For all of the speculation, hand-wringing, and second guessing within this thread, I actually have spoken to Zack (Crux) a number of times about his plans. I came away with the impression that this is a responsible and thoughtful young man.
While you can easily nit-pick aspects of his youthful enthusiasm and some of his specific choices may not match yours or mine, what came across was a very capable person, who has made reasoned decisions about what he hopes to accomplish with this boat. While some may see him pushing the risk envelope further than we personally would intentionally do, it seemed to me that Zack understands the risks and had taken reasonable steps to mitigate these risks a much as possible. When things did not go all that well on his first attempt he was prudent enough to return to port, make repairs and modifications and then wait for a better time and weather window. To me that is a very seamanlike decision.
While I personally would have suggested that Zack have the boat surveyed, my sense is that he went through the boat in detail and seemingly understands that this is a boat in need of a major rebuild, which will take some time and energy, but will produce a decent boat that he will know inside and out when when he is done. It sounds like he has good construction skills, and is not afraid of a little hard work.
When I was about Zack's age I bought a 25 year old wooden Folkboat for $400. When the boat was hauled out, the yard owner made me an offer that if I wanted her put right back in the water he would not charge me for the haul. He said that it was pretty unlikely that the old girl would see the water again. When I did not take the offer he approached my Dad, and said, "You have a good kid there but I have watched many better conditioned boats go derelect. That may look like a boat but that is no longer a boat." In most ways the yard owner was right. I spent 10 months restoring that old boat sufficiently to put her back in the water. By any rational standard, it probably was not a great decision. But when I got done, I had put a nice old boat back in sailing condition and all it took was hard work. It sounds like Zack has his hard work cut out for him, but then again he has the energy of youth to help him pull that off.
I congratulate him on his first long cruise and wish him luck with the restoration of his vessel.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies
Last edited by Jeff_H; 04-26-2011 at 11:58 AM.