You steer the same way as you would with a wheel
in the main cabin. This is a common affectation, inside steering
under a bubble, to French Boats. Popularized by Bernard Moitessier on Joshua. Get Moitesier's Cape Horn to read about sailing a steel boat from France
and return via Cape Horn. A most excellent book.
With experience, you'll want to change a ton of stuff on this boat but wait untli you have had a bit of experience with the boat and looked at a lot of other people's solution to similar problems. The electronics
are probably too old to be much good. That's not that big a deal as you really only need a couple of hand held GPS
recievers and a depth sounder
along with appropriate paper charts
to sail anywhere in the world or around it. The bells and whistles can ome way later and only if you are suddenly flush.
The boat, as equipped, seems pretty much ready to go anywhere. After all, the equipment
got it from France to Baja
. As an example, it's already got a self steering
vane. You can get by with just the vane, but it's also got a wheel
pilot for use under power. Another boat unit saved. Comes with a windlass
with all chain rode
and an anchor
suitable for the displacement
. That would take several boat units to add to another boat without them. Canvas
seems to be non existant but you can probably get what you need made up in Mexico
as reasonably as possible. Just make sure they use UV resistant thread. The dodger
frame looks hell for stout which is a big plus. Hell it's even got refrigeration
though I wouldn't count on it working after sitting for so long.
Don't know how old the pictures are but they look very good for a steel boat. Steel boats that have been neglected usually show rust stains everywhere. Didn't see any in the photos. Looks like paint
would only be needed for cosmetic reasons, initially.
Insulation on a steel boat is a necessity in cold weather
. In warm weather
it's not that big a thing as long as the boat is painted a light color. Way more important, a steel boat is dry. Water
dripping onto the only approprate berth from the hull to deck
joint on an FRP boat is a great way to ruin you day, btdt. A well built and maintained steel boat should be bone dry below with the possiblilty of the prop shaft packing gland
awnings and a windscoop will make any boat livable at anchor
in the tropics.
In any case, the survey will be the crucial thing. If the hull is sound, I'd seriously consider buying
it if I didn't already have too much money
in my current
hole in the water. I don't think you'll find a boat within $20,000 of the asking price
that is as well equipped for cruising with the room of this boat.