sailboat restoration, trailer
sailer, small cruiser, trailerable sailboats, pocket boats, budget
sailing, boat repair, older boats, classic fiberglass yachts,
microcruisers, macgregor, sail boat restoration, small sail boat,
boat cruising small sail, boat build small sail, Fix It And Sail,
sailboat restoration book
Photos The Book Sample
Marine MediaMagazine ArticlesMarine Illustration
There were lots of reasons that I took on this project- the
biggest reason was money. Actually, that was the smallest reason,
as in I had very little when I bought this sailboat. I had sold
my Catalina 27 nearly ten years ago, and had been trying to get
another boat ever since. Oh, sure... I'd like to have a big enough
boat to go to the Bahamas, but the costs associated with a new
(old) house, a then-five-year old son (he's eleven now... hard
to believe sometimes) and given that we live in Tennessee, a larger
boat just didn't make a lot of sense.
A trailerable boat, on the other hand, can be stored near the
house while it gets fixed, and kept there over the winter months,
making off-season improvements and upkeep easier. Our sailing
time would be short anyway, so a boat that is small is an asset-
it's quick to rig and launch, yet still big enough to spend the
night on. Parts for it are relatively inexpensive, and overall
it's a low-cost way to introduce people to the world of sailboat
My purpose for publishing this website (and my books, "Fix
It And Sail" and "The Complete
Trailer Sailor" from International Marine) is to prove
that sailing doesn't have to be the pastime of the idle rich.
With time and a little money, nearly any small sailboat can be
restored to an enjoyable vessel by anyone with average skills
and means. You'll need to do some learning, but the knowledge
to restore a boat is readily available. You'll need a genuine
desire to go sailing... enough to keep you going when the inevitable
problems crop up. But it can be done, and it doesn't have to cost
an arm and a leg. (Well, maybe an arm... throw in a few fingers
if you want the fancy stuff.) And there's no sense of satisfaction
like taking your first sail in a boat that you rescued.
A photodocumentary collection of the restoration process can
be seen here. More photos were posted
on the Magregor website
by Bob White, but that site seems to be no more... a real shame.
The complete collection of photos is too big to post here... currently
552MB of raw data... and is documented in the book, Fix It And
Sail, which is available here and in bookstores (you might have
to ask for it.)
A few other good links: The
Pocket Cruising website has some good articles for smaller
boat owners. MicroCruising
in the Bahamas is lots of fun when the winter chill starts
getting you down. Small
Craft Advisor has an active forum, and I have some articles
that are appearing/have appeared in DIY
Boatowner and Good Old
Boat magazine. The MacGregor/Venture
Webring and the Boatbuilding
Webring were kind enough to list my site. And of course, The Trailer Sailor
site has tons of info on trailerable sailboats.The
Montgomery Sailboats Owners Group maintains a fine site about
the Lyle Hess-designed little cruisers, which I currently sail,
and there's a separate MSOG
photo site here. FurledSails.com
features sailing interviews that you can download to an MP2 player
for free. David Beede's SimplicityBoats
has a bunch of good articles and resources if you 're interested
in small boat design and building. Duckworks Magazine has a similar
focus... small, owner-designed and built sailboats.
My latest drawing for Small
Craft Advisor will be of the Weta trimaran. This drawing tuned
out well, I think, since the Weta comes with semi-transparent
laminated sails, these were fun to draw. Check out the latest
issue, coming soon to a bookstore near you. If you like what you
see, consider being a subscriber. you can see many of my drawings
by clicking here.
Tiny Dancer is finally sitting again in her slip at Gold
Point Marina. Newly rebuilt ports, repaired rudder, repainted
hatchboards (that really need to be replaced) have been completed.
Soft spots in my mahogony rudder were repaired. I removed some
of the turning blocks that leads the halyards aft and filled the
holes with epoxy... she's so small that I can almost reach the
mast while standing in the companionway. The current project is
recovering the cushions in the cabin, using an old singer sewing
machine I picked up at a thrift store for... wait for it... ten
bucks. Even though I have a heavy walking-foot machine, it was
still the best ten bucks I ever spent on the boat. It's very hightweight
and portable, it can sew light fabrics well (the big machine will
often skip stitches in fabrics that are too light) and it's still
strong enough to go through four or five layers of upholstery
These new cushions are a lot of work, but are badly needed.
The old ones have held up remarkably well, but they're thirty
years old now. The fabric... a groovy gold plaid-looking pattern...
is disintegrating, and leaves little bits of fluff all over the
boat. The new covers will be much nicer, and sleeping aboard will
be a much more realistic proposition. So far, I'm spending about
five hours per cushion, two are finished, and I three more to
I've finally added a paypal button for the Complete Trailer
Sailor, which you can purchase by clicking here.
Thanks to all of you who have sent emails. If you're restoring
a boat, good luck, and keep at it! I know, it seems endless at
times, but I remember the advice I got from Lee Lafon when I was
beginning audio operator for the six o'clock news at WCBD. "Only
concentrate on two things... what you're doing now, and what you're
doing next." Don't worry about the rest, it'll come in time,
but if you try to worry about it all at once, you'll just confuse
yourself into inaction. Worry about two things... forget the rest.
I'll be happy to help and advise those of you who have the
disease whenever I can. Feel free to contact me with your questions,
sailboat-related or otherwise. Suggestions for improving this
site are welcome.
Should you like your sailing in audio form, check out FurledSails.com,
where you can listen to podcast inerviews related to all things
sailing. You can hear discussions with Lin and Larry Pardey, Good Old Boat founders
Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas, and if you're REALLY starving for
entertainment, Brian Gilbert talking about fixing up old boats.
Search for podcast #67, Fix It And Sail. And speaking of Good
Old Boat, they have been active in the podcasting arena as well.
They've produced two complete audio books, with many others available
at their new website, AudioSeaStories.com
I still manage to get out to Gold Point Marina every once and
a while to work on the boat. If you're in the neighborhood, stop
by D-dock... I'm the smallest boat in the marina.
Again, please note my new email address... hammerguy at bellsouth
dot net.Click here for a look at past
news items and miscellaneous stuff.
Thanks for stopping by!
This website was designed and produced by Marine
Media Publishing, 3404 Hartford Dr., Chattanooga, TN. The Email
(for now, it may change) is hammerguy at bellsouth dot net (NOTE:
Replace the "at" with the @ symbol when typing the address.
This is an anti-spam measure designed to prevent automated web
crawlers from stealing e-mail addresses from this site... thanks
for your understanding.)
Last update was October 24, 2007
This site doesn't use any cookies, and we never
divulge your name or any information to any source. In fact, I
don't even know how to collect this information, and we're not
exactly rotten with HTML programmers around here. So check back
for updates and additional information as it becomes available.
I'm hoping to add more server space soon, and we'll post additional
photos and articles as they are completed. Thanks for stopping
in, and close the hatch on your way out!
This page has been accessed at least times for an average of hits per day