Dated Updates Below.
8/18/2022 Original Posting:
In an effort to gain sailing experience, we decided a purchase an old sailboat. We chose this boat not because of its seaworthiness or excellent reviews, but because it was $3,000. That’s right, we went cheap.
In some ways, this is more difficult because we have had a few issues getting it the water. However, we wanted the total experience and knew this would be part of that.
Buying and moving the 25 foot trailerable sailboat from Waleska, Georgia to Gaffney, SC (to my brother’s land) should have been the easy part. Two blown trailer tires and one missing outboard motor cover later, and we ended up storing the boat at my wife’s ex’ place for a few weeks.
Money spent so far:
1980 Buccaneer 250 was $3,000
New tires and stuff, add another $500.
New outboard motor, add another $2,000
Registration and taxes, add another $500
Year slip rental, add another $2,200
Cleaning supplies and caulk, add another $200
Year of insurance, add another $500 (this could have been cheaper, but opted for midrange)
Our current total: $8,900
We still have other things that are needed to be done
Redoing all of the cushions – $xxx
Solar Trickle Charger – $35
We managed to get the boat into the water and into our slip at Lake Hartwell. However, we found a minor leak. The leak is coming through the thru-the-hull transducer. We flex taped it and are okay at the moment, but in need of repair.
Shout out to Flex Seal. I figured it would work because I saw it at so many stores in the boat areas. Works amazingly well. Sticking to wet surfaces is amazing.
I’ve requested a quote to take the transducer out, fill in / repair the fiberglass hole, and paint the bottom. Hopefully, it won’t be too crazy of a price, or we’ll have to figure out how to do it ourselves. Not against that, really, but the boat is so heavy and it might be nightmare.
We tried to install a new motor mount, but this boat apparently has a reverse transom… It’s a 45 degree angle, so I’ll have to make something to attach it.
I have a 12 x 12 x 1.5 inch piece of HDPE to do this with. I’ll post the results. Hoping for the best.
Finally, the mast is up. Mostly.
In the process of putting the mast up, I fell off the boat (while holding the mast horizontally) and onto the dock. It kind of hurt. The mast is now up, but we lost one of the 3 shroud lines on the port side. That’s currently in the water.
Did I mention that I got hurt? Seems like I got the back side of my leg (behind my right knee) caught on the cleat. Guess I can add photos.
In the meantime, I’ve tried to get the missing cable up, but I can’t see it in the water. It’s about 14 feet down. I tried a magnet fish it, but the cables just doesn’t have enough attraction. Tried to treble hook it as well.
A few days ago, I tried to swim down to get it. Not the best idea. I was alone and not sure how it would go. I’m a good swimmer, but it’s a long distance to dive down that I’m not used to, and there is big temperature barrier at around 5 or 6 feet. It’s a distinct difference. Warm to cold.
The other problem was that on the way down, I’d lose track of where I was going. First dive, I came up in a different boat slip. Not ideal. Other problems are that I really don’t have anything good to kick off to go down faster… I don’t want to kick off the bottom and lose visibility.
My plan is to have someone hold a pole to the bottom that I can follow down and drop in an anchor so that I can pull myself up faster if necessary. Also, I’ll wear my flippers.
Technically, not supposed to swim there. I consider this a salvage mission. Tonight, my wife and I are going over with a spotlight to see if we can at least find where it dropped. That would be nice to know.
Spotlight didn’t work, but having a pole to pull down/up on worked great. Retrieved the line and attached it to the boat.
Added the Boom and Main Sail. Very quickly realized that I needed to get a new Main Sail Halyard (that’s a rope) before we go sailing. If that broke, it would be a nightmare. Ordered the wrong size first, but now we have what we need. I’ll change out the line on the boat on October 6th before I go on vacation.
I’ll concentrate on changing the motor mount on my next long weekend (starting 10/21) and then we’ll be done with what’s needed to sail.
I do need to look into getting a bushing for the rudder. No idea about that, though.
Leg is much better, but I think it’ll be a while before I can do leg workouts at the gym. It is still swollen around the ligament “attachments”. No idea how to say that and sound smart.
Weather permitting, I will go sailing on Wednesday the 12th of October.
I should mention that we’ve met several of the other sailboat owners and everyone is extremely nice. I hope to be that nice one day.
Did I order the wrong size rope? No, I did not… at first. When I reordered, I purchased a rope too thick to fit in the slots of the mast. No worries, that was just +$370 of a rope I cannot use. Oh well.
Ropes were ordered and installed. My wife and I used a simple method of tying/taping some paracord to the existing line, pulling it through, reversing the method for the new lines. It was a pain in the ass to correct the mainsail’s line, though. Main halyard is great now, along with the Jib and Spinnaker halyards. It pinched in the mast slot and was a very, very manual process to get it back out of the mast.
Purchased a total of 4 lines from Defender.com in a simple process. There may be another site that is better to use, but I liked them. In total, I spent $988 on new ropes (including $373 for the half inch that I can’t use). Lesson learned.
I have the HDPE wedges cut for the motor mount and will hopefully install the motor mount soon. First, I need some 12″ bolts. Fun times. I’m hopeful on this in the next few weeks. No real rush.
Rudder still needs bushings, for sure.
Leg is much better, but you can definitely still see where I tried to handicap myself.
Weather was not permitting. My wife and I did take the boat out yesterday (11/17) for our first sail. It was not long. It was not exciting. The boat was barely moving due to the lack of wind… But we did sail the boat.
We motored from our slip over to the main channel (at Lake Hartwell), and set everything up. We noticed two issues. One, we had very little wind. And two, we were facing directly into it. In theory we could have put up the jib/spinnaker and zig zagged our way down the lake. In reality, we motored down the lake turned around, and very slowly sailed back. It was pleasant.
Oddly enough, we did this without the main sheet being attached. If we had actual wind, this might have been an issue, but it wasn’t. Once we got back into the slip, we figured out the main sheet and have it attached correctly. We should be good to go next time.
One last note… My wife pointed out that we were heading directly at every boat on the water. In theory, that was true. In reality, we probably appeared stationary to every other boat on the water. Bass boats just whizzed by us.
Feel free to comment on any of the photos. May need to click the small version that opens up to see full size photo.