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Buying Check List


Guest CHARLES OCONNOR
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Guest CHARLES OCONNOR

I am selling my Rhodes 19 and looking to purchase a J22 for club racing and day sailing. Does anyone have a checklist that details the critical areas to inspect when looking at a used J22. I would like to find a boat that does not require any extensive repairs or upgrades. I refurbished my R19 (ribs, rigging, keel, bottom, etc.) but don't have the time or patience to rehab another boat. My top purchase price would be $15,000. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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In my mostly hearsay experience of the 35 years I have had my J22, I have heard that the bulkhead panel where the chain plate attachment of the mast stays below deck and the keel attachment are the major areas for concern.  I have never personally bought a J22 since buying mine new in 1988. Knocking with your knuckles all over the panels should reveal no “soft” areas and the area of the keel attachment inside the cabin should remain  firm and have no areas of “softness”.  I have been told the panels have balsa cores and, if the chain plate area on the deck has not been properly caulked and water sealed, the balsa will rot and lead to eventual stay failure. Same applies to keel if long term water exposure in keel attachment area inside cabin has occurred. Have been told that can detect by holding keel at base and moving back and forth laterally while other observer is inside cockpit looking at keel attachment for movement and cracks.

If have local J22 owners, might want to have them look at boat with you before buying?

Good luck.  Love this boat.  Guess that’s why never had to buy another.

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Take a look at the classifieds under forums. With 15k you should be getting a top of the line J22 with sails and you probably don't need to spend that much out of the box. There are many checklists throughout the forum that are super helpful if you're willing to do some scrolling for a couple hours. 

I have purchased hull#16 and so far have replaced all of the deck hardware and fixed some cracking in the deck...honestly the hardest part about that is crawling around the boat to clean it before and after. That or finding the correct length/style fasteners. The bulkheads are original 1986 and aren't rotted because it was stored indoors each winter(important to know how the boat has been stored over the years). However,  I intend to race the boat across the country and will be replacing them along with replacing old rotten core under the mast step and around the chain plates. The boat is going to be pushed hard going forward racing twice a week in the summer and traveling at other times via trailer.

Do not oversee the importance of a clean bottom either...any boat that needs a new bottom needs other help usually.  Refinishing the bottom is without a doubt the most labor intensive task you will have to do at some point especially if it is wet sailed from a mooring. If you can write a check for someone else to do that work I highly highly recommend you write that check. Costing out the materials and labor you'd have to spend to DIY proves it's rarely worth it versus writing a check one time. Or look out for a boat that has a nice bottom. If the owner puts the time to keep the bottom nice they likely maintain the rest of the boat pretty well or to similar standard.

An old bulkhead or some cracking deck shouldn't scare you from a good deal especially if you're just club racing the boat. You'll know if the wood has gone bad or is about to go bad on the bulkhead just by looking at it and comparing to other photos. Checking the core around the chain plates can't be done unless you remove the chain plate which you won't be able to do until you buy it. There are a few fixes for bad core there, but again not make or break if all you're doing is club racing.

New trailers are expensive. A new Triad trailer is around 3500-4000 for a J22...and that's the basic set up.

If you end up needing help with your rigging or hardware on this feel free to contact me at mail@dwyermast.com

-Mike

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