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Old 12-02-2007, 19:01   #1
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Need expert advice....

I have a guy who is willign to sell me a 1974 Columbia 26'. It has a movable centerboard. The inside of it is fairly rough. I am very new to sailing but woudl like to take this on as a project. I am an mech engineer so I think I can design and build parts as well as do most of the wood work. I looked at the sails in there bag and they look fine, not that I know too much about them. The sails had no satins or tears and were not brittle. So what do you think? Oh yea...he will sell it to me for $250...just wants to get rid of it; lost the will to sail because of the death of his wife.


here are some pics

http://h1.ripway.com/sdr352/overhead.JPG
http://h1.ripway.com/sdr352/profile.JPG
http://h1.ripway.com/sdr352/salon.JPG
http://h1.ripway.com/sdr352/salon2.JPG
http://h1.ripway.com/sdr352/vberth.JPG

Lookign farward to your praise or your appalled responses....

sorry for the spelling late for class.
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:18   #2
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:23   #3
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Go for it, but, plan on spending a couple of years worth of tuition for the rehab.
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:37   #4
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Borrow a moisture meter and sound the hull and deck - if there are high moisture levels and there a dull thuds when you tap the hull and deck in many areas - walk away - all you've really got here is the hull, mast, sails and rigging maybe - a good deal and a good deal of work if these are OK. There are many expert sources on this forum and the web on 'HOW TO" do the repairs and what and where to get materials. Good Luck
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:53   #5
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I say go for it. Patch it up, don't spend a lot fixing it up. Just get out and sail.
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Old 12-02-2007, 19:59   #6
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Drexel, from the interior demolition, ergh, condition, I'd agree with RUN--far away.<G>

If the hull is undamaged, and if there is no rot in the interior wood (which I can't imagine given the rags), and if there is no rot in the interior of the cored deck, sure, the hull can be worth that.

You'd still need an engine (value of an inboard $10,000, outboard maybe $500 very used to $2500 near or new?) whatever it was designed for. Cushions, unless you are spartan or sew, are gonna cost. Sails...let's just say if look like any kind of clothing, they're already shot. Sails usually have a plastic layer on them when new or still in good shape, if that's gone and the cloth is smooth, they're best used for painting drop sheets.

So you could easily put $3-5,000 into the boat in materials alone, at which point you could just buy one ready to sail. Having looked for handiman specials for too long, I believe they really DO exist, but all too often people let a boat deteriorate so badly that there's just no way to bring it back for less than the cost of a new one.
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Old 12-02-2007, 20:12   #7
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I buy things that need work, that is how I make my living. This boat that you are thinking of needs more work than it is worth even if it were given to you for nothing. I would take it if I thought I could sell it off for parts.
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Old 12-02-2007, 20:22   #8
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Drexel, Keep in mind that the folks that say go for it are not the ones that will put 10 times what the boat is worth and untold hours of your sweat equity into. delaminated decks, hull to deck joint problems and centerboard well problems are going to discourage you quickly. Take all that cash and do as others have suggested and find one in not so bad condition that you can sail now and work on the upgrade.
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Old 12-02-2007, 21:20   #9
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With all that moisture damage, I'd say runnnnnnn fast I'm sure the core it rotten plywood.

I'd tell the guy to sell the sails and rigging then send it out for an artifical reef. Or strip it, rough paint it and put it in a big sand box for kids to play in. That's it!
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Old 12-02-2007, 22:12   #10
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But why?

Why would you want this boat in the first place?
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Old 12-02-2007, 23:59   #11
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Well, If the sails are good and you have a good outboard for less than $ 500. The boat could be cleaned up, that is totally stripped and you could go sailing with just camping equipment. Just make sure whatever you do does not have to be replaced with more expense, Get Towing insurance. As been said before, make sure that the hull is sound. Check the wood. This boat may have been on the trailer quite a lot and not used much. Just be willing to trash it if you find to much worng. You will be replacing almost everything, including trailer (this might be first).

My estimate to fix it up will be over $ 10,000, you don't need to spend this much, good projects for the winter. A lot less to get it into the water. A new 26 foot coastal sailboat start at $ 40,000.
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Old 13-02-2007, 05:49   #12
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Yup. I honestly believe you can fix up anything... well... until I saw this one. For all the effort you would put in, you could probably do work/study in the library at school and buy one in better shape. I bought my college boat for something like $2000. It was not a good boat by any stretch (21 foot Kells shoal draft keel), but it needed only maintenance, not a refit. There are tons of boats out there for a similar amount of money that will fill the same need that one would, without causing you all the headache.

Unfortunately, the owner (maybe through sadness) has left this boat to rot. It's not coming back.
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Old 13-02-2007, 07:52   #13
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Dont be disheartened by the discouraging posts on this thread.

You stated you are a mech engineer, so I bet you like to work on things? Even if it involves some cost? I am a engineer too and like to work on boats as much as sailing them.

So, If I were you, and I was looking for a project, I would GO FOR IT!

But, there are a couple of things that would cause me to reconsider:
Is the hull cored? If it is, and it is wet (under the waterline), walk away. There really is no practical fix for this.
Is the deck cored? Does it make a "thud" sound when you tap it? Is the coring wet? If it is isolated to a few areas, then ok, there are practical fixes for this. However, if it is widespread, I would forget it.
Taking a moisture meter to the hull is a good idea. If the PO kept it on the hard on the trailer most of the time (as shown in the pictures), it is probably dry.

Otherwise, not a bad investment of $250 for a return of fun in fixing up and sailing the thing.


Boats are never a sound financial investment. But, the spritual, fun, and satisfaction return from working on it is something else that cant be measured in dollars.
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Old 13-02-2007, 09:09   #14
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Get a survey. Cost you another $250, but you'll have a much better of idea of the general soundness of the vessel. If the hull, decks, and mast are good, then it might be worth the effort.

But my first impression is this boat has been very badly neglected, so there's probably more wrong than just the torn headliner and dirt.


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Old 13-02-2007, 09:27   #15
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GO FOR IT, IF YOU CAN GET A SAILBOAT FOR $250 LEARN, TO SAIL AND THEN FIX IT UP AS YOU GO.
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