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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Taking It To The Next Level

I went and looked at a sailboat Saturday.

I felt an instant connection to the sailboat. I was born in 1974. The boat was born in 1975. The boat is pretty much the same age as me.

Yea, she is a little rough around the edges. But it is not reasonable to expect a 34 year old boat to look new. The hull could use a good repainting. It would be work, but I could do it. I have the time. Just work at it a little at a time and it gets done. The hull and decks would need to be sanded and then repainted. The waterline stripe is faded and worn out. The bottom paint needs to be redone.

But I have access to a sander and a paint sprayer. It would be some work, but I could get her sanded. Repainting would not be too hard if I used the sprayer. Compressed air rules.

Her rigging looks good. It is all stainless steel. The stainless steel is not all shiny and new looking, but it has character. It is stainless steel after all. The mast steps down with an electric winch. This is nice.

The inboard engine is diesel. Now I do not know a whole lot about diesel engines, but the guy claims it runs. Of course I would want to hear it crank up AND go into forward and reverse gear. I would also change the oil and filter. In fact, it may be a good idea to haul the engine out and have someone look at it. I have a feeling that the engine is original and I do not know how well it was maintained. I have no good way of telling when the oil and filters were changed last.

The engine hour meter was removed. It was still in the boat and said 400 hours which is nothing for a diesel. But that could have been 400 hours of use 20 years ago.

It has a 12 gallon fuel tank. But this is a lot for a sailboat. You only use the engine to get into and out of port anyway. You also use it for times when there is no wind or when the wind is not in a favorable direction and you have to remain in a narrow channel. Otherwise you are under sail. So 12 gallons can last a very long time.

And if the engine is shot - then I remove it and plug the hole where the prop shaft is now. Then I get a small 15 or 20 HP outboard engine and throw that on a kicker bracket. The boat is now lighter and faster. Or I can add a larger fresh water tank and keep the weight the same.

If the engine is good then I can get a small diesel generator and add AC. The boat does not have AC. I would really want the AC to weekend on the boat in the summer.

Diesel is better than gas because there is a lower explosion risk. It is a lot safer than gas.

The cabin looks very 1970s. Red. LOTS of red. Hardwood floors however. The floors are rock solid. The berths are also sofas. The V berth up front is kind of small, but could be used for sleeping space. The toilet is in the V berth and is not enclosed. But I could take care of this easy enough. Just put up a curtain. No problem.

The cabin is not very big. I can not stand up in it. But once siting down there is enough room.

The trailer is shot. It is in sad shape. I would be very careful towing it. It would be a slow speed drive home. Then the boat would need to be put into the water and moored somewhere, so the trailer could be repaired. Then I would need to get the boat back on the trailer so it could be repainted and whatnot. I would probably also rewire it. The electrical system can not be that complicated.

I did not see the sails, but they are supposed to be in good shape.

So now what? I do not know. I would have to get the boat surveyed before anything. But I just do not know.

My gut says pass. I will probably trust the gut. There will be more sailboats.



Blogger Fuzz said...

No pix ?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

how big is this boat, and what sort of keel does it have???

one thing that i have learned over the years is to check the crimping points on the stays. If there is any hint of rust or blue/green corrosion there may be potentional problems.
(i've had two let go on me)

and, is the headsail self furling???

Blogger M@ said...

Explosion risk!?

Reminds me of the Jiffy Lube tech who implied that my car would expose should I decline to buy the more expensive synthetic oil.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Fuzz - I have some photos, but not many. I was not overly impressed by the thing.

Ponder - it was a fixed keel. But not a full keel. It had a very large fixed centerboard. The guy cut some of it off to make the boat lighter and faster. Also to make it fit on the trailer better. The stays looked OK. I do not think the sails were self furling.

M@ - yes. This is a concern on boats. Your fuel tanks and engines are usually located below decks in an enclosed space. Should there be any gas fumes and a spark - KABOOM! People install blowers and vents and stuff to lessen this possibility. Also it is very important to use ignition protected parts (made so they do not spark) and use a flame arrestor. Auto parts may fit on your boat engine, but they are usually NOT ignition protected so they are dangerous to use. I have inboard fuel tanks but an outboard engine, so this is not a big problem for me. Diesel fumes are way less explosive. Diesel is safer.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

Ahhh, one must be careful with the ways these "hobbies" (tranlate: the stuff we wish we REALLY could do with our lives) seduce us. My new publicist's press release has done triple what the past two combined did. I now have 30 requests for book reviews. The problem? I have to provide the books! At $11 apiece, (that's the wholesale price) that becomes pretty pricey! And then there's the postage. Sure I can use it as a tax writeoff, but in the meantime, I'm floundering. Just like the fish that got away, I guess! ;-p


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