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a71busman 03-28-2009 10:48 AM

1978 Watkins 23xl
Hello to all,

Im a newbie to sailing and just bought a 1978 watkins 23.Shes in pretty good shape overall but needed a repair here and there and a new coat of bottom paint.In the last few weeks Ive repaired the deck to hull joint on the port side [ early models were only held in by rivets ],some rotten wood in the bilge,and begun sanding on the bottom.Recently I decided to do a quick launch to see how well the 6 hp motor works.When I was far enough off shore,I went to lower the keel and after 2 turns the cable just kept getting it wasnt lowering.When I had it back on land I jacked it up a hair and peeked under it.I could see the barnacles around it but that was it.Has anyone else had this problem?

Thanks....Cory {Destin}

seafrontiersman 03-30-2009 10:32 AM

Yes, my centerboard was covered with growth (mostly zebra mussels) and I put her up on jackstands and GENTLY worked the board loose with a paint scraper and hammer. Once it was loose, I was able to clean it up no problem.

Good luck, I think there are at least three Watkis 23 being refit in Florida right now!


a71busman 03-31-2009 11:06 AM

Thanks Mike...Im trying to find some stands in this area to rent.The boat yard wants 200 bucks to raise and block it and they give you 3 days or its 100 per day after that.Im planning on repainting the bottom anyways but dont want to pay to raise it twice!

seafrontiersman 07-10-2009 10:21 PM

How is your re-fit going? I've been sailing mine for a couple of months now and I couldn't be more pleased! She is very forgiving and a real daisy on a run or a reach; she also points up better than I expected and on all points of sail she is really comfortable. With a Genoa hoisted, she comes up to hull speed on a close reach quickly. I'm very happy I bought this boat!


Phantman 07-10-2009 10:46 PM


Originally Posted by seafrontiersman (Post 504419)
How is your re-fit going?

Oddly enough, I joined this site this afternoon. I stumbled onto it when I Googled for information about my outboard. And when I found the "Watkins" section, I naturally had to have a peek. The odd part is, I think I may be the new owner of the subject boat in this thread. At least I bought it from a "Cory" in Destin a few weeks ago. It's a 23' Watkins. How many "Corys" in Destin could there be with a 23' Watkins! LoL!
So to continue with the discussion, the refit is going just fine lol!
Well, sorta fine. I really haven't had much time to fiddle with it since I bought it. I hope that will change over the next few weeks though. I have a number of minor projects on my list that I'd like to complete before I start using the boat regularly. And some major projects for when some money falls out of the sky and into my lap.
In the time I've spent with her though, I've found no surprises. And I too am glad I bought her and glad to have her.
I hope we can stay in touch and possibly get in touch with other W23 owners as well. It's always good to swap stories and tips with fellow Watkins owners.

LeeBee 02-04-2010 11:50 AM

More Watkins 23"s
I know this is an old thread but I have been searching for Watkins 23 info after buying one out of the water near Tampa Bay. I am hoping to get her home next week with a trailer I have found to begin cleaning her up. We motored her to a marina a few miles from where she sat in shallow water for a year with the mast down and a good sign was that all the water stayed on the outside.
She needs a good scrubbing down and some running rigging but overall good condition but stripped down.
I hope to add a sink and coleman stove mount as well as an outside shower and BBQ.
I believe that with the trailer I will scrape her bottom and repaint without bottom paint as she is destined to be a trailer sailer for sure.
If anyone can post some inside pics for design of a galley set-up I would appreciate it. I have a through hull fitting on the port side where i assume it should go.

Thanks in advance,

seafrontiersman 02-04-2010 12:09 PM

I tore the galley out of mine and I'm in the process of re-doing it from scratch, I HATED the one which was in there originally. A good source for information for you would be the Watkins Owners website, Watkins* Owners Home Page. Lots of pictures and great info. If I can be of service to you, please don't hesitate to contact me. You've got a great boat there!


Phantman 02-05-2010 04:17 PM


Originally Posted by LeeBee (Post 566976)
She needs a good scrubbing down and some running rigging but overall good condition but stripped down.
I hope to add a sink and coleman stove mount

I don't know how to post a photo but I'll be glad to email one of the galley in my boat. There's not much to it besides a sink and room on a counter top for a stove and/or other items. But you're right, that portside thru hull is the drain for the sink. Wait a second. I see a button down there that may add a photo for me. Wish me luck.

My boat is stripped down too. Apparently came from the factory with only Bullseye fairleads to be used as Jib Sheet leads. There's no Jib Sheet Track at all. I've been looking for some specs or photos or anything I can find to serve as a guide for adding tracks but no luck yet. And I'd like to do something about the Mainsheet system as well but I haven't decided yet what I want. Maybe a Bridgedeck Traveler. I'd like to see some photos of that too though, before I start drilling holes.

Phantman 02-05-2010 04:18 PM

Well..... I uploaded a photo but it didn't post here so I have NO clue where it went lol!

Phantman 03-18-2010 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by seafrontiersman (Post 566984)
I tore the galley out of mine and I'm in the process of re-doing it from scratch,

Hey Mike, how's your galley project coming along?
I removed mine and put it in storage for use later if I need it. It goes in/out fairly quickly and easily. But I've been considering completely re-doing mine as well, although it's not high on the priority list. I'd rather locate it near the companionway and maybe design it to slide back into the quarter berth similar to a Catalina 22 arrangement.

I'm also interested in your bridge deck traveler project. Have you made a decision on that? That's one I'm considering too, although I'm thinking just the addition of a boom vang would alleviate some of the Crosby Rig's downside. Another arrangement I'm considering it just moving the Crosby Rig to the top of the cabin over the companionway hatch. I've seen photos of a W25 with that arrangement (although it appears to be a double ended system) but I haven't talked to the owner about it yet.


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