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Cheap Centaur

ash12

Member
Joined
25 Jan 2009
Messages
819
Hi all.
looking for what everyone thinks. I went to look at a centaur yesterday which is on offer local to my cruising ground and in a yard where it can stay for a while to complete works. Problem is I don’t know if it’s too much work. The exterior is in good condition apart from cleanliness as you can see in the photos, problem is inside. There is water in the bilges up to the bottom of the engine and thus is coming above the cabin sole at the bottom of the cabin steps. The interior mainly needs tlc apart from that. The headlining In the forward cabin needs doing but the main cabin has been replaced with wooden panels which are rotten. I didn’t manage to get a good look at the keel stubs. I believe it is a later one with square forward portholes and shrouds in front of the windows, but with skegless rudder.
I’ll try to upload a video of the interior soon. 0584B63F-CC94-4A79-A4E3-2A3F0FBD51E8.jpegBB1DB85E-D675-462A-A620-708D5EBCE566.jpegCE743BFF-0B09-47BE-B93A-5B8FA21B2841.jpeg54462DA3-7BD0-4224-8A39-9A742B7BA751.jpegD05D42CA-FD57-48D5-8FAA-165B08390FE8.jpeg
 

FlyingGoose

Well-known member
Joined
12 Feb 2019
Messages
4,783
Location
The Known Universe
You will be surprised what a jet wash and a good polish can do
Headlining is easy thread on PBO already
Basic wiring can be done
Sealing seackcocks and checking for leaks topside with a hose
Sand and varnish not to hard.
Your biggest issues is to check your rigging, chain plates , engine
Sails.
If they are ok , then if the price is right go for it,
Nothing better than bringing an old boat back to life and you get to know the boat inside out as you work on her.
Good luck
 

LONG_KEELER

Well-known member
Joined
21 Jul 2009
Messages
2,340
Location
East Coast
As mentioned, the state of the engine is everything.

Worth employing a marine engine expert to see what he thinks.
 

Wansworth

Well-known member
Joined
8 May 2003
Messages
16,661
Location
SPAIN,Galicia
The problem is deciding on what level of finish you want,it’s very easy to get carried away and do a fantastic renovation but it will draw in doing a fantastic engine overhaul etc,etc not just buffing up the exterior and varnishing the bulkheads,where do you stop.........on the other hand a pastime making it better than new is a worthy ambition,what else would you do with your time
 

Tam Lin

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Joined
1 Sep 2010
Messages
3,646
Location
Essex, near the R. Blackwater
Having done a Centaur I would respectfully suggest that if you want to go sailing look for another boat. If you want to renovate a boat then that looks like a good candidate.
As has been said, the state of the engine is all important and that one looks rough!
There are cheap boats in better condition.
Whatever you find wrong with it on first inspection much more will come to light as you work on it.
 

Romeo

Well-known member
Joined
14 Aug 2002
Messages
4,891
Location
Forth
There are few things that turn out to be quite as expensive as a cheap boat!

However you already have a decent saving if you do not need to transport it anywhere, and if you have already got a place to keep it while you do it up. I reckon you have got there in time, as long as you are budgeting for a major recondition / replacement of the engine and a new foresail. I know nothing about engines really, other than that I want to be confident that it will start when I really, really need it. Everything else you can live with.
 

Carib

Active member
Joined
30 Mar 2011
Messages
333
Location
Southampton
Don't be swayed by any argument along the lines of "the hull is basically sound"! It's the rest that costs money. One of the main things to look for in a used boat is engine and sails in reasonable condition (on the basis that they are the more expensive replaceable bits). This appears to have neither - at least the genoa is shot, and I suspect the main also. That's probably £1.5K on new sails alone. New upholstery is expensive.

My prediction is that, by the time you had this ready to go, it will have cost more than buying a Centaur in decent condition in the first place - not even taking into account your time. Price *everything* that needs replacing realistically and see what it adds up to..

If you want to go sailing, rather than have a project, find the best example you can and it will usually save you cash in the long run.
 

Zagato

Well-known member
Joined
2 Sep 2010
Messages
2,618
Location
Chichester Harbour
Having restored a boat and a couple of cars you REALLY have to LOVE what ever it is you are pouring all your efforts and money into. You will soon sit on your rose tinted glasses when the realities kick in. Everyone hits a wall during restorations, the thing you loved becomes such burden and stress that many projects are left half done. Does a Westerley Centaur really excite you enough to motivate you through tough times of rebuilding engines and storage costs? If so great but it is usually better, easier and cheaper to buy something already up together. How much is it £2000 how much is a ready to sail one £5000... I Would fork out a bit more for something ready to go. If you pull out of this project you are stuck with it with ongoing costs, if you get something in good nick, you can always move it on...
 

steveeasy

Active member
Joined
12 Aug 2014
Messages
855
Lucky or not. all depends where you set the bar. New rigging for £700. some used sails for a few hundred. put a Gm10 in there for £1000. Add another £1000 for stearn gear if need be, and make a very low offer ( shes not worth much as she is). all in a nice little boat for well under £5,000. Of course if you want to fit a new engine and new sails, then its not viable unless you want to waste money.

Steveeasy
 

Never Grumble

Active member
Joined
29 Sep 2019
Messages
113
I'm amazed at how expensive it is just keeping a boat together let alone thinking about serious engine work etc. others have said if its almost given to you then it might be worth having it. Also depends on what you can do yourself and whether you need to bring in expert help. Just seen the price offer half of that and see what happens.
 

Cobra

Active member
Joined
4 Jan 2002
Messages
3,039
Location
Brightlingsea, Essex
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself the big question "Will it be worth it?"
You are of course the only person who can answer that!
The pleasure of seeing a wreck being bought back to life will give a real feeling of achievement...it will also drain your bank balance VERY quickly!
FWIW looking at the pictures and the videos, you would have a serious job on your hands. The engine really does look shot to pieces, so get a marine engineer to give it a quick once over and try to fire it up. If it is serviceable then great, if not, personally at that stage I would walk! The Genoa will almost certainly need replacing, but the glimpse of the main from under the sail cover suggests a relatively clean looking sail, take a look at what sort of state it is in. A new suit of sails will not come cheap...you might be able to pick up a suit of someones cast offs, but that would only be as a tide over. The mast looks OK...how about the rigging? Get a pair of binoculars and look at the top of the mast...any signs of damage to the wires? Rigging should be replaced (so the insurers say) every 10 years, the reality is for a lightly used cruising boat you will probably get at least 15 years out of a set possibly more. Get a local rigger to give it the once over. Finally inside. My concerns would be water ingress into the bulkheads and all other woodwork. If the bulkheads are rotten- big problem. Check the keel bolts these are a real weakness area on Centaurs (but I am sure you already know that!).
Before parting with a penny and committing yourself to several years and several thousand pounds work, get a marine surveyor, a marine engineer and a rigger to give you their professional opinions...if all three say walk away from it but you still decide to go ahead, you do so eyes wide open!
Good luck!
 

Wansworth

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Joined
8 May 2003
Messages
16,661
Location
SPAIN,Galicia
Interesting times we live in we are being out grown by our toys,unlike wooden boats that decay romantically ina mud berth our modern creations sit there for all to see,forty years ago every young impecunious sailer would set to with no doubt ,now in theses strange times you have a problem giving away a yacht........who would have thought🤣
 

Carib

Active member
Joined
30 Mar 2011
Messages
333
Location
Southampton
The first frame of the second video answers any questions about the condition of the main I think.

Another thing to bear in mind - these are hardly rare boats. They're the opposite of rare. They built over two thousand of them! Good all-round boats, sure, but at the end of the process you are not going to end up with something precious or unique.

Have a look at this blog - okay, this seems to be a painstaking, very high standard restoration - but see the timelines to the right... quite staggering!
 

Praxinoscope

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Joined
12 Mar 2018
Messages
2,833
Location
Aberaeron
So many 'good' Centaurs around why even think about what looks to be a major and expensive restoration job, unless of course you look upon the restoration as part of the pleasure.
I would echo the 'run away' sentiments.
 
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