J/120 deck issues and other prepurchase questions


I'm looking at a few of the j/120s on the market, and I see a couple that mention having the deck hardware bedded in epoxy and resealed, and others with moisture around the deck hardware. One survey noted moisture in the deck but recommended rebedding the deck hardware and not addressing the existing moisture.

I know buying a 25 year old boat I'm going to have maintenance issues, but how big an issue is moisture in the 120 deck?  On my last boat with a balsa core, repairs became pretty extensive.  

How easy is it to remove the headliner to get at the underside for repairs? I've replaced an engine and recored deck before, is this a project I want to leave to pros?

Are there other issues I should look for?  

Is the 120 still a good, solid used boat?  I'm just starting to look but there's not much I'm seeing that looks as well built/study yet still fast.  




Black Dog

Super Anarchist
I owned one for 10 years. What hull numbers are you looking at? 
Hulls 1 thru 24 keel sumps were not SCRIMPED in and were targeted for a factory refit. You need to check to see if this had been done.
Check the rudder bearings as the early ones had Harken which were prone to failure and the rudder falling out. Replace with the PYI ones.
Make sure  the rudder has a safety pin installed as at least one fell out and the boat sank. ( I believe the boat was on Lake Pontchartrain). The boat was dried out and was on the market a few years ago. Not sure what hull no it was.
The sea water strainer vent loop was placed on top of the engine and leaked seawater onto the motor making the motors looking rusty.
I moved mine and my motor looked good.
The TPI boats were of average build quality.  I liked mine and it is a great sailing boat. 

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T sailor

Hi Kevin,

I just bought one a few months ago.  The boat has a combination of liner panels in some areas and vinyl cover glued directly to the underside in others.  It is hard to say if areas with elevated moisture are an issues without being there yourself to see exactly how much is wet.  The scrimp construction seems to help keep the moisture from migrating so the areas noted in the survey may in fact be very small.  

Keep sump is another area of concern as well as moisture around the chainplates and main bulkhead.  

feel free to PM me if you have specifics