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Valdensule 06-23-2009 04:03 PM

Free Boat? Wooden, hmm, Just come get it? hmm..
Ok, It has happened. Someone has offered me a "free" boat. It's a wooden sloop built in the early 60's. Looks like it is still in good condition and was in the process of being restored when owner passed away. It's a 25 footer and I don't know the 1st thing about moving it. I was told it weighs 16,500 lbs. Sound right? Does anyone have advice on this situation. I have a professional survey done just before it was lifted out of the water, It's been on the hard (unptotected) for about 6 years. Thoughts?

TheFrog 06-23-2009 04:17 PM

Sounds like you don't know much about the boat and perhaps not too much about sailing in general. 6 yrs since last survey, lots of money to move it, more money to finish the restoration, more money and time to keep it up. Unless you know what you are getting into (like Charlie Cobra) don't get this boat.

First guy I sailed with told me about wooden boats - "It's like having a family member with cancer. Not a question of if, but when."

Freesail99 06-23-2009 04:18 PM

A wooden boat that was left to the elements for 6 years, I think I would pass. Most free boats cost more then the one's you can buy.

sailingdog 06-23-2009 04:36 PM

A wooden boat that has dried out on the hard is going to be more trouble than it is worth. Also, if it has any deck or cabin top leaks, and it will, the wood is likely badly rotted from water intrusion, unless it was either covered or stored indoors.

hellosailor 06-23-2009 04:56 PM

There could literally be 10,000 screws or nails that need to be removed and replaced, and no way to tell if the wood is rotted out or good. So without a current survey from someone who knows wood could wind up needing to haul away a lot of poor quality firewood. But, you never know.

JohnRPollard 06-23-2009 05:32 PM

A 16,500 lbs displacement 25 footer!!??

If that's correct, it will take either a hurricane or a colossal spread of canvas to make it sail.

Joesaila 06-23-2009 05:46 PM

wrong weight questionable
No...not if they pay you. I had a woodent boat once...But if its your passion is to spend time, money and a lot of effort then maybe. My 30' weighs 9,500, I'd question 16,500.

Jeff_H 06-24-2009 04:39 PM

While I am generally a big fan of traditional wooden boats, I would say that as you describe this one, it makes little sense. First of all, a 25 foot boat is not all that hard to own and restore but you need to know what you are doing. If previously reasonably well maintained, and owned by a knowledgable owner, they are not all that hard to maintain and can be repaired almost forever. A well built, and well maintained wooden boat will easily outlast its plastic counterpart. But those are two very important phrases.

If you are someone who is a jack of all trades, good with your hands, have a good set of hand tools, has lots of stick-to-it-ness and genuinely likes working on big projects, then this might be more reasonable, but only if its a good boat to begin with....And there is the rub.

A reasonably well built, decent sailing wooden 25 footer would weigh somewhere between 4200 lbs (folkboat) to 6500 lbs (Vertue). That says that either the owner knows nothing about this boat, or else she is way too heavy for her own good.

There are great old wooden boats out there worthy of the effort, but here you are dealing with an unknown design, that was left unloved and uncared for trying to restore it with with minimal existing skills. Off hand that's just not a good idea.


SeaCoyote 06-25-2009 10:32 PM

I once owned a 70' wooden tugboat built in 1941. It was like having another child and thowing his/her ivy league college tuition in the water every quarter. I used to lay in bed at night thinking about mold spores attacking the wood.
She was an awesome boat, but owning a wooden boat is a full time job.
This was in Seattle and when it rained I really worried about fresh water in the bilge.

CharlieCobra 06-26-2009 08:55 AM

That's what salt is for....

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