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Discussion Starter #1
hi folks. I have a big question but first, some background. I've been sailing for 17 years. I taught myself to sail on a 9' dinghy and I still sail her the most. she's convenient and fun. anyhow, I also own a holiday 20. it's a rock stable boat, when compared to my dinghy, and I've never even come close to worrying about a capsize. although, I must be honest, I've faced a lot worse situations in that dinghy than the 20. really crazy stuff, especially since I can't swim. lol.

now, the question. I am about to get a j24 for free. yep. free. it's in good functional shape. brand new sails. only needs a bit of trim work, really. the only thing is it's covered in mud and it doesn't come with a trailer. I have to move it immediately, if i'm to get it, so I have to see if I can find an affordable marina. I don't know what else to do. anyhow, my question:

when I first found out about this boat, I didn't know what it was. the guy only told me it was a keel boat and "24' Chesapeake". now, I thought he might have been telling me a model. cheapeake. searched the web over. found two possibilities. anyhow, at that size and full keel I figured light cruiser. found out tonight it's a j24 and got a pic of it. I will put the pic on here for shock value. lol.

anyhow, i'd like to use the boat for day sailing and light cruising; weekends or over night. everyone knows what a j24 is but I've never sailed one. so, I was searching the web and I found some disturbing stuff. I read a lot about them being prone to capsize and sinking. I've also heard that they have a bit of lee helm. I figured a keel boat would be more stable than my holidays 20, which is a center boarder.

I intend to sail her from back river, in the Chesapeake bay. I was wondering if I could get input from any who have sailed them about their sailing qualities. obviously, i'm looking for something stable for cruiser type use. I don't care about racing. I just love to sail.

so, are they that unseaworthy? are there any suggestions to make one more seaworthy? I don't mind some moderate modifications but I have a shoestring budget. that has to be kept in mind.

if I can get a place to keep her, I am going to take her. free boats don't happen every day...at least not to me. but, if she won't suit my purpose, i'll fix her up and try to sell her to afford a boat that does. too bad it couldn't be a nordica20, halman20, or flicka. that would have been perfect. but never look a gift horse in the mouth.

thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

here is the picture as she sits. had trouble finding it.
 

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Remember you're a womble
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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

Relatively low ballast, lightly built, short rudder, big open lazarettes, tiny below decks. They are really only good for racing, good fun though.
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

Hmm, that's one odd looking J24, likely not a J24 at all in which case you might be able to ignore what I posted just now :)
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

Agree... that's NOT a J 24, someone's having you on.. Bad angle and not a good shot, but it looks more like an older 'flush deck' cal to me, maybe 23/24/25 in that range. The sunken forward deck is a bit odd so I'm not even sure about that.

But definitely NOT a J-24. The only reason J 24s sank was when they were pushed very hard downwind with the spinnaker up, and broached.. unfortunately the boat didn't float with the companionway above water, and they down flooded and sank quite quickly. But it was quite rare, and only when pressed hard.

all of which is moot, that's no J 24... did I mention that?? ;) ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

ok. well. that is interesting. I know of j-24s but don't know them, if you know what I mean. is that a California 24? looks like that would make this a 70s boat? what I read, so far, looks promising, if you are right.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

I will have to try to find the HIN when I look at the boat, tomorrow. that might shed some light on it. looking at pictures of the cal 24 and 25, I don't think this is it. the forward isn't actually sunken, on this boat. it is flat then steps up to the cabin top. nope. looking closer, I see what you mean about that. apparently all the cals, at leas tin that size range, had port lights. this boat has none....well, that can be seen.
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

......I am about to get a [boat] for free. yep. free. it's in good functional shape. ......
Warning, warning. This defies the laws of physics.
 
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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

I've seen one of these boats as a kid and I cannot remember the model.
It's about as far from a J/24 as you can get...
I am thinking late 60s early 70s model boat.
Here's a J/24, see the difference? Hint... look at the flush deck, and low topsides, a rounded sloping deck.


Far be it from me to discourage you though... but a "Free Boat" is like a "Free Lunch." There is NO such thing.
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

I agree with other posters, this is not a J24. Take a look on the transom and see if there is a 12 character code molded in. Usually in the upper starboard but not always on older boats. This code is the HIN/MIC (Hull identification number/Manufacturers identification code). the first three characters identify the builder.

Go to this page on the USCG website and plug in those first three characters to find out. Every boat built in the US was required to have one of these codes after 1971 (maybe it was 74'. can't remember)
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

There's the other dead giveaway. No pic exists of J-24 without a racing mark nearby. :)
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

here is the picture as she sits. had trouble finding it.
How does a boat get that dirty? Was she up on the hard? What's the hull look like? Do those hatches close?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

I believe you guys that it's not a j-24. after the first person said that, I started comparing pictures. the question is, what is it? and I am going to write down the HIN when I go to see it, today. but it would be nice to have some idea of what I am going to see.

the story is this:

"The boat was a bank tell auctioned. It has been in the water about 4-5
months at my aunts house and pier. She allowed it to be there, however
neighbors complained because it consistently sets in front of pier
verses the slip or boat lift. When the hard rain came a month who the
boat had a lot of water on the inside and tide wad out so ly was in the
mud. I pumped the water out and if is floating at pier but very muddy.
It needs work. Has new sails. It had small outboard but doesn't work. I
need to find title. The boat has to be moved ASAP do my aunt stops
calling me."

yeah. that's hard to read. I didn't write it. he did. anyone ever watch "hold fast"? you can watch it on YouTube. it's pretty cool. anyhow, the guy narrating it claims that there are a lot of abandoned boats at marinas, and just out there, all over. people who couldn't pay for their slips or whatever. he says these boats often go for a song.

now, i'm not expecting a perfect boat for free, but if it's functionally sound, and it can be fixed up to make it "pretty", it's worth checking into for the price of free. a lot of these older boats aren't worth a ton in great shape. I imagine, being stuck with one that needs work, as winter approaches, isn't conducive for making profit.

heck, I bought my holiday20 for 800 bucks. it was in great shape. the guy had just bought a catalina 22 for 300. I had been going to check on that one, actually, but apparently, he got there before me. lol. anyhow, the guy didn't need two boats so he had to sell the holiday. all that took place in November. no one buys boats in November so he got his boat for 300 and I sold me the one he needed to move for 800.

so, I will admit, i'm not sure what he means by bank tell but i'm thinking he got this boat, not worth a ton in good shape, that needed a little work. work he didn't do or maybe couldn't do. and he didn't take appropriate steps the keep rain water out. it's on back river, not sure where there yet, which has shallow areas. during low tide, it sounds like it touched bottom and tipped over, taking on water and getting that stem to stern mud bath. now, he has a boat that, while previously not worth much, will be impossible to sell ( as is ) and he has to move it. so, what do you do? it's become a problem for him so he offers to give it away. lots of people let cars and things go to someone willing to remove them. why not boats?

anyhow, I realize it's likely to be a lot of work, but a free boat is worth looking at. I've known guys who fell into impossibly great deals on motorcycles and cars. I have never been one of those guys. maybe this is my chance to be one of those guys and i'd be silly not to even consider it.

if anyone can look at that picture and tell me what it is, i'll be much obliged. I am supposed to be seeing it, today, at 5pm.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

I've seen one of these boats as a kid and I cannot remember the model.
It's about as far from a J/24 as you can get...
I am thinking late 60s early 70s model boat.
Here's a J/24, see the difference? Hint... look at the flush deck, and low topsides, a rounded sloping deck.


Far be it from me to discourage you though... but a "Free Boat" is like a "Free Lunch." There is NO such thing.
you saw one as a kid? even if you can not remember the model, is there anything you remember that you can tell me about them?
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

yeah. that's hard to read. I didn't write it. he did. anyone ever watch "hold fast"? you can watch it on YouTube. it's pretty cool. anyhow, the guy narrating it claims that there are a lot of abandoned boats at marinas, and just out there, all over. people who couldn't pay for their slips or whatever. he says these boats often go for a song.
He's right, down here there are a lot of abandoned boats in yards and marinas. The problem is they are often in really bad shape, otherwise owners or yards would have sold them. They've usually sat so long that they need substantial work, structural and otherwise.

The question you have to ask is, "is this boat worth the effort?". Even if it's free, you can expect to put several thousand dollars into it, probably more than you'd pay to buy one in good shape. If it's a high quality build boat, the end result may be worth having, but if it's not, you are just throwing your money away. You have to decide if the quality of the finished boat is worth the investment.

For example, I recently saw a NorSea 27 abandoned in a yard with no rig and no hardware, I figure probably $30k in improvements along with a lot of personal time to work on the boat. The end result, IMO, would be worth it. OTOH there was an abandoned Hunter that had the rig, and was in one piece, but probably wasn't worth the few thousand it would take to get seaworthy again.

Only you can make the decision on what to do, you have to decide if the investment is worth it. My personal opinion is that J-24s are a dime a dozen and you could probably buy one in better shape with the money you'd invest fixing this one up. They are cool boats, but not worth the time and money it would take. That's my opinion, it's up to you to decide.
 

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re: "Free boat" seaworthiness

I have 2 "free" boats. Which is a lie, because both have cost me a fair amount of money. The biggest issue besides all the work, is can you even get legal ownership of this boat? Next, is the boat complete? Some items may be impossible to find for an old boat. Unless it were a really popular old boat with a huge following like Catalina's for example. The fact that you will need to find someplace to pay to store it is a deal breaker for me. Both of my "free" boats sit on trailers for free, and I can work on them in my backyard if I want to. Being realistic, are you willing to spend more to fix this boat up than it is worth? Do you have the tools and equipment to repair this boat yourself? Do you enjoy fixing things? Lots of things to think about...
 
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