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post #25 of Old 08-17-2007
Maine Sail
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With West Snails...

With "West Snails" you have to be very, very careful and thorough in your survey and your inspection of the vessel unless it was a factory finished boat. The DIY kit boats are the reason the overall value of the snails is so low. Two years ago a guy in a WS hit rocks and when they hauled it to fix the keel they found the DIY previous owner had filled the keel with a mixture of scrap metal, including aluminum, and cement! Took weeks for it to dry out enough to patch the hole in the hull.Who the heck knows what the ballast ratio really is in a scenario like that?

Furthermore, how can a survey tell what the keel was filled with? You really can't on a "kit boat". These boats were sold in all manner of kits from bare empty hull to stringer & bulkheads installed up to a fully finished factory built vessel. In the last fifteen years I can count on one had the number of well cared for WS I've seen up this way. Most I've seen are pretty trashed derelicts with rotting teak, heavily oxidized top sides and blown out rags for sails. I don't know why the owners I see of these boats don't take better care of them but for the most part, and a "generalization" many of them are ridden hard and put away wet...

Speed - Yes they are slow. I dusted one three weeks ago flying only my genny in 12 knots of wind. The WS had his entire inventory of sails flying and I still went by him doing only 5.8 to 6.1 knots like he was standing still & I was towing a dinghy, he was not. Do you buy a sailboat to get somewhere fast if not racing? I personally like a decent turn of speed but not all do or care...

My advice would be to seek out a factory finished WS instead of a kit boat, & I hope you really like to varnish...

Factory boats are good and built like tanks, kit boats are like going to Vegas. It's a crap shoot....

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-05-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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