I went and did it.
I drove about 1.5 hours north of me and bought a 1974 O'Day Javelin. I got her home safe, and almost immediately turned around and ran to the boat launch on the Cooper River here in South Jersey.
We rigged her up without too many snags, launched and sailed for about an hour in a gusty mess of a day. Let me tell you, skippering a dinghy on a gusty day is a little more intense than manning the jib sheets on a 32 footer.
Things I did right:
Things I did wrong:
- dragged the rudder for a few feet in the parking lot (I didn't expect it to kick down)
- Forgot to put the centerboard down until I was in the middle of the river, wondering why I was making no headway.
- Cleated the mainsheet where I couldn't uncleat it quickly (more on that in a sec)
- Forgot my cell phone was in my pocket until -after- we swamped
Things that need work:
- The starboard shroud's turnbuckle is jammed. Need to get on it with some penetrating oil.
- The centerboard is a rusty mess, and they retail for twice what I just paid for the boat. I wonder if I can get one fabricated for less.
- The mainsheet cam cleat doesn't hold the rope. This is the killer. I couldn't point at all today, because any attempt to haul her in close just slipped. Hence, the cleating of the main. We got a puff, and I couldn't ease it quick enough to keep the starboard quarter from dipping under the water and sucking in a bunch of the Cooper. I had to bail with my girlfriend's water bottle
Rigging, launching, sailing and de-rigging all took about 2.5 hours. It was a good day, and I think my lady is hooked