I just found this post that I wrote back when we were still looking at boats. Since the boat is still for sale, I figured it might be useful to some folks out there if I put it up. I had written up my comments on the boat shortly after we saw it, but I guess we were still waiting to put the pictures in and for Margaret to add her comments when we both got sidetracked with Bear.
While we were en route from Indiantown to Harbortown Marinas, we realized we would be done looking at the four boats Wally was showing us by the early afternoon. So, we decided to call another broker and see if we could get on one more boat before we headed back across the state again to my folks’ place. The Fort Pierce-Stuart area seems to be the epicenter of used boats, not just in Florida or the United States, but really the entire world. So, we had a couple boats to choose from once we consulted our spreadsheets. Margaret was still rather high on the Bayfield, so we decided to inquire about a well outfitted model in Fort Pierce that had just been reduced by 18,000 dollars. The broker had no problem fitting us in that afternoon, so it would be a five boat day.
A few hours later, we were in another fabulous boatyard – the Riverside Marina – looking at Audrey Paige, the Bayfield 36. Her bottom had just been repainted and she looked wonderful from the ground. And she did not look too bad from on deck either. However, there were some rather old looking Hood Seafurlers on the forestay and inner forestay. The chain also looked like it could use regalvanizing, and the Bruce anchor was rusting. Heading aft, I noticed that the winches on the mast could use servicing as one would not even turn.
Back in the cockpit were four self-tailing winches and two cabintop winches that all were in good shape. The same could not be said for the binnacle compass, though, which was yellowing and would need replacement. Opening the lazarettes in the aft revealed a different – and presumably safer – propane locker setup than on the bachelor Bayfield. But, like on that earlier Bayfield we looked at, there really were no handholds when moving forward from the cockpit to the stays. Of course, that could be easily remedied with a quick and relatively cheap trip to any marine store.
Down below, the cabin was a welcome relief from the previous Bayfield we had looked at. Things were clean and orderly, and there were no strange items or shoddy “improvements” visible. Apparently a couple had owned and cruised the boat extensively before deciding to buy an RV and travel the country. Looking under the sinks and in the bilge, the hoses all looked good, but the boat had Marelon seacocks, which always makes me wary because they are, essentially, plastic. However, many experts say they are a good substitute, and these were clearly new.
When I looked at the chainplates and mast step, though, I had no doubts; there was trouble. The chainplates were heavily rusted and corroded, as was the mast step. There was no question that these things would have to be addressed before the boat saw the water. What is more, because of all the corrosion at the mast step, I worried that the bottom of the mast would be similarly corroded and need to be shortened or, even worse, replaced. The engine compartment revealed similar problems, with a ton of rust covering nearly everything. Considering the level of rust and the fact that the engine was original to the 1987 boat, it seemed likely that a full repower would be in order soon.
While I was a lot happier with the overall condition of this Bayfield 36 than I had been with the one we looked at in Punta Gorda, it was still not hard to see why the broker was having such a difficult time selling it. And although I cannot really imagine a sailboat I would be unhappy owning, I still did not like the layout – especially the nav station – and the overall feel of the Bayfield.
The Yachtworld listing – the boat was originally listed at 79,000, was at 61,500 when we were aboard, and is now listed at 55,000.