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Old 07-17-2012
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New guy with dumb questions.

I've done quite a bit of research on sailng recently, and a few things have left me with more questions than answers. Most involve maintaining them; I've owned a variety of powerboats since I was a teen, and the obvious differences have me wondering. So here we go, noob questions.

Edit: Dumb questions 1&2 answered. New dumb question on page 3!


1. In my reading there seems to be a fair amount of hate directed towards older boats, mostly about hull rot. A few things I've read point towards older boats being complete junk that's about to fall apart and will kill you within 15 minutes or cost billions of dollars to fix. I've never kept a boat in the water full time, but this doesn't seem to be as much of a concern from the power crowd. The attitude there seems to be more along the lines of paint the bottom, change the zincs and don't worry about it.

2. This is a really stupid question that I can't find an answer for. It's so stupid, I deleted what I typed about three times now. Mast climbing. How does that little pulley support a person? And how small of a boat can you climb? I've read discussions about weight and balance (that I understand because I'm a pilot, but I don't understand because everyone is guessing where the CG really is) For instance I've been reading a lot about the catalina 27, as I've seen a few of these for sale in my area. Could one climb the mast on that?


Ok dumb question time over, will have more soon I'm sure.

Last edited by pilotman; 07-21-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

There are no dumb questions.

The answer to both of your questions is, "It depends."
In fact the answer to most sailing questions is, "It depends."

Some old boats are waterlogged pieces of flotsam- sailboats have some unique issues that power boats don't have like lots of opening sin the deck for water to leak in- around chainplates, mast, etc. which can cause a deck to get waterlogged, the mast step to rot out , etc. Having said that, the vast majority of sailboats in North America are more than 25 years old and are actively used.

Can you go to the top of the mast on a Cat 27? How big are you, how strong are the halyards, how strong is your winchman? Yes, it's possible for the right person... but check your equipment carefully and have a safety line. The only thing worse than having to go up the mast is only going most of the way up the mast.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

I'm (ahem) about 175 and I can climb to the top of a Cherubini Hunter 25' fwiw.

"Hull rot" isn't an issue on anything but wood hulls. Blisters and bottom problems are issues sometimes, but there is a wealth of info out there on that. Decks can go soft depending on water and construction type/material.

Check out as many sailing marina's lending libraries as you can - they are usually stocked with good books on all these topics you can borrow for free (make sure you return them). Talk to sailors on their older boats in marinas and gain some real world insight as well. Best of luck!

EDIT: My old boat was actually quite cheap to refit, other than the expensive bolt ons I just had to have. Had I not bought all the high ticket stuff, it'd just been epoxy, fillers and the hours upon hours of my labor. The biggest cost other than "stuff" is time (which I thoroughly enjoy, as I have come to learn I love working on boats - but not everyone does)

Last edited by chrisncate; 07-17-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

I don't think there is hate toward older boats. I think a lot of posts are trying to warn people about the time and economics of boat ownership. Prior to being a 'Good Old Boat' owner I did not understand the time and money involved in making a boat safe and comfortable to sail. (I have had 2 boats, and continue to be schooled).
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

1. How old is and "old boat"? Are you referring to wood hulls? Unless you are an independently wealthy romantic, or a shipwright don't even think about a wooden hull. But you mentioned a Cat 27, so I am assuming you meant a fiberglass hull. From what I know, or have read on the internet which is the same thing, hull rot is not really a problem with a full fiberglass hull. If the hull is cored, meaning has a wood core, then there could be problems. Decks are usually balsa cored and if there are leaks, then that is trouble.

2. The halyards and sheaves (pulleys) hold some pretty high tensions in certain conditions and can usually support a person. But, again, what BLJ said. It depends on your weight, the condition of your halyard, the size of the boat, the experience of the person helping you. If you don't have to do it, don't. I haven't had to do it in the 8 months I have owned my boat. Hopefully by the time you do you will have enough experience to understand whether it is safe on YOUR boat with YOUR crew and helpers. Not a dumb question at all, but an odd first question about sailboating.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

older boats are built better when fiberglass and resign was not an issue the more the better, older boats are built to be tough and with proper maintenence will last many moons check all that needs to be checked and go from there. good luck and happy climbing
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

There are no dumb questions. But, stick around SN long enough and you'll get plenty of dumb answers.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

No dumb questions???
Does this mean really dumb people suddenly get smart when it comes time to ask a question?
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

Actually there are a lot of similarities between maintaining a power boat and a sailboat. Lots of older power boats have transom rot problems just like many older sailboats have deck problems. If you think repowering a sailboat is pricey proposition, just see what it takes to repower a power boat. If you are handy and can do most of the maintenance and upgrading yourself, a well maintained older sailboat can be a great deal.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: New guy with dumb questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoolishMuse View Post
No dumb questions???
Does this mean really dumb people suddenly get smart when it comes time to ask a question?
No, it means they're not really dumb, because they are smart enough to ask. Really dumb people don't ask questions, they just ask you to hold their beer.
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