|Have you ever seen an old sailboat that has been left for dead and wondered if
it would ever sail again. Well if you're like me, you always seem to be looking for just
such a project. This is the story of an old boat project
which began with a sailboat my Dad picked up abused and neglected
We where out sailing a Hobie cat on a joy ride when we saw this old
sailboat tied to a dock in the back of a marina. It was a sad sight, half full of water, a
mess inside, awful paint job, some ducks had made a nest in the transom area compartment.
Not all of them got out and so there where a few carcasses. The mast was still standing,
and the sails were inside in mint condition. We did not ask the marina, at the time,
if the boat was available for sale. We just continued on. A few months later we
sailed by the marina again and the boat was still there. My dad decided to call and
find out what the story was with the boat. To his surprise they said come and get it, it's
yours. We borrowed a trailer a few days later and headed to the lake with a friend and his
power boat to tow the sail boat back to the ramp. As we approached the boat we
snapped a couple of shots to give you an idea of the shape this boat was in.
Our first step was to get the tiller on the back and also
see if it had a swing keel or a full keel. Much to our surprise it has a fin keel and the
trailer we have is set up height wise for a swing keel sailboat. A problem we had
hoped would not happen! We tilted the boat to one side and looked under to see
if we could get a idea of how much draft the little guy has. It did not look too
deep, but the water can serve as a talented magician, as we soon found out! More
details on this farther into the story. After the fun and games of the keel
inspection we put a battery on board and a water pump to bail the water from the hull.
The water present was from the rain and the marina guy said he has pumped it out
for the last five years or so, to keep it from sinking. All I have to say is"
WOW!!!!!" I can't believe this boat has not gone to the bottom already! We
pumped the water for awhile and loaded the sails on to the power boat in case the sailboat
decided it wanted to live at the bottom of the lake we would still have the sails and that
was worth the trip. We did not know the condition of the hull at this point and for all we
knew the bottom could have fallen off with the six inches of growth that was hanging off.
I put the tiller on which I must say is way over kill and too thick! At this point
we tied the sailboat to the power boat and headed for the dock.
The towing went well and in a few shakes of a whales tale we where
at the dock and ready to get the truck and trailer.
I got my truck and backed it in the
water, and here is where the fun began! We still thought that that the keel was
short enough to fit on the trailer with the boat positioned normally. But Oh No!
It was not even close. So a little creative engineering would have to come
into play. Or in other words a little segment I am going to call "The psycho
None of us wanted to take the boat
back to the dock and leave it after all that we went through to get it here and we did not
have another trailer available, so this was it. I backed the truck in good and deep; you
know, until the exhaust goes gurgle gurgle. My dad then climbed on the boat and up
to the bow. He attached the trailer winch line to the bow and I began to pull the
boat out. As the boat began to exit the water it laid on it's side. It took several
adjustments and some crafty words and a few banged up body parts to get it just right, but
once it was on all looked good and ready for the trip home. We still had the mast up
and left it up until the top of the boat ramp at which point we stepped it down with the
use of several hands and the ground to walk on. Much safer this way. The boat
was a scary sight with the mast up because of the extreme angle that the hull was sitting
on the trailer. We positioned the boat hull so that the keel was on the axle and the chine
was on the left bunk. By doing this we had the boat resting on two of the strongest
spots to support the hull. After we got the mast down and tied the hull down, we
headed for home.
We arrived home safe and sound. We picked the boat up off the
trailer by slinging it with two heavy straps and a backhoe to lift it. After we
cleaned out most of the rubbish from the boat and scraped the slime from the bottom. We
began to look over the hull for dry rot and the usual problems. The hull we figured out to
be a Glen L 21 design and was a composite hull. My dad discovered some dry rot on the side
of the hull. About a 2ft X 3ft patch that would be easy to replace. So he has
decided to fix the boat and sail it again! I will keep a step by step of the rebuild and
post it on the Saillive website as progress goes.