Join Date: Mar 2006
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A Cape Dory 30' Cutter for $1500 is probably going to require more than $3500 worth of work, even if he does the work himself, considering it is a storm damaged boat with damage below the waterline.
However, if he and his three crew are willing to put in the sweat equity... then this might...and a very slim chance of it, be possible to do.
Two other boats in that list might also be viable candidates... The Morgan OutIsland 28 and the Islander 29. While neither of these boats are storm damaged, or at least don't say so in the listing, they will probably have some issues with either deck delamination, the rigging or some other major element to the boat.
In any of the three, I would get as thorough a survey as possible, so that you know what needs work, what can be left as is, and what needs to be replaced.
A couple of things I would point out.
First, on boats this small, the four of you will essentially be living in each other's back pockets... and only if you're the best of friends and willing to tolerate each other in the confines of what is essentially the size of a small closet, with absolutely no where else to go, especially once you're on a long passage... then you might be able to make this work. Most people, even very close couples, aren't able to tolerate this type of close proximity.
Second, the four of you must have some serious sailing experience among you to make such a passage on such a small boat. The boat will probably be fairly heavily loaded, as you will be requiring provisions and gear for four people, rather than the usual one or two on a boat this size. Sailing a heavily laden boat requires more skill and luck than sailing one that is not so burdened. Your ability to carry surplus stores, which would be required in the case of a longer than normal passage will be much more limited than it would be for a boat this size carrying its more typical complement of just one or two people, and getting the best performance and making the fastest possible passage is critical. Finally, the boat will be slower than it would be, so your skills in executing an efficient passage will be very crucial.
This isn't to say that all four of you need to be "expert" sailors....but I don't think this would even be feasible to attempt unless two of you are very experienced sailors with some bluewater passages beneath your belts.
If all four of you are relative novices, the combination of a small boat, heavily loaded, with limited stores is likely to lead to something akin to the Donner party on water...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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