Mad or what....

SeaDog
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Mad or what....

Post by SeaDog » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:09 pm

After years of working on other peoples boats, being let down for sailing trips, boats sold from under me after months of hard graft and generally being used by others I am heading off to look at a Centaur for myself and retirement.

Its a 1974 model B layout, MD2B Volvo with the usual Westerly issue of a saggy headlining.

What's unusual to me is it looks like it has an extra piece attached to the mast so could well be in furling main. Part of me at this point wants to walk away as I would prefer a standard slabbing main than stuff that will get jammed. Also changing it to standard could be expensive.

I'm taking a mate who has a lot of boat knowledge so between us we should have everything covered. But just on the safe side what else should I be looking for?

Boat has been on the hard for while. Not sure when the engine last ran but am told that it did when she came out....NFD. Keel bolts should be dry but no way of knowing if they leaked before and no knowledge why she was removed.... Looks like a lot of work has been done on the hull below the waterline with new Antifoul but very little above that point.

I'm going with an open mind, not rushing into parting with my hard earned £££££ or heart set on this. Its close to home, within budget so worth a look.

Thoughts or things I've missed....

Jolly Roger
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by Jolly Roger » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:44 am

Welcome to the WOA forum and no you are not mad.

There are a number of helpful articles with further links you should read.
https://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/boatRange.php?class=2
https://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/weste ... le=Centaur

You can also join this yahoo group.
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Wes ... +Group.y=0

The best advice I can offer is to look for the best Centaur available, even if you pay slightly more, as this will work out cheaper in the long run.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

TyroSailor
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by TyroSailor » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:52 am

I bought a Centaur three years ago, which turned out to be the wrong one and has required a lot of time and money spending on it - including a new engine! Before you buy, get hold of a copy of Inspecting The Aging Sailboat by Don Casey. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inspecting-Sa ... 0071445455 American, but little the worse for that, and tells you how to assess everything from hull distortion to the state of the electrics. It enables you to do your own survey before shelling out for a professional one and is £10 well spent.

If all else is satisfactory you MUST see and hear the engine running: if it's ashore you can run a tight-fitting hose to the coolant water intake from a large bucket, and even arrange another bucket around the Cutless bearing so you can see the prop working and test the gearbox. Then it's definitely worth employing a surveyor - it'll cost upwards of £300 but could save you thousands. And get the engine surveyed as well, even if it runs (if I'd done that I would have bought a boat with a newer engine). The MD2b was a great engine in the seventies but it's now forty-odd years old and, unless it's been lovingly cared for throughout its life it'll be on its last legs. Best to buy a boat in which it's been replaced - the Beta 20 seems to be the favourite, but I now have a Vetus M2.18 in mine, which seems to do the job.

Personally I wouldn't touch an in-mast (or behind-the-mast) furling system with a very long spinnaker pole, but some people like them. If it does turn out to be an add-on it may be removable but at a cost - and you'd also need a new mainsail, which is about £800. Oh yes - have a good look at the sails too, preferably hoisted on the mast and in use - mine are old and baggy! And make sure the standing rigging is in date.

I agree with Roger's stricture about buying the best you can afford.

Good luck!
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

Willhc
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by Willhc » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:23 am

Is it in mast or is it the handle for the original roller boom furling? If the latter, ignore the handle and you have conventional slab as an option. Check the gooseneck fittings on the mast are still good. Check the book end tang is not too worn. You would need to add a conventional kicker if it has not already been done.

I echo Tyro on spending too much, but if you know what is coming, that helps! Once you have a good Hull, good engine, good rigging and good sails, plus some instruments that are not from the arc, what could possibly go wrong (apart from the headlining!)...?

Best of luck.

SeaDog
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by SeaDog » Tue May 01, 2018 9:02 pm

Well I've been, seen and now....well......

Firstly, she was a loved Centaur. Been out of the water for 5 years.

Good points.

New in mast main.
Good jib.
New spinnaker.
Used old boom furling main.

Engine turns over on starting handle and has compression.

Standing rigging OK.

Keel bolts dry and no signs of rust or water in with bolts.

Has all that you need and a little more.

Bad points.

Shes wet! Insides are wet
Water in bilge
Quarter berths wet
Forward berths wet
Saloon floor wet
Wash boards are starting to rot out
Wood work on hatch cover just starting to rot
NO batteries
Running rigging needs replacing
Missing a forward anchor winch
Wants a good wash off and non slip paint applied.
Interior needs a good wash off and clean
Headlining down in Saloon and forward berths
Minor paint damage to hull from PO not stowing dodger.

Didnt check.

Didnt hear the engine running
Didnt spin it in gear to see if the gearbox works

She's a project all right. Inside my budget but moving costs are going to push it just outside on the initial spend. I was planning on buying and moving to storage then spending monthly to get new bits and jobs done. Anything else Centaur wise is just way over my budget.

Oh well. Looks like I'm back to playing with motorcycles instead. A mad idea thats for sure.

TyroSailor
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by TyroSailor » Tue May 01, 2018 9:09 pm

Keep looking - you never know. I think there are one or two in the 'for sale' section of the site.
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

Jolly Roger
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by Jolly Roger » Tue May 01, 2018 9:33 pm

Your list of problems with the boat and being out of the water for 5 years, it is far more than a general project boat. What is it worth in this condition? £1.00 at most. This boat is a breaker as the parts could be sold for more than the boat is worth in one piece. The amount to fix this boat will far exceed what you expect.

Steve is right, go find a Centaur in much better condition as it will cost you far less in the long run and you will get sailing a lot quicker.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

SeaDog
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by SeaDog » Wed May 02, 2018 1:45 am

While I understand your comments I will say its far from the worst project boat I've had to sort out.

If the engine is toast then I would agree with you. If its a runner then there's a lot less work that you think.

SeaDog
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by SeaDog » Wed May 02, 2018 10:59 pm

I've been in touch with the seller today and will be back for a second viewing where the seller will try and have the engine running for me.

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Re: Mad or what....

Post by FulmarOnia » Sat May 05, 2018 11:52 pm

Will be interested to hear the outcome. The Engine is probably the most expensive thing in a small sailing boat, so replacing the engine might well negate the cost of the boat. Plenty of Centaurs out there which have had original engine replaced and the owner is asking £5-6k, but the cost of putting a new engine into a Centaur will be £6k done professionally, hence a Centaur with a knackered engine is worth zero or less I'm afraid.

Hillary
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by Hillary » Thu May 31, 2018 1:23 pm

There are pretty much always at least half a dozen Centaurs for sale year-round so unless the engine is a well cared for gem I would keep looking.
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

UserError
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by UserError » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:29 am

I agree that it doesn't sound overly promising. I would be worried about that wet as much as the engine: you can go sailing with an old engine (and deal with that in due course, especially as you play with motorbikes) but if the boat is wet, it is miserable. Plus the rotting woodwork/damage to the wood inside.

And it's got the furling main. Just nope.

I see the asking prices of Centaurs typically being £5-8k but no idea what people are actually paying. I know of two people who are buying larger Westerlies for that sort of money and neither are projects; tired but ready to sail. Prior to that, I thought a Centaur in reasonable condition with a replacement engine would get maybe £5k. Not so sure anymore.

In my mind, there is an argument for buying a boat cheaply and paying for stuff to sort her over time. Not necessarily this particular boat though - in general. If you can't afford the initial outlay of a good boat, buy a cheap one (preferably one that you can get in the water reasonably quickly and without too much cost) and make it good in due course. It will may cost more overall, but you will have a boat sooner. And £3-5k later you'll probably have a better boat. A lot of stuff can be got secondhand to keep costs down, fittings, electronics, sails and engine even. And you've got to find the time.

I'm a practical, get stuck in sort, but would only consider this boat if the price was right (extremely low; 3 figures I think) AND I wasn't wanting to go sailing this year. And you need to be able to do pretty much all of the work yourself. If you can't, you need to pay more, to get a ready-to-sail boat.

BTW, I would say it's not 'normal', certainly not standard, for Centaurs to have an anchor windlass. And they are expensive, even manual ones. The implications of an electric one (big battery size, massive cabling and switching, battery charging etc) are all expensive. You've got to have a real need to make it worthwhile IMO.

Don't fall in love with this boat. There are lots of boats out there. It seems to be a buyer's market AFAICT, and at the risk of being treasonous, it may not have to be a Westerly.
Good luck.
Centaur Polly B
Littlehampton

Hardover
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by Hardover » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:04 am

It is indeed a buyers market. There are many good solid yachts out there usually where the owners have firmly fell out of love and just want to write off the entire experience. When you come across the right one ignore the asking price and make an offer as low as you just about feel comfortable with. Unless you feel embarassed at your offer then you've offered too much.

SeaDog
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by SeaDog » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:49 pm

Well the out come.....

After a month of haggling, trying to find out who owned the boat, SSR, bill of sales so I could take ownership legally, finding a mooring, finding hard standing, transport from site sorted and the the funds all in place ready to go, I tore part of my achilles tendon. That put me out of action and while that was happening somebody else walked up and paid cash for it to the seller.

So I am still looking.

To say that I was gutted is an understatement.

To top it all off my sailing mentor of many years and a man who was going to sail with me and help teach my wife to sail has been diagnosed with cancer and starts treatment shortly. I desperatley need a Centaur, working and sailing so he can enjoy some afloat time which makes the loss of the project boat even more disappointing.

Hillary
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Re: Mad or what....

Post by Hillary » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:26 pm

There are at least half a dozen Centaurs for sale round the country - Just do a search of Appolo Duck and the various other sites. You will find one quickly enough.
Moonshine, Centaur CR1149

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