Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: western Maine
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Re: 26' Ericson - Need a little help
I would not get in a strange cheap boat and do a coastal cruise with little experience.
"Coastal cruise" may sound safe and easy, but there are shoals, reefs, rocks, tides, currents, lobster pots etc. to deal with. You need to get some experience sailing with others, sailing around the harbor, finding out how a current can sweep you into things or make your helm stop responding.
I bought a boat that had the port side gutted. I worked on it on land to get it ship-shape before sailing it, then tried it out on a fresh water lake in summer weather before taking it to the ocean.
It's a bit hard to fit the settees etc. to the curved shape of the hull. Make sure you learn how to scribe wood, work with some cheap stuff or cardboard to get the pattern, cut the final pieces oversize and scribe them in.
I like the side I built the best, better workmanship, no creaking and groaning when you sit, better openings into the storage.
Instead of trying to sail it before you are ready, look into having it transported to somewhere to work on it. Get some experience sailing before heading out on the ocean.
Basically, there are a million old boats, don't jump for a low price, there are plenty of free ones I wouldn't consider taking. Don't think you have to rush into it, it's not your only chance. I bought mine after looking at a hundred, finding one I knew I could fix, basically sound, sails OK. It wasn't my first fixer up either. I'd get a complete boat to start out. Cheaper to let someone else do the work.