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  #1  
Old 06-15-2006
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first boat or junk pile?

my local marina has an "o`day 26" with a crack in hull near the rear.
it is for sure a fixer upper as there are no sails and the interior is rough.
is this a feasible first boat or is it for someone with a little more knowledge in sailing and repair.
the only reason i even am considering it is because it is really cheap.
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Old 06-15-2006
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Run Away !!!!

If you look around a bit you will find boats that are rough (cheap) but complete. I speak from years of experiance and viewing many expensive sad lessons. The only way a sad old hull makes sense is if you have a ton of tools, parts, experiance and vision and you want to experiment with a wild idea. Even then it is amazing how many old boats are becoming liabilities to marinas and owners and are being nearly given away. In the size you a taking about a little research and $1000 to $2500 should get you a complete and ready to sail/motor boat. You will spend nearly a week washing out years of mud-dabbers nests and mildew and yuck and the sails will be stained the the cushions may or may not be salvagable and the electrical stuff will have some issues.... BUT everything will be there for the most part and most of it will kind of sort of work with some cleaning, oiling. Starting from an empty sad broke hull is NO ECONOMY. If your goal is a project rather than getting on the water maybe you can change my mind but I say you will NEVER save any money starting with an old broke hull.

Get a jon boat and cruise a 100 mile section of the intercoastal water way and you will see boats at docks that seem solid and complete and ready to go (sort of) but look like they have not moved in 4-5 years. Get one of those.
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Old 06-16-2006
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I'd have to agree with sailandoar. A cracked hull is subject to a whole host of really expensive and time-consuming repairs. The hull could be delaminating due to water intrusion through the crack.

You'd be much better off finding a boat that is undamaged but neglected, as he has suggested.
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Old 06-16-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
You'd be much better off finding a boat that is undamaged but neglected, as he has suggested.
Completely Agree...
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Old 06-16-2006
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Buying the boat you describe sounds like you'd be farther from getting on the water than if you did not have a boat at all. If you want to sail then stay away from that boat. If you want to spend your summers working on that boat for years to come then buy it.
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Old 06-16-2006
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There is a simple test of the viability of a 'giveaway' priced boat in a boatyard, speaking as a lifelong boatyard guy, and that is that no one in the boatyard wants it, and they, you would think, might know something about boats.

Now, there is some truth to those ugly rumors about boatyard guys being first kin to seagulls, in that they tend to scoop up whatever floats up and save it for a rainy day, if they don't eat it right on the spot. So, if that pack of packrats don't want it, let that be your test.

And here's another one. Wish I could say it's an old waterfront bit of handed down wisdom, but it's actually a line from the end of the movie 'Ronin', spoken by Robert DeNiro.

"If there's any doubt, there's no doubt." And you got doubt, or you wouldn't have posted here, so there's no doubt, you don't want that boat. Don't get it.
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Old 06-16-2006
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I have to say that the description is not so complete that I would say that there is no doubt. A crack near the rear could be anything from simple spider cracks (common with the 26's flanged hull to deck joint), to a hull tearing itself apart. If you think the boat is worth whatever the yard is asking, and the $3000-$4000 to buy used sails, engine and put the boat right, then I would suggest contact a Marine Surveyor and buy an hour or two pre-offer consultation.

Jeff
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Old 06-16-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
I'd have to agree with sailandoar. A cracked hull is subject to a whole host of really expensive and time-consuming repairs. The hull could be delaminating due to water intrusion through the crack.

You'd be much better off finding a boat that is undamaged but neglected, as he has suggested.
I concur. A lot of boats in the U.S. South are structurally compromised due to storm damage. You'd do better here in Canada, where a lot of smaller cruisers are cheap due to creeping "footitis" or even looking inland a fair distance for a 26-footer that is "queen of the lake" somewhere, has never seen frost or salt, and is owned by an old guy looking for a mere five grand or something, because there is a very small market for sailboats away from the lakes or the sea.

A relative in Saskatchewan got an excellent Columbia for peanut this way, because there are few places in Saskatchewan worth sailing, and the owner had it on the block for a year or two with few nibbles.
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Old 06-16-2006
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"Run Away !!!! "

Sage words. The cost of doing a proper repair, even assuming that's the only damage, plus getting sails, finding out all the other problems...once a boat has ben abandoned for a few years (and often stripped in the yard) it can easily cost more to fix it, than to buy a whole boat. And if you can't fix it, you have to pay hazmat disposal fees to get rid of it. Ouch.

And that's assuming they even have a clean title to go with it.

Of course, IF they'll give you the boat, and a year of storage time to work on it, AND you can really be sure of everything else....Nah, its still time to RUN AWAY!
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Old 06-16-2006
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Be afraid...be very afraid

All kidding aside, I am a perfect example of the "restore the yard queen" mentality. My current boat (Cal 25 flat top) was basically given to me with a completely caved-in hull-deck joint. The boat was full of water and it had a few structural problems. Nothing that a year of weekends, and several gallons of West System couldn't fix (ok and new shrouds, and tons of marine plywood for bulkheads, cabin sole, bunks, hanging locker, galley, dinette, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and replacing the mast beam, outboard "transom" beam, mast pedestal, and lots of fittings, sails and other stuff. What did my few hundred $ get me? a hull that needed restoration but a brand new Evinrude outboard which was lovingly tucked in the V-berth where it was safe and dry.

I used the boat as a father/son restoration project (I'm the son) and my dad is now acting 25 years younger. He's 76 y/o now and still out there racing with me on occasion and eager for any reason to visit the boat or go sailing. I understand the practicality of spending $1000 to $3000 for a good condition Cal 25 with racing sails and all the trimmings, but I don't know if I would appreciate the boat as much as I do now. Also, I designed all the running rigging. Because I have the experience of repairing everything aboard, I understand where to look and what to do when something goes dreadfully wrong while sailing.

Though a restoration project isn't for the faint of heart, it can be rewarding. My $500 boat ended up costing me over $6000 in materials, yard fees, rigging, etc. To date, I can't even begin to estimate the total cost of this ongoing project. The time spent with my dad, however was priceless. I'm not sure either of us would have as much passion for using a boat I picked up in good condition. I now sail my Cal 25 year-round in Annapolis (Yes, I winter race her as well......Brrrrrrrr).

Cheers,
Scott S.
Cal 25 #1651 Indefatigable
Annapolis MD
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