What to look for when buying a used Vanguard 15 sailboat

  1. Mainsheet block attachment becket — they eventually get loose and have to be reinforced (repairable but you should negotiate on the price).
  2. Spider cracking in on the hull — usually means the hull has a weak spot in the spider cracked area (stay away if you see this).
  3. Excessive wear in the centerboard trunk — a primary source of leaks (repairable but you should negotiate on the price).
  4. Make sure mast is straight — they sometimes get bent when inexperienced folks stick the mast in the mud. (Means the mast needs to be replaced.)
  5. Bow dings. These are often repairable but indicate the boat’s probably had a hard life.
  6. Delaminated rails. These are usually repairable if they are caught early. But make sure the rail hasn’t turned mushy.
  7. Misaligned/misshaped centerboard trunk. This is not repairable. If you want to be competitive, this could be a show stopper.
  8. Corrosion in the rigging. Not a showstopper, but means that you should consider replacing the shrouds, else your mast could come down.
  9. Aside from these visual checks, it’s important to test sail a boat on a windy day and see how it holds up, and check out whether it leaks. Leaks from fittings or the daggerboard trunk are common on older V15s.
  1. Minor rail dings.
  2. Mast step depressions. Seems like V15’s get these after just a bit of sailing.
  3. Wear on the boom, where it meets the shrouds. Assuming these aren’t too deep, they shouldn’t make a difference. Apply some plastic covers to your shrouds so that the grooves aren’t worn in further.
  4. Cracked plastic handrails. A number of sailors are simply taking the plastic handrails off. Just use a plastic cleat eye as a mount point for your hiking strap shock cord.
  5. Worn out shock cord and lines.




Occasional thoughts on tech, sailing, and San Francisco

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Al Sargent

Al Sargent

Occasional thoughts on tech, sailing, and San Francisco

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