Anjou, I hope you're still following this thread. This is what I did. My experience is like yours. I grew up on boats, mostly small outboard fishing
boats, canoes, speedboats and the like. I had only sailed twice as a kid on small boats. 5 years ago, while recovering from a broken leg, I got it in my head
I wanted to move onto a sailboat after my kids
were up and grown and head
for the horizon. I am a single
dad, with custody of my kids
, although now I have a fiance who shares my interests. I decided four years ago the ideal boat would be a CT-41 or one of it's sisters. In the year prior to that, I spent the first six months deciding what the logical route
to that goal would be, and making a plan.
I figured from alot of homework, the most comfortable boat to live in would be at least 36', and the largest I could probably handle alone would be around 40'. I decided the best way to learn how to handle something like that initially and inexpensively would be to buy the biggest cruiser I could find that was trailerable, and start with that. I found the ideal boat in a MacGregor
25, which I purchased for $3,450 US. It needed no overhauling to get out on the lake and start learning
, which I did six months after I started thinking about the whole sailboat thing. Within a year, I was pretty confident in my ability, and cruised weekends regularly with my three sons. My oldest helped with running the boat and my two younger ones just had a huge amount of fun, and we all loved the lifestyle. Six months after buying
that boat, I decided on the CT-41 as the ideal concept
, and started pricing them and went to Lake Texoma to look at one up for sale
just to get some first hand knowledge of them.
After four years of pondering and factoring, and using my Mac 25 as a test bed
, I was still looking at the CT, with my only deviation in thought being a steel hull
Spray, because they're more whale and container collision
resistant. Whichever way I went, I ultimately wanted someone's old neglected boat with obsolete electronics
that I could get extremely cheap
and then gut to rebuild
the way I wanted it. I didn't want to pay for someone else's idea of the ultimate boat.
Last winter, after Hurricane
Ike hit, I was looking online to see if there were any deals, as there always are after hurricanes. After some searching the web and a first trip to Kemah Texas
to look at a couple of possibilities, but unfortunately no CT-41's or Sprays, I found a CT-41 offered at $7,500 OBO in Kemah
. I had actually met the guy who was selling it on my first trip to Kemah and had no idea he had it, just that he had a boat that got clobbered by the storm. I met him while he was looking at the engine
in a Pacific Seacraft
that was salvaged that he was considering buying
to replace his pickled engine
After talking with him for a while and going through the boat, I wrote him a check for $2,000 US. The boat had gone about 2/3 under and rested on the bottom during the hurricane
, and almost everything inside was a write off. Other than a separation on the port side hull/deck seam that can be repaired, the things that I cared about were the masts were there and looked to be ok, the hull
was solid with no damage other than scuffing, and the deck
was in good shape. The only teak
is in the cockpit
, so the only redecking that might need to occur is there.
It took about 6 weeks of preparation, planning and coordinating, and about $10,000 US to get it towed across the bay to Clear Lake
Shore, hauled out and put on stands, a cradle
built, yard and storage fees
for a few weeks, masts unstepped, prepped for shipping
, and a hydraulic yacht lift
truck, along with purchasing
stands, and it now sits in my backyard north of Austin Texas
I've already salvaged over $10,000 of usable equipment
, tools, winches, etc. etc. off of it, and will more than recoup the other $2,000 of the original investment from the rest of the salvage
I had never done any fiberglass
work or other boatwork prior to my Mac 25. I have done a fair amount of wood and cabinet work, some home plumbing
work, tile work, and alot of leather work and sewing with a Singer as hobbies and for profit. My biggest project
I've done was completely gutting and remodelling my kitchen and my kids' bathroom.
My Mac 25 I bought as a "school ship". I taught myself to sail on it, and now teach others. I have taught myself boat cabinetry, boat plumbing
, boat electrical
, sail making, ice box construction, upholstery, and a host of other useful skills and experiences, such as how to bend an aluminum mast
straight after the forestay slips out of your hand while stepping it and watching it collapse onto the fantail and bending it into a boomerang, and how to build a better outboard
mount after the $2,000 brand new engine you bought submerges in Corpus Christi bay when the original mount you deemed sufficient snaps in half in 5 foot chop.
There's a difference between dreaming that someday will happen versus logical planning and preparation, with alot of sweat and hands on experience, rebuilding a boat from the ground up so you know every seam and screw and modification and turn in the plumbing and routing of every wire.
Everything I learn on my Mac 25 is in turn put to work on my CT-41. My last project
on the Mac was rigging
a temporary bowsprit
so that I could add a headstay in addition to a forestay, to try out a cutter
rig. It was a great success, so I'll be extending the trailer tongue and putting on a permanent bowsprit
. The next rigging change will be making a gaff and converting a Cabo Rico
I salvaged from the CT-41 into a gaff mainsail
with, and if it works well, I'll invest in the proper materials and rigging to convert her into a proper gaff cutter. Why? Because I want to convert Dream Ketcher into a staysail gaff ketch.
Why would I salvage
the sink and commode out of a 41' yacht and install it into a trailer sailer along with the needed plumbing and tankage? For experience in properly doing it during the restoration
and upgrade of the head in the 41.
So far I've completed about 70% of the gutting of the CT-41. By the end of the winter it will be completely gutted and the hull
completely clean. Then comes repairing the hull/deck seam along with reinforcing the whole deck
with knees and beams, then the rest of the hull work and deck work, then the interior
, etc. etc.
Anjou, if you really want it, you go for it. I recommend you start the way I did, and get something in the 25' range dirt cheap
to learn on. If you like spending weekends and weeks at a stretch on it, then start playing around with changing it. If you find you like getting dirty in the bilge
, figuring out the the wiring
sucked in the first place and the stuff you're putting in is better, and realizing you really shouldn't have cut through that stainless steel
sheet with your reciprocating saw, but also realizing it taught you a valuable lesson that was worth it, finding satisfaction that you learn you can actually steam bend wood like they talk about in the books
and magazines to make your new gally more attractive, then you have what it takes to take on a CT-41 Ketch.