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Ballard Sailor

Day 5 of Boat Shopping - New Jersey

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We arrived at Jennifer’s parents’ house on Marple Street by 8pm Thursday night and with boats still on our mind we sat down and planned a day of driving around the Jersey shore Friday looking at boats. With her brothers family working or at school we figured we may as well boat shop Friday, who knows, we may find the one!


Our first stop was up North at the Morgan Marina where a number of older boats were for sale in our price range. Brokerage boats, but many were “acquired” by the marina for various past due bills. The list of boats at this marina quickly dwindled down to one boat as walked around in the early morning mist. After the 85 degrees and sun, the 46 degree temps and overcast mist was quite a shock as we had quickly become acclimated to the summer weather we found all across the country. It’s the conditions we expected, but not what we had found so far on our trip. Anyway, back to the boat, a Carter 30. She looked very similar to a Yankee 30 and had a worn but solid deck and cabin top. The cockpit sole was spongy and the interior was dank and dark but fixable. She was listed at $7900 but we guessed there was room to move on that after the broker almost begged us to make an offer. She would need a few weeks of work to go anywhere and there were no sails in sight - but the hull and rigging looked good.


On our way out to the highway we spied a neighboring boat yard and pulled in to look around and see if we found any for sale signs. We found a few but only one looked good, a Dufour 1800. A small but solid looking French built 25 footer. She looked like she couldn’t decide if she was a 1/2 tonner or an Evelyn 26 but she had everything we needed for an interior, albeit somewhat small. Another boat filed away, just in case we want to come back to it.

South we went towards Toms River where my high hopes for the day was, and then Bayville where Jennifer’s high hopes were. We stopped along the way at a broker with a few low priced boats listed, but once he walked us around we realized they had severely misrepresented these boats. They were trashed, everything from rotting flooded interiors, keels pushed into the bottom of the boats, missing portlights (windows) letting the elements into the boat for years. You name it, these boats had it wrong with them. The online pictures looked nice and polished, one was even listed at $13,500 - I wouldn’t have paid more than $1500 for it. I can’t figure out the logic of it because the only good boats they could lead us to after they got us there was $400,000 power boats - that ain’t gonna work.


Laughing, we drove on over to my pick of the day a Cherubini Hunter 30. She had been painted and used but she definitely didn’t looked tired. I couldn’t find any soft spots on the deck and the shrouds and ropes looked usable. There was a little compression in the deck where the mast base was but down below in the bilge the compression post support looked good, not rusted and bent like the previous Hunter 30 we had looked at. She had an O.K. and functional interior, bulkheads looked solid and were attached and the owner assured me the diesel would work perfectly once de-winterized. I found nothing about the motor that made me doubt him. A good solid boat with plenty of interior storage for 6 months of cruising. I hadn’t been swept away with her but she didn’t disappoint me either.


Now it was time to head down the road to Jennifer’s pick of the day, an Islander 28. One of Bob Perry’s designs, it has been reported that Perry thinks of the Islander 28 as his best design. Coming from a man that has designed the Valiants, Baba’s & Tayana’s for production and many other custom cruising and racing boats, this is high praise on the little boat. She’s been painted black with a gold hull stripe but has the original gelcoat decks with more than a few crazing spots. Her rig looks sound and deck feels solid without any major soft spots. The steering is interesting, with a box placed over the tiller head that houses a gear for a wheel attached on the forward end of the box, looking like an old schooner wheel (he still has the tiller, fortunately). The interior shows well with an open yet small layout without a huge dance floor salon that worries me when sailing. She has an Atomic 4 gas inboard but she looks maintained and the owner says it will work great once it’s de-winterized and tuned.


We made it about a half mile down the road after leaving this boat before we pulled over and talked - should we make an offer? “There is no question in my mind” said Jennifer. Ok then, back we went to settle on a price and details - $8000 and we’ll sail and haul her as soon as the owner can get his mechanic over to get the motor de-winterized and tuned. She looks good, lets hope the test and haul go well!

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