when/how do you throw in the towel on a boat - SailNet Community

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Old 04-21-2007
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when/how do you throw in the towel on a boat

We are trying to fix up a neglected , old 27' sailboat inherited from a family member. I'm in the process of having a surveyor go over it, so I can get insurance. He's found blisters on it, and the stuff I read on the internet about them sounds horrifying, but I'm not sure the ones on this boat are larger than an dime. I'va had a quote of $1500 to fix that problem, and still waiting for the rest of the survey info.

If the cost of the repairs to the boat are equal or greater than the estimated value of the boat (maybe $5000), what alternatives do I have? How are old boats (legally) disposed of? thanks for any input, I'm not particularly physically fit or nautical, just trying to deal with this in a responsible way.
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Old 04-21-2007
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It depends on what the boat is worth to you. If you really want to learn how to sail and appreciate the boat as a family "heirloom"... then the repairs aren't really an issue. However, if you don't really care to sail, and don't want to incur possibly unreasonable costs for the boat, you should probably sell it or get rid of it.

If the survey basically says it is just in need of some repairs, you should put it on the market for a bit above what they say it is worth and try to sell it. Otherwise, you'll need to contact a boat salvage company to get rid of the hull for you...
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-21-2007 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 04-21-2007
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If you decide its just not worth it, I would not look for a salvage company. I would try to list it on ebay first. It might be just what someone else is looking for and could save yourself any hassle.
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Old 04-21-2007
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Try to donate it to one of the organizations in the sail magazines that is always looking for old boats for charity. Take the tax write off and some kid with DIY skills and energy will fix it up and go sailing.
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Old 04-21-2007
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What Cam said. There's a reason our club has 29 Sharks: at least six of them have been donations from the non-sailing families of late sailors, and they have been in various states of disrepair. Crew join the "Shark Club" and learn to fix boats from other members...they've done some exceedingly beautiful work. The end result is that able, non-boat-owning members get to "sign out" good old boats to gain real-life skills.

There are also many organizations that do outreach programs to disadvantaged or troubled youth...by taking them sailing on boats they've fixed up themselves. It teaches teamwork and self-reliance and responsibility for one's actions, in and amongst the sailing skills.

Ask around at yacht clubs local to you. It may be "worthless" to you (or simply the cost of repairs/time exceeds its intrinsic value), but it's worth something to someone.

And cutting up two tons of boat for a landfill is actually tedious and expensive...the leftover lead doesn't pay for it at all.
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I'd suggest not getting too worked up over finding blisters. A large fraction (majority, maybe?) of good old boats out there have them to some extent or another, and except in rare cases they are no more than a cosmetic problem.

If you haven't seen it, there's a great article on the subject at Buying a Boat or Yacht : Buying a Blister Boat

Don't let that repair quote discourage you. Yard labor for boat work is ridiculously expensive. The $1500 you were quoted is probably 80% labor cost and 20% materials. For instance, 20 hours X $60/hour = $1200. The work doesn't require much skill. It's mostly just tedious. If you decide you do want to fix the blisters and don't mind reading directions off a can, you can grind out the blisters, fill them and put a barrier epoxy coating on the hull.

Good luck!

Tim
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How do you get rid of it??
Try a land fill most will take them and charge by trailor size or weight..
I know the land fill here takes Fiber Glass boats..I went with a friend who had an 16 ft. power boat the decks delaminated on..they charged him for an 18 ft. trailor and he payed $18.90 to dispose of it)...be careful if they go by weight)
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You guys have been a great source of information and help to me without knowing it. I have been struggling with dealing with this boat for several months, and have read a lot of info in the forums and articles of Sailnet. These have helped me to be just slightly less dumb than I looked when I talked to various tow companies, marinas, surveyors, salvage yards, etc. This am my surveyor told me he knows of a local organization which may be willing to take the sailboat as a donation, so, given that we live in prime hurricane country, that I'm 53 , not wealthy, and overweight with a steel rod in my leg, I think I'm going to try and get out if the opportunity arises. It seems like a bit of a shame, though. I can see how people get enamoured with the agony and the ecstacy of sailing--cause there's surely some of both! thanks again::
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Old 04-21-2007
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I'm told many landfills won't take boats because of hazmat issues. If the keel is lead or iron, it can be removed and sold for scrap, but the bottom paint is still usually classed as hazmat so the hull is still a problem.

I agree with Cam, if you don't want to invest in fixing it up, a local scout troup or other non-profit may be very interested in it as a project. Read up on blisters, they aren't all the same and aren't always fatal, sometimes you just need to do a lot of grinding and cleaning and then seal the bottom, i.e with a couple of layers of epoxy or barrier coat.

But, also consider the cost of sails and whatever else the surveryor turns up. Even a small boat can be very expensive if you don't have the time or the skills or the place to work on it. If it looks like more than you can take on--by all means, sell it off before it overcomes you.
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when/how do you throw in the towel on a boat??

That is a good question. I will try to answer the best I can..some here might not agree, but no one is perfect.

Well..

a) first roll towel into a smaller diameter piece, or into a nicely compact roll, this serves two purposes:

1)To create a lower frontal area, increasing air penetration surface, often called Cx, and thus diminish drag and make the towel more aerodynamic, allowing it to travel further with less throwing power.
2) To allow better hand grip, which will in turn, allow better throw control and increase precision.

* Note: Please note that throwing technique can vary, from baseball type throw, to Football throw and even lady like throw.

Path can also change from tensile projection, (larger distance travelled but less control), or parabolic ballistic type projection, where towel will travel upwards, falling in target, (lower distance travelled, but better precision).

b) Select a good throwing location, making sure that (X) distance and (Y) amplitude are within reach of throwing mechanism, in this case your arm.

c) Try to stay behind boat, in full view of cockpit or companionway.

d) Throw towel, by slowly cocking arm towrdas the rear, and (depending on throwing method) fastly uncock arm, releasing towel at apex of arm movement arch.

Practice will allow better results, as throwing a towel ion a boat can sometimes be affected by alchool ingestion, drug abuse and wind/sea conditions.

As far as when, best results have been observed during the morning, when wind is lower, seas are calmer, and often, alchool ingestion is still not observed.

We strongly recomend against throwing towel at night...lack of luminosity and ingestion of liquids may affect precision.

remeber...practice makes perfect...

Towel colour is optional and irrelevant.

Last edited by Giulietta; 04-21-2007 at 08:31 PM.
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