Things to check when considering buying a used Wayfarer!
(Al's note: Below, Dick Harrington gives a fine list of what the used-boat buyer should look for in examining a potential purchase)
On Aug 13, 2006, at 5:53 PM, Richard C Harrington wrote:
There are a lot of old, early to mid 70's fiberglass Wayfarers still sailing that are in decent shape. It would be important to get an idea of how much use this boat has gotten. Sometimes you find one that has been sitting in a garage for 10 to 20 years and is like new. Besides the hull condition, type of spars and condition of the sails is important. Proctor spars are the best. Anything else needs to be viewed with suspicion. Original sails from '72 will be total garbage and new sails are going to cost you $800 to $900--so recently purchased new sails (5 years or less) is a big bonus.
The hull. If the boat has been raced, look for areas where there may have been collision damage (fiberglass with slightly different shade, etc.) Look along the keel fore and aft to see that the curvature is fair (no humps or sags which indicate hogging - boat was stored improperly or overloaded on the trailer.) Remove the floor boards and check for cracks (separation) along the floor beams (cross beams that support the floor as well as the boat's bottom). Check along the lower inside edge of the side deck for any cracking or splitting. The centerboard is often badly neglected (hidden inside the trunk). Get under the boat and try to take a look; if you can slip the boat back a ways on the trailer, drop the board down. Look for rot, severe checking and cracking. Likewise, check out the rudder as well. This is another problem area. Spongy and weak floor boards will need to be replaced.
The original '72 English running gear (blocks) is far outdated--updated Harken gear is a plus, as are replacement sheets and halyards. A boat that has seen racing will have a wire jib luff halyard and tensioning gear (magic box or highfield lever mounted on the mast) and will have the jib sheet fairleads and tracks mounted on the forward seats as opposed to the side decks. Unless you plan to race, a spinnaker is not something you'll use much.