Find The Free Sailboat Hulls

Article By Shorty

I was a used sailboat dealer, and one of the things I would do to find boats to resell is I would walk around boat storage lots and write down the hull numbers of boats that had a green coating of slime on them. Anything with plant life growing from the cockpit was expecially obvious, and needing a new owner. With my boat dealer license, I could call the state and they would give me the owners information, which I would call and ask if they were interested in selling their boat. One boat I was looking at happened to be owned by the Boyscouts, and when I called on it, I got to know the head of the scout's boat program. He and I would BS on the phone for long periods talking about all sorts of stuff, very friendly guy to talk with. So back to the matter at hand, I was trying to buy a sailboat from him when he mentioned a bone yard of boats he had at a camp only a few minutes up the road from me.

I headed up there and found a good stockpile of a variety of boats, and off in a corner was this stack of Holder 12's. Each hull had been completely stripped, and each had either holes in them, or various states of repairs. Called my new friend the next day and talked about buying a couple of the other boats for resale, and then mentioned the pile of Holder 12's.

He said don't worry about them, a couple of volunteers were going to take them to the dump soon, so if they are in the way, just do whatever to get them moved. Do whatever? Hey, how about if I take them home? What on earth would you want with those? I explained that while there was no way I could fix them up for a profit, they would be fun to fix and use as personal boats, and I had a couple of friends that might be interested in them. So with great joy, he said I was welcome to haul out the trash for him.

I looked over the set of 6 hulls and determined that 1 was in excellent shape, 2 were in fair shape and only needed minor cosmetic repairs, 2 were pretty bad, and 1 was a total junker. So I grabbed the 3 good ones and headed back home. Kinda funny how they stacked so well, even so I stuck to the back roads and never went over 45 mph.

I power washed the 3 hulls, took some pics and emailed my friends. I was making a swap with a friend of mine, he was giving me another boat, and I was giving him a couple of masts. I also gave him 2 of the good hulls, one of which he took home and immediately sold for $50 like it was! He fixed up the other hull and sailed it around a little, then sold it too. So I had my pick of the litter still, and was fixing it up when a land-lubber friend asked me if I knew where to get a cheap or free boat. Part of me wanted to plead ignorance, but the other part knew that if I didn't get her a boat, then she wouldn't have one, so I gave her the pick of the litter. That is OK... there are still 3 hulls left, and with a little work, they will all come back to life - because fiberglass hulls really do last forever. The only ones that don't come back to life have been thru a blender, and even those have hope.

So back to the bone yard for the others, and another slow trip home. Immediately after getting back, another friend wanted a free hull hearing about the others, so now I was down to 2 hulls left, the junker, and the complete junker. And can you guess what happened next? Another friend said "that sure is a nice looking hull....", and now I was down to one, the complete junker.