"Free boat" seaworthiness
hi folks. I have a big question but first, some background. I've been sailing for 17 years. I taught myself to sail on a 9' dinghy and I still sail her the most. she's convenient and fun. anyhow, I also own a holiday 20. it's a rock stable boat, when compared to my dinghy, and I've never even come close to worrying about a capsize. although, I must be honest, I've faced a lot worse situations in that dinghy than the 20. really crazy stuff, especially since I can't swim. lol.
now, the question. I am about to get a j24 for free. yep. free. it's in good functional shape. brand new sails. only needs a bit of trim work, really. the only thing is it's covered in mud and it doesn't come with a trailer. I have to move it immediately, if i'm to get it, so I have to see if I can find an affordable marina. I don't know what else to do. anyhow, my question:
when I first found out about this boat, I didn't know what it was. the guy only told me it was a keel boat and "24' Chesapeake". now, I thought he might have been telling me a model. cheapeake. searched the web over. found two possibilities. anyhow, at that size and full keel I figured light cruiser. found out tonight it's a j24 and got a pic of it. I will put the pic on here for shock value. lol.
anyhow, i'd like to use the boat for day sailing and light cruising; weekends or over night. everyone knows what a j24 is but I've never sailed one. so, I was searching the web and I found some disturbing stuff. I read a lot about them being prone to capsize and sinking. I've also heard that they have a bit of lee helm. I figured a keel boat would be more stable than my holidays 20, which is a center boarder.
I intend to sail her from back river, in the Chesapeake bay. I was wondering if I could get input from any who have sailed them about their sailing qualities. obviously, i'm looking for something stable for cruiser type use. I don't care about racing. I just love to sail.
so, are they that unseaworthy? are there any suggestions to make one more seaworthy? I don't mind some moderate modifications but I have a shoestring budget. that has to be kept in mind.
if I can get a place to keep her, I am going to take her. free boats don't happen every day...at least not to me. but, if she won't suit my purpose, i'll fix her up and try to sell her to afford a boat that does. too bad it couldn't be a nordica20, halman20, or flicka. that would have been perfect. but never look a gift horse in the mouth.
thanks in advance.