On May 30th, 2015 I bought my first real sailboat. I had been casually looking around for a super cheap
boat to use for weekend day sailing
and occasional overnight trips with friends. I planned to sail Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi gulf coast
, maybe going to Florida
I was hoping to find something in the 30' range, but what I ended up with is much better! The boat started it's life in 1973 as a Gulfstar
41', although you couldn't tell that now. As you can see from the pictures what I ended up with is a heavily modified Gulfstar
that looks more like a hippy pirate ship. For the price
, $3,600, I think it was a steal! It's been a fun project
so far and I've been learning
a ton, and only scratched the surface! I'll give a brief history
of the vessel as told by the previous owner, then get into the work I've done over the past few months.
The story is that the boat was sunk in New Orleans
Katrina. The hull
had an approximately 8' gash below the waterline on the port side beginning around the front of the cockpit
and extending toward the stern. I don't know how long the boat sat on the bottom before the previous owner acquired it and put it on the hard
, but the boat spent several years in the yard being repaired and becoming what you see here.
was completely removed and stripped out including the bulkheads and the floor. The hull
damage was repaired, floor replaced, and some bulkheads replaced, or re-fitted. The interior
is still completely unfinished, and will be a slow work in progress. The mast
was tossed and replaced with a roller furling
rig believed to be off a Beneteau
. The massive cypress bow sprit was added along with the huge tuna tower/bimini on the stern, which also serves as dinghy davits
. The bimini
over the cockpit
had solar panels
installed. The electrical system
was completely re-done from scratch, and is still a bit of a mystery to me at this point. It's got two house batteries and one starter. The engine
(perkins 4-108) was rebuilt, not sure how extensively, but it's running strong at the moment. The bottom was done before being put in the water
in 2012. From what I can tell based on visual inspection
, and pictures taken by the previous owner, he did a good job with the repairs
that were completed, although much is left to be done.
A short time before I bought the boat it was run aground and drifted up against a seawall. This caused some serious but fixable damage, hence the low price
. The port side of the hull was bouncing against a concrete seawall for several days which caused some de-lamination where the hull was previously repaired. The hull and deck
joint also separated for about 10' along the port side. Luckily the chainplate took most of the impact which ultimately saved the boat. The bow also fell victim to the seawall and had a good size hole chewed completely through into the anchor locker
As for the recent repairs
, the previous owner actually ground away the damaged bow and re-glassed most of it before I bought the boat. I have since added a few more layers of cloth and mat to get the thickness correct. All the bow needs now is some filler and paint
to finish it off. The de-lamination and separation on the port side of the boat were a bit more of a hassle to deal with. Cracks along the toe rail were allowing rain water
to run inside the hull, so first order of business was to grind out the cracks and re-glass the toe rail. Next I removed the screws holding the hull/deck together, cleaned both surfaces, and glued them back together using 5200. I then drilled new pilot holes and screwed the deck/hull back together. I ground out the de-laminated glass on the inside of the hull and glassed the hull/deck joint from the inside. For the most part, this took care of the repairing the damage from the seawall incident.
I decided too install new or add on to 4 bulkheads to more securely attach the hull & deck
. I made cardboard templates, then cut the bulkheads out of ply. I glued the edges to the hull & deck with 5200, epoxied them to the existing bulkheads, and tabbed them in with glass. This is about how far I've gotten with the rebuild
as of now. I took the boat out for a maiden voyage in about 8-10 knots to check my work and all seemed well. The hull was stiff and I got no slack in the leeward stays. I was half expecting the rig to come down on port tack as that side of the hull has some serious damage.
Next steps are to deal with the electrical system
, and work on making the interior presentable, but it's too hot in Louisiana right now to be down below for more than a few minutes at a time. The engine
also has NO gauges installed! I need to get my hands on a panel and figure out how to wire it up before any extended motoring.
I'm sure I've overlooked a ton, what am I missing?