shopping for a project boat... - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 55 Old 10-21-2011
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From your self description I'd say we were separated at birth. I have all the same character defects you list.

I've built a 26' race boat from a hull shell, restored a 26' race boat that was extremely run down (partial deck recore, new engine etc. etc. and am restoring a 43' old shoe. I think I speak from experience.

My advice is DO IT....... BUT start with a reasonably decent boat that you can use right off or nearly so. Going this route will probably slow the project down as far as final completion goes but if you can use it at least some of the time it will hold your interest better.

From what I understand, you get a reasonably serious winter there and that is when you get the most work done, especially if you can get it indoors.

If you will be sailing with up to 5, get the 34' Tartan!!!

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #12 of 55 Old 10-21-2011
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Look at Alberg designed boats. They mostly look and (probably) sail similar. Pearson Triton, Bristol 27, Alberg 30, Cape Dory's of many sizes. Even if you want a big project, I still agree with others that you should get a boat that starts out with all the stuff you need to sail. You can then do part of the re-fit every season, and still get some sailing in.
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post #13 of 55 Old 10-21-2011 Thread Starter
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Lots of good Tartan info. Thanks, Skywalker, for the info about camp cruising with the family. That's the stuff I'm looking for. Also, the icebox issue with the T27 is interesting. Probably won't be an issue with me, since most of my sailing will likely be just my daughter and me for a couple of days, or her and her friends with me for day sailing. Maybe a couple of my other kids once in a while. Once I started looking at the T27, I found I really like her lines. Most of the other 26-28 footers I have researched seem a little stocky or stubby. So far, the Tartans are leading the pack.

Still, I would like to hear from someone with a Pearson. I understand the 28 and 30s are nice boats and good sailers. I particularly like the Coaster 30.

Mike and Jim, thanks for your advice. I know it's sound advice, but to tell the truth, it defeats what I want to do. I'm actually looking for a boat that doesn't work. I've been doing this kind of thing too long to expect to "conserve my investment". I like taking things that don't work and that folks have thrown by the wayside and making them work again. Like I said, it's an illness. I've already told my kids not to expect much of an inheritance. Besides, I can rebuild an engine myself for a few hundred bucks, and sails are not terribly hard to make, if you just study up a bit. You see, I'm on a whole different paradigm. It's sort of like books. Some people like to read 'em. Some people like to write 'em.

Tom, nice Cal. She turned out very well, judging from the outside. Thanks for the pics.

kd3, The Sabre 28 was a Craigslist listing that has expired. I got their email, so I can contact them when I'm ready and see if the boat is still available. I expect it will be. There are way more boats for sale around here than there are buyers, particularly for those boats that need work.

Barq, isn't the Pearson Coaster 30 an Alberg? I like the lines of the Albergs, but they aren't as common as the Tartans and Pearson around here.

Anybody know much about Helms boats? There are quite a few Helms 27s popping up. I know one offered for $100obo, and it floats!

Thanks for all the feedback folks.

Caleb, look for me on the Yahoo group site. Same username. Thanks

Last edited by thenrie; 10-21-2011 at 07:21 PM.
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post #14 of 55 Old 10-21-2011
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Another thought about cruising with kids. The helm is very light and the kids were always comfortable at the helm, even when the were quite young. The boats motion, even in a stiff breeze, inspires confidence. I'm lucky enough to live with a view of Long Island Sound from my house. My daughter, when she was 10 and 11, would look out her bedroom window, see whitecaps, and tell me it's a good day for sailing!

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post #15 of 55 Old 10-21-2011
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I have some experience with this, with a 1979 Mariner 28.

As stated earlier when buying a project boat ensure the basics are there. A hull, keel, rudder and deck that only require minor repair. Rigging and mast in good shape. Ensure the shrouds are secured well.

On the Mariner it required a lot of work on the interior and exterior teak. I had the hull soda blasted there were no moisture spots in the hull. Put on a coat of moisture barrier and 2 coats ablative.

The exterior teak alone is a full time job to keep up with. The original engine is still installed and runs great, electrical system is fine and I installed my own electronics. Will install an auto-helm this winter.

I just replaced the mainsail and headsail this past year.

I should point out it was an abandoned boat in a yard that I paid $12000 for in 2007. Since then I have put in another $5000 for new sails and $4000 in electronics (chart plotter and VHF) I pay about another $5000 a year in yard bills and slip fees just to maintain the boat.

This past year I invested $2000 in work on the mast and furling system.

The soda blasting was $1500 but removed 20+ years worth of paint

The point I am trying to make is that there will be things you can do yourself and things you can't. The things you cant will be expensive.

I have enjoyed every minute as I believe you will as well. Just be careful and don't get in over your head so you can enjoy it.

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Deale, MD
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post #16 of 55 Old 10-21-2011
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12 K for an abandoned boat?
Isn't it too much?

But more to the point, small increase in size (from 27' to 33') adds some more volume and a lot more working. Both the surfaces that need something done and stuff that fits inside. The even bigger issue is the "real estate". Transportating/hauling around, storage and docking - the $$ difference between 27' and 33 could be huge. Like, at 33' keelboat, unless your other business is boat transport, forget about trailering by yourself. Lenght/weight/height clearanse etc.
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post #17 of 55 Old 10-21-2011
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Actually we felt the $12k was a bargain. Hull in excellent shape. It still has the original rigging, mast, roller furling, and engine. Abandoned boats vary, I looked at some where the hull required extensive work, engines would have to have been rebuilt or replaced, interiors completely ripped out and refurbished, etc. Again there are good bargain project boats out there just start with a foundation based on your skill set and time.
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post #18 of 55 Old 10-22-2011
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Originally Posted by thenrie View Post
I'm getting ready to retire and try some of the things I have always wanted to do, but never had the time, money, and location all at the same time. One of these things is sailing. I am looking around for a sailboat project and have been doing a lot of research on various boats I have seen come up for sale in the area (Virginia) and am starting to define my wish list a bit.

I am obviously a beginner, with some boating experience, but no sailing experience to speak of, so I'm not looking for an ocean cruiser. I am quite comfortable in my other hobbies, leaving civilization for days, or even weeks at a time, so I know I want coastal cruising capabilities for more than simple overnighters. I will likely have one daughter as crew, and occasionally up to 5 aboard for day cruises or overnighters, but I expect that often I'll be single-handing. Most of my sailing will be in and around the Chesapeake, with occasional ventures north and south, just to see.

I am also a do-it-yourselfer. I get my warm-fuzzies from taking something that doesn't work anymore and bringing it back to life. No need to warn me about the expense of restoring/refitting an old boat, or informing me that it is less expensive to buy one that has been well-maintained. I am well aware of that, but it just doesn't fit my character. I NEED to fix things. Using them is secondary - a reward for the work; I view the cost as I do a tool. I know. It's a mental illness. A character defect. Whatever. It's how I am. Anyway, from my youth I have developed at least basic skills in mechanics, electrical systems, woodworking, fiberglass, and other things. I have a fully stocked cabinet shop, welding outfit, mechanics shop, and am still collecting tools of every kind. I don't have a tractor yet, but I'm gonna get one (what is it about tractors?)

From my research, I have identified several boats that seem to be common in this area that I think would fit my needs: Pearson 26,28, and 30; Tartan 27, 30, 34c; Sabre 28. I have seen a couple Seafarer 29s for sale as well, but I seem to be leaning to more traditional-looking vessels. I have to say, the boat that has become my favorite (never having stepped aboard one) is the Tartan 34C. Each of the listed boats have been offered for sale for anywhere from $5000 (Pearson 30 Coaster) to "Cost of removal" in my area over the past several months. While the Pearsons seem to be most common, I really have developed a taste for the Tartans. However, I found a Sabre 28, that includes a trailer, that has been sitting unfinished since 2006, that piques my interest as well.

What I'm asking for here, is a discussion of the various virtues and vices of the above sailboats, and their suitability for my desires, as well as their relative values once they are brought back to "well-maintained" condition. Please keep in mind that I will get the training I need, and I will be competent to do the sailing I intend to do, and I will know intimately my boat as I do so, so it would be most useful to me if the discussion were more about the capabilities of the boats than the sailor.

Love the forum and the great information from experienced sailors. I especially love the threads about refits and restorations. I hope to be contributing such a thread soon.

Stafford, VA
Take a look at Good Old Boat - Fixer-Upper Sailboats

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #19 of 55 Old 10-22-2011
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I would only add.. what ever boat you find to be your project. Try to at least sail it or even motor it one time before you put her on the hard.. then you will have something to inspire you to "fixerup"! So many boats were bought with well intentions but the owner had never sailied it and never really connected with the boat.
Jus sayin..

"Next best thing to not having a boat? The knowledge from having one!" Denise, Bristol PA, On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #20 of 55 Old 10-22-2011
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Sabre is probably the top name in all those boats. Not that a Sabre28 will trump any 34, but Sabre earned a reputation for a very solidly built boat, with a high resale value, andgood handling and balance. Little things like putting a dust grate at the bottom of the companionway tell you that the folks who designed the boat, spent a lot of their own time on boats and didn't cut corners.

But part of the decision has to be whether you want to build a doll-house, or build something you'll be sailing for daysails? Overnights? Pay attention to the head as much or more than the berths, if you plan to have women aboard and want to stay out overnight. Or if you prefer being able to step off a boat looking fresh and clean.

If you want a real project look for something with a teak deck, the old ones need to be removed, the deck sealed, and then new teak laid--beautiful but labor intensive and not cheap either. I'd expect any 30 year old teak decked boat to have many leaks by now. It is the rare few that were built and maintained well enough not to have issues by now.
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