I have been rescuing boats for a few years now. In fact my whole fleet have been rescued for a total of $400.00 upfront. Two sunfish pulled from the bottom of the lake. They had fallen victim to teenage pranks months prior. I proceeded to pull them out (for free), and the original owner (in his 80's) said I could have them, and the rigs if I made them sea worthy. He keep his word and I mine.
A widow friend of the family's late husband had three boats in pristine shape. 18ish Boston whaler (sail boat), Compac 16, and amf zuma. The whaler was sold, and after years of sitting in the back yard, I approached with a monetary offer on the other two. They needed work and cleaning
, but sails
had been well stowed in the garage. Again, they wouldn't take money
, but only the promise to use the boats. Compac 16 had two sets of sails, one set brand new.
The mac 25, He wanted a grand, I was walking away, and he pulled me aside.... Said his wife might divorce him if he didn't sell me the boat.... Haha I told him my wife might be the same, if I bring home another one!! I payed 400.00 for her with an almost new 8hp motor
, orig. sails, trailer. She was in ROUGH CONDITION. Busted spreader, falling off the trailer (improper made trailer.) 4 inch crack in hull
from trailer. Rudder
damage, and on and on. 60.00 epoxy
patch kit from west marine
, and 4 hours of.... video fixed the hole, and about 60.00 to fix the spreader. Standing rigging
was good enough for light 5-15 winds as was. Had her sailing in three days. Since then have put more money
her way... well all of their ways. The mac sails 3 days a week, and my pre teens sail the sunfish most everyday there is wind
Anything can be fixed, especially for a boat to learn on, in protected waters. You can tackle the cosmetics over time as you learn... I think that in itself it makes you a better sailor. Obviously, you don't push the limits until everything is ship shape, but harbor sailing, and learning
the ropes you can get by with stress cracks. Things don't have to be perfect to be safe, but you have to be wish enough to know what capabilities your vessel, and prioritize your repair schedule.
I am not going to tell you buy the boat or not. What I will tell you is that if you have the tools, muscle, and determination you should be able to have fixed up and able to sail for not much money. I personally think 700 is outrageous, 400 high. I would find the value of the boat in avg shape, make a list of repairs
at retail with labor. Take it to the a seller, and debate from there. The trailer in good repair, with good tires and bearing..(check them before you haul off anywhere far) is worth at least $150.00. Boat in condition as is, 65.00 to 100.00 tops. I would repair that sail. You will need to know how to use a sailors palm anyway if you enjoy your new venture.
That being said, I would not make my first run to corpus, port L, rp or any of those coastal places to learn, unless you have someone with experience teaching you, and a well prepared rig. Lake Travis, Canyon lake are probably btr options in your proximity.
Determination and persistence is the key. I learned more of the basics within 100 yards of shore in a sunfish, with a homemade sail, a hobie 16 rudder
, and so many stress cracks in the gel coat you couldn't believe it would float.
I am also, very confident that you could find a much better deal to your north near lake Travis or Canyon lake. If you have any mates that have lake houses out there utilize that opportunity. Remember, if the boat is forsale/or not, but an eyesore.... somebody in that household wants it gone. Use that to your advantage.
There is a nice
gloucester 11 sailboat here in Lake Livingston that was for sale
over the weekend, excellent shape, with good sails, and trailer for $700.00. I don't think it sold, but I do think the owners hauled it back to Houston
on Tuesday. I might be able to give them your number if you might be interested.
Good Luck and Fair winds!!!!