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Looking at a '79 O'Day (Weekender) Next Weekend

Discussion in 'Day Sailers' started by theluckyone17, Apr 15, 2018 at 3:02 PM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. theluckyone17


    Joined Apr 13, 2018
    1 posts, 0 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Rexford, NY
    Short: I'm a new sailor, looking at a '79 O'Day Weekender next weekend. Anything beyond the obvious I should be looking for?

    Long: I've never sailed a day in my life, but I've built and paddled several skin on frame kayaks. Had given some serious thought to building a SoF dinghy, but a friend of a friend gave me a project: a 14' Force 5 dinghy that needs some fiberglass work on the hull & mast tube. Prior owner let water get into the tube, cracked it. Looks like enough water got into the interior to weigh the hull down good, since it damaged the fiberglass right at the lower bow roller. Still waiting for warm weather to get out and get it repaired.

    In the meanwhile, I had been doing some thinking about the next boat. Apparently, having three kayaks and a dinghy in the back yard isn't enough (with two more SoF kayak builds in progress, one for my mom and one for my neighbor). I'd like to have a boat big enough to take a couple friends out with (four person limit, three plus myself). Something to hang out on the lake for a day/afternoon, with an occasional camping trip overnight. Not sure my wife's keen on the concept of camping overnight so much... she tends to prefer cabins and the more civilized life. As a result, I don't have much need to bunk more than myself (and maybe my dog) overnight. Being able to trailer-sail it would be nice, too... Upstate NY has no shortage of lakes, and the Long Island Sound is just a couple hours of driving away, especially if I avoid the City and hit the CT shore instead.

    Had been looking at a Catalina 22, since it meets all the above criteria, has more than enough room to meet my needs, and there seems to be a lot of them 'round the country. That said, one of them would be too heavy to tow with my Subaru Baja (2,400 lbs tow capacity). Even an inexpensive Cat22 becomes quite a bit more pricey when I factor in having to replace the Baja with a pickup truck more capable of towing.

    Then I happened to find a relatively inexpensive '79 O'Day 19 for sale, about three hours away in the Adirondacks. Seller claims the hull and sails are in excellent condition. Trailer needs some TLC, and some paint at the least. One of the interior photos, showing the v-berth, might show some ice in the cabin. That worries me, what with the damage I'm dealing with on the dinghy, but none of the other pictures show any exterior damage to the hull. For the price, and the boat's proximity to the place I grew up, I don't mind taking a drive up there next weekend and taking a look at it. Even if the boat's a bust, I can still visit the area and call it a good trip. Assuming it hasn't got a load of ice sitting inside, it's within the towing capacity of the Baja. That said, I'll be keeping eye out on the way in to see it, taking note of any hills with curves.

    Anything out of the ordinary I ought to be looking for, during my inspection? The obvious bits ought to be obvious... condition of the stays, soft spots on the deck/hull, spider cracks in the gel coat, ice damage around the centerboard housing, etc. Scum line on the hull implies it's been sitting in the lake, as opposed to being stored dry on the trailer. The current owner (a Christian summer camp) never re-registered it (more on that later), implying that it hasn't had an outboard installed, though the mount looks clean enough in the photos. The asking price is low enough that I'm not going to be concerned about the lack of cushions in the photos, and I'm not expecting any of the weekending accouterments (head, etc) to be present. Can't imagine a summer camp on a land-locked lake would have much need for them, including the outboard. The included single axle trailer's going to need some TLC... peeling paint, surface rust evident in the photos, so I'll be giving that a good look over as well (tires, springs, hubs & bearings).

    I certainly don't mind much of a project boat, seein' as I'll be learning to sail on the dinghy before the O'Day hits the water (assuming I buy it). From what I've read, the boat's on the rare side with only 525 built. It's made it a bit difficult to find info on the interior, since the Mariner and later models keep showing up in my search results. I'm trying not to let the "it's a rare boat, rescue it!" cloud my judgement when I'm giving it the look over. To throw more drama into the equation... remember that bit about it not being registered by the current owner? The registration on the hull matches an online listing in Lake George from 2012. Sure would be nice to get it back to the area... and I might have a chance to reach out to the prior owner and hear its history. There's not much more tempting than a boat with a story behind it...

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018 at 3:46 PM

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