After six exhausting months of searching, calling, stepping onto different sailboats, we finally found the right combination of price, size and layout. Though the market is currently flooded with many sailboats, our criteria came down to this. First, we had to have a center cockpit. We love the layout with the aft stateroom. Second, we were looking for an older boat that had good bones where we can do a major refit. And finally, we wanted to stay within the 35 to 40 foot range. We narrowed our range down to the Coronado 35, the Irwin 37 and some Morgan designs in that length range. What we finally found and purchased was a 1976 Irwin 37 center cockpit MK III, in the sloop version. What's even better is it was already on the hard at Salt Creek Marina, a marina near us that is designed for do it yourselfers.
I laugh at Jeanne's 3 step plan. Step 1: Buy boat. Step 2: Make boat float. Step 3: Make boat pretty. Step 1: Check. Step 2 consists of the following projects: Remove and replace all thru-halls and seacocks. Remove all hardware, railing, teak, everything from top deck. Fix or replace bow pulpit. Fiberglass/fill any holes that will no longer be needed or need to be fixed. Sand entire boat. Paint entire boat. While all this is happening, we need to purchase and rebuild a new (used) engine. Once engine is ready and top-side paint is finished, we need to coordinate the lift to pull old engine, insert new engine and re-mount mast. Once done, re-mount hardware. Once these steps are finished, we will then paint the bottom and launch.
Once the boat is moved to it's destination, which will either be Gulf Port City Marina or Jeanne's best friend, Lynn's sister's house, we will then start working on the interior.
In the weeks to come, we will start showing before and after pictures of each of our projects.Wish us luck!
- The Captain