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Old 03-11-2013, 13:40   #31
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

"
Also, although your contribution is greatly welcomed, I don't think I need lectures about what to do or not do. It's more helpful to gather information from those with more experience and from there figure out the best approach. (Challenging questions are fine in this regard, including those you raised.)

It's generally not a good idea either to tell others what to do or to listen to others telling you what to do. Violates some basic principle of self-responsibility, or Liberty, or dignity or whatever you want to call it."

G'Day again CA,

I'm a bit confused here... I had intended my post to help you " gather information from those with more experience ".

If "It's generally not a good idea either to tell others what to do or to listen to others telling you what to do." then I'm wasting my time posting.

I believe that I see some serious flaws in your proposed plan, and hoped to help you identify them. You are free to ignore my thoughts and maintain your
"basic principle of self-responsibility, or Liberty, or dignity or whatever you want to call it".

But then why are you here on CF?

I continue to wish you a successful outcome.

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Old 03-11-2013, 14:03   #32
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Jim, misunderstanding are rife in printed interchanges since the tone and nuance are often missing or misperceived.

That last one was in response to: "CA, I hate to sound so negative, but your plan just does not sound feasible to me, and IMO puts you and any crew at significant risk. A couple of weeks familiarization will not be adequate to overcome the inexperience that you are showing. I hope that you can find an alternative that works for you."

I find that sort of thing 'telling someone what to do'.
I find the statement: " A couple of weeks familiarization will not be adequate to overcome the inexperience that you are showing" inappropriate in that regard. My experience, for example, might be far above my knowledge of nautical vocabulary. It might not too! But you cannot really tell. All I know is that I managed hundreds of hours in sailboats without mishap, have always gotten where I wanted to go (whilst also avoiding things beyond my skill and comfort level), and have made several 10 hours journeys down the coast without problem. Granted this is not much, but apart from the unfortunate fact that I don't yet know anything about this particular locale, I really don't see why day-sailing up a coast is such an enormous reach. If you do, then expressing it in specifics could be helpful, otherwise I think it's too personal.

Further, I was thinking about this after your post: how long would it take you, an experienced sailor, to evaluate a boat? Speaking for myself, I think that within a couple of hours I would know about 80% of most of what I would find out. Because I am not so experienced I would probably want to go out 2-3 times in light winds, heavy winds, messing around the marina whereas an experienced sailor would get it all in one try, but still, why is 2 weeks not enough? Just saying things like that without explaining them comes off as judgmental even if that isn't your intention. In any case, it strays, imo, from being helpful, to trying to influence the decision-making process, which in turn is assuming responsibility for the decision, which in turn lessens your regard, and your interlocutor, for their responsibility. My reposte may very well have been clumsily expressed, for which I again apologise, but was offered in the spirit of mutual learning.

More importantly/practically, there is no plan yet other than:

'finding the best way to bring the boat up to Cape Breton' which
a) is not prohibitively expensive ( I put it out as auction for transporters and the last bid was for $8250 which is way beond my pay grade) and
b) provides maximum learning and pleasure quotient relative to time (all we have in life) invested.

For me, learning is the greatest pleasure, and right now learning to sail better is very high up there, don't ask me why. I fail to see how a passage from Chesapeake Bay to Nova Scotia, working with the limitations of a Sharpie and a relatively inexperienced owner, will not yield quite a good harvest in terms of learning.


Again, if my remark gave offense, I apologise for I value the input. But I did want to express that, at least personally speaking, when things stray into lecturing, I feel it isn't so helpful for either party.
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Old 03-11-2013, 14:34   #33
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

If you go through the canal I think you should be prepared to sail as far as Plymouth that day (there's no real shelter prior to that I believe). Plymouth to Boston Harbor, anchor in the Harbor islands (a treat). Boston harbor to Salem. There is a minimal anchorage in Salem to the immediate left of the beginning of the harbor, you can hail the harbormaster. You might have to pick up a mooring though, the anchorage is really small.

That's as far as I've been. You could do Isle of Shoals -> Monhegan -> Yarmouth, at least, that's my plan for next summer.
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Old 03-11-2013, 14:54   #34
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Well, CA, I did not feel that anything that I said was telling you what to do. I will not get involved in a "you said, I said" exchange for they benefit no one.

Re how long it would take me as an experienced sailor to evaluate a boat? Well, surveyors, who are usually highly skilled at evaluation of boats, usually take a full day to survey a 45 foot vessel, and would need to have it hauled out to do so. I spent two full days crawling around our current boat before I hired a surveyor to do it professionally. I seriously doubt if your two hours would be very thorough, but perhaps you work really fast.

Re two weeks to familiarize yourself with the boat: Yes, if you were to apply yourself vigorously for two weeks, and the weather cooperated in providing you with the necessary challenges you could do a fair job of familiarizing. That period would not include any time to repair or revise things that came up short in the process. If, for instance, the leak proves to worsen at sea it may well be necessary to slip the boat to repair a faulty stitch and glue seam, or to reglass a faulty area. Or whatever... two weeks isn't long for any great boat jobs.

Re my estimation of your experience level: Your questions lead me to believe that you are pretty inexperienced. If I was mistaken, well, that's life... I surely have made mistakes before.

Re my concerns about your familiarity with COLREGS: There have been several recent threads here on CF regarding these issues. There has been a lot of confusion expressed by very experienced cruisers (and professional seamen) about interpretation of collision avoidance situations, and these guys are in vessels with engines which give them more options in some cases. Transiting high traffic areas (and while I'm not familiar with the east coast, I don't see how you can make the voyage you propose without doing so) even in daylight will doubtless involve some interaction with merchant ships, fishing vessels and tug/tow rigs. With no means of non-sailing propulsion, how will you be able to avoid them if the wind should die out while a sloppy sea remains? I think that this is a reasonable query, not a lecture.

Finally, re wx forecasts: Yes, they are way better than they used to be, but no, they are not infallible. It is unlikely that you will be caught in a major storm system without notice, but not so unlikely that you will be caught in a thunderstorm of considerable intensity and with no official warning. The strongest winds that Ann and I have encountered at sea in 27 years of cruising were 80+ knots in a thunderstorm off of the mouth of the Clarence river in New South Wales. There was no advance warning of its formation, despite the general excellence of the Aussie met folks.

These concerns and the others that I brought up are IMO serious enough to make me worry about your voyage, and so I have said. I'm not telling you what to do, or even what not to do... that is for you to work out.

Perhaps I could have expressed myself differently, but I write in this way habitually and at my age I'm not likely to change.

And now I will bow out of the discussion (probably), still hoping that you find the boat suitable to your usage and that the voyage is successful.

Jim
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Old 03-11-2013, 14:59   #35
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Thank you. Yes, those Harbour Islands look neat. Close enough to dinghy-motor into the Big City, far enough for relatively quiet anchorage. Since was born in Mass, Boston is my Capital City (though really don't know her well).

Was thinking of Nantucket after the canal, Wellfleet or the Cove across from Provincetown just because it's so vacationy a spot, but maybe Plymouth Rock is where it's really at!

Thanks to all for feedback. In little more than a day what was a vague notion has become a living beast with teeth, claws, various behaviours and aspects which I can now start to really grapple.

Seems to me there are several main areas:

a) worthiness of the vessel, if she's good or a sinking ruin etc. (obviously requires hands-on evaluation vs speculation)
b) what she can and cannot do even when worthy (obviously requires hands-on evaluation vs speculation)
c) worthiness of those sailing her (the Big Mystery!)
d) given sufficient positives in the above, the best way to transport her or for her to transport me/us, involving best particulars stopping points along the way, most likely what has been discussed here in terms of various ways up.

The spontaneous consensus - thrust is to cleave to sheltered waters as far as possible using inland waterways or canals.

And I have been informed there still are, even in today's world and even in one of the most highly populated zones in the U.S., man decent sheltered anchorages

But watch out for adverse inlet action!

Am still hoping for some clarification on how weather happens relative to forecasts, and the difference between offshore and coastal cruising. My understanding is that offshore means that you are so far away from any anchorages that you deal with whatever weather system you get, whereas coastal you are close enough to run back into shore and anchor, albeit this is far more true when in home waters than when on passage with new anchorage every evening. (the 'rub')
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Old 03-11-2013, 15:14   #36
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Jim, I apologise again if I was too touchy. Probably it's because you are basically right: I am not experienced enough for this undertaking.

In terms of evaluating boat your points are excellent rebuttal, but also remember that this particular one has hardly any complex parts - it's a hull and rigging basically, with a simple solar battery power system. Little else. Probably I won't be able to find the leak until she is hauled out, but I will be able to evaluate it's speed and also if it changes when we go sailing.

You also make good points about two weeks etc. Maybe I need 10 years!

But also to argue a point a little without offense: I will know - probably within a few hours - the degree to which I can feel competent to learn what I need fairly quickly enough to single hand or not (most likely not), to raise my game to manage 2-3 friends helping out, get a much more experienced person etc. etc, what the big question marks are about the boat and how she handles etc., so I think we are a little talking at cross purposes. Moreover, I have not already decided exactly how to do this, only what I intend: namely to get her up to where I live.

That said, what is most likely is that: assuming the leak is manageable, then I find a way to sail her up with 1-3 other people. It might be a challenge but I don't think it's that big a deal. Thousands of others have done it.

And if this boat is so tippy that she can't manage 30 knots and 3 metre seas - the most I ever intend to expose her to - well maybe I'll take a pass and just have fun sailing her around the Chesapeake Bay for a few weeks every year and paying my $500 per annum slip fee with electrics and fixing the leak and finding another buyer, and that is hardly the worst thing in the world, eh?

Though really, truth be told, like any new boat owner, I'm ready to fall in love!

Finally in terms of experience, I think - and feel free to correct me again if you think this is incorrect - that sailing experience is only part of the equation.

What you cannot possibly tell from what has been contributed here is the degree to which I can solve problems, invite and then surmount challenges and so forth.

If the problem is that this boat cannot go up without experienced skipper, do I have the ability to evaluate/perceive this and then further effect an appropriate solution within given budgetary and other restraints - which, though they vary from person to person, all of us have to work within?

I humbly suggest that very few could tell this ahead of time so soon into the undertaking, and usually those who could tell, wouldn't!

In terms of Colregs etc: thanks for the heads up. I have no intention of venturing into crowded waters without boning up on that stuff. I did, however, helm a 55' yacht, at night, through trawler and tanker-infested waters not far from NYC in 1982 during a heavy storm during which I was the only one who was not wretching and puking (which is why I had the helm). It was not an easy sail and I have no precise memory of it, but I did fine and at the time felt confident in all the rules, keeping to channels, buoys, navigation etc. I make no pretense at being highly experienced, but I know what I have done and apart from being terrified of marinas (-mainly because I hate, and therefore never practice, motoring!), am not all that bad.

Actually, I was both amazed and disturbed at the sheer volume of trawlers out there. It seemed like every square mile had one brightly lit trawler. When the professional skipper came up (later a boat builder) I remember asking him how the fish could possibly survive and he remarked that the ocean was limitless even though he agreed that the volume of trawlers per volume of ocean was mind-boggling.

In fact, it's because of that experience that I would prefer to avoid such areas. Not just for safety, but really I don't like commercial zones, either on land or sea, and would rather stay in the wilder, less regulated areas. My livelihood, for example, does not take place in the realm of commerce, legally speaking; have chosen something for which no registration is required, is not under federal or provincial statutory control/agreement. Don't like commerce!
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Old 03-11-2013, 15:46   #37
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Finally, Jim, thanks for remarks on weather. Much appreciated.

As to the leak, the first thing to try, of course, is the Moitessier method: swim underneath (when water is warm) with bag of sawdust.

Release contents of bag beneath the hull.

Leak will suck in sawdust particles which in turn swell, choke and then seal the leak.

Voila!
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Old 03-11-2013, 15:52   #38
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Just looked at the pictures more closely.

I hope that your purchase was contingent on a visual inspection and a survey. In my experience, pictures always make a boat look in 3x better condition than it is in. I've seen pictures of 30 year old boats that look in better shape than that one. That boat is significantly older than 2012, unless it is built from scavenged parts, which is a distinct possibility. Just look at the companionway hatch and, cabin top, and the grab rails. Was this home-built by the present owner? If so, who was designer? Is there any kind of data on the design that sets forth important design aspects, such as stability, righting, etc? With one-offs you always run the risk of buying someone's failed experiment, both in terms of design and construction. Might explain why the boat is not floating on her designed waterline. She appears to be significantly down in the stern.

The one gallon per hour leak in any boat would be a cause for concern. In a boat supposedly built in 2012 it's a very large concern. It should not leak at all, with no shaft seal.

Lastly, more boats are sold out of Annapolis each year than any other place in North America. There are more brokers and yards here than you can shake a stick at. It begs the question of why the seller resorted to selling the boat over the internet through an auction.

I also just noticed that this boat does not appear to have a cockpit. At all. None. And no sign of a tiller. If that stick next to the swivel chair is how you steer her...dear lord, I don't know what to say.

Not trying to rain on your parade, just offering up some concerns.
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:19   #39
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaperAsh View Post
That said, what is most likely is that: assuming the leak is manageable, then I find a way to sail her up with 1-3 other people. It might be a challenge but I don't think it's that big a deal. Thousands of others have done it.
In many, many cases, folks who either lived through storms or removed themselves from their boat during one by CG rescue have reported: "The boat could take more than I could." From comments here on just the pictures of your boat, that may not be the case.

Weather: There are many books about weather. Depending only on weather reports without knowing what to look for in the weather yourself as well, including using a barometer, would be something you might want to reconsider, and bone up on.

Many of us know or know of folks who have done this trip. Thousands is putting it mildly. In most cases, those folks have spent months if not years in preparing their boats, even if new to them, even if new out of the box, or even if they've had the boats for years and KNEW everything from stem-to-stern about them, kept them in fine shape and still knew they needed work. I think, perhaps, that this "I can do it all" attitude may be what some folks are commenting about in your approach, although, fairly, you have been the first to admit things you don't know. Good for you in attitude, not so great in sailing if you do the trip in May 2014, 'cuz, quite frankly, there ain't that much time, based on my experience and that of the many others I have read about.

Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:20   #40
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Assuming for the moment that the vessel is sailable, I'll offer you a wee bit about weather. When we hear a prediction, say SW 20-25, this means to expect averaged wind strengths in those ranges: this in turn means for the sailor who is usually interested in the max gusts s/he is likely to encounter, that the highest wind strength you are likely to experience will be roughly 50% greater than the averages in the f/c: in this case all the way to a puff of 37k. Having all the tophamper represented by the gaff sails plus the height and weight of the cabin on your Sharpie, she will be extremely tender and sensitive to those gusts.

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Old 03-11-2013, 18:14   #41
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

I think that the "pusher boat" you refer too is what is known as a "yawl boat". The old flatbottomed skipjacks, bugeyes and sharpies were traditionally used in the Chesapeake Bay for oystering, and were restricted by law to work under sail only. To get back and forth to the oyster beds when the wind was down, they carried yawl boats on davits. The yawl boats were very short and usually powered with big automobile engines. They served as propulsion only, like little tugboats. The 9.8 hp outboard on your "pusher boat" seems a bit underpowered for the job.

Here's a photo (garnered from the Interweb) of a skipjack being pushed along by it's yawl boat. You can see the davits on the stern.
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Old 03-11-2013, 20:42   #42
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Caper,

On charts...while US charts are a free download, and US chart books are available, reasonable, and useful.....Canadian charts cost about $25/chart, are not free for download, and there are no chart books.

You WILL end up with a chart plotter!

All advice has been about US side. Going North into Maine and further into the bay has its own challenges. Perceived wisdom is to stay off of Cape Sale to avoid Fundy currents. Even 20 to 30 miles off shore they can be strong. It's impressive to see upwellings that far out. I can't imagine what is like deeper into the Bay.

But there is the crux of your problem, the destination dictate a crossing further South (say Marblehead) but your boat may not be up to the long crossing, forcing you deeper into the area of strong tides and currents, where your low power engine will be stressed.

I suspect you will (wisely) only make that decision once you have many more hours in the boat and have a better sense of the variation in weather windows.

As too forecasting, IMHO forecasts over 48 hours have a significant chaence of being wrong. IMHO Canadian forecasts are tough to decipher, and all too frequently wrong.

Last year forecast for Bonavista was for 20 to 25 knots.....but in the same broadcast the CURRENT conditions were 32 knots. I was off shore in that mess and suspect I had a bit more than 32. That's a WHOLE lotta difference.

Remember wind pressure varies as the square so if 1 knots is 1 unit of force, 2 knots is 4 units, 4 knots is 16 units, 8knots is 64 units, and so forth. That's why things can get out of hand so quick.

Personally I use Windfider.com, good as any. Still only believe 2 days out.

Wind, waves & weather forecast Reedy Point - Windfinder
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:06   #43
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Suijin, yes, those are valid concerns. I am well aware that this boat might not live up to expectations, but then the price is very low. This might be because she is a lemon. But also there happens to be a glut of used sailboats on the market in the US. Also, this is a custom, amateur build (he has built 5 others before), with unusual (Sharpie) configuration, a gaff rig (not to everyone's taste), no inboard or other motor, too large for most casual sailors, not jazzed up enough with gizmos for most casual, let alone serious, sailors. In short, even if she were in tip-top shape, she might be hard to sell in this market.

The leak is most definitely cause for concern and most likely why I could get her at a price I can afford. It might be a deal-breaker, so to speak. The seller on the phone mentioned it to me as a reason someone who had previously bid more than double what I paid changed his mind on visiting the vessel. The seller said that the water looks far worse than it is because of the flat bottom - a little water spreads a long way rapidly. I countered that it seems to me that a new epoxied hull should not leak a drop and he said something about wooden boats always leaking a little. There are many issues here, but until I see for myself, can only worry about it so much. I suspect that finding the exact nature of the problem is going to be the hardest thing. I am not going to worry about it more until I actually see the boat.

Similarly, in terms of her weather and sea ability, of course each boat is different and some Sharpies do very well in rough weather, others do not. I suspect mine will not, as does the builder, but exactly what that means remains to be seen and can only be known by actual exposure. I suspect that she will do well under staysail and mizzen, both of which have low CE, neither of which will promote excessive heel, and the flat bottom-shallow draft profile would probably move along very nicely in a blow that way. Again, this has to be tested in practice.

In terms of the brightwork, what I have been told is that, along with using used materials (such as sailcloth for example) all over, that he didn't keep up with the varnishing in the past year and it should be done every 2-3 months. Personally, I don't think it looks very good at all in the photos and have been assuming it is worse in actuality. At the same time he said there was no actual rot or damage yet, but that this should be dealt with immediately. My first thought was to slap on a few coats of varnish in the spring, and then once he is here (assuming that ever happens!), take it all off and marine paint her inside and out. Less charming, perhaps, but probably more efficient and less labour-intensive over time. I am well aware that with all of this it might not work out, the boat may sail like a drunken pig with three legs etc. etc. But again, that will be found out when I first visit in April-May.

The big concerns expressed about experience, navigation etc. have hit home and are being digested. I would again like to thank the participants of this forum for your extensive, well expressed feedbacks and suggestions.

This possible voyage, which was just an initial idea a couple of weeks ago (the actual purchase only took place on Saturday), has come into a rather vivid foreground very rapidly thanks to all of you.

For example, the suggestion that preparing six months for a voyage is extremely short is a new thought. The suggestion that two weeks is not nearly enough time for familiarisation was also a bit of a kicker - and I took it personally! Sitting with such suggestions for a little while, I can see both their merit, but more importantly the issues raised behind them.

I remain sanguine about all this in the sense that, if I deal with the key issues competently, they will oblige me to meet the challenges raised and in so doing learn more and increase skills. Which for me is what this is all about.

Can anyone recommend a good weather book offhand? I have not noticed one in cruising around Amazon etc but have also not tried hard. One general problem I have these days is that although the internet puts so much information readily available at one's fingertips, there is so much it is rather hard to sort through. Much of it is sub-par and the process can get confusing. But I used to be somewhat good at reading the weather from the sky alone, but it has been decades since I was regularly sailing and over time those skills have faded. I would like a good primer on clouds, pressure etc.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:37   #44
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Suijin, a bit more on the boat - as far as I know now, which should improve soon:

"I hope that your purchase was contingent on a visual inspection and a survey. In my experience, pictures always make a boat look in 3x better condition than it is in. I've seen pictures of 30 year old boats that look in better shape than that one. That boat is significantly older than 2012, unless it is built from scavenged parts, which is a distinct possibility. Just look at the companionway hatch and, cabin top, and the grab rails. Was this home-built by the present owner? If so, who was designer? Is there any kind of data on the design that sets forth important design aspects, such as stability, righting, etc? With one-offs you always run the risk of buying someone's failed experiment, both in terms of design and construction. Might explain why the boat is not floating on her designed waterline. She appears to be significantly down in the stern."


I did not inspect or have surveyed. Scavenged parts were used, but the hull is made of 1.5” epoxied plywood which was not used, the sides are 1.25”. The shrouds/stays are high quality galvanized, the masts and spars look pretty good in the photos as do most of the lines, some of them even looking new, though I suspect they are not.


I had to make a bit of a snap decision. Do I first inspect or pay someone else? Or do I buy from a distance. The price fell after two sales fell through to a very low level ($1500). The first fell through because the buyer wanted to sail her to France and simply ignored the description of her as a non ocean-going vessel. Strange, but there you go. Second fell through because buyer went to visit after auction, saw water in the bilge / on cabin sole, and decided discretion was better part of valor and walked away.

So then price went way down in late October because seller did not want to commit to winter mooring fees, and I decided, wisely or not, to purchase her sight unseen and then wait until spring to go down and evaluate that purchase. I will discuss winter care with seller this week, hopefully. For all I know, this will prove a major problem from the get-go but I am hoping for a normal winter and that seller can do a few things to look after her since he has a smaller boat at same marina.

First I wanted him to get his money so he can tell I am not just a daydreamer making empty promises on the telephone. Then later this week will see how much or little he is willing to do until delivery next year. There are risks and warning signs in all of this, I know.

Again, the price was $1500. What does one expect for such a price? A flawless, fully equipped yacht? Certainly I am not expecting that.

This is the sort of situation people like me who live below poverty line get used to. You have to take chances, not always advisable, you have to learn to push through (and also when to walk away). At this point am risking my time, $1500 and later on $200 for a new passport since that is now needed to go Stateside from Canada (my US birth certificate is no doubt not enough post 9/11 since border guards on both sides have become very officious), about $1000 for a drive down and back, and I will drive down so as to bring extra stuff, including my little 9.8 hp Tohatsu which I figure will push her along at about 4-5 knots in easy conditions, but with this Sharpie business, who knows? In any case, it is going to cost me about $3,000 just to buy her and go take a look. That's money for me, but workable. ($10,000 is out of the question.)


Buying a boat like this being in my sort of situation is probably foolhardy on several levels, but for whatever reason, when I saw pictures of this particular boat on Ebay and read up on Sharpies (which I hadn't heard of before), the notion of putting a shallow liveaboard gaff-rigged vessel on the Bras D'Or lakes – a poor man's summer home basically – took. And I watched her go through two auctions and each time the buyer welched. Finally she is mine at a price I can afford. Even if it ends up being a mistake, I am willing to take that chance and live with the consequences. If she is sailable, the journey up, and then the live-a-boarding on the Bras D'Or lakes will end up having been worth the effort, whilst greatly increasing my sailing experience and skills. If she is not sailable, I will be out some time and money, but anything like this costs time and money, this particular one just happens to be within my realm of feasibility even though most people in my situation quite reasonably wouldn't even dream of attempting something like this. Usually, the notion of driving more than an hour or so away from where I live is something not undertaken lightly – will old car hold up on bad roads, do I have enough gas in tank and spare (few gas stations) etc. Etc. Picking up a gaff-rigged Sharpie on the Chesapeake I bought for $1500..... La La land..


Believe me, I have considered these things. Nevertheless, am going to try to see if something good can come of it!


To me the positives of the boat construction – as I now know in limited fashion – is the thickness of the hull with new plywood (not sure of quality yet), the overall charm of the design, the fact that the builder designed it to take his family out on (but then two sons moved when they went to college) and so presumably wanted it to float, the fact that she is a yawl which interests me greatly, well I think these indicate that the boat might be alright. It's not enough, of course, but it's something. And I am not afraid to act on intuition and for some reason, I felt this one was mine long before I could afford her and indeed was puzzled at why I felt such affinity for her given she was a) in Chesapeake b) unaffordable c) not ocean-going. Still, she called. And finally was at giveaway price such that even I could afford the introduction – which has yet to take place.

I am very concerned about the leak; I don't like the way the waterline is off but then she is emptied out right now and also he thinks he miscalculated it anyway (didn't account for cabin structures properly). I don't understand the pusher business at all but assume it will work since otherwise he wouldn't have built it that way. Will it work well? Don't know. Will find out. To me a 45' boat is a monster, but am consoling myself that a) it's a light displacement 45' and I had no problem years ago with 33' so what's another 11 feet really, and also: after I get her up, then mainly she will do simple day-sailing and live-a-boarding in sheltered areas, at which point she should be a comfortable, charming, floating cottage.

Unless there are more great suggestions, I will cool it on this thread now until I have got more info, but more likely until I have actually visited, unless I can get some specific tips on various locations on the Eastern seaboard as I investigate possible journey. Of course such planning will be taking place before I have properly evaluated her, and conducting such planning doesn't mean that any commitment to go forward has been made, so hopefully that doesn't have to be hashed over on the forum. What's that expression? 'Always have a Plan B!'



Well, Plan A is that I go down and she sinks or I believe she will and cannot make her seaworthy in timely, affordable fashion.



What if she doesn't? That's Plan B. And it appears I am already late in beginning if I want to bring her up next spring-summer!
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:01   #45
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

I do understand the Original Poster's desire to get the boat into his home waters to make repairs and improvements to the boat. However I was going to comment that for most passages that the weakest link in a boat are the humans that sail her. I would not be sure that this is the case here as others have speculated. My suggestion is to get down to the Chesapeake this coming spring and spend a month or more just sailing her here on the Chesapeake during all sorts of weather. I don't remember reading where she is located, but if on the eastern shore or into Va waters the cost for moorings would be less than elsewhere on the Chessy and might be feasible cost wise. Good Luck and with proper thought anything is possible.
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