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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, all, I recently started searching for a Lightning 19 after looking at some other daysailors and small cruisers. I live in Denver, so trailering is a big factor and there's a local Lightning fleet, so some weekly racing would be a nice option. I'm also interested in Scots as well, but my question would probably apply to both:

In my search I'm coming across wooden older hulls (#12000s) along with the new(ish) glass boats (#14000+). Does anyone out there have experience with both? Pros/cons? Should I avoid wooden hulls altogether? What should I look for when inspecting? Since I'm looking at a lot of out of state boats some basic questions to ask sellers would help a lot.

Also, my budget is around $8k, if that helps. I'm looking for a solid platform that I can improve on over time with new components and gear. So not quite a project boat, but one that's worth customizing, if that makes sense. I just want to avoid buying something that's not worth upgrading long term.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Used Lightnings

Having owned #11416 (fiberglass hull) for a few years I'll comment.
I believe that some of the 'woody' Lightnings are raced competitively in the Nationals.
While the wooden boats are beautiful they will be more work to maintain over time.

You probably want to get a Lightning that is 'racing rigged', that is, with ALL the sail shape controls. You might find a few that are simply rigged for day sailing that might be cheaper. You could then add the extra controls and route them to the cockpit per class rules.

$8K is a pretty sizable budget for a Lightning (IMHO). In the link posted above you can find some slightly older fiberglass Lightnings for ~ $2K. With the money you save on the purchase price you could get some new sails.

Condition of trailer should be important to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestions. I've been trolling the class site quite a bit, the biggest problem for me being in Denver is I can't actually go see most of the listings, being 1000 miles away or so, which forces me to try to figure out a boat's quality over email. Kinda dodgy with older boats.

I do have a couple of local leads that I'm going to go check out but I appreciate the feedback on the woody's, I'll keep all that in mind.
 

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I have a glass one stainless board all the adjustment control lines on a nice trailer with 15 inch rims $1500 obo. Down side Grand Rapids Michigan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey there, can you email me the hull number, sail info (age, brand, etc) and any photos you have? How's the hull condition? If it's in good shape it might be worth a road trip.

My email is jmercer(at)elevatedthird.com
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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The nice thing about a plastic, or glass hulled Lightning is that it can be repaired simply with mostly a sander and a boat snot kit (epoxy and cloth etc).
When woodies start to leak and absorb water then you have bigger problems.

I'd suggest you start with a modest priced glass hulled boat like the guy from Michigan is offering and spend your surplus on the good stuff, like new sails, running rigging, spit, polish and varnish.

It seems that a brand new Lightning, set up for racing with all the bells and whistles will cost you close to $30K - judging by some of the newer hulls resale asking prices. There is no reason I can think of to buy a brand new hull when a serviceable one could be had for a few $K and you could make it a good racing/sailing platform for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks man, I think that's the approach I'm going to take. When I eventually find the right one I'm sure I'll be posting again for some upgrade suggestions.
 

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Found a couple more $2500 bay city mich $1800 ann arbor mich. Not much your way yet. Have you asked around the local fleet those guys usually keep track?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I'm in contact with our local fleet captain and have a couple to look at in the area. If you have links to the ones you mentioned that'd be awesome. Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Craigslist under the city's listed also checked Chicago and a couple cities in Iowa no lightnings listed there. Put ad's in the city's you will drive to. Lots of boats sitting but like mine not listed anywhere.
 

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Craigslist under the towns listed. Also checked Chicago and a couple Iowa none listed there. Put up ads in towns you will drive to lots of boats sitting around but like mine aren't listed for sale.
 
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