Looking for some expertise on a 28 O'day

Thread starter #1
Hello, I was looking for some advice and please be patient, just learning. I'm looking to get a 28ft O'day project boat and was looking for some hull advice. This boat has not seen water in over 10 years and has been sitting on boat stands on soft ground. Along with about a foot of water in the cabin, the keel has appeared to have pushed itself up into the hull. Also, one of the stands (aft port side) looks like it has dented the hull. In anyone's opinion is this project worth it or should I keep looking I only ask because the boat is 2 miles from my house and the owner is asking for nothing. Just curious if it would be worth the money cost in repairs and shipping.




I have some experience with this sort of project and have pored far too much money and time into it only to have a piece of junk in the end. My guess, from what little I can see, is even if the boat is free it would cost too much to bring it back to live. For a start the boat will have to be placed in a sling and lifted up to let the keel drop back down where it belongs. Once the keel is down you would probably have to cut out the glass that has flexed and replace it with fresh roving and resin while maintaining the original contour and strength of the hull; doable but very time consuming. Keel repairs are critical and if not done properly it will always be a week spot resulting in possible hull fractures if not total keel loss if an underwater rock or other obstacle is struck; I have actually seen this happen - total loss. It appears the keel would only be the beginning.

I suspect there are others that will suggest you take on this task and perhaps you should if you are young, don't mind months of difficult work and spending a sizable pile of money. I have gone through this before but never again...

Grab the stand if it is free or very reasonable.

Sorry if I sound so negative but I, along with others I know, have been through this idea of getting a fixer-upper and having a nice/usable boat cheep. It is likely you can find a boat ready to sail for what it would cost in sweat and money to repair this one.

Good luck whichever way you go...
Thread starter #4
Thank you for your time and advise. Like I said before, I am looking for a project boat but something that is structurally sound. I have no problem rebuilding an engine or rebuilding a cabin but I didn't want something that wasn't structurally sound. Other than the obvious craigslist and eBay, would anyone have any advise where else to look?
Best case for that hull:

If you have the ability... offer to haul it to the dump if he'll pay you for the service. (dump fee plus a few hundred at least)
"Scrap out" the hull there will be recyclable metal and maybe some useful fittings.
Grab the easy to get stuff... then let the guys at the dump run over it with a bulldozer.


Check the local marina for boats being auctioned for unpaid slip fees.
At least they're floating.
Great advice FHHUBER. I have bought a couple of boats over the years at this type of auction. The other thing I have done is walk the slips and identify boats that appear to have not been used in years. Identify the owner and then see if they want to sell the boat. Many people purchase a boat and then after the new wares off they just let it set and never seem to find time to sail them again. Occasionally you will find a really sweet deal if you have the patience to keep looking.

Talk with the people that work at the marina - not necessarily the owners or managers and sometime they will direct you to a boat that can be purchased for almost nothing. After paying slip fees loan payments and insurance for a few years without using a boat people become ready to sell but never get around to taking the time and effort to list their boat. They also get tired of periodically checking on their boat to make sure it is still afloat and prepare it for winter etc. They simply want out. If the boat is paid for you may get a super deal.

Talk to the sales people(s) at a boat dealership and/or marina and see who they use for boat loans. Typically a dealership uses a single loan institution for all of their boat loans. You may be able to get the name of the loan officer they use. Contact the person and make sure they keep your name handy in case they find it necessary to repo a boat. Sometime you can pick up a really nice boat by assuming the loan and saving thousands of dollars in the process.

Check around areas that have been hit by major storms where boats have been damaged. Occasionally you will find a boat that has been storm damaged, the owner has the insurance money in their pocked and they don't want the bother of having their boat repaired over a six to twelve month or more period of time. Be aware of what you are getting as the boat may have been under salt water for a period of time. While this sounds like a reasonable place to find a boat I have found that few really good deals exist for some reason but they are there if you search hard enough.

The search will take time, effort and travel but the reward can be great. Be patience because the process may take some time.

You may want to consider a smaller boat ready to sail; one you can easily afford and spend your efforts sailing rather than hunting and hoping. Keep up the hunt but enjoy the sport in the process. You may may be you can better define your dream boat after a lot of experience in a "compromise" boat.

Finally, you may want to consider a partnership if purchasing a boat outright is out of the question at this time. Be VERY selective of a partner - you could loose a good friend. There are also sailing clubs where you can use a boat from time to time for a relatively reasonable cost.

Good luck on your search. If you keep up the hunt you will eventually find what you are looking for.