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DanielF 05-29-2012 08:13 PM

Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
Hi all,

I believe I joined this forum last summer when I purchased my Sunfish, but otherwise I'm pretty much new to the boards. My sailing experience includes several dozen hours on the Sunfish last season, maybe half a dozen between skippering and crewing on Hobies (I race), and just a few hours cruising on Lake MI on a much larger boat. Overall I have only been into sailing since last July, so not quite a year.

While looking for a second Sunfish hull to play with, I came across a guy offering me a free boat called a Sirocco 15. This is a 15', 450lb daysailer with an 85lb swing keel. Essentially the question is should I take it? This boat has been actively used and taken care of, though it did not get out last season because a tree fell on and bent the front of the trailer.

I spent more than two hours inspecting the boat, sails and rigging, and all appears to be complete (and sails in great shape!). You can view photos of the specific boat here. The only thing to note is two small gelcoat cracks, one on each side of the keel trunk inside the cockpit. I figure at the very least I can grab it, take a couple weeks to fully inspect the thing, and either decide to work on and sail it this season or quickly pass it on. Used these boats do go for around a grand, give or take. Thoughts?

Thanks much!
Daniel

CalebD 05-29-2012 08:48 PM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
Those hairline cracks are likely only superficial. I'd be more worried that the swing keel raising/lowering mechanism is in good shape. It might be fine or it might need a new cable and/or fittings. In either case not expensive.

It looks to be a good boat to move up to from a Sunfish but it won't be as fast as your Hobie experiences. It is not a boat I'd choose to take across a Great Lake but should be fine for day sailing.

There really are no "free" boats but a 15 footer should not cost much to fix up IF there is anything that needs fixing.

DanielF 05-29-2012 10:31 PM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CalebD (Post 877404)
Those hairline cracks are likely only superficial. I'd be more worried that the swing keel raising/lowering mechanism is in good shape. It might be fine or it might need a new cable and/or fittings. In either case not expensive.

It looks to be a good boat to move up to from a Sunfish but it won't be as fast as your Hobie experiences. It is not a boat I'd choose to take across a Great Lake but should be fine for day sailing.

There really are no "free" boats but a 15 footer should not cost much to fix up IF there is anything that needs fixing.

Thanks for the input! Yeah, on one hand they look to be limited to the gelcoat itself, but on the other hand there's the saying that there's "no such thing as a surface crack." We'll see. Is there any way I can get this thing jacked up so I can check the keel mechanism, or is jacking it up unnecessary?

Unfortunately I do need to purchase a trailer for this before I can move it. Any tips when it comes to used trailers, or will any trailer meant for a 14' - 16' monohull work fine?

Ultimately I see this as a boat I can clean up and trailer to a relatively large local lake (3/4 x 1.5 miles), and maybe next season I can throw on a 2.5 Merc and rent a slip at an even larger local lake (1 x 5 miles).

CalebD 05-29-2012 11:11 PM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
Sirocco specs: SIROCCO 15 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

The S-15 weighs less then 500 #s so you should be able to easily jack it up with a car jack. Getting enough height with proper stability on trailer will be the hard part. Probably the easiest way to check the center board is to launch the boat and dive on it in shallow water. Much easier then jacking it up unless you have access to some jack stands like a boat yard uses. Can you inspect the cable or line that goes to the center board from the cockpit? If it is wire rope and has meat hooks (sharp broken strands) then it is time to replace. If it is rope and is at all frayed then probably good to replace before it breaks.

The S-15 was made around 1970 so a few stress cracks are to be expected after 40+ years. I really wouldn't worry about them unless you notice them starting to get wider after use. Can you check the fiberglass material behind where the cracks are showing? Perhaps with a mirror or two and a flashlight, or a digital camera?

It does not look like you have any stays or shroud chain plates to worry about holding the mast up. The only remaining concern I might have is the mast foot or sleeve that does hold the mast upright. If it is in good shape then just go sailing and enjoy a sloop rigged (boat with 2 sails) boat.

nolatom 05-30-2012 11:34 AM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
I don't know the boat but it looks quite okay considering age, and the mast looks decent from what the photos show.

I vote, go out and have fun with her. 19 chances out of 20 those are just surface gel coat cracks/chips to be ignored. Looks like a three-stay rig, nice looking line drawing and blood simple so no hidden disaster areas.

Take note that 80 pounds does not really a "keel" make, it's basically a heavy centerboard. that said, no reason it shouldn't sail well, just use your weight placement to make up for the lack of weight in the "keel". And keep weight forward, with that faux cabin it's easy to sit too far aft and drag the stern, which will slow you and affect handling.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

arknoah 06-02-2012 10:47 PM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nolatom (Post 877686)
I don't know the boat but it looks quite okay considering age, and the mast looks decent from what the photos show.

I vote, go out and have fun with her. 19 chances out of 20 those are just surface gel coat cracks/chips to be ignored. Looks like a three-stay rig, nice looking line drawing and blood simple so no hidden disaster areas.

Take note that 80 pounds does not really a "keel" make, it's basically a heavy centerboard. that said, no reason it shouldn't sail well, just use your weight placement to make up for the lack of weight in the "keel". And keep weight forward, with that faux cabin it's easy to sit too far aft and drag the stern, which will slow you and affect handling.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

I'm with Tom. I think it is well worth it!

JoeDiver 06-02-2012 11:14 PM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
If it were me I'd go for it! Looks all there....some serious elbow grease, rubbing compound and wax and that hull will shine. Get her all back together, fix the trailer and take her out. Worst case, get her shined up and purty, put her on Craigslist for $750.

It's free...what the hey. And it's not one of these "free" boats that ends up breaking the bank to bring her back. You could invest $2k in new sails, rigging, cushions, motor, lights.....and have a friggan SWEET little day sailor.

MarkSF 06-03-2012 03:12 AM

Re: Sirocco 15 daysailer a good first "real" boat?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanielF (Post 877462)
but on the other hand there's the saying that there's "no such thing as a surface crack."

In the case of fibreglass, that saying would be wrong. Surface cracks in gelcoat are very common. They happen because the area is flexing, and gelcoat is not so flexible so it eventually cracks.

You can grind out the crack and fill with epoxy. To really stop it happening again, reinforce the back of the area to stop or reduce the flexing.


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