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post #1 of 26 Old 07-31-2007 Thread Starter
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free boats

I am very new to sailing, (2nd year at the local community sailing). I have been bitten by the bug of transportation without the expense or use of petrochemicals. I am a few years away from retirement. The dream boat would be something that I could live aboard and endeavor to help me join the ranks of others in the Joshua Slocum Society. While that degree of sailing seems exciting, I have come to see that it will probably remain a dream. I have looked at many ads for boats, and talked to a few owners. I have met some sad folks who could not afford the upkeep of their boats. I don't want to put myself in that situation. I have the opportunity to pick up a Cal 20 for free. I have never been on one. The only thing I know about the boat is what I read in John Vigor's book, and info from the internet. I live on a river that empties into Narragansett Bay, and beyond that the south side of Cape Cod and the Atlantic Ocean. Assuming the boat looks like a keeper my plan is to put it on a mooring during the summer, and on stands or a trailer for the off season. I haven't seen the vessel yet. The current owner says he can't afford to keep the boat and that he blew out a sail while racing. I would appreciate comments from the community here regarding any aspect of this post.
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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Quicksilver, it may be a very promising boat but definitely look at it before taking it on. the cheapest part of owning a boat is the initial purchase - the expenses go up from there with upkeep and improvements. Also, as it was a racing boat it was probably used hard. However, I will say this - there is that old saying "The greatest days for a boat owner are the day he buys and the day he sells." well I don't agree with this at all. It can be labor intensive at times but in my opinion the good far outweighs the bad. So check her out and bring a friend who knows a lot about boats. Good luck.
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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Quicksilver-

Unless you are very fortunate, most "free" boats are going to be far more costly to get back into working order than buying the same boat in sailable condition. This is even more true if you are not blessed with the skills and abilities to do most of the work yourself. Free boats rarely are.

If you do decide to get the Cal 20... I would do so only conditionally on a survey and sea trial. Granted, that will cost you some money, but it may save you a lot more money in the long run, by insuring that you aren't getting saddled with a boat in such bad shape that restoration isn't feasible. A good survey will also give you an idea of what the costs and areas to be repaired are going to be.

It will also avoid you owning a boat that needs to be disposed of... as boat disposal costs are not cheap.

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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
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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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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-31-2007 at 05:02 PM.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainlouie View Post
the cheapest part of owning a boat is the initial purchase

QFT

.........
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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QFT??? Quite F***** True???

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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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post #6 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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QFT??? Quite F***** True???
Quoted For Truth.

But I imagine you knew that being sailingdog and all...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QFT
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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Ahh... problem with some acronyms is multiple meanings... and hard to tell which is the appropriate one from context at times.

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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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post #8 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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Sounds to me like you have a pretty good opportunity to start fulfilling your dream. Take the free boat. No survey, no sea trial. Just bring it home and make it work for as little as possible. Sail it for as long as you can, then find someone else with a dream and give it to them.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-31-2007
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I asked a similar question a while back about purchasing a very cheap sailboat and received much of the same wise advice. "A Cheap boat is one of the most expensive purchases you can make". A true statement.

However, I say go for it! I bought my project boat for $400 and have been thoroughly enjoying my afternoons and evenings fixing/cleaning her up. I can honestly say that the this project has given me priceless enjoyment. Yes, it will end up costing me some money, but I know that it will fit within my budget and I also know that I'm really enjoying the process.

Don't undervalue the experience!

Catalina 34

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post #10 of 26 Old 07-31-2007 Thread Starter
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I am amazed at the quanity and quality of the responses! I will be taking a look at her within the week. I am going to ask a sailing friend with vast experience to accompany me. (I may also bring a small hammer and do some tapping). I want you all to know I fully anticipated getting flamed as a cheap S.O.B. and I truly appreciate the thoughtful help you all provided. - Del Thurston
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