I'm still weighting my options between a formula thunderbird 233 and a albemarle 248 and keep changing my mind with my consideration on which to purchase. I had been leaning toward the formula, but then read a post from Hawkeye that he posted elseware that he had almost 5,000 into the glass and stringer work. That really has gotten me thinking about which to buy. I was leaning toward a late 70's or early 80's formula but after that I'm back to square one again. My concern is that when you see a formula in good shape it's close to the cost of a newer albemarle.
Baranx3 - The fact is the true 233 hull was built until 1982 or 83 and the Albe, as far as I know is still in production. So, it stands to reason that you can get an Albe in better shape than an old Formula hull. However, it seems most Formulas sell for much less than the Albemarles do. For example, I just did a quick search on Yachtworld.com and found Albemarles from $14K+ to over $60K. Actually, there was only one listed at $14K and except for this one the price range was $19K+up. You can always find an F233 for much less. I have a '77 that has been well maintained and has no structural issues. I could not have bought an Albe for what I paid for my 233. I believe this boat was manufactured to higher standards than the later 233 hulls. I once owned an '82 F233 and I consider the construction of the 1977 to be of higher quality. In later years like my old '82, stringers were fir, not plywood and they were left exposed (only tabbed to the hull), rather than fully encapsulated like they were on the older models. The bottom line is, if you do your homework you can get a great deal on a classic, high quality vessel in the 233 at bargain prices... but you must do you homework.
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