Join Date: Jun 2010
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I found an Ensign fixer-upper at a local boatyard that the owner donated to our youth sailing program. It has a good rig, hull, sails, trailer, outboard, winches, etc. The deck, however is a different story. It's pretty much shot, along with the seats and floors. It will definitely need a lot of work, but even with the needed work it's a bargain, considering that new Ensigns cost $27,000 to $30,000 (without a trailer), and fully restored '60s models run $8,000 to $15,000. I plan on doing the work myself, with assistance and guidance from a professional boat builder who has volunteered his services free, if I buy the materials. There are still good Ensigns around, for a reasonable price, if you're not looking for a fully restored one. The Gulf Coast is a good place to look, with, as mentioned a large fleet in Houston, TX. I agree that the daysailor market has gone crazy, ($300,000? for a 26 footer
with a v-berth?) but I understand the shift away from complicated boats and the return to simpler, more relaxing sailing. The Ensign is perfect for a youth sailing program, with its huge cockpit, positive flotation, "big boat" handling and stability. I predict it will become more popular as time goes on and people rediscover one of the best kept secrets in sailing.