Category: Boat Building and Restoration

Carl Alberg Seasprite 23

So, looks like we acquired a sailboat. It’s a pretty interesting story. I was scanning craigslist for something cheap but seaworthy. Didn’t really care about the appearance so long as I could put it in the water and the wind would push it along. I wasn’t looking for this kind of boat in particular, but I ran into a seller who has a Seasprite 23 for $4750. I went an looked at it and although it wasn’t picture perfect it looked plenty solid. Spoke to the seller about payment arrangements, and we agreed the boat was sold so long as the GF saw and approved. Shook hands and that was that. Later that day Elyse came and took a look and it and after some discussion we agreed to buy it, and I told the seller and ouila, we own the boat. Just needed to exchange documents and all that jazz.

Er, well not really I guess. I wanted to take the boat for July 4th weekend. Well that ended up being a problem. Seller said he had two other people who came to look at it cash in hand and so the boat was suddenly unsold to us.

Ok the search begins anew and back on Craigslist. To my amazement there is another Seasprite just down the street from me (relatively speaking). He want $400, yes hundred, for the boat or even free to a good home and it’s in the water ready to sail away. I contact the seller and he tells me where to go look at it. He’s in California in Grad school which is why he’s getting rid of the boat and he has nearly no money invested in the boat.

So I head down to the marina, I check in with the dock master just so they know I am there, and take a walk down the dock, and…uh…I can’t find it.

I walk back to the dock master and explain what’s going on. She says there is a small sailboat that was abandoned for a whole year, it’s been moved over to this other dock. So she and I go and take a look, sure enough there it is. It’s floating but it’s in real rough shape and the mast is laying on the dock. Apparently the boat was dismasted in one of our bad storms over the winter, and all the stays had either been snapped or cut free. The starboard fore deck and hull had become separated where it banged up against the pile unprotected. You can still see the white gel coat on the pile where it was banging against it.


She said that boat was no longer his and belonged to the marina now. I could have it for free if I would just get the boat out of there as soon as possible.

Well I know how to glass and I figure I can build a new set of standing rigging, the mast is in decent shape and the boat “otherwise” is pretty solid. So I text the seller and explain the situation. Tell him the marina says it’s not his anymore and they won’t let him sell it. Anyway, he just sends the registration for the boat. I talk to the marina and they said I could have the boat and time to make it seaworthy. So there you have it.

Now I have to build all new standing rigging and step the mast, patch and reinforce the deck and hull joint. Other than aesthetic stuff and cleaning the hull, she’s pretty much good to go. I live in a shallow cove where I can drop the hook and put a more permanent mooring, and it’s the perfect spot to careen the boat off the beach for bottom work.

About American Seafarers

American Seafarers is a Summer Sailing Youth Program we are developing to give kids the opportunity to see some incredible sights while learning important life skills that they will carry throughout their entire lives. We are building a real 75ft wooden gaff rigged schooner designed to tough working ship standards, that will sail with six kids of 15 to 19 years of age for two six week summer sessions. Our goal is to begin taking on young seafarers in the second half of summer 2018.

Our fund raising campaign focuses on developing the capital needed to buy the materials and labor needed to build the sailing vessel. Our ship is designed right down to the very bolts and timbers to support and provide the spaces needed to run the various aspects of an expedition youth development and learning program, as well as the spaces to provide kids a fun and traditional New England style sailing platform. The ship is designed to provide a full host of activities, educational programs, as well as provide that small bit of needed personal space that is not available in today’s hobby sailing platforms. Any excess funding collected at this time will be funneled directly into American Seafarers Scholarship Fund which will allow us to send ANY kid sailing with us regardless of financial ability.
The skills we are focusing on are of course, the ability to sail and the various individual skills involved as well as teamwork, leadership, accountability to one’s self, and various other skills and activities such as fishing, ocean science, sustainability, conservation, cooking and maintenance. Most importantly, kids will have a great time visiting and vacationing at some amazing places along the New England Coastline, and will come home prepared to be contributing members of society having learned what it means have some self esteem, to be part of a team and have the confidence and fortitude to tackle the challenges that life hands to all of us from time to time.