Fixing the Storm-Damaged Boat

With $655 million dollars marine vessel insurance claims from the 2017 hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there is no shortage of broken boats accumulating in salvage yards. The nations three big damaged boat liquidators - Certified Sales, Cooper Capital and U.S. Auctions are gradually thinning out their listings from Irma and Harvey, but Florence will surely bring a new crop. But just how salvageable are these boats?

The Get-Home Sailboat Tool Kit

The tools and materials required to maintain and repair everything on a boat will barely fit in a room. Just the kit required to maintain vital systems will raise the waterline of a large boat and is impractical in a smaller boat. Fortunately, when day sailing and even cruising locally, all we really need to do is get back to the dock...any dock.

Corsair F-24 Boat Test

In May 1999 Practical Sailor reviewed the then-new Corsair F-24 Mark II trimaran. Nearly 20 years later, were here to follow up with a focus on the Corsair F-24 Mark I, a boat that can represent a good value today since many newer designs have entered the market.

Drawing the Line on Boat Design

A New Zealander greatly influenced by the traditional craft of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, famed multihull designer Ian Farrier understood that an enduring design goes through several evolutions. Proas, the small sailing craft of Micronesia that inspired his visionary folding trimaran design, presented a perfect example of this.

Sailboat Sea Trial

A test sail is a great way to weed out the painted vixens before spending your hard earned cash on a marine survey. Sure, you could ride around with a Mimosa in one hand while the broker regales you with tales of far away, exotic lands, but a smarter move would be to approach your test sail with planning and a critical eye. Heres how to glean as much info as possible about your potential purchase during a test sail.

Deck Leaks, Mast Step Are Top Concerns

The Ericson 34-2 hull hand-laminated monocoque structure made from a single mold.

Sailboat Test: Bruce King Ericson 34

To begin with, lets make clear which Ericson 34 were reviewing about here because Ericson Yachts has a handful of boats in the 35-foot range. Back in 1967, the first Ericson 35 was a typical Cruising Club of America cruising boat, with a long keel and attached rudder. In 1978, an IOR-inspired Ericson 34 was introduced along with the 34T (same hull with a different deck). The boat we are describing here was built by Ericson and then by Pacific Seacraft, post 1991, where it evolved into the new Ericson 35.

Selling Your Boat without a Broker

Im not anti-broker. Ive happily used agents buying and selling boats and houses. They serve a valuable function, bringing buyers and sellers together, managing the viewings for out-of-town and busy owners, and generally helping the transaction go smoothly. They can serve as go between during negotiations, inspections, and formalities. But they also represent a large expense in a transaction, generally 10 percent by default, though this may be negotiated lower (potentially with a reduction in service).

Flim-flam Artists Prey Upon Sellers and Buyers

You will get crank requests for information. The most dangerous are those offering to buy the boat sight unseen. For example, the person described below has not seen the boat perfect since I had not shown the boat and had only cleaned it of clutter that day. The most obvious protections are to meet face-to-face, and to accept payment by wire transfer or cash only, since cashiers checks can be counterfeit. Use the services of a documentation and title company for larger boats. If a cashiers check is the only practical means, do not release the property until the check has cleared.

What You Should Expect from a Boat Broker

If you decide to work with a broker, remember that you have options. A brokers fee is always 10 percent upon the sale of the boat, but some offer more services than others for the same price. Brokers asking you for funds up front should be immediately discounted.

In Search of the Perfect Portable Boarding Ladder

Last year, we ran a review of a Union 36, and the opening photo of the boat featured a unique folding ladder that I hadnt seen before. The ladder, instead of hanging vertically, folded out at a comfortable angle in a way that seemed-at least in the photo-pretty practical for routine boarding. One problem: the maker-the American Ladder Corp., based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., appears to be out of business.