The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ.
The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.
The gray stuff on the keel is probably either barrier coat paint, applied by the owner to protect the cast iron keel from moisture, or fairing material used to smooth the surface of the keel. Neither is a cause for concern. Ask the owner what it is. If you assume it's bad, you might pass up a good boat.
The water in the bilge could be from a leaky cockpit drain or a leaky rudder gudgeon or similar fitting that simply needs caulk, or it could be that the companionway hatch was left ajar during a rain. My solution was to put an 8 X 10 silver tarp over the coach roof whenever I left the boat unattended for a few days. It protected the boat from a multitude of possible leaks and kept my bilge dry.
The gray putty is on the fiberglas trunk, not the keel itself. In my uneducated amateur opinion, any water left in the hull is a bad sign no matter where it came from. Yes, the hull is fiberglas but there are wooden stringers in there that will rot away. I've seen too many times where the wood has swelled, cracked the matting around it and then nature takes over.
quote:standing water in the bilge so I think I'm going to pass on this one.
As others mentioned the water in the bilge can have many sources. One thing Catalina's are known for is leaky windows/ports. When I purchased my 1987 C25 all of the cabin top windows leaked. A few attempts at sealing them only lasted for a short time. The only real solution for me was total replacement of the windows.
Looks like the same stuff. The only way to tell for sure would be to chip it off and make sure there isn't a repair under there. The trunk looks like its been sanded in the past. You can see bits of the grey stuff left stuck to it. That's about what mine looked like before I started the rebuild work. If you look real close, you can see the circles from the ridges in the heavy cloth having been sanded down. Looks too clean to have been factory, but maybe one of the fellows with that layout will chime in.
Either way, the keel trunk would be real easy to wrap with some extra layers of cloth. It wouldn't sway me from buying, but I don't mind getting into structural repairs.
As the other guys have said, the old aluminum frame windows pretty much leak no matter what you do. If this thing has been on a trailer for a while, the bilge water is more than likely from a window or some other deck leak.
I haven't read all the responses to this thread, so my comments may be out of line, or repetitive, so forgive me. My advice on buying a swing keel 25 foot sailboat is simple: DON'T DO IT. I know, there are many who have, but I had a Catalina 22. A swing keel is more trouble than it's worth. If you must trailer the boat, get a wing keel. As always, my free advice comes with a double your money back guarantee.
"Lady E" 1986 Catalina 25: Fin Keel, Standard Rig, Inboard M12 Diesel, Sail No. 5339 Sailing out of Norwalk Cove Marina, Connecticut
We plan to sell our boat after we repair a few gelcoat nicks. She is 1987 C25 wing keel with trailer, 9.9 Tohatsu electric start motor, full batten main, 135 hank on jib, single burner Origo stove, and lots more extras. Boat is in AZ under a full boat cover on the hard at Lake Pleasant, and we are in CA and return to AZ in Nov. We will put it on Phoenix Craigslist and this site for sale.
Lynn Buchanan 1987 C25 SR/WK #5696 Sailynn Nevada City, CA
Notice: The advice given on this site is based upon individual or quoted experience, yours may differ. The Officers, Staff and members of this site only provide information based upon the concept that anyone utilizing this information does so at their own risk and holds harmless all contributors to this site.