A reader of like mind dropped me an email the other day…
“Found this boat on eBay a few weeks ago, I was second bidder, it sold for $260.. I think it may still be available if you know anyone who would be interested. Looks like a pretty easy fix, no sails but a Catalina 27 set of sails are a nearly perfect fit. I have had two of these Watkins 27’s over the years, and presently setting up a Watkins 29 now, these boats are nice cruising boats as long as you are not in a big hurry.”
He included a screen capture from the eBay auction as well. The downside was that it had a dead engine and no sails while the upside was that it looked to be in pretty good shape otherwise.
I’d say that is a lot of boat for $260!
The Walter Scott
designed Watkins 27 is actually a pretty nice boat. Beamy for it’s length, it packs a lot of space into that 27-foot envelope. So, while you might not win a lot of races, it will be as comfortable to cruise as any 27-footer.
Obviously you’d need to buy sails and that would run you anywhere from less (possibly a LOT less) than a thousand dollars for good shape used sails to around $3500 for a new set.
As for the engine, I’d opt for a small outboard or, even better, simply use the dinghy and it’s outboard parbuckled to the aft quarter for those odd times you need to get in or out of someplace under power. As a bonus losing the inboard chunk of metal will make the Watkins perform a whole lot better and give you some valuable stowage space.
As to the boat itself there are any number of projects, upgrades, and repairs most might want to do but it’s only a 27-foot boat and none of them, done intelligently, should cost very much.
Definitely a VolksCruiser contender…