If the boat can pass a survey
by a surveyor
knowledgable about steel boats, this boat sounds like a winner. Of course, it's a steel boat so will require constant attention to rust problems. Not a deal killer, just a fact of life with steel.
You can redo the rigging with Norseman/StaLok terminals yourself for not a lot over a $1,000. Shop Ebay for the terminals and use 316 wire. The condition of the sails
will be a biggy as they are expensive to replace. If the boat has been out of the water for most of it's life, there may still be a lot of life left in the standing rigging. Careful inspection
and end for ending the wire may get you on your way without spending a lot of money
. Headsails can be bought on Ebay and/or used sail brokers for a good price if you have the patience to wait for them to turn up. The main is pretty much a bespoke item for your boat so it's condition is crucial in your estimation of costs. Be sure it has slab reefing and preferably three reef points.
As far as learning to handle the boat, A few times in and out of the slip will get you to the point where you'll be able to tale the boat out on your own. Sailing the boat is something that will depend on your ability to learn. It's not rocket science if you understand how the sails
and the hull
work together. I'd highly suggest buying
an 8' or so sailing dinghy
and sail the hell out of it. You'll learn real quick how to sail and you'll need a dinghy
for you adventures, in any case. Take the Coast Guard Auxillary or Power Squadron boating
courses to get the ground school
part of boating
at the cheapest possible cost.
I've never taken a boating course or really had any instruction other than the rudimentary navigation
given in the Navy
Aviation Cadet course. Taught myself to sail in a sunfish, bought a 26' sailboat that I took out on the Pacific at night and into a strange harbor the day I took delivery
. Went from that to a 35' sailboat that I sailed from Tampa to Norfolk for a first sail. At first, I read and STUDIED every sailing magazine that I could find. a couple of navigation books
and quite a few books
on cruising. I'm all self taught and have sailed well over 15,000 miles on both the Atlantic and Pacific including a solo TransPac. A lot of boats sit in harbor because the owner doesn't have a crew. Hanging around the docks and volunteering to crew on boats that are raced is another great source of free experience. If there is a local sail oriented magazine like Latitude 38 Latitude 38 - The West's Leading Sailing and Marine Magazine
, it will have crew want ads. Local yacht clubs also are a good source for crew experience.
Other sailors are a great store of knowledge and you may be able to talk some of them into going out with you at first. Also, joining a sailing oriented Yacht Club is another great source for a newbie. I'm not talking the New York
Yacht Club but a blue collar club that has an active sailing program. Membership
is down so many clubs are looking for new members without an initiation fee. Monthly costs are fairly low and the bar can be a good place to hang out to pick up on interesting tales. You also can get reciprocal with other clubs for mooring
use along the way of your cruise
. Most have a greatly reduced fee for those out cruising.
BTW, think the good old Aires is the best self steering
vane out there. Just be careful about corrosion
between the stainless fasteners and aluminum
castings. Disassemble it and reassemble using Lanocote and/or TefGel to cut down on the problem.