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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Total n00b here with one season of sailing under my belt. Absolutely LOVE it. Obsessed really. Just moved to a new area with a nice (Virginia) State Park reservoir nearby.

I have been casually looking for a small-ish day sailer/project boat that I can take out evenings and weekends. Maybe take a friend, furry or not along. Something in the 15-16 foot range. I am 6'4" and pushing 300 lbs so a sunfish or something really small just isn't an option.

Perusing Craigslist this afternoon I found a "Gale Force 16" with trailer for $500. I have searched and searched and other than finding some references to "Rinker" I have been able to find NOTHING out about this boat!

It is an almost 5 hour drive away, but very near my in-laws, so any trip wouldn't be a total waste. Is it even worth the gas to go look? The guy who owns it kind of inherited it, and isn't really interested in keeping it. He has sailed it 3 times and says everything seems to work fine.

Whadda ya think?

Thanks!

Jim McDonel
 

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That is a very long trip just to look at a boat. Where do you live?
$500 is a good price for this boat if it is COMPLETE. That is a very important point.
Definitely do not get a Sunfish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply, krisscross!

I live in Western Virginia, but my In-laws live in south-east Ohio about 1/2 an hour from where the boat is. So it wouldn't be too difficult to convince the Admiral that we need to go visit her Mom and Dad, and, oh yeah, can we look at a boat while we are there?
Both sails are in fair condition. He has sailed it recently, but it has no paperwork, and he doesn't want to go through the hassle of re-titleing and re-registering what is essentially a "found boat". I think the process in Ohio must be tougher than it is here in Virginia.
Does anyone know anything about the boat itself? Is it a good design? Who the heck was Gale Force? Looks like a short manufacturing span in the early to mid-80's then .....nothing. Where did they go? What does Rinker have to do with the process?
 

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My first boat was a Gale Force 20 by Rinker. Rinker was like a few other power boat companies that got into the sailing game for a bit, but they actually produced a decent little boat. They had a three year run at which time their factory burned to the ground along with all plans and molds and they never produced another sailboat again, although they sill make power boats. There is virtually no information online about them, although I will tell you my 20 was a decent little boat that sailed well. This is from my blog:

More about the Gale Force 20, she was built in Syracuse, IN by Rinker Boats. She was another of the power boat companies looking for additional income as their sales plummeted in the early 80's. They built this boat and as far as I can tell a 17 foot version of her for three years until their sailboat factory caught fire and burnt and never produced anymore after that. Also known by the manufactuerer as a Wild Wind, she was a Fractional Sloop rig with a swing keel that drew 2 feet with the keel up and 5.67 feet down, her keel carried 800 pounds of lead which bode well with winds. Her jib measured 102 square feet and her main 69.88. She had a performance rating hull speed of 5.69 knots, not overly fast but certainly accpetable for a first time sailor. Her spartan cabin had a V Berth with two benches and a fold up center table located directly under the companionway hatch. Her forehatch opened allowing for a small amount of air movement through the cabin as a result of her flat deck and fixed ports. Mine was equipped with a Suzuki 4 horse power 2 stroke outboard which more than powered her for the local sailing lake and occassional trips to other lakes in the area. She was an easy to rig sailboat that took approximately an hour to set up to sail from the trailer when pulled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Cat Man. That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for!

I talked to the current owner, and he says there are two mains, one of which is like new and the other which seems to match the jib, original, but in fair condition.
 

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https://cf.searchtempest.com/go-1.1.html#http://columbus.craigslist.org/boa/4607383097.html

If this is the boat, based on what he states it would be worth looking at.

A little more about the boat:

1982 Gale Force 16 Lil' Pirate

Zodiac-Honda Inflatable Boats The 1982 Gale Force 16 Lil' Pirate sailboat has a fiberglass hull and has an overall length of 15.92 feet (sometimes referred to as LOA). The width (or beam) of this craft is 59 inches. The sail area for the sailboat is 134 square feet. The displacement for the boat is approximately 550 lbs. The draft of this sailboat is approximately 4'2".
 

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Here is a nice little boat (Catalina's Omega 14) that I would recommend to you: Catalina Omega 14 Sailboat | eBay
Not sure how far from Roanoke you are, but if you got it for under $500 at the auction I would think it's a better boat then Rinker. Definitely easier to launch and still plenty big for you. There are a lot of boats out there these days and you can afford to be choosy.
 
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