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Old 07-03-2008, 16:49   #1
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1966 Lapworth 24 Gladiator

I am looking to purchase a 1966 Lapworth 24 Gladiator. Just wanted to see if there was any information I needed to be aware of. This is my first sailboat and from what I read it seems to be a sturdy little boat. I'm looking to get it for about $600 and I'm not sure exactly what I would be getting. The boat is about 600 miles away and just looking to get some input on what I should be on the lookout for. Any help would be much appreciated.

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Old 07-03-2008, 18:17   #2
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This boat is a near sistership to Robin Lee Graham's Dove that he sailed 3/4 the way around the world in the sixties. The only differance being the raised deck of the Gladiator verses the trunk cabin of the L 24. The hull is the same.
At that price I am guessing that the boat may need some work. The hulls on many of these boats of this vintage are solidly built. From a structural standpoint the deck would be my main area of concern on a boat this old. Water leaking in around fittings causing the deck core to rot. Tapping with a small hammer or a large screwdriver handle will usually reveal this. The rotten area will sound dull and mushy compared to a solid area. Small localized areas can be repairable but if it is extensive consider another boat. Make sure the bulkheads are still well tabbed to the hull. You say this is your first boat so I don't know your level of knowledge but it would be nice if you had an experienced friend to take along to help determine if the sails and rig are sevicable.

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Old 08-03-2008, 10:44   #3
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If you haven’t already, see:

I’d not worry too much about the price, this may reflect more the disinterest of the current owner than its value (to you). Still, Steve is right, you should take enough time to “survey” the boat to the point you are pretty confident that anything you may find is within your abilities/proclivities… cosmetics can look bad but one can live with that for awhile; however, sizeable structural repairs are must-dos and if beyond your skills, quickly get prohibitively expensive at yard prices…

However, as you said, the Lapworth enjoys a solid reputation, and my personal theory is that any vessel that mature, and still surviving, has probably done so with minimal unrepairable defects… A while back I paid about your Lapworth’s price for my little Bristol (became a haven for seagulls and wasps at an unattended mooring for nearly five years) and although it has required a little elbow grease here and there (still does, always something new to putter with…) few projects are terribly onerous for a do-it-yourselfer on a vessel this size and we were able to make a pleasant 120 mile “delivery” trip with about three Sunday afternoons of relaxing prep work -- as my bride says, if it floats how bad can it be… compared to the larger boats (in the 40-50 foot range) I used to have, keel boats in the mid-twenties are simple, undemanding and a treat to fiddle around on… Caution, however, things like sails and rigging can get expensive quickly if you have to purchase new (as opposed to repairing, which is usually just a pleasant afternoon with needle and palm), but assuming you like the design overall, just make sure whatever you find is something you actually want to tackle…

Worry: misuse of imagination…
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Old 08-03-2008, 13:38   #4
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Get a copy of Don Casey's handy little book "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat," an excellent reference.
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Old 18-02-2011, 23:47   #5
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i bought a Lapworth Gladiator 24. $600 also! came with all the parts - sails, anchor and rode, and an 8 hp outboard. i'm digging it. did you buy yours?
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