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Old 16-05-2013, 11:21   #31
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Re: at my wits end

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Let me know if you ever want to sell your boat.
No problem

The last boat I sold I actually sent a list of what was wrong with the boat to the prospective new owner. He still bought it.
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Old 16-05-2013, 11:42   #32
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Re: at my wits end

Chopper, & Mrs. Chopper,

It seems to me that some of the advice you're getting is all stuff you've probably figured out for yourself by now. So, on the assumption that you're headed for solutions to all the problems, I want to encourage you to get a better job, as the more funds you have, the easier the rest will be. Maybe your wife could also bring in some money.

When I Googled on used sails, usa, there were at least 4 places that have them [I didn't go to the next page]. I agree that you will possibly be able to use the main with one or two reefs in it. BUT sails that are over 30 yrs. old have probably deteriorated to the point where they are not much good, the thread rotted, and possibly, the cloth as well. Replacing them with the youngest used sails you can afford is possible, but the newer the better. Google on how to measure for sails.

I liked the plan mentioned above of your going for the original job for which you were headed, and let your wife take care of the boat. If she has any leisure time (can be difficult with two little ones), perhaps she could start studying about diesel engines; some of the women in the fleet are interested in them, others not. Furthermore, if she stays there, she will make new friends, and some of them may volunteer to help you. Generally, the liveaboard and cruising communities are forthcoming that way.

Dirty fuel is a common problem with boats that have been sitting for a long time. And FWIW, I think Tim's under the illusion that people don't have situations arise where they are unable to take care of their boats, or totally lose interest. We all want to take good care of our boats; sometimes health issues interfere. Blaming someone else or yourself for problems is, IMO, a HUGE waste of time, so don't sweat it. Just deal with the situation, piece by piece, and it can be made to come together, and your whole family shall have had a learning experience.

Good luck with it.

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Old 16-05-2013, 12:26   #33
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Re: at my wits end

No illusions here. I completely understand that situations arise. I am not sure how you gleaned that from my comments unless you did not read all my posts. You maintain your boat the best you can and be forthcoming about it's condition. If something arises then let the folks know that you were not able to take proper care while the boat sat.

Is it me or does being honest seem difficult for some to comprehend?
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Old 16-05-2013, 12:43   #34
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Re: at my wits end

Chopper--let's see if we crusty old salts can help here, but we're going to need more information--some of it of a financial nature, some of it mechanical and condition/repair related etc. but if you'll provide us with more information--a lot of it--we might be able to help glean solutions.
1. Where is everyone living now?
2. Is your job in the Keys still available?
3. What did you pay for the boat?
4. What are the current slip/maintenance costs?
5. Have you pumped out and polished the diesel? There are different ways to handle this--some costly--some difficult but cheap
6. Have you properly diagnosed the engine?
7. Get the engine working--forget the sails for now.
8. Consider using craigs list and finding cheaper labor or people with whom to barter various things or items with--or services.
9. Everythnig seems dependne on the where of the boat and the where of your job--so that really is number one.
10. Is the boat in a secure place where wife and kids can stay comfortably?
11. Try for a short tow to a private slip by a home perhaps.
12. We need more information and input--then maybe we can offer more help. Or...just get to the job in the keys and sell the boat fast and cheap---
decisions...decisions..
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Old 16-05-2013, 13:18   #35
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To me it sounds like you are going to need 40-50k$ to fix this boat up to the point that you can live abiard and sail/motor around with it. I think it's decision time if you want to earn and spend that now, or if you want to get out, sell the boat, get an RV or so to live in while working and making money.
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Old 16-05-2013, 14:35   #36
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Re: at my wits end

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Originally Posted by Chopper1973 View Post
Paul. You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Inexperience, lack of money, and an appearent good deal. Once out of the inlet my sailing was good. I could point it faily well. A storm just off of Jupiter inlet, and a healthy unexpected gust in the night was the final straw for the sail which was probably less than perfect. The boat is a 1976 with original sails, engine, generator...
A normal situation, and nothing to accuse yourself too much about, or the previous owner, either.

You bought a cheap boat which turned out to be not nearly as cheap as it seemed -- very typical situation.

You've got a good attitude, which is absolutely essential for being a cruiser trying to keep a cruising boat in seaworthy condition, somehow, on limited funds.

Now that you have a better idea what needs to work, you need to earn and save enough money to get exactly those things working (engine, sails). Keep plugging away at it, and you will succeed. It's usually worth it. Good luck.
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Old 16-05-2013, 14:55   #37
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Re: at my wits end

I'd sell the boat. Get a good job and save enough and get a better boat next time.
Admitting mistakes and moving on is the hardest thing for anyone to do, but usually the best.
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Old 16-05-2013, 16:24   #38
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Re: at my wits end

You will get nothing but sympathy from me and I am so sorry your introduction to boat ownership has been such a tough one.

Now for the reality check. Situations like yours are very, very common and not just for "budget" buyers. We had a very interesting first sail on our boat which was properly surveyed (the potential weakness was identified) and was not a budget buy. It happens. The biggest difference is we knew this was a possibility so we planned on sailing very, VERY close to home for a bit to identify problems. This was maybe the smartest thing we did. I know lots of folks just buy and head out for a shake down far from home but I have heard so, so many horror stories of seemingly sound boats having major issues uncovered on the initial shake down.

Yes, our method is not as exhilarating or as sexy as the "GO NOW!!" folks but we have kids aboard and it is our responsibility to ensure our vessel is as safe and as sound as we can possibly make it. Sailing can be one of the safest activities there is, or one of the most dangerous. The judgement used by the captain and the soundness of the boat are what decides which camp your experience will fall in.

Now to your immediate situation. Your problems can largely be solved by cash. So what you need is cash. I would park the boat in the cheapest marina I could find and have the wife and kids stay aboard while you go work. First priority for you should be to get the engine operational. Second priority is a good set of sails and there are plenty of decent used ones around. Bacon's was mentioned and that would be my starting point.

I am so glad no one was injured and everyone is okay. The boat is still floating so in reality, everything is going to be fine. Learn as much as you can about diesels and stock pile a bit of cash. It will be okay, really. Its just not going to be okay overnight. Hang in there
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Old 16-05-2013, 16:47   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper1973 View Post
My wife and I have dreamt about owning a sailboat for years. Two months ago we bought our first boat. It's a Morgan Out Island 37. Us being very naive, trusted the man that sold it to us. We moved aboard along with our two small children and set off from Pompano Beach, Florida to The Keys. I had a job waiting for me and a reasonably priced marina. The engine died three hours off the dock. We were towed to Ft. Lauderdale. We met a wonderful guy who helped us rig the sails. We took off again for The Keys under sail only. As we were waiting on a bridge to open, we lost our wind and was pushed into the bank. After tilting to 45 degrees at low tide, we decided to abandon the plan and head back north to Sebastian. We have family there including one who is a diesel mechanic. We were towed back north to Lake Sylvia. We met some people there who helped us work on the engine. We were there two weeks before heading out Port Everglades inlet. We were headed for Ft. Pierce. It was going great until we hit a storm that ripped our sails, took our dinghy, and caused electrical problems, including killing the engine again. We were towed once again to a marina in Jupiter. We got the engine running, kind of. We made it about 20 minutes before it died again. We had to be towed again to Stuart, where the boat now sits. We are off the boat and are in Sebastian. We are now out of money and the towing company has canceled our membership. My question is...does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how to get the boat to Sebastian? My wife and I have been wracking our brains for weeks and can't come to any solutions. There has to be something we aren't thinking of. Please help.


First, you bought the boat. You are the "captain" you are responsible for its condition. If you did not do a proposer due diligence hey you made a mistake....

Okay back to some ideas on how to,get out of this pickle.

I just spent 2 weeks (around work and other obligations) solving a fuel problem. It began when the filters that were on the boat failed because I failed to change them. to get home, I replaced them while on the water. Bottom line, somehow the Racor 600 developed an air leak. No fuel came out, but if you primed the engine she would run. Turn it off and wait 15 minutes and it would lose prime. Finally diagnosed problem by jumping fuel flow from the tank to the lift pump to the secondary filter on the engine. Also be sure to check you lift pump there is a filter in there.

Also Boatmans idea of running off a temporary fuel tank would allow you to see if it is the tank. But from what you wrote, I don't think that is it.

FYI there is a firm called Second Wind Sails in Ft. Lauderdale that specializes in used sails. For now it might be cheaper to get the engine going and motor to wherever and get the sails later.
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Old 16-05-2013, 16:51   #40
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Re: at my wits end

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Blaming someone else or yourself for problems is, IMO, a HUGE waste of time, so don't sweat it. Just deal with the situation, piece by piece, and it can be made to come together, and your whole family shall have had a learning experience.
^^Best advice from folks who are out there doing it.^^ I have bought and sold numerous old boats and they all have problems. Start working on them one by one, and you will learn very important things about how to maintain and improve your boat. Nothing unusual about what you are going through at all--many of us have been through similar. The important thing is that everyone is safe and sound. I figure on a minimum of two months fixing up any old boat I buy before even venturing out of the harbor, and then more like two years before I feel it is ready to go far afield.
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Old 16-05-2013, 17:15   #41
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Hey Chopper,
If you still have the job in the Keys and need the boat there let me know. My girlfriend and I could probably come down there on our own dime and help out just for the adventure.
I sailed around the world solo on a 32' sailboat. Cape Town to US via St Helena and Brazil without engine. Currently driving an 80' motoryacht here in Beaufort , NC.
I am ABYC certified in marine systems. Got plenty of references. Just looking for an adventure and this sounds like it just might be one.
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Old 16-05-2013, 17:24   #42
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Re: at my wits end

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
If the foot is the only damaged part of the main you can use it with a reef (or perhaps two) in it.

I think that's a good idea, but I also think that inexperienced sailors need a backup motor. At 37' I don't picture an outboard doing the job. It might be worth one hour of a certified marine diesel mechanic's time (that would go for $75 here) to make sure the engine is basically sound. I had one that was not. they don't often go bad and still start, but it does happen.
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Old 16-05-2013, 18:30   #43
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pirate Re: at my wits end

Sitting here enjoying a beverage, I read the post by EverestM who is a buddy of mine. He's delivered half a dozen boats that I know of. Lives here in Beaufort. I bet he can get the engine running and sails stitched. Bottom line, he's a good guy. Good luck.
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Old 17-05-2013, 13:00   #44
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Re: at my wits end

I absolutely am planning to do most if not all of the work myself, and am looking forward to learning all of the systems of the boat.
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Old 17-05-2013, 14:33   #45
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Re: at my wits end

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Hey Chopper,
If you still have the job in the Keys and need the boat there let me know. My girlfriend and I could probably come down there on our own dime and help out just for the adventure.
I sailed around the world solo on a 32' sailboat. Cape Town to US via St Helena and Brazil without engine. Currently driving an 80' motoryacht here in Beaufort , NC.
I am ABYC certified in marine systems. Got plenty of references. Just looking for an adventure and this sounds like it just might be one.
Dan
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Hey there Dan!, Jimmy here.

Chopper, if you take Dan up on this offer, you won't regret it! My wife and I met Dan and his girlfriend this past summer in Maryland.

I had an "incident" that put my outboard underwater. Funny story for another day, plus, I hated that engine. I was going to take it to a small motor repair shop and get it working. It was Dan's advice that got me thinking and I took it home, read, watched youtube and took that blasted motor appart. Now, I feel pretty confident with anything that I have to do to that engine. Had it not been for his advice, I would still have the knowlege that I had before it took the dunk. Long story short, that was not much engine knowledge.

Chopper, I'm not the most knowledgeable person on boats, but always learning. Look at some of the recent threads I have posted. asking questions about paint, kiwigrip, gimballing. Each time I do a job, it prepares me for the next job with confidence and knowledge.

Dan, we got pushed back a year. Were planning on leaving in Oct when you left, but were way behind in work on the boat. It's out right now and working hard to get it done. Date for back in the water is prior to June 9th (have to have the boat at an event.
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