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Old 05-07-2016, 19:51   #1
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Whats your opinion of this boat?

I'd like to get into cruising full time within the next 12-18 months. I'm looking at getting a "starter boat" (daysailer) for now--just to get on the water and get a little experience with tinkering. I came across this boat on craigslist, and thought I would float it out there...what do ya'll think? Its an Advance Sweet 16, for $500.

I didn't see any cracks in the hull. Rigging and sails are dusty but usable (some sail repair needed, detailed below). Major issues are 3 large cracks in the cockpit. One on either side at the base of the centerboard trunk (appx 12 in long), and one more where one of the bench seats meets the floor (appx 24 in long). The seller says that the cracks do not go through the hull and that the boat is watertight. Its solid fiberglass, so the only issue of water-damaged coring is in the centerboard trunk. I worry that this could be a prohibitively complicated repair.

The second, larger crack leaves the two separated pieces surprisingly flimsy. I pressed on the floor next to the crack and it flexed in several inches. The seller said it would be a simple fix with fiberglass tape and epoxy resin applied from the outside, but I wonder if that would be strong enough to stay put, given that it might have to support the weight of someone standing on it

Other issue is the jib head, but I've got some experience with a needle and thread and think I could tackle that.

Does anyone have experience with Sweet 16s in general? I saw in an archive on another forum that someone that "its a dog," but no other detail was given. Its light at only 450 lbs, and easy to manage by myself. At $500 I don't have much to lose, but also don't spend all my time repairing and no time sailing...
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Old 05-07-2016, 20:14   #2
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

You don't say where you are, which determines how many other boats are for sale around you, but I think I would pass on this one. Cracks at the base of the centerboard trunk? Sounds like trouble. If it was such a simple fix, why didn't the previous owner do it? 450 lbs? Does it come with a trailer? If so, what kind of shape is that in? If not, how are you getting the boat back and forth to the water? If you just have to have this particular boat, I don't see how it's worth more than a hundred bucks or so, maybe more with a decent trailer.
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Old 05-07-2016, 20:22   #3
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

I'm in San Antonio, TX. It does come with a trailer, and the trailer is actually in pretty good shape. This is really important because the nearest sailing is an hour away driving. I've passed up other boats for the simple fact that the trailer was too dicey.

The previous owner said he just didn't have time for the boat anymore--its been sitting in his yard (covered) for the past 9 years. Guess thats why he never got around to repairs. Thanks for the quick reply!
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Old 05-07-2016, 20:47   #4
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

Go to Sailingtexas.com and look at the boats. Not all are in Texas, but many are.

As for the one shown? I would keep looking. Post some notices (boat wanted) too.
Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2016, 21:09   #5
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

I would pass. If it was free I might consider it. But this boat needs structural repairs and that doesn't come cheap, either in your time or paying for labor.

For $500 I think you can do better.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:59   #6
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

Pass. For 500 bucks you should be able to buy any number of little day sailers that you can immediately drag to the lake and go sailing in. Keep in mind there can be a Large discrepancy between asking price and what a seller will let it go for. Don't be afraid to low ball someone who really wants to get rid of a boat they haven't used in years.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:00   #7
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

I would look at the centerboard slot from beneath the hull. If the cracking is on the inside only (And you are adept at fiberglass work) It's not a big problem. However, it seems a bit over-priced considering its appearance. Given the above, it may be worth a reduced offer.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:05   #8
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

Everyone is saying about the same thing -look elesewhere. I think a reason for that is that you want to get on the water now, not after a long spell doing restoration and lots of hidden costs. Find something that you can sail away.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:35   #9
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

Looks like a 100 for soap and supplies to clean the boat. 150 for fiberglass supplies. Have a disc sander... add a 100 if you don't. Looks like 24 hors of work plus anothe 75 for a new used jib. What is your time worth?
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:35   #10
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

Thanks everyone for the advice! The original asking price was actually $750, and I talked him down to $500! I suppose I am underestimating the amount of effort and hidden costs involved in the needed repairs. Being a total novice to boat maintenance I optimistically think "how hard can it be..."

I recognize the pitfalls of such thinking, and I appreciate the advice of more seasoned sailors. Time to keep looking!
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:40   #11
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

If you move forward on/off is an acid cleaner that will take the gunk off that boat asap. Imhave an oday 20 in southern wi for a 1000 in sail away condition with lots or sails...let me know ifyou want to road trip it. About 28 hour away from you one way
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:43   #12
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

I agree with all the other comments, and even if it was free I wouldn't think about unless you're already a skilled fiberglass mechanic with all the necessary tools and equipment. If you have to pay anyone to do anything it's going to end up a long way from free
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:49   #13
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

The retabing the seats to the hull and putting a couple of layers of glass tape at the base of the center board trunk is mostly grunt labor that is easily doable by almost anyone. Get the West System intructional DVD if you don't want to tackle it cold turkey.

The bolt rope is gone on the sail and will need to be repaired by a sailmaker. Probably more money than the sail is worth. Should be able to find a used sail on Ebay or Bacons in Annapolis or Minnies in Costa Mesa.

Other than that, it looks like getting intimate with a scrub brush and Simple Green, a little buffing and wax and you should have a shiny new old boat. As far as the value of the boat, you probably know more about the market for this type of boat than those on the list. For $500 you are getting a deal on a trailer if it's in good condition. You are going to have to spend some money on the boat for sail(s) and the inevitable accoutrements like life vests, safety gear, and parts to change the boat to fit you. It won't be a $500 boat in the end. But then no boat is as cheap to own as you estimate.

Wisconsin is nice in the summer if you want to take Johniegee up on his O'day. You could make a boat camping trip. Sleep in the boat and drop it in available bits of water that you come across as you drive home.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:27   #14
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

If the trailer has good tires, maybe OK at a lower price. Repairs (even wiring trailer lights) might be a good thing to learn if you are going cruising, but the needed repairs may be beyond the scope of learning, and not be the right combo. But only you can decide. Post #15 sums up a lot of it.
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Old 06-07-2016, 14:33   #15
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Re: Whats your opinion of this boat?

I have bought a few older boats that needed work to get them back in shape. From the pics I would pass. How much are you willing to spend? There are plenty of good dinghys that don't need the work for a bit more money.

The sail looks old, the main sheet block needs to be replaced you will probably need all new lines. What does the mast and boom look like?

The problem with these old boats is you will spend over 500 just to make it safe. And safety is the issue with neglected boats.

Keep looking is my advise

Good luck and please keep us updated on your progress
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