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This Old Boat


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This Old Boat

Let's say you're a typical low-paid working stiff. You've sailed small boats all your life, you've saved a little money--you're finally ready for a real cruising boat. You drop in on Tadd, your friendly neighborhood yacht broker, who is more than happy to sell you that brand-new Trickledown 32 for only $90,000, plus a few optional extras like anchors, sails, cushions, a compass, instruments--stuff like that; say, $115,000 ready to sail.

"One hundred and fifteen thousand . . . dollars?"

"Not to worry," says Tadd. "Only 20% down and 10 years of easy payments and you're off into the sunset. Let's see, that's $23,000 down and, at 10% interest, only $1,215.79 per month--plus insurance of course. Send me a postcard from Tahiti."

"How much per month? That's half my salary! Don't you have anything in my price range?"

Tadd glances conspicuously at his Rolex, sighing, and points to a characterless Clorox jog with a spindly mast--a hyperthyroid daysailer with bunks for the seven dwarfs; NOT what you had in mind!

And then you see it, in the back of the yard, varnish hanging in strips off weather-beaten trim, rigging frayed, sails ripped and stained, dank interior with dangling wires and scurrying anonymous inhabitants. But underneath all the squalor you see the lines of a real cruising boat--a sturdy hull with a sprightly sheer from the pen of a Philip Rhodes or a Tom Gillmer--a fiberglass boat built back when craftsmanship still meant something.

You remember when you bought your house--it looked a lot like this boat, and you and your all-thumbs husband managed to breathe life into it over time, painting, papering, spackling--lots of spackling. This boat has possibilities.

"How much?" you ask.

"You're kidding, right?" says Tadd, flicking a bit of cobweb from his spotless Breton Reds. "Take it for, say, $8,000?"


Well, now you've got it home, but Bob and Norm aren't there every weekend to help guide you through this restoration. Where to turn?

Turn to This Old Boat. Don Casey, co-author of Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach, assumes you know nothing--not even how to use tools--and leads you methodically and good-naturedly through every step of turning a cast-off fiberglass boat into a real show-stopper, including the simplest and most comlete explanation yet of sailmaking--the sailor's darkest and most expensive art. Casey's step-by-step drawings guide you through a simple project--laying up a fiberglass instrument case, for example--then show you how to apply those skills to something more ambitious--like building a new hatch.

With this book and the best buyer's market in boating history, you can send Tadd that postcard from Tahiti--and have money to spare.

Can't afford that brand-new boat?

Take advantage of the best buyer's market in boating history. Turn a rundown production boat into a first-class yacht with This Old Boat.

Whether you are skilled or unskilled, whether you like sail or powerboats, here is everything you need to:

  • Find the right boat at the right price
  • Map out a logical, affordable renovation plan
  • Work with fiberglass--everything from minor cosmetics to major structural repairs
  • Renovate rigging, winches, engines, and other mechanical systems
  • Work with wood, canvas, and plastic
  • Change the interior from a cramped, dingy dormitory to a light, spacious livable home
  • Repair and modernize the electrical, plumbing, and refrigeration systems
  • Add a stunning, mirror-like finish
  • Make your own dodgers, sail covers, and SAILS--and much more!