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Evaluating a Donated Sailboat

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  • Evaluating a Donated Sailboat

    I'm a power boater of ten years. I know next to nothing about sailboats.

    My school-teacher daughter is volunteering at a Girl Scout aquatic camp for a couple weeks this summer. Someone donated a mid-80s Starwind 22 sailboat to the camp. It doesn't fit their mission and they want to sell it. I've only seen pictures, but it's a typical donated boat- poorly stored, dirty with brightwork that needs redoing. There is no interior and a sink that is inoperative. There is a 7.5 HP Merc outboard that has pretty good cosmetics. I don't know if it runs.

    It's being offered to my daughter for $750. A nearby sailing marina offered to survey it for $400! That sounds ridiculously high. My daughter already told, "No, thanks". She might be able to get them to look at specific items for a more reasonable rate. What should those specific items be?

  • #2
    Four Winns you may find that a good marine survey would very helpful. That being said, here are some things to look for.
    1 - Osmotic blisters. If he hull spent a lot of time in the water, ( i.e. seasonal ) you may have them.
    2 - Standing rigging. Look for corrosion on all the wires and turnbucklesee and other fittings.
    3 - If there are safety stanchions, check that they are solid to the deck
    4- Keel to hull joint. Make sure there is no cracks / gaps developing ( read about the ' catalina smile ')
    5- This boat has a keel/centerboard. Check that the pendant (cable to centerboard) is good and the cranking mechanism is good
    6- Sails. What are the condition of the sails? Blown out, holes, etc.
    7- Mast and boom. Make sure there is no obvious bends, cracks, bad fittings, etc.

    Good luck.
    Hang on a minute, I'm overthinking this.

    1988 Chaparral 1900 SX -4.3L Merc - Alpha 1 Gen 1
    1989 Chaparral Fisherman 224 -175 Yamaha OB
    1996 SeaDoo Challanger


    • #3
      Honestly - if she can take it out sailing, that'll tell ya' if the $750 is a reasonable risk.

      Look over the boat buyer's checklist sticky, and use what you already know about powerboat buyin'. Add what mjf55 has above, and then take it out for a couple hours. Stepping the mast will tell you what kind of a pain that is or isn't. Getting it on and off the trailer with the shoal keel will show you how easy that is to do or not. Getting it out into the lake using the outboard will let you check that out. Sailing it will go a long way to show you if all of the rigging is 1) present and 2) working freely. Pulling it outta' the water, you can see how much she is or isn't leaking.

      Of course, check the trailer out and make sure it's in reasonable condition.

      After that - maybe hire a local marine tech for a cheaper version of a survey. But at $750, if it sails and you can clean it up, that's not a bad starter boat ... even if the cabin is a hollow shell.


      • #4
        If it is donated, what is the $750 for?


        • #5
          Ah, sorry, the camp wants to sell it to her for $750. If the structure is sound...it is a steal.


          • #6
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            It would be a good deal if you know how to do most of the possible repairs yourself. Someone on this Boat Forum said, "The most expensive boat they have ever had was the one they got for free". Just giving you something to think about
            1977 MFG 70hp Evinrude Clinton, Tennessee