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Old 08-22-2006
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The compression post, and associated areas, are like the chassis of a car. They are structural not cosmetic. The spider cracks in the deck indicate it has been stressed, and if there is a plywood or balsa center core (which is typical construction) that may have been water damaged or collapsed over the years, so a repair begins with some testing on the deck to see if deck repairs are necessary.
Then you'd need to find out the correct length for the compression post itself, to see if yours is original/correct/damaged.
Last there is the compression post's "step" where it sits on the keel, or on a support over the keel, and that has to be in proper order.
When those are all correct, and the rigging is in proper tension (too much being as bad as too little) then yes, you can probably take 10' waves safely but remember that "small craft warnings" are intended for boats under 26 feet, and that means this one. Waves that size can be dangerous for this boat if the crew does not know how to handle them.
And with an outboard engine hanging off the stern (even with a long-neck engine, which is the only correct one for a sailboat) you'd be porpoising so badly in 10' waves, that you'd have no engine effectively. Again, not a problem if the crew and boat are up to sailing...but more than that boat should be out in.
When the structure has been neglected (as shown by the spider cracks) you can be sure there are other problems you haven't seen, and the sails are probably so badly worn out as to need replacement if you want the boat to sail properly. That may already cost more than you think, so please, find someone local who knows boats, and have them check it over with you.
Some folks would say it is a waste to spend $400-500 on a surveyor for a $2500 boat...but that's one option.
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