be better to remove it, cause it is ugly and falling off anyway. Hiking strap, was a wide canvas strap, functional not padded. Centerboard trunk looked ok.
5. i turned over the boat on its side, the bottom of the hole had several spider cracks and circular cracks. BUt worse it has exposed fiberglass and the hull could be pushed in in a few places not supported by stringers. This boat should NOT be advertised as in "Good Condition". Several cup fulls of water leaked out... and since the boat felt heavy, the foam was soaked.
6. Sail and spars, good for their age. (sail would not be fast though) Missing goose neck bolt/quickrelaese adjuster. (to replace at least 23 bucks.)
7. Rudder, good, but missing clips, therefore the pin to secure it to the gudgeon bracket would fall through in the water... have no idea where they went... that would be about 7-8 bucks. Daggerboard good condition. Mainsheet fat but good.
8. dolly- about a year old... this is the best thing about the boat. HOwEVER, red light went off when he said, paid $500.00. for it... Dinghy shop[ has them for 390.00 brand new.

BY now the seller's dad (the kid (who wasnt there) put the ad on craigslist without his dad's knowing, but dad was ok with it- since dad bought the boat originally) Was upset on my inspection of the boat. He felt that his son "Undercut the price of the boat" and since "the dolly alone cost 500 so you do the math you get the boat for 500". He said he was going home [the boat was not at his home]... i asked him whats the best he could do, and since he was pissed he walked away to put the sail away...

Ok... so if you do the math on a break up value and ebay the individual parts you MAY be able to get more than 950, but that would leave you with just the hull... then what are you going to do? If you wanted to sail it for your self recreationally, then 950 MAY be fair, but you will have to understand you will have a water leaking boat that will only get heavier in time, ESPECIALLY if you sail in an area liek me where it is choppy and wind is blowing. Dont think about racing it competitivetly... Another point, He drop's Larry's name in the ad, which I dont think does any justice to LArry... he sold the boat years ago. LArry is a great sailor and a I dont think Linking larry to this boat, even if he did own it years ago is fair to Larry...

In conclusion: be skeptical of any boat you want to buy. turn it over and look for cracks soft spots, look at all the accesories and make sure every thing moves and is not corroded. know what things cost, so yo have an idea on what it will cost to sell it or to upgrade it. I think he will sell the boat and get 950, but the buyer will not be very happy... at 750 or lower, then I would have bought it just to lend it out...

Lee Montes
NY State Sunfish Rep
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