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Been snooping around here for quite a while, awesome to see the amount of knowledge kicking around online. Looking at our first boat, J40, 1987. I think I have most of the normal problems identified, rudder bearings, leaky port lights, anything not original to the boat as far as hull and deck hardware. Just wondering if anyone had any more known problems with these things. Looked at the boat yesterday, will probably make an offer contingent on $ and survey, but don’t want to waste time if there’s anything obvious i should be looking for as well. Boat appears to be well kept, has been in the same family for over 20 years, rudder bearings replaced in 2013, westerbeke installed in 2006, 1600 hours now, sails in varying conditions according to current owner, but I think 4 full sets, plus 4 spinnakers, standing rigging in 05-06. Needs new running rigging, no big deal. Boat has been a liveaboard for 6 years, and has only left the dock a few times since 2015. I’m looking for J40 specific issues, it appears to be in great shape, in need of an exterior cleaning but looks to be in sail away condition other than the running rigging. Anybody have any thoughts? Thanks!!

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Looks like you hit the main J issues. The only other major concern is the balsa core material. May or may not be a big concern depending on size and location of any wet core. Have not owned the 40 but raced on one a few times. I liked the boat and interior lay out. Good all around boat in my opinion.

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I've done a few deliveries for a J40, and I found her a delightful boat to sail.  The one caution I have is when sailing, to never take the last two turns of the mainsheet off either of the sheet winches. As the double-ended mainsheet only has one block in it, the load on the sheet end is intense, compared to boats of similar size where the mainsheet may have eight turns or so.  Otherwise, the location of the mainsheet winches right in front of the wheel is an ideal single-handed setup.

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  • 1 month later...

Another update, had the survey yesterday, rudder bearings need attention, so trying to get quotes on that. Has a few areas of moisture in the deck, mostly around owner added stuff. The big surprise was blisters, lots of them, the boat was hauled 4 years ago and had a few blisters, like 4-5, yesterday had at least 200-300, varying sizes up to about 2”. Most of them are 1” or smaller. The big change between the haulouts was the boats location, in a freshwater lake, and was a livaboard. Was previously in the cold saltwater it’s whole life. We plan on moving the boat to saltwater again. At this point I don’t know exactly what to do. Surveyor said it’s a solid boat, in average to above average condition for its age, comes with a ton of sails, a ton of extra rigging, etc. Anyone else had any experience with anything similar? The fact that the blisters showed up mostly in the last 4 years has me worried. Other than that we love the boat.....hmmm

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This sounds to me like as good a survey as you could expect for a 30 year old boat. If the boat has literally been in the eater for four years, I would not be concerned about the blisters. If you are taking her back to seasonal use ( hauling every Fall) I'd patch the blisters and not worry further. 

If you want to keep the boat in the water continuously,  then you might strip the bottom and barrier coat after fixing the blisters. That will give you a nice bottom to go forward which every J Boat deserves in life.

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  • 1 month later...

Update on this, discounted 7k from the original offer, was accepted by the seller. 7k is about what I figure the rudder bearings will cost, going to have the prop serviced at the same time. I feel like I am getting a decent deal, paid about 40k less than comparable boats are listed on yacht world. Just for peoples info, we paid 76% of original asking price of the boat. I would love a J120 but they’re quite a bit more, that’s the boat that got me thinking about J boats in the beginning.

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  • 1 month later...

After a bit of work tidying things up we went for a maiden voyage. From Seattle to poulsbo and back. Was great, boat seems to be  what will meet our needs about perfect. (Our realistic needs). Now we know some things that need work, leaks, I want to replace about all of the running rigging, we can def ditch the 120v air conditioner, etc. was really impressed with the ability to sail main only. I know this is old news to most folks, but we were pleasantly surprised.

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I apologize for being repetitive on this subject, but before committing to a plan for rudder berings talk to PYI in Lynnwood WA. They were very helpfull with my bearing replacement. I ended up with a Jefa non metalic lower and so far have been happy wth the result. If the boat has a Maxprop they are very good at servicing those.

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