Appreciate it J. What are some things to really look for or pay attention to when buying an 18? anything they are known for that are a real pain to replace?
Just the usual.
- no corrosion or dents on the spars
- really check the hulls for soft spots and that they are strongly secured to the crossbars (do the allen bolts underneath need to be tightened?)
- older 18 rudder systems no longer have parts from Hobie, so look for upgraded ones
- if '84-'87 check on the hulls under the front cross bar for a reinforcement anchor plate screwed in place. These years are known to have light hulls, but without the reinforcement plates they failed, see photo below.
- If it has a comptip on the mast then make sure it is sealed well and not weathered too much. New comptips are around $650.
- check the dagger board trunks for damage
- replace the standing rigging if the owner doesn't know how old it is. This includes shroud anchor bolts.
At your price point a boat is on the borderline between salvage and expensive rehab to make it safe and functional, to give it a very good inspection. If it needs new standing rigging, sails, running rigging, and a trampoline then consider the cost of replacing these, which could be around $1000.