That's a lovely boat and would make a nice project for the right person.
You are correct, the teak
decks on these boats are often an issue. We almost bought one some years ago but changed our mind due to the decks.
Just keep in mind that depending on the extent of her needs time most likely will not be the only issue. (And depending on the extent of the refit
, a year isn't a long time either.) Refitting an old sailboat isn't a cheap
proposition. As a matter of fact we have learned (over and over and over) again, that more often we would have been way ahead of the game
financially if we would have invested in something in better shape to start with.
When we started out restoring old boats we started small, with a Catalina
22, then graduated to a Bristol 24, a Cabo Rico
38, a Cape Dory
22 that was badly damaged in Hurricane
Katrina, a Cape Dory
28, and now our Cape Dory 33. If we had started with one of the larger boats first I suspect it would have been way too overwhelming because you would be amazed at how much even a small boat can need if it has been neglected over a long period of time.
It is possible that this boat may be a good bargain if it is in good structural shape, is complete (not missing anything major) and has all of its hardware
in more or less working condition. But if it is little more than a shell, even if it is a sound and beautiful shell, you are not looking at a cheap
way to get into cruising. You are going to need to size it up very carefully. Depending on your level of knowledge and experience this may or may not be something you are equipped to do. If not, and if you aren't willing to hire a surveyor
, find someone who knows old boats, particularly sailboats, preferably of this type and vintage, and take them with you. Get Don Casey's book Inspecting the Aging Sailboat
, and go over things item by item. Even after all the boats we have done we missed a few things during our initial inspection
of our current
boat that is going to cost us substantially. Figure out what you think the restoration
will cost and then double it....a couple of times.
Now...on the other hand, if you want to do this old boat because you genuinely delight in the work, love the sense of accomplishment that comes from saving a beautiful old boat and from taking something old and making it new again, and the idea that when it is done it will be uniquely yours and everything will be exactly to your liking and specifications (we do), if you are in no particular hurry to get out on the water
, and if you aren't bothered by the fact that in the end the boat may only realistically be worth a fraction in resale value of what you spent restoring and equipping it, then by all means, have a wonderful time. You will no doubt have a classic, head-turning cruising boat when you are finished. If she turns out to be everything you wanted and you keep her for a length of time the costs averaged out over time will work in your favor, until she reaches the point when it all has to be done again.
I'm not trying to dissuade you if you know it's what you want to do and you realize what you are getting into. We were never dissuaded and I am speaking from 5 restorations of experience (working on number 6, and so help me God it is the last), but just infusing a little harsh reality into the situation because I have met so many many many
first timers over the years who bought these old boats, then hemorrhaged time and cash until they ran out of one or the other or both, only to walk away (with no cash and no boat) and a year down the line we'd see that same boat still sitting in the boat yard deteriorating away again until the next person comes along to start the process over again, or until the boatyard takes possession and cuts it up.
It's easy to get caught up in the notion that somehow this is a "cheap" way to own a cruising boat. Occassionally it can be. We've had one (possibly 2 with the one we have now) where we actually felt we came out on the right side of the equation. By that I mean we got exactly the boat we wanted and that the end cost didn't go astronomically above what the boat was actually worth. But in the other cases I feel we could have come out way ahead of the situation every time by buying
a better boat in a less needy state of repair from the outset. And we would have spent a lot of additional years sailing instead of covered in fiberglass
dust. Lucky for us we have enjoyed the process, otherwise this realization would really tick me off.
In my humble opinion what you need to find is a boat that is needy in regards to elbow
grease but not in the stuff that costs lots of bucks. i.e. the engine
runs, the sails
are serviceable at least for a season or two, the rigging
(standing and running) are decent, all of the basics are in place as far as hardware
, no rotting decks, no delaminating hull
(fuel and water) are good, you're not going to have to rip out and replace all the plumbing
on day one, bulkheads and cockpit
sole are sound, then you can probably get it sailing in relatively short order and make all your renovations and upgrades as time and money
allow. Sandpaper, paint
aren't that expensive. Take your time and love on the boat, get to know all her nooks, crannies and curves. New cushions
, some interior paint
, and decorative touches can make it feel like home. You'll still get the same sense of accomplishment without over-investing either time or money