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Old 28-12-2020, 17:29   #46
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

This last weekend I was trimming some finish work in my house. I was thinking how far my skills had come over the years. I'm about to turn 60. My energy is fading. I'm just tired of fixing things.

Where I'm going with this is many posts - including some insinuations by myself - have the OP with one foot in the grave. You know "don't buy green bananas" type.

My mom skied until she was 85 and only stopped because I insisted as she'd broken her ankle a couple times.

The OP sounds like an incredible role model. He understands the project, and understands himself. He's no stranger to big undertakings and he no doubt understands his physical limitations. People adapt with age - I've slowed down but become more precise so I actually think I'm more effective and productive than ever before. Personally, I'd bet on him getting this done than 99% of the newbies who come here with "I'm gonna circumnavigate" stories.

I hope he keeps us updated. I'd love to see pictures.

Peter
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Old 28-12-2020, 17:57   #47
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Calmissille; As the old saying goes; Welcome to the Club. As I am 84 years old I assume I may take more liberties and speak somewhat more freely with you. I have sailed for over 50 years, mainly single-handed including a sailing trip from Sweden to the US and To prince William Sound, Alaska. I am in a reasonable health and may move about quite freely, however, since about a year ago I notice that I am not able to manage my boat as freely and as easily I used to in the past. And: I sail a Hallberg Rassy Monsun, which is all of 31' long.
I read the description of the situation that you find yourself in and your dilemma. The first issue is your age of 78.
Frankly, you have done the opposite of what the Japanese do better than us which is measure 8 time before you cut once. To begin with, of what I surmise, you are going to end up sailing the boat single- or very much shorthanded. and for that purpose, a 45' boat would be quite a handful for a man of your age.
My suggestion would be to make your life easy: sell the boat in toto or piecemeal and get yourself a functioning, smaller sailboat in Long Beach or somewhere close by. I am sure if you look around you will find a proper smaller boat.
And if you are looking to have a project, get the boat properly equipped for single-handed or short-handed sailing. Tryst me; sailboats are like babies; there are a lot things that need taking care of , constantly.
In this manner, you will get on the water much quicker than spending a lot of money and the use of the precious time that you have at hand.
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Old 28-12-2020, 18:59   #48
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Hey Calmissile, Sounds to me like you've got a good project. And yes, I've done similar before and am in the middle of one now.

Regarding learning to sail, I strongly suggest that you get a little boat to learn on. Definition of little is like 12' to 16'. Something used, cheap and trailerable. You are going to make mistakes learning to sail. We all do. Mistakes in a little 200 lb boat typically harm little and cost nothing, while being very instructional. On the other hand, mistakes in a 30,000 lb 45' boat can do a lot of very expensive damage. It gets a lot more serious in a big boat. So do yourself a favor and start small. You'll have a lot of fun in the little boat, you'll learn a lot, and you can sell it when you're done with it.

Good luck on your project. It will be an adventure.
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Old 29-12-2020, 00:07   #49
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

I agree with the people who say sell the boat, and I'll add, then buy a sailboat that is already able to sail and motor, with projects that match you mechanical and electronics skills.


If you decide to keep the boat, get the motor running, with autopilot, and get it to a friendlier location. That will take some local knowledge. Maybe some locals will read this thread, and chime in? I may have some old friends in the area, who I can check with, if you're stuck. Feel free to message me.



A boat that size is a motor boat until you're well away from the dock, and you can't tip it over. If you keep your head out of the way of the boom, you can get some books, look at videos, take some sailor friends out, and get the hang of basic sailing pretty quick. Study it, but don't worry too much about learning to sail. You'll pick up the basics. It's not elegant, but you can fire up the motor as needed to get yourself sorted out as you learn.


If you can afford to, and you don't want to spend the next 3 years, and more money than the boat will be worth, when you're done. Sell the boat. There are lots of good deals in California.
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Old 29-12-2020, 16:41   #50
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

I agree with Peter. You are in a pretty tough situation. If you persist It seems like simplifying your circumstances is the beginning of your solution. First, get the boat home. One less expensive solution would be to temporarily put a used outboard and engine mount on the stern of your 45 footer. For a coastal cruiser the primary duty of the auxiliary (the motor) is to get you in and out of your slip. Since the first means of propulsion will be sail - you should know the condition of your standing rig from the chain plates to the mast top and the condition of your keel attachment and rudder attachment. An inspection is in order - not to mention a complete survey - as you are new to sailing. The results may be sobering. A failure of any one of these components can be life threatening. Next, assemble a crew, provision the boat and begin the adventure of a lifetime. One other point - make sure you can work on your boat where you intend to slip her. Marinas have restrictions. Take a look in San Pedro. A Boat towing policy would be advisable.
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Old 29-12-2020, 17:50   #51
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Outboard on a 45’ sailboat? How’s that gonna work?
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Old 29-12-2020, 18:53   #52
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by Sofa King Fishy View Post
Outboard on a 45’ sailboat? How’s that gonna work?

No kidding!
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Old 30-12-2020, 07:12   #53
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Consider renting a room near the dock... talk to people in the yard and on the docks... there is always someone who knows someone.. that's a long trip your going to need a crew or two... perhaps hire a captain for the trip... hang in there... If it was easy... everyone would be doing it !!!
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Old 30-12-2020, 07:29   #54
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by Sindbaad View Post
My suggestion would be to make your life easy: sell the boat in toto or piecemeal and get yourself a functioning, smaller sailboat in Long Beach or somewhere close by.

agree. get something you can handle .. especially when the weather gets bad. maybe around 30 or 35 feet. find a boat that is already fixed up. go sailing.
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Old 30-12-2020, 10:05   #55
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

There are some good suggestions here. Being in good health, myself (so far) in my 60's, I have continually scaled down the size of boat I sail and especially the amount of projects I take on. So from experience, you know what camp I am in.

The OP has not responded for 2 weeks and when he did, prior, it was only to people who encouraged him.While you do need determination and drive, there is no replacement for physical effort or...time. It has been mentioned before and I will put it eloquently by saying the OP's candle is closer to it's end then the beginning. If he gets satisfaction with merely messing with boats...what the hell...do it. But if the goal is to fix up a neglected and unfinished 45 ft. boat and go cruising, well you might achieve getting it in the water in years to come but will he be able to sail it alone?

After building 2 boats from the ground up and breathing new life into 5 other derelicts, I know it always takes twice as long to do than I thought it would and costs 3 times the amount of money.
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Old 30-12-2020, 14:01   #56
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

I live half-time in Portland [currently, I'm in SoCal but north of LA], and I saw your boat when it was for sale. The price was right, but the work to be done was daunting. Too daunting for me, who has none of the mechanical expertise you have. Oh, and I'm 75, by the way. So I wish you well. If you are still working on your boat in late spring, maybe I could help you out with an extra pair of hands.
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Old 30-12-2020, 15:35   #57
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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I live half-time in Portland [currently, I'm in SoCal but north of LA], and I saw your boat when it was for sale. The price was right, but the work to be done was daunting. Too daunting for me, who has none of the mechanical expertise you have. Oh, and I'm 75, by the way. So I wish you well. If you are still working on your boat in late spring, maybe I could help you out with an extra pair of hands.
Thanks for the comment and offer. Luckily I found a friend of a friend that lives in Orange County that wants to come up with me and help finish the boat. I hope to have it ready to bring down the coast in the spring so will keep your offer in mind in the event I am running a little behind. I appreciate the offer.
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Old 31-12-2020, 17:44   #58
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by Sofa King Fishy View Post
Outboard on a 45’ sailboat? How’s that gonna work?
Noticed you didn't say what boats you've owned in your bio. A sailboat requires no motor at all. Most motors - or auxiliaries - serve only in flat water harbors on temporary duty - even then - they are not necessary. Experienced sailors sometimes travel without a motor at all. It takes about 5-10 hp to move a 45 ft boat enough to provide steerage way in dead calm. Will an outboard serve to get you off a lee shore in a blow? Probably not. But it should get you in and out of most harbors between Portland and Long Beach if you are attentive to weather. Which you always should be. As long as you can get the prop and water pickup in the water you will have maneuvering power in flat water. Also - when not in use there is no parasitic drag because the motor is easily removed before getting under way at sea.
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Old 31-12-2020, 21:30   #59
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

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Originally Posted by StumpLifter View Post
Noticed you didn't say what boats you've owned in your bio. A sailboat requires no motor at all. Most motors - or auxiliaries - serve only in flat water harbors on temporary duty - even then - they are not necessary. Experienced sailors sometimes travel without a motor at all. It takes about 5-10 hp to move a 45 ft boat enough to provide steerage way in dead calm. Will an outboard serve to get you off a lee shore in a blow? Probably not. But it should get you in and out of most harbors between Portland and Long Beach if you are attentive to weather. Which you always should be. As long as you can get the prop and water pickup in the water you will have maneuvering power in flat water. Also - when not in use there is no parasitic drag because the motor is easily removed before getting under way at sea.

Portland Oregon to Long Beach? Wow...you must be a pretty experienced sailor. You otta sign up with the OP. and merrily sail down south, over the Columbia bar, Cape Mendocino where you can expect thick fog or gale force winds and rocks just under the water. That's fun in the fog without radar. Point Arena can be just as much fun also. Then if you would like to go under the Golden Gate for a rest and I would imagine the OP would, good luck getting under the gate with that outboard with the swells and current. Then we have Ano Nuevo and alas Point Conception where it can be dead calm (not often) or blow like stink while you're crying for your mother. I wouldn't be barking over the fence at people when you say "Noticed you didn't say what boats you've owned in your bio", when you have a few bones in your own back yard.
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Old 31-12-2020, 22:56   #60
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Re: 78 And Starting Over - From Power to Sail

Just came across this thread. Calmissile I too am an aeronautical engineer/pilot (Dryden flight test then Boeing), but 20 years junior. Also had power boats before purchasing my first large sailboat which is also a bit of a project.
I applaud your tenacity, especially given the needed commute. You'll find you already have the mindset to eat that elephant one bite at a time, while building new skills to make it happen.
Best wishes on getting your boat south.
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