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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 12-11-2009
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I've taken my 30-year old Stiletto around the Delmarva 3 times, and it is far more...

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Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I wasn't sure where to put this...it could have been more appropriate in the "Boat reviews"

I've read of quite a few folks sailing 20, and 30+ boats with no problems and then I see critical sounding posts saying "You want to sail a 30 year-old boat where?" I'm certain that maintenance and generally how hard you sail have a lot to do with total lifespan, but what factors come into play when asking "is this boat just too old?"

My Coronado 25 was built in '69 so it's 40 years old, pushing 41. I've looked and looked and looked and it seems to be in good shape. I've poked and scratched and can't find any soft spots, only minimal cracking in the gel coat.

The worst thing I can say about it is that the wiring was a mess, but I've fixed nearly all of it, the teak and accomodations need refinishing and the thru-hulls were done in the old "wooden doughnut" method and they look kind of old.

I don't plan on blue-water sailing this boat, maybe one day I'll poke my head out of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay for a quick look, but that's about it.

I guess what I'm asking is what does time do to weaken a boat, that is unseen, that I should be concerned about? How can I tell how strong the boat is? Does the hull simply experience fatigue? The standing rigging has been replaced, but it's the original mast. Should I worry?

I hope I'm making sense here, thanks.
... fragile than yours, I think. Perhaps not - it has very conservative mast rigging at least, but at 27' and 1200 pounds, it is a go-fast machine. I think I posted some of this on my blog, below. Sail to Chincoteague - you'll love it.

As long as you have kept after it, just watch the weather!

You got a lot of good responses. If it hasn't blistered by now, I think it is safe to say you have a good one.
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2009
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I own a built in Taiwan in 1980 a one off of the Valiant 43 called a Polaris a real cruising boat with a low PHRF rating. It is Cutter rigged and a very stable vessel I have been through 50+ knot winds in confused seas with it. The vessel is Airex sandwiched between FRP and have collided with flotsam in very rough seas other than a big noise and nocking my laptop across the cabin, nothing but a few scratches on the gelcoat. Very minor damage for the a big collision. The vessel might be old but has been well maintained. Don't give up on old boats just look for the right one. Do your due diligence and don't be in a hurry. I looked for three years before I found what I wanted, would I have different things. Yes but I had to sacrifice somethings for what I wanted and stay within my budget. Would I have a bigger boat, yes, but would I sacrifice size for seaworthy, no way. Good luck searching as it can become tedious, but don't sacrifice what you were after because you are just tired of looking. And don't loose sight of your dream. You may say they don't make what I am looking for and give up. There are some nice fixer uppers to be had, just keep looking!
Cap'n Rich
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2009
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Lol...sorry Flyingcarpet, I'm asking about a boat I've already bought.

Sure, I may have made a mistake but so far, it's not looking like it. I tried to do research before plunging into it, but as usual, I stumbled onto yet more sources of information after I bought it.

Although I already own the boat, I haven't taken it out under sail on my own yet. Just because it's too late for a refund doesn't mean it's too late to keep looking for something critical that might fail when I put a strain on the rigging.

Like I've said a few times before, the boat has a new motor. If I found something badly amiss, I can sell the engine alone for what I paid for the boat and start over, being the wiser.

I have confidence though. So far, I haven't found anything that says this boat shouldn't sail.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2009
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if it werent for 30year old boats,i couldnt even afford a boat.thank god for fiberglass
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Old 12-13-2009
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Lots of information to digest, but for what it's worth- The area I would make sure is good is the chain plates. If they are the glassed in ones, be scared and replace them. This job is not so hard, I did it on a 1968 Ericson26 myself. I was checking the rigging one day before a sail and pulled on the forward lower stay and twang the chainplate broke. There was no sign of a problem from the deck or from the inside. After I ground out the old ones found they all had cracks and corrosion from water getting in at some point. If the chain plates are bolted on to a bulkhead or knee it's alot eaiser to check. The next thing is the thru hulls. I don't suggest giving them a whack while in the water but when you haul out, replace them. I have seen some that look fine but when a wrench was applied they just fell apart. This is all doable stuff on your own with some research and a bit of help. You might have to cut away some of the liner to check for rot, don't know any other way which dosn't meen their isn't. Grads on the new boat and have fun.
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A five year old boat badly maintained could easily be far less seaworthy than a thirty year old. Over time things like electric wiring deteriorates, as to pipes and skin fittings.

Seaworthiness, in my view is only hull and rig integrity the rest is just added luxury and convenience.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2009
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You might want to look for a freshwater boat - I did and they can be a lot older but still in a lot better condition than they would be if they lived in salt water all their lives. The Great Lakes have a lot of boats for sale - not only have they lived in fresh water but the sailing season is so short they dont get that many miles on them either, which helps with the wear and tear.
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Old 12-13-2009
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Older Sailboats are like Victorian Houses they look pretty but once you start to fix the wiring you find out you have termites, then you get a cold spell and the old furnace calls it quits. And it keeps on going and you still have any this old Victorian that looks pretty. So if you like old sailboats and like restoring them to their former glory and you are happy doing it and have deep pockets, go for it. But if you want to go cruising find a boat that someone but a lot of TLC into and fix it the way you want and be gone. Eric Hiscock once said go simple but go now the hands of time don't stop ticking. I read his books many years ago and got the urge to go. But if you are just going to gunkhole in the U.S. or Canada buy simple to start and work your way up to a bigger boat and then you will know what you want to have on the next boat but remember that the hands of time don't stop ticking so don't wait to long on trading up. Fair winds and smooth seas on your journey! Cap'n Rich
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2009
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I believe he already owns a boat.
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Old 12-13-2009
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I Know that he already owns a boat but it's just like homes you want to trade up. It would not hurt if he invested in a moisture meter but don't tear up the whole deck because it had a low reading, a small leak can spread if you can find the source and fix it then wait awhile and test it again.
What I mean by a little while is let it truly a dry up then test it again to see if you got it. A pressure washer works real good if you are doing it in the summer when no rain. But if you are going cruising below 20 degrees South to 20 degrees North, don't worry about it, if it is a big leak and then decking is affected by of course tear up the deck and fix it.
I had a leak and the previous owner tried to fix it to no avail but a little new caulk around the anchor windless fixed it. And it was leaking in the saloon it was traveling all that way to find a place to drip and it drove me crazy trying to find it. I thought it was coming from my Bomar hatches but was just trying to find the path of least resistance aft and came down in the saloon.
Cap'n Rich
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