Hunting a Centaur.......

Tooold
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Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Tooold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:22 am

Hi,

I've been sailing for about 6 years now on chartered boats and working my way up the RYA training ladder. With that in mind I've been looking at Centaurs as a starting boat for my small family and I to sail as a weekender plus slightly more extended sails for up to a week as we become more confident as sailors. My budget is small (£6000) which only puts me into the very cheapest and normally the ones that need 'TLC.'

I went to see one on Thursday. Its a 1977 Centaur. Advertised at £5990 and in need of 'TLC' plus 'needs and engine rebuild.' I arrived after an hour drive to be shown a dark blue hulled boat with that much green on the upper decks that in places you couldn't see the deck original colour. The sails had perished, the stitching gone, water in with the keel bolts that were rusty and the original engine (MD11C) without heads, pistons filled up with water and the mating surface so badly rusted out it was beyond economical repair. The yard had stripped it for the owner in the middle of last year and left the engine without any protection such as cloths and plastic bags to cover the exposed engine. I didn't even see the other parts. I walked off in disgust at having been 'led on' by the selling chandler. Glad I hadn't made a couple of hundred mile trip to see it that's for sure.

New Engine or a replacement I have since worked out would be about £6000, £2200 for new sails then money for keels reseating and that's as far as I got looking at things which makes me still say that it wasn't worth buying.

Why do people try and sell boats for way too much money when they are in that shape or condition? Is that the costs of refitting one of these Centaurs or am I looking at it all wrong? To me I just cant see myself being able to buy a Centaur to sail with the money that I have currently as a budget, would you agree? Are there any good ones out there?

Sorry if this seems to be a whining 1st post but I was so disappointed after what is now a 2 year search. I'm kicking myself after Thursday also for turning down the chance to buy a working Centaur local to me for £3000 in September 2011.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by COLARM2005 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:40 am

Having bought mine last year I think you are at the bottom end of Centaur values and you are unlikely to see one that is ready to go for £6000. TLC regretably costs money and you might be better off deciding how much your TLC budget is and paying more up front. Seems your experiance was to say the least unfortunate. Most adverts carry pictures. It is worth asking when they were taken but if they are up to date you can gain a fair view upon what you can expect to see. You will need to travel I went from Plymouth to Tyneside! Good luck.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by poachers lady » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:03 pm

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Certainly I think you would need to push your budget up to £8k min to have a chance of getting a Centaur that would be immediately 'sailable'. There was one moored next to mine this past season that I believe went for a little under £9k, and that had a reasonably new engine. You want to be sailing not playing mechanic for a couple of years! You don't show your location, but I am sure that if you saw something with potential but at a distance, a more local member might be able to have a quick initial look to save you the travel.
Try not to give up. Hope you are out sailing your Centaur this summer.
Regards

Mike

Poachers Lady
Centaur

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by steve parry » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:30 pm

Hi,

Don't give up!!! There are a lot of Centaurs for sale at various prices and I agree with the previous post on budgets etc. However, it is a buyers market at the moment and boat prices have fallen quite abit in the past 18 months (like cars and houses etc). I would personally go and have a look(within your area) at Centaurs in a higher price brackets than your budget and if you find one you like, make a cash offer there and then. You will find that people might take it, depending on the position they are in at that time(having to get rid of it because they can't afford to run it, being made redundant(sad as it is) etc...etc) Only the other day a Longbow on ebay (1972 with a newish Beta engine etc) went for £7500!!! Be up beat and start making offers (within your budget of course) and you never know you might have a Centaur by the start of the sailing season.

Good Luck

Regards

Steve

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Tooold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:01 pm

Unfortunately £6000 is my budget and that is it. Sorry. It will take me another 6 months to raise another £1000 and I am not going to get a loan.

Back to the drawing board and a new plan A.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Uncle Albert » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:26 pm

Like the previous correspondant, it is a buyers market, do not feel embarrassed about making an offer that to you might seem cheeky and to the seller might seem disgraceful, Once the seller discusses with SWMBO who knows what pressures would be applied to sell.

I recently thought I was going to have to re-engine my Centaur and the cost was, as you indicate, £6K (ish) but I now have a sweet running MD11C for only 1K, so they are fixable.

Hang in there and keep looking. The Centaur is a great boat for single handing or for a family.

Uncle Albert CR 1702
Uncle Albert
CR1702

Tooold
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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Tooold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:40 pm

From what I saw on the day I'd be buying a hull, mast and standing rigging, the rest needs replacing. Its a £500/1000 offer and go from there.

A 2nd hand set of sails from somewhere, maybe a 2nd hand engine or spare parts to get it fixed (original reason for the strip down was over heating) but its a year project in my mind. I do not have anywhere I can store a boat for a year for nothing. I do have several sailing trips planned for this summer so getting a sail isn't an issue. Costs for lifting out, transport fee's and storage would quickly remove my small budget that a project this big would take.

It does sound like I need to save more and keep looking.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by philipstevens » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:53 pm

regards,
Philip.
Moderator and Admin.

Previous owner of Konsort Duo, Oyster, KD22

Join the WOA - only £15 per year (UK) http://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/ab_join.php

http://www.marketmechina.com/ & http://www.celticwebdesign.net

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Tooold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:42 pm

There are a few, I'I just have to take some of the advice that previous posters have suggested about taking a risk and making offers.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Hot Ayre » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:54 pm

It might save you time to sound out a seller as to how negotiable the price is before taking a look . Gives them a chance to think about it before you spring your offer on them if you like their boat. It took us three years of active looking online for a Centaur before ending up with our Konsort and several years of thinking about it before we started looking!

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by aquaplane » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:33 am

A manky Centaur with no engine and no sails is worth bugger all. One on Windermere was offloaded for £1000 last season after being on sale for 18 months asking from £8500 down to £6000.

I paid just over £6000 for mine 4 years ago, it needed cleaning and the electronics aren't up to much but they work. The sails are (were) nearly new but the engine is the original but it still runs great. You should get a sailaway boat for <£6000 in the current market.

Keep looking for something that you can sail now but can upgrade (usually called maintenance) as you go on, preferably with a newer engine than the original Volvo..

Certainly don't consider a £6000 boat that needs a £5000 engine and £2000 in sails and £3000 for upholstery.

Some folk are dreamers when they are selling thier boats.
Bob.
Centaur now sold. Boating from Tarbert.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by steve parry » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:05 am

Hi again,

I think you are going to get lots of posts on this one!!! The main theme is: Don't give up!!

Only a thought... have you considered buying a Pageant(23 foot)? I have just had a look at Ebay and they have two up for sale. One is £3500 (Price Negotiable!!!) but needs some work. The other one if £5000 but looks a very tidy boat with a newish engine and S/T winch's, good sails etc. Worth a look in my mine and it is within you budget... Just a thought

Regards

Steve

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Tooold » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:19 pm

HI,

No, I hadn't thought of a slightly smaller one......

Centaurs seem small to me after a Najad 380, Benteau 37 and a Moody 41 but they are all well outside my price range.

I'd not thought that this subject or poor dealers and sellers would get as much reply. I agree and have walked away from that once loved Centaur but the whole episode has made me question the wisdom of buying a boat that is always going to be 30 years old. My budget cant stretch any further at present. Yes, there are good ones out there at more money but I don't have that sort of funds. I can only make offers and see what goes down.

I saw one last year that the previous owner had left half eaten food on the dinette table and it was mouldy! Plates left in the sink and the state of the toilet, well..... I mean, do they really want to sell something like that?

The agent was just as bad. The guy that showed me around said on the way back to the car the guy I had spoken to should have told me it needed a new engine. Its what had been agreed was needed last year so he had played me along saying it needed a rebuild. How do these people stay in business.... Sorry, I'm getting worked up here.

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Hot Ayre » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:28 pm

You can do a lot of chartering for your £6000 ... and let someone else pay for the mooring, insurance, maintenance, etc :D

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Re: Hunting a Centaur.......

Post by Tooold » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:15 am

Hot Ayre wrote:You can do a lot of chartering for your £6000 ... and let someone else pay for the mooring, insurance, maintenance, etc :D
That is true, probably about 6 trips at the current costs I have to pay just for myself. I've chatted to several hire companies and the cost for 2 weeks as a family of 4 is about £4000 once my wife has done day skipper as they won't hire a boat with only one trained crew.

With your own boat you can sail whenever you want if the weather is right. I have several friends locally who would be willing to have an afternoon sail so the idea of owning is a more attractive idea.

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