So, the stars aligned and I bought a small sailboat for my wife and I. It's a Venture 17, which although perhaps not the boat of my dreams, is a good compromise design for us, being big enough to have a small cabin, and small enough to be towed behind my S-10. (I currently live in SW Florida, and I'm just unwilling to spend $200-$300 a month for a patch of water to float my boat on!) Besides, if I really wanted to go fast, I'd take up flying again!
The condition of the boat is surprisingly good given the price (it even floats!). No blisters, keel cable recently replaced, and I couldn't detect any soft spots on the hull anywhere! The original owner also decked in the interior, and while reducing the usable space, the area below the deck was filled with foam blocks to aid flotation.
I did have to replace one shroud, the p.o. managed to cross the battery terminals with it, and the arc damage was too severe to ignore. Fortunately, a rigging shop was just down the road, so I'm back in business.
There are a few items that need seeing to, of course. The original owner left it out in the weather year round, and there is significant crazing along the topdeck where it turns down to the gunwhale. There are also a few spots where the finish has been either worn off (by an anchor line, I suspect, despite the two guides on the bow!), or cracked away to reveal the glass. Looking at this, it would seem that the finish is quite thin, which makes me wonder if it's gelcoat or some other kind of finish. The attached photos illustrate the problems, if I can get them posted:
How do I repair damage like this? Forgive my ignorance, but is there some kind of bondo-like product I can use to protect the glass before repainting the boat? I've been told that the cracks will need to be opened up before I can fill them effectively. Also, what kind of paint to repaint a boat? Although I've been on boats since I was about 2, this is the first time I've really had to do any maintenance. (Grandpa's boat was a garage queen!)
Other than the finish issue, I would like to add some cam cleats to the gunwales for the jib sheets, right now we only have standard cleats.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!!!