New O’Day 20 owner with no sailing experience and a project boat I didn’t need

Jan 18, 2021
10
O’Day 20 Brick, NJ
Thank you everyone for the advice. It means a lot. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the mid 50's after a few weeks of 20's and 30's here in NJ with snow and ice. I don't like to move plastic around in the freezing weather. I'll take advantage of the temps and straighten out that furler track and lay it next to the boat flat. Unfortunately its going to be raining to so not much else will be happening.

As for sails, I agree that new is probably the way to go. There is a reason why someone replaced their old ones and now selling them. So that will be a spring purchase. I am also debating on the 4.5hp outboard I have and may just pop for something newer. From sitting, the one I have is stuck. It isn't the first time I freed up a stuck outboard, I'm just looking ahead in case this one is too far to save. The deep cleaning will happen soon enough. Just waiting for the weather to break. I started a speadsheet of things to do, check, repair, clean, restore etc.

What I did was to take an introductory sailing course over 4 weekends, and b. pay for an extra couple of private sessions with the instructor first to go over my boat and its equipment and then to spend a half day out on my first sail. By the end it all made sense, and for relatively little expenditure.

To the OP I would say: Get some help. If you have, or can make, a friend with experience of sailing, that will make all the difference.
There is a sailing school near me and they have instructors who will come on your boat and teach you how to sail on your craft. I think this is the right move as not only do I learn sailing skills, but learn them on my own boat so there is no confusion. I also have a friend who grew up with a 27' Catalina who has already said he will come with his two boys and we'll make a day and show me what to do as well. As for the overwhelmed, a little truth, a little clickbait.

I'm sure once I actually start to get into the project I'll have a ton more questions.

The big difference is with the rigging, you could have some failures that you really don't want to have. If you see something and say to yourself "I'm not sure about this, it looks iffy." then it only becomes a matter of time before you say "****! I knew I should have replaced that!!! Yeah, TowBoat US?, this is....", so just fix early.
Having power boats all my life, I have always lived with the rule "have a doubt, throw it out". There is nothing worse than breaking down on the water and having to get towed back.

Thank you all again for the input. I am also planning on videoing some of this project and sailing journey and posting it on YouTube. I did it with a semi truck project I purchased back in 2012 and a lot of people enjoyed following along. If/when I do, I'll post a link if allowed.
 
Feb 15, 2021
12
O'Day O'Day 25 Port Stalishun
not sure where your located but there is an ad up currently on Craigslist Vancouver with a full kit of sails for this length of boat in Burnaby. the prices look very affordable. Best of luck with your refit and hope you make it out on the water soon
 
Feb 15, 2021
12
O'Day O'Day 25 Port Stalishun
Ah yes I see now they're are 3 pages of replys..I have been refitting an O'Day 25 the last couple years. New main sail from North sail was $1400..not cheap. Just got a replacement Genoa second hand for $400 and new was over $800. Again wishing you all the best with your project. I will be fixing the swing keel , soft /rotten deck core spots and installing vhf, antenna and depth sounder equipment this spring. Hit me up for any advice if you like. Great that you have it trailered as that should save you some time, money and effort. ⛵
 
Feb 15, 2021
12
O'Day O'Day 25 Port Stalishun
Don't sweat the no experience bit..you've operated boats before. Sailing will come naturally without having to take any course imo
 
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Jan 18, 2021
10
O’Day 20 Brick, NJ
these sails might work. sorry if this is a repeat reply.
I’m on the East Coast in Brick NJ, but thank you. The weather is getting nicer. Yesterday 63, today 53, tomorrow 70°. If I get work done earlier enough tomorrow I want to power wash the hull and get scrubbing. This weekend I’ll attempt to get the outboard started as well.
 
Jul 30, 2019
208
Seaward 25 777 Fort St. James
I would buy used sails. There are many perfectly good sailboats being parted out. They are worth vey little, because there is an oversupply. My 46 year old sails are in great shape. Spend the money you save on other things, and if you decide down the road you have formed a lifelong relationship with your 20, then buy her a new suite of sails.

Insert a want ad on Craigslist. No cost, nothing to lose.
 
Jan 18, 2021
10
O’Day 20 Brick, NJ
So it’s been many months. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to dedicate to the boat with a new job but I wanted to at least post some progress. The cabin is very cramped and the more I spend time inside the boat, the less and less I am enjoying it. I think something with a stand up cabin would work better since my flexibility is limited. But once I sit in the cockpit I image myself on the water. It is a daysailer so I don’t expect to be doing any overnight sailing anyway. And let’s be honest, I still don’t know how to sail so we were probably not going to get this ready for this season.
 

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Feb 21, 2013
3,774
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
........I recently picked up a free 20 off a guy on Craigslist...........The cheapest boat always becomes the most expensive though............
Welcome to sailboat ownership, espeacially a free one!! Well said about a cheap boat becomming the most expensive.