We've sent a lot of emails back and forth. Here is my opinion for everyone to see:
Since you have the skills and the motivation, I don't see how you can lose on the O'day. The boat is free and comes with valuable gear - including a new sail, some other decent sails, and the complete sailing rig (mast, boom, spreaders, etc). The owner will also give you a new VHF and some other gear.
Yes, the boat looks like hell now, but as long as the hull is solid and you don't mind working, you can be sailing this year. Will the boat be bristol? No, heck, it will be ugly for a while. But that's OK because you'll be sailing, learning, having fun, and paying next to nothing.
If you get tired of working on the boat, sell the gear and throw the hull away.
If you decide to take the boat, I would recommend:
- Rip everything out of the inside - all the old wood, plumbing, electrical, EVERYTHING
- Powerwash EVERYTHING - inside and outside
- Clean the topsides as best you can to get rid of all the peeling paint and roll and tip it with a cheap paint. It won't look great but it will be decent
- Make a bare, real bare interior - just a few bunks and settees. If you want to spend time below use camping gear like lanterns, stove, porta potty, etc.
- Put the rig up, launch the boat, and go sailing
- If you love the boat, take next year formulate a plan to fix her up properly. If you don't love the boat, but love sailing, think about what you want in your next boat and start planning on how to get it.
After that long diatribe, the boat in CT looks to be a much better deal. Grab that boat if you can. If you can't then the O'day could work. There were a few other possible boats, like the 23' O'day in Northport that could work as well.
Personally, I would show up with $500 cash and buy this:
Morgan Sailboat - $950 (Massapequa)
Date: 2010-04-17, 8:26AM EDT
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1969 25ft Morgan sailboat, in water, 8hp Evinrude runs great, good sails, lots of extra`s
Here to help,