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Old 06-01-2009
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Boat maintenance without a marina

I'm not sure what forum to put this in since it's part buying a boat and part maintenance and part "I'm a newbie."

So here's my story: I've recently really wanted to get into sailing. I've read a lot about it (thank you to everyone who recommended The Complete Sailor, great book) and have volunteered to crew on 2 races at nearby Smith Mountain Lake.

My long-term goal is to spend several years cruising along the east coast with my wife. Originally, I thought I would save up and buy a nice boat built for coastal crusining. But lately I have been thinking maybe I should buy something cheap and small and learn on that one before moving to a 30+ foot boat.

So a friend of mine owns some land on the lake with a dock. He also used to work in a marina doing all sorts of maintenance on boats. He has agreed to help me fix up an old boat and even dock it at his place. I figure it would be better for me to buy a fixer upper and learn to do the maintenance with him so that I will know what to do when stuff goes wrong on the nicer boat I will someday own.

So at the marina I crew at, I see a 22 foot Ventura for $1200. The owner says it needs some clean up and TLC. My question (finally) is this: how much work can be done without putting the boat on a lift? Since I am such a cheapskate, I would rather dock it for free at my friends than pay for a slip at a marina.

I know the ad didn't say what needs to be cleaned up, but how much can be done if the boat is just in the water? Or is all this a horrible idea?
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Old 06-01-2009
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Welcome to the Net. You can do dang near everything that's above the waterline. If you have access to a trailer, you can get the boat out of the water to do the below waterline stuff. Even if you have to rent/borrow a trailer, you could place it on a home made cradle, on jacks, etc. and drive the trailer out from under it to return the trailer to its owner. Lots of ways to skin the cat!

If you look at Sailingdog's thread on tips for a boat buying trip, you'll get a pretty good idea if this boat is a good buy at $1200. Keep us posted. You'll probably want to start a thread in the boat buying forum or the gear and maintenance forum for questions pertaining to the project once you get started.
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Old 06-01-2009
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Welcome aboard to the net and to future boat ownership. As the above poster said you can do a ton of work while the boat is in the water and the trailer idea sounds great. However even if you did need a marina to haul it out, you wouldn't need to pay them for a slip. You could just pay for the haul out and then keep the boat docked at your friends dock when it is back in the water.

Also you will probably want to look at the boat's bottom before you purchase it so you will want to see it out of the water before you lay out the cash. If thats so, you should prob plan on doing the bottom work before you put it back in the water for your first time.
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Old 06-01-2009
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If your Cheap a trailer is a necessity and i AM cheep BUT own two trailers
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 06-01-2009
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Yes, anything that doesn't involve the bottom of the boat or holes through the bottom of the boat is probably doable without a marina. On a boat that size, even stepping the mast is doable without one.

BTW, my Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread is the one that was recommended above. Follow it and you'll have a pretty good idea of whether this boat is worth investing your time and efforts into or not.
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