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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning! I am the crazy new owner of a Helms 27. It had been abandoned on a mooring at my club, then sunk during a horrible storm because the cockpit drains were clogged. The club was going to scrap it, so I decided to rescue it. It is filthy, but the bones are still good. I have found very limited information about the boat online. Does anyone have an owners manual or any information about original parts? I currently sail an S2 and when the company went out of business they published a letter that listed all parts and manufacturers of each. It has been an invaluable resource and I was hoping something similar may exist for Helms. I know I have my work cut out for me and will start with a good deep cleaning and running dehumidifiers. I just want to start planning ahead for next steps.
 

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Are you sure about those bones being good? I would have concerns about a boat that has been soaked for any period of time. The first thing I would do is seek out anything forum moderator "MaineSail" has had to say on the subject. Either by searching this site, or going directly to his site, marinehowto.com.

If memory serves at all, electrical gremlins can be an issue (not surprisingly), although in a 27' boat you could replace it all I suppose. Where the real problems arise is with the boat's core.

Maybe you've already researched this thoroughly and I'm just making noise here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you sure about those bones being good? I would have concerns about a boat that has been soaked for any period of time. The first thing I would do is seek out anything forum moderator "MaineSail" has had to say on the subject. Either by searching this site, or going directly to his site, marinehowto.com. If memory serves at all, electrical gremlins can be an issue (not surprisingly), although in a 27' boat you could replace it all I suppose. Where the real problems arise is with the boat's core. Maybe you've already researched this thoroughly and I'm just making noise here?
Ooh! Thank you for the tip. I will definitely check out MaineSail. Yes, I plan on ripping out all electrical and rewiring. I have enough electrical gremlins in my non sunken 40+ year old boat. I can only imagine the headache of trying to salvage this wiring. Eek! I am also looking forward to the blank wiring slate to run exactly what I need and having an accurate wiring diagram. Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it!
 

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I had a company in the VI and we would refloat boats that sunk in the slips @ Yachthaven Marina. We would choose those with no structural damage (immersion only) we would renew and sell.
I would suggest you start with a crane with a scale and see if it is a lot heavier than it should be. Given that the boat has not absorbed a lot of water, you may have a boat with "good bones". However, I would reiterate, "there is no such thing as a free boat" especially for an amateur. You will no doubt end up with much more (money & sweat equity) in the boat than you would had you bought the same boat in good condition and been able to sail it the whole time you would be fixing up this one.
 

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Two simple questions
What is the market value of that boat in reasonable condition and with most necessary gear?
What will a full set of cushions for that boat cost?


That will give you an idea of whether you have "good bones".

gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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I had a company in the VI and we would refloat boats that sunk in the slips @ Yachthaven Marina. We would choose those with no structural damage (immersion only) we would renew and sell.
I would suggest you start with a crane with a scale and see if it is a lot heavier than it should be. Given that the boat has not absorbed a lot of water, you may have a boat with "good bones". However, I would reiterate, "there is no such thing as a free boat" especially for an amateur. You will no doubt end up with much more (money & sweat equity) in the boat than you would had you bought the same boat in good condition and been able to sail it the whole time you would be fixing up this one.
Thank you for the suggestion to weigh it. That is a great idea! Yes, definitely no free boat. This boat is mainly just a project for me to try out some things I would rather not try on my boat I sail regularly.
 

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One caution to be aware of with the Helms, they had plywood cored decks. Plywood coring rots out much more quickly than balsa coring since moisture moves in two directions with the grain of the wood. If the boat was under very long, there had probably been a bunch of intrusion into the deck coring, which would be a bit of a time bomb as the moisture and rot spreads exponentially from each entry point.

Jeff
 

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I lived close by within ~ 3 km of the manufacturing site, and have a friend who owned a Helms 27 at Windward Point YC, Lake Murray, South Carolina, and he was a friend of Ralph Helms. He sold his boat a while back, but as this community (Seven Oaks and Irmo, South Carolina) was where the manufacture occurred, he may know where or whom to contact someone involved in building the boat.

I've contacted my friend for any help for you. You might also try to find a user group as someone suggested, or contact boating interests or yacht clubs in the area of Seven Oaks or Irmo, Lexington County or adjacent Richland County, South Carolina.

And of course if my friend has any help I'll pass it on to you.
 
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