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Old 12-05-2020, 12:15 PM   #1
City: New York
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 3
Buying a OA 50 Mk1. Looking for Lessons Learned

Good Afternoon from the woods of Vermont.

My wife and I are in contract and awaiting a positive survey on a 1979 OA 50 Mk 1.

We are excited but also know older boats have quirks and issues, as do all boats. So if there are fellow owners or captains out there that have any advice on major (or minor issues that turn into major) issues we should be on the lookout for, please advise soonest.

Also if anyone has any schematics or drawings on where systems were placed (tanks etc) that would be great. I contacted OA but they said the drawings were destroyed in a typhoon in the 1990's before things were scanned.

We are sponges. Take all information one cares to share, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Hopeful we can get to close and sea trials in the spring. Boat will live at the Naval War College in Newport RI in the summers and depending on Covid, she may be the full time home for us (2 young boys) as we work remotely and home school in the Caribbean!



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Old 12-05-2020, 01:31 PM   #2
Comodave's Avatar
City: Au Gres, MI
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 10,559
Welcome aboard. Congrats on your new boat (maybe). When you get it we will need photos.

Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you aren’t one, there is no explanation possible.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:41 PM   #3
Pete Meisinger's Avatar
City: Oconto, WI
Vessel Name: Best Alternative
Vessel Model: 36 Albin Aft Cabin
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,657
I'm not sure about O.A.s but almost all other trawlers of that era have fuel tank issues. Hopefully the survey will catch any problems which you can then use to negotiate the price. New tanks are very pricey.. Prob over $20,000 on a boat that size

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Old 12-05-2020, 05:30 PM   #4
oscar's Avatar
City: Bethlehem, PA
Vessel Name: Lady Kay V
Vessel Model: 1978 Hatteras 53MY
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 956
Steel fuel tanks, aging electrical (non tinned) wiring. If there are teak decks.....LEAKS. A good surveyor should be no stranger to these issues.

Locating systems may seem daunting but it's not as hard as you think. Do them one at a time and follow the wires/hoses.
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:02 PM   #5
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City: Brisbane
Vessel Name: Insequent
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 50 Mk I
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,136
I have some large schematics (A0 size) but they are not particularly helpful. For boats this age a lot has usually changed!

For the sedan models fuel tanks are 4 total 1000 gallons if original. Two outboard of the engines, and two transverse at the aft bulkhead in the ER. The ones outboard of the engines are likely rusting or will have already been replaced. They were steel (5/32") and the issue was the ER vents with vertical louvres allowed rain to enter. Rust developed on the lower edges of the tanks near the hull. It typically took about 30 years for them to rust enough to leak. Replacement involves removing engines etc, and that is the ideal time to do other stuff as there is great access.

Water tanks are typically two, one about 200 gallons in the lazarette abutting the ER bulkhead, and one below the master stateroom sole on centreline of around 80 gallons. The latter will sit in bilge water (if present) and develop leaks at welded seams that are prone to being submerged. This tank is best removed by cutting away a part of the forward ER bulkhead. Just the part between the stringers. The tank can then slide aft, into the ER. When installing a new tank it can be made a little larger (longer).

Here is an old thread that you might find interesting.

If you have any specific questions, just ask away!
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:18 PM   #6
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City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,980
Welcome to the forum! Congratulations on the new to you boat!

Can't help you so far, but maybe in the future.


I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
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ocean alexander, ocean alexander 50

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