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On the Dubious Merits of Accepting Free Boats

Webfoot1

Active Member
Free boats are dandy for those who have a 'boat restoration/actual value'
calculator in their head. You can look it over and a total dollar amount
about what it's going to take to get it back on the water starts to float
before your eyes. For those who have not the time to develop this calculator
or don't have a 'expert' friend to take along I say. run away fast. Even the
experts can end up with a money sucking black hole. Those looking for
a project boat are the safest. They know it's going to take a lot of cash
and time but the price is spread out and the time is extended as needed.
Without taking the time to become well versed in what you're buying
your pretty much just spinning the wheel of chance.

Ever notice how wood boats rot from the outside-in and fiberglass
boats rot from the inside-out. How many people have bought a
fiberglass boat and not realized they are getting a fiberglass shell/bath tub
when their foot goes through the floor?
 

norcalsail

Active Member
Back in July of 2018, when I decided to get my own Sunfish, I had been reading about repairs on this site. Although I have had some experience with fiberglass repair, I decided to get a new boat as I have plenty of home projects etc. pending. Glad I did as I like having a boat no one else has messed with. Now, I know the Sunfish Forum is mostly for restoring and repairing Sunfish, but not once have I heard or read of someone besides myself that has a new boat. It would be great to hear about others who have new boats and their decision to buy new. Great to have all the knowledge though because one day I'm going to get back to Wisconsin and do a restore job on the old Sunfish there.20190712_172640.jpg
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Mine was new in 2005! It's a Vanguard and still going strong, unlike the owner :(
My first Sunfish was second or third hand; bought from someone in my fleet who needed the funds for college.
My second one (which masqueraded as a Super Sunfish) was bought new and the dealer was willing to give me some credit for the old one.
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
My take is that newer Sunfish are a little faster than (most) older Sunfish. Over time, Sunfish hulls tend to get softer and heavier and these tendencies affect speed. I still race, and at age 75 I need all the help I can get, so a somewhat newer hull and well tuned rig is a big plus. My current boat is a 2010 Vanguard World's boat that I bought second hand and she is ugly fast. If you aren't racing, there is no need to spend the money for a new boat unless you want a new, pretty boat to play with.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Weston

Member
Back in July of 2018, when I decided to get my own Sunfish, I had been reading about repairs on this site. Although I have had some experience with fiberglass repair, I decided to get a new boat as I have plenty of home projects etc. pending. Glad I did as I like having a boat no one else has messed with. Now, I know the Sunfish Forum is mostly for restoring and repairing Sunfish, but not once have I heard or read of someone besides myself that has a new boat. It would be great to hear about others who have new boats and their decision to buy new. Great to have all the knowledge though because one day I'm going to get back to Wisconsin and do a restore job on the old Sunfish there.View attachment 35288
The red and white sale has always been my favorite.
 

norcalsail

Active Member
I really like that red and white sail too. You can see it's brand new by the creases from the fold. I hope they wrapped it up right when they put it away for the winter!
 

Fremont

New Member
Yeah, I've been there. I restored an old Rascal, spent a bunch of time, and a fair amount of money. But it turned out ok.
But the Sunfish I was given for free last year? It's GREAT. Owned by a meticulous owner; the boat, sail, trailer all in great shape. I'm adding a mast cleat and a main block (it just has the hook), and swapping the 1-7/8 hitch coupler to a 2" so it's the same as my other trailers. Have to make it our own, right? Already placed her name on the transom and adding a wind arrow.
Usually there is no such thing as a free boat, but this one actually WAS!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Sometimes a free Sunfish is "a bridge too far". :(

However, "donor" parts can be sold to keep older Sunfish affordable--and the serial/hull number re-used to cover Pennsylvania DMV bureaucratic spam. :cool:
 
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