View Full Version : Boat ID and $ Opinion HELP!
11-23-2005, 05:16 AM
I'm going to look at the following boat in the next few days. Current owner says she's tight below water-line, needs to be caulked above. No rot in hull. Deck probably needs to be replaced. Should be stripped and redone for sure. Sails fair. Cabin may have been added and he thinks she was built sometime in the 30's, but that's just a guess. She's 15' and located on the West Coast.
Does anyone know what she is? He's asking $600 USD. Is this in the right ballpark if condition is what he says? (I realize I'll have to take a careful look at her)
I've been lurking for some time, and find the site very helpful. Hope I can get some thoughts on this. http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid195/p9d10fdd379f45784f46b80c732092d0d/f1588c01.jpg
Sounds reasonable to me. Looks nice!
11-23-2005, 01:44 PM
Welcome to the board.
11-23-2005, 02:08 PM
She's cute. I'd take her for that. Does she come with the trailer? Got any cockpit or interior pics?
11-23-2005, 02:37 PM
What are the approx. demensions and disp. of the boat?
I have an idea of who may have built it.
11-23-2005, 02:58 PM
Are all the sailing bits present? Spars, rigging, sails, blocks, etc. None of that gear may be useable, but you would at least have patterns to make new spars, sails, etc.
Exiting northward soon. :D
11-23-2005, 03:18 PM
When talking purchase price in the hundreds, it soon becomes irrelevant. You'll quickly spend more than that on repairs, materials, &c, &c. If you put a value on our time, then these all soon become insignificant.
Seems to me that the real question is whether this is a boat that you want to invest (both money and a piece of your life) in.
Hmm that sounds negative - it's not meant to. These investments can bring a tremendous amount of satisfaction.
11-23-2005, 06:52 PM
I agree with Venchka and Torna.
You're gonna' hafta' put in a helluva' lot of time, effort, head scratchin' and money to get her into that "picture book" image you've probably got in your head. It's gonna' take a while ! Hope you're really lookin' forward to re-building a wooden boat instead of just tryin' to get a "bargin" boat to go sailing.
Venchka has a very good point, it'll save a tremendous amount of trouble to come up with workable parts for that particular boat unless you already have the parts to copy. It sure will make it easier.
If the boat checks out o.k., if he has most of the parts, and if the trailer comes with it, I'd start with $600CDN and see if he wants to get rid of it. Might save a couple a' bucks. :D
11-23-2005, 07:49 PM
That sure looks like a skinny little boat, like a scaled down version of a much longer vessel. I'd want to make sure that she could really sail well before I invested alot of time and effort into a restoration.
11-24-2005, 12:01 AM
Talked to the owner, and the mast, boom and rigging is all there. Rigging is fair.
The boat has a 5' beam, which seems about right for a 15' boat.
Sails are present and not torn or patched. They are "very flexible", so assume cotton?
Owner figures she'll draw about 3'.
No pictures of cabin. Not much in it.
Owner figures she could be sailed away and would swell and get water tight.
She's the "Margaret M" and is located on the West Coast.
As a matter of fact, I am looking for a "bargain boat" that I can sink many hours and well-allocated funds into. I'm on the West Coast of BC, so I have access to many types and sizes of free lumber, so that also helps, although sounds like perhaps only deck. The nice thing is at this price I have lots of budget left over, and I do enjoy wood working. Plus she's everything I've been looking for in a boat. (I better watch MYSELF when I go to look her over!)
Thanks for the input, I'll keep you posted. I think I'll be looking at her Monday if all works out as planned.
11-24-2005, 12:19 AM
You may very well have a historic boat. Matt Walsh, West Coast designer/builder had a had two daughters, Helen & Margaret. Matt owned the Garbutt and Walsh Boat Works on Terminal Island CA and was very active in racing and the design and building of crack racers prior to WWII. He built boats of his own design for both Helen and Margaret who were junior racers out of the Califorina YC. The boat in the photos strongly resembles several boats of Matt Walsh's design. A dead give away would be to inspect the sheer clamp and bilge stringer, if it has one, and see if it has a hand planed grooved bead on both the upper and lower edges. This was a signature of Matt's workmanship. The sheer clamp would have no shelf attachment. The deck beams would land directly on the clamp and be separated by blocking. The rudder, underbody and transom, combined with the tumble home of the hull, lead me to strongly suspect that this is the boat that he built for his daughter Margaret Walsh in the 1930's.
[ 11-24-2005, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: Jay Greer ]
11-24-2005, 01:02 AM
Is there somewhere on the internet I could find some information/photos? (I tried Google)
I'd like to follow up on this.
11-24-2005, 11:16 AM
I would direct you to the web site for (The R Boat Pirate) for more information on Matt Walsh.
I own a Matt Walsh Common Sense Sloop #5. In 1932 Matt built Common Sense #1 for his daughter Margaret so that she would have a larger boat to race. It had over nite and crusing accomodations for five. The boat was so succesful that it once beat the R Boat Pirate over a fifteen mile course by a half hour. It could do a horizon job on a six meter with ease. Six Common Sense Sloops were built in all and were raced as a class in S. CA during the thirtys and fortys.
The boat you are considering strongly resembles some caracteristics of the larger 28' Common Sense sloops. It could be the missing link in the evolution of the boats.
#3 was in the 1934 Transpac race and would have won had it not been dismasted. It still placed third in class under jury rig. All of Matt Walsh boats are extreamly fast sailers. The underbody of your boat is that of a much longer hull were it not foreshortend in its overall length.
Is the origional mast and rig still intact? If so this would also help identify the boat. Is there any evidence that the boat was once fitted with a boomkin or bow sprit?
If you don't wish to clutter this site up with personal chatter, you can contact me on "Yahoo Groups" at
COMMON SENSE BOATS where we chew the fat about wooden boats and construction as well.
11-24-2005, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Jay Greer:
If you don't wish to clutter this site up with personal chatterPersonally, I find this discussion fascinating and would love to keep listening in on the party line.
11-24-2005, 12:03 PM
Me too. Very interesting little boat!
11-24-2005, 12:03 PM
Personally, I find this discussion fascinating and would love to keep listening in on the party line. I totally agree. This is fascinating!
11-24-2005, 12:07 PM
Yeah, don't cut us out! smile.gif
Has the making of a great opportunity/project. Beautiful little boat. Really nice piece of detective work by Jay also. Hurry up and buy that thing before my girlfriend catches wind of it and beats you to it! We don't have enough room in our backyard for another one of her boat projects. Please keep us all posted regarding the possible purchase,etc. This would be a nice project for you to share (experience/progress)with the forum if you are so inclined. Good luck.
11-24-2005, 02:22 PM
Most of Matt Walsh's boats have a pair of pretty hefty lifting eyes that pass through the ballast keel. Is this boat a center boarder? Does it have outside ballast?
If so, is it lead? My guess also is that this boat, was not built with the present deck house and was most likely an open cockpit boat. If the mast is origional, it should be a two piece hollow stick, round in cross section but with one corner of the square blank left on to form a slight pear shaped riser for the track. Rigging would be stropped rather than tang fastened. The jib would set
3/4 on the" I " measurment and would have a club foot. A head stay would, most likely, also be incorporated with a set of jumpers. This allows for the setting of lightmast head kites in light airs. Matts boats are light air screamers. The main boom would have the same pear shape as the mast but would be solid. The end of the boom would be hollow, for a foot or so, to accomodate a ring tail boom. A ring tail is a sail that runs up the leach of the main to a jack yard aloft and effectivly adds about another third of sail area to the main for running down wind in light airs.
11-24-2005, 07:45 PM
Thanks to everyone for the help with this!
The current owner DOES NOT think the cabin was original. His assessment was that it was open. Which leads to an interesting question: In a restore, do you delete old renovations, (cabin looks old) or work with what you have? (It would be nice to have dry storage and perhaps v-berth)
The mast and boom are there. Boom is mint, (for a 70 year old boat) and the mast needs to be refinished.
As far as the other questions, I'll have to let you know after I see her. Still planning a trip Monday.
Will keep you posted. If I get it you can be sure I'll be in touch for advice, and if it looks like more than I can handle, I would be pleased to pass on contact information.
[ 11-24-2005, 09:33 PM: Message edited by: Island_Tom ]
11-25-2005, 09:40 AM
I am currently doing research for a Biograpy on Matt Walsh, who may have been the builder of the boat you are interested in. Right now, I am working in San Diego, doing restorative work on another of his boats, Common Sense 1. Since the boat you speak of may be of significant historical value and interest in the evolution of West Coast Yachting, I would be willing to come up and take a look at her myself. This would at least let you know if the boat is worth dealing with and would also serve to help me in my search for boats built by Matt Walsh, "The Sorcerer of Hurricane Gulch".
I can be contacted at:
11-27-2005, 01:41 AM
So here's the end of the saga as far as I'm concerned.
Looks like I can't swing the bucks I need to be sure I can see thsi boat to completion, so rather than sinking, I think I'll cut anchor. Hate to be one of those guys with half a boat in the garage....
One of the guys here was going to look at her, so we may yet hear more about her. If he passes, I'll post the contact information on the site.
Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them, and if someone knows of a cheap sailboat that just needs some TLC (Sweat equity) on the NW coast, drop me a note...
11-27-2005, 02:58 PM
OK,I got to know, where is it! If its on Vancouver Is., give the address. I need to go for a drive.
11-28-2005, 11:18 AM
The guy's name is Bob. He's in Victoria, and his number is 250-478-4573.
PS: He's firm at $800 CA, I asked.
11-28-2005, 10:43 PM
Holy smokes, 800 bucks. Ion - 800 bucks. Maybe the guy'll take a Silva Bay and 100, hey? A 7' lapstrake and that's a straight trade. Swe-eet.
Man, 800 bucks. The trailer alone...
11-30-2005, 02:57 PM
Hey Jay, I just got the latest issue of Maritime Life and Traditions and there's an article about Matt Walsh. Written by Thomas Skahill. Issue number 29.
11-30-2005, 03:02 PM
It looks like a great boat...not to throw a damper on this...as the price is...well bloody cheap.
Don't take the owner's word for her condition....He wants to sell....have someone who knows about wooden boats and surveying check it out...
The last thing I would want to see happen to you is spending 600.00 and then realizing you are gonna have to spend big bucks....fixing her up.
Again, not meant to be a damper on your enthusiam...Boats are great...sometimes one is lucky.
11-30-2005, 10:40 PM
West, you are right, it is do-able, but you just cant imagine the meltdown that would take place....but I still want to wander....got some time off starting next week....
11-30-2005, 10:44 PM
Tom, I'll give him a dingle on the weekend once the snow does its thing. Owner might be a little more depressed an' cold.
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