So here is my update, for anyone still following the thread.
I visited two weeks ago and found her in decent shape, actually, which was a bit of a surprise. I visually inspected the rigging
and sails which were good other than what appears to be a mouse-chewed hole in the main
There was little to no mold or mildew in the cabin
, and even the cushions
which I was sure would be disintegrating could probably survive with a good washing
. No rust on the chrome, and the inlaid wood on deck
needs some varnish
, but other than that no damage. In short, my poor boat has held up well to neglect.
After seeing her I have had second and third thoughts of sinking or abandoning her. I just can't do it. Other than the missing engine
she has only cosmetic issues to solve. Looking into "legally" sinking her for a dive site turns out to be quite a bureaucratic nightmare. I talked to quite a few people about giving her away, and basically I would have to get in line, if you can believe it. There are apparently *scores* of boats free for the taking there if the takers are willing to pay the yard fees
. I can only imagine that the yard is full of boats that aren't paying their dues. Sign of the economy and the times I suppose.
I also discovered that I am so far back in the yard while they stack them in for hurricane
season that even if I *wanted* to pull her out and sail to Florida
, that won't happen before November anyway. So I have a few months to make a plan.
I'm now considering the fixup and keep plan, which involves minimal cosmetic repairs and a new engine
. I don't think I mentioned it, but I originally took the diesel
engine out (which is nothing better than a mooring anchor
after four years under a tarp in the yard) to do an electric
conversion. I had done a ton of research
back then into the gear
required... then I had a baby
So I have started looking into it again. Prices for this conversion have not only come way down, but it seems there are many more options now, and lots of folks that have done it and posted their experiences. It may very well be less expensive than replacing the diesel
, though I will suffer on range. It is a sailboat after all
So front runner plan (which I am still haggling with the wife over, but she isn't dead against it) is to return over Christmas
break and spend two weeks installing the electric
I have selected and new batteries, plus a general cosmetic repair (varnish, chrome polish, some minor carpentry in the cabin
, and a new cockpit
dashboard) and thorough deep cleaning
. The windows I have discovered eventually stop leaking if you don't open them
Possibly new cushions
. The result should be a boat I can launch in the spring.
Back for Spring Break I will launch and sail her non-stop to Florida
to the cheaper yard.
Back to that yard next summer for a full paint
job - bottom, hull
, and deck
, then a possible cruise
around the Bahamas
with the family.
THEN I will talk about selling her. In the shape I hope to get her in, and being somewhat uniquely electric, I think I can get most of this investment back (though clearly not anywhere near what I have over the years sunk into the boat). But again this isn't about the financial impact really at all. Lets face it - none of us invest in our boats for profit
The other option at that point will be to slowly get her to Chicago, to be the family training boat for the "big trip" which is not just my dream - it is something we have both talked about since we met.
I'll keep updating this thread as I purchase
the materials and plans firm up. Very curious what responses I will get to this, as it does seem that 90% of you think I should abandon the boat