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Old 07-20-2004
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NEed Help on new SAIL BOAT PURCHASE...

I am in the midst of purchasing a sail boat for under 1k dollars. I have a friend who knows how to sail but knows nothing about what to look for when buying. I was hoping someone here could help me out with my purchase. I found a 18ft sailboat that someone is offereing at my price below 1k. I know nothign about boats except that i want one I am going to learn from my friend how to sail so at least that part is covered. I have posted some pictures of the boat if anyone can tell me if this is a good deal for a starter boat? THANKS so much for all your help i appreciate it tremendously.

This is all I have to go off of. Hopefully someone can shed some light. THANKS
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Old 07-20-2004
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NEed Help on new SAIL BOAT PURCHASE...

While it is hard to tell from the photo''s, the boat in the pictures appears to be a Lightning (although it could also be a Bluejay or Comet). It does not appear to be in competitive condition so $1000.00 is probably a slightly high price for this boat, but not extremely so. If the trailer is in decent shape and is included, it is a good price.

Lightnings are simple boats. You will need to make sure that the decks and hull are not delaminated, that the floatation/ tanks are intact and not saturated, that all of the parts are there and working, (The seller should show you how to rig the boat and take you for a sail after you have agreed upon a price.)and that the sails are there and in half way decent shape.

It would be helpful if you could tell us specific the clas, builder and year, and where you intend to use this boat, and we should be able to advise you better from there.

Good luck,
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Old 07-20-2004
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NEed Help on new SAIL BOAT PURCHASE...


The boat is definitely a Lightning. You can check out the Lightning class Web site at If the boat and trailer you photographed are in good condition--and the photos indicate that they might be--then the package could be worth much more than $1K.

As usual, Jeff H is correct--the boat is not rigged to latest racing standards (but the rigging is fairly modern, and it should allow you to have fun daysailing or racing). I also agree with Jeff that you need more info on the boat''s and the trailer''s condition to know the pair''s real value. However, they look like they''re worth serious investigation.

Good luck,
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Old 07-21-2004
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NEed Help on new SAIL BOAT PURCHASE...

Lightnings are fun boats to sail. Since they were designed for light-air Long Island Sound, they have a pretty substantial sailplan, so they move well even in light air. The hard chine makes for a boat that is fairly stable and forgiving, The centerboard, I think is pretty heavy -- more than 100 lbs -- check the Lightning Class website for details-- also helps with stability (especially when down!) I think the all-up weight of boat & board is around 800 lbs.) All this makes it a good boat to learn on. With a good breeze, they can be a blast. We''ve planed under just main & jib on occaision. The spinnaker can be a handful if the wind pipes up, but they''re still not easy to flip. Flotation tanks were added to Lightnings starting in the 70''s, so the boat may be pretty old. The REALLY old ones have wooden masts with jumper struts -- those went out after adjustable backstays were allowed. New Lightnings run in the ''teens or more, so as Jeff suggests, check out the structure (a boat that falls apart a mile off shore isn''t worth anything, even if you''re wearing a lifejacket) to make sure it''s as good a deal as it sounds. For $1000 - I''d be very tempted. Look on the class website for used boats in comparable condition and their asking prices. Olin Stephens says that the Lightning is the only design he sold his rights to, and he''s regretted it ever since.
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