How I found My Vagabond 17 Sailboat

Article By Shorty

I had been watching the newspaper classifieds closely but was unable to find any sailboats that met my needs that I could afford. I was looking for a boat that would sleep 4, but be small enough to fit in my garage (and check book).

Most of the boats for sale in the newspaper were for $2000-$4000, and I just didn't have that kind of money.

I saw a post in the West Wight Potter list server from eGroups about building a sail boat from plywood. Never imagined doing something like that but after a little hunting around, I found a group of guys who did that kind of thing.

Lurked in their news group, posted a few questions and decided in the short term, I would build a cheap little sail boat just to get by till I could save up enough for a big plastic family cruiser.

The local plywood boat building club were having a "messabout" at the Conroe Yacht Club. The organizer stated activities would start at 9:30am. I didn't want to be late, and I had never been to such an event so I tried to get there early.

I arrived at 7:30am, way too early. Only one person there, one of the yacht club officers who was fixing up some equipment at the facility. We started chatting and I helped him with a few of his tasks. After a while he asked me what type of sailboat I had. I told him I didn't have one and described what I would want. He had that "Ah-ha" look on his face and said "Walk this way, I want to show you something".

We walked over to the dry dock area and squeezed between two other boats was the first time I ever laid eyes on a Vagabond 17. He described how she had been sitting for the past 3 years without ever being sailed. Suggested I give the owner a call and see if a deal could be made.

I called the owner the next day, and we struck a deal. (Thanks Jim!!)