The only horse I ever owned, came with the farm I bought in Belize
. He had to be the meanest horse in the world. His favorite trick when I rode
the perimeter (2/3 of the freehold land was still bush, but there were survey
"roads" about 2 feet wide chopped clear but partly grown over, and barb wire fence) was to rub my leg against the barb wire and if I lifted that leg or fought him back away from the fence, he would try his darndest to buck me off, and if he succeeded, I could count on a couple of kicks being aimed my way. I asked neighbors and they all said he was just plain evil, and nobody would ride him on a dare. I even tried feeding him carrots and stuff by hand and immediately learned that even with an open hand, he would go for the fingers. He almost got me a couple of times. He would tolerate a blanket and a Mayan style saddle and would take bit or hackamore either one without complaint, but it was just a sucker play. He WANTED me to mount. Oh yeah, low hanging branches. He loved that trick, too. I even had a vet come out and look him over. His only comments were that was one ugly horse, and I should be careful walking very close to him or passing behind him,(I had already figured that out) and his hooves could use a trim and his teeth were badly worn from eating the grass
there, but otherwise he was in pretty decent shape. I ended up giving him to a guy who had other horses and good riddance. I had ridden a little, but never owned a horse. Never will again if I can help it. I like them, in general, but I would rather ride one I don't own LOL. Maybe if I had asked online (this was before internet
was a thing) about him, I might have gotten good advice
that sounded high handed, too. I might have been told I had no business owning a horse. (I didn't, actually, but I was sort of stuck with him and at least he got better care from me than from his last owner.)
Anyway that is a common reaction from newbies here, thinking that all the stock answers are simply arrogant or elitist. Not so. And I suspect you are starting to catch on to that.
One of the things you need to do before buying a boat
without a survey
(obviously you don't want to pay $600 for a survey on a $700 vintage boat) is to either get the seller to haul the boat
out, or take a dive under the boat
, inspect strut, shaft, prop, zincs, rudder
, skeg, and particularly any through hulls or keel
coolers or any other potential ingress points for water
. If not before you buy, then at least shortly thereafter. Many insurance
companies will insist on a survey before insuring the boat, as well. Most U.S. marinas
insist on as a minimum, liability and salvage&removal coverage, so insurance
is something you will need to learn to live with, and therefore a survey might well be something you got to get, anyway. You will want a haulout if for no other reason, to refresh the bottom paint
. Shaft zincs you can change in the water
, but it is easy to do it on the hard
. Anyhow, there is your perfect opportunity to locate every single
opening through your hull
, particularly below the waterline. At the same time you should make or buy plugs sized for those holes, for emergencies.
I would have been very surprised if you had found a gray water tank though I cannot profess to have much familiarity with that particular boat. A 1976 built 28 footer would only have one if an owner was highly motivated to eliminate all discharges. And there would be the question of where exactly to put it.
A willingness to hand-over-hand wiring
and piping is essential for owning a boat of a certain vintage. 43 years is a long time, plenty long enough for her owners to have made a lot of changes from the original drawings.
The good news is you probably have a very solid hull
. In the 70's, nobody really knew how thin or flimsy they could lay up a fiberglass
boat and still not have lawsuits or market reaction. So, they were pretty much overbuilt. For a sailboat or a trawler
, that is of course usually a good thing. Watch for mast corrosion
, deck core rot
and water ingress, and replace all the wires. Rigging
, not electrical
. If the mast
stepped, check that the compression
post is sound. Check chain plates. Don't assume that stainless steel
won't corrode. It WILL, but you might not notice it. With good maintenance
and a few upgrades, your 43 y.o. boat might well be good for another 43 years. First step is to learn the boat's systems thoroughly. I own TWO 70's boats so I feel your pain.