Considering buying a boat. 1980 25'Laguna Windrose but have a question/concern - SailNet Community

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Old 07-26-2007
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Considering buying a boat. 1980 25'Laguna Windrose but have a question/concern

The following is the information I have on the boat. I would be getting this very cheap and do not mind learning to do some repairs and maintenance. I also have to learn to sail and thought this would be a good start. My main concern is the Keel. The boat would stay in the water all the time so trailering it is no issue, but what do I need to look for when I go view the boat to ensure the keel is in the down position and not coming up from a gust of wind? My first project would be to repair this, and if its all rusted and was frozen I know it can be very time consuming from the information I have found. I guess my main concern is if it is safe like this? I figure a boat with a little scuff and bruises for a learner is probably not such a bad thing as long as its safe and sound.


1980 25' Laguna Windrose is a great day sailing boat for cruising with friends. It has a full sail and jib (both with a few sailtape repairs, but great condition overall), with a large deck. It also has a cabin that sleeps four with table, sinks and stove. Comes with a VERY well-running 6hp outboard Nissan motor The boat has a swing keel and the cable is broken so the keel is in the down position and can't be raised for trailering without repair. Does not effect normal sailing at all! The boat has a full fiberglass hull.
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Old 07-27-2007
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The keel is a pain in the butt to deal with, but you can probably fix it. You will have to run a new cable while the boat is in the water and then dive down and attach it. It's not too difficult, but if you can't do it yourself, it will cost a fair amount of money.

As far as safety goes...there should be some kind of locking mechanism to keep it down, so find it and see if it works. If the lock is there and operating, then it's not likely to come up while you are sailing.

I would be more concerned about the sails. Tape is not likely to hold for more than a few hours - days if you are very lucky. Sounds like you will need new sails.

Unless you are getting this boat for next to nothing (under 1000 dollars) then you are paying too much. Personally, I would keep looking for something a little smaller and in better condition. There are too many boats out there in good condition to settle for something that is going to be a headache.

The sails alone are going to cost you between 2 and 3 thousand dollars to replace, and it is a big crapshoot to buy a boat without looking at the hull when it is out of the water.

When you get up to 25 feet in length there are usually fittings that go through the hull somewhere, and you need to see them from the outside as well as the inside to assess their condition. There can also be problems with the fibreglass.

At the very least, if you don't haul it out, make sure that you sit on the boat in the water for a couple of hours asking the owner questions, doing anything to pass time. You want to determine if there are any leaks, so check the bilges as soon as you get there - mark where the water is - and then check again in a couple of hours.

Good Luck !
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Old 07-27-2007
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What sailormann said is all good, but you might also consider that this boat was designed as a trailer sailor, which is great if that's how you use it. But if you're not going to trailer it, than you're sacrificing a lot, including; hull shape and design, (they're shaped more like a speedboat than a sailboat) light weight construction, swing keel vs fixed keel, sparse interior etc. If you don't need a trailer sailor, then look for a better boat.
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Thank you for the info. I have never owned a boat so not really sure what to look for when buying one and this advice helps. The boat is 600.00 which I know is very cheap so I know it must have more wrong with it than what is said so far. I eventually want to work my way up to a 36 or so but want to start somewhat small to learn. I would be sailing San Francisco Bay area so do not want to go to small.

Thank you again for the great advice. I had no idea sails would be so much. I think I might be better off spending 3-4k and getting one ready to sail.
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Old 07-27-2007
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If you go for it

Working on an old boat can be fun, and you learn a lot. Not sure if you will find a lock for the swing keel, it may be designed to "kick up" if you hit something. Check the boat out, agree with sitting in the boat for a few hours while on water, then check for any water in the boat. Take a mask along and check out anything you can dive to and see. Check the rudder connections, we just had a guy loose his rudder on his 1st sail on his new bargain boat. As for the sails, can be big $$$'s to replace, but there is always the option of buying used sails, still $$, but save a lot over new ones. Good luck
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Old 07-27-2007
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Just starting out, on SF bay, you need to look for a good seaworthy boat that is well rigged and reasonably equipped. Size would be almost a secondary consideration.

Learning in demanding high wind range conditions is actually OK - you learn quickly what works and what doesn't. The last thing you need, though, is to be worried that some part of the boat will not hold up. You'll be busy enough deciding if you and your crew are up to the task.

I'd also suggest you do not want anything that is not self righting or self bailing - which doesn't necessarily rule out some trailerables, but a good fixed keel boat may be a better long term bet.
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Old 07-27-2007
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Thank you for all of the great advice. I am teetering on taking courses or grabbing a friend that sails a little and reading/watching DVDs on the How to's. I guess first thing is to find the boat that I want. I do want a good boat and while I do not mind working on it because as you said it will teach me a lot about the boat, I think maybe I should hold out and look for more of a turnkey boat instead of the bargain boat. The bargain boat I may decide to snatch up when i see them later just for the fin of refurbishing and selling them afterwards. I would love to learn to work on them top to bottom.
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