Selling Siezed Sailboats by the Seashore

In these troubled economic times the boat market has gone soft.  Just as mortgage defaults and foreclosures are more numerous these days the default rate on boat moorage is also up.  Making the marina rent takes a back seat to feeding the family.  Some boat owners have simply walked away from their boat.  When the bill goes unpaid for a given amount of time the vessel is seized and sold either outright or at auction.

My local marina the Port Angeles, Washington Boat Haven is run by the Port Authority.  They average about two auctions per year with a couple of boats in each. I reported on one such auction that took place back in June.  Seizure notices have appeared on several boats recently and they will probably go on the block sometime in November.  I find both boats to be interesting so I am presenting them here.

Last time I attended the Port Authority auctions the three boats available went for $100.00 each.  These events are remarkably under-attended.  There is not a large effort at advertising and Competition is light.  The initial investment in the boats offered is very low.  Typically the boats are somewhat neglected and will require some work to make them seaworthy or at least cosmetically acceptable.

Kenner Privateer 26 Foot Cutter

This boat is a 26 foot sloop of a type I am familiar with.   The Privateer came in ketch and cutter versions although the cutter is really a sloop rig. They were built in the early 1970’s by the Kenner Boat company in Arkansas.  Designed by Thomas Gilmer, the boats have classic lines and are somewhat ornate.  Note the mermaid on the stern quarter which is molded into the fiberglass hull.  The company also built the Kittiwake, a 23 foot sloop.  The privateer is a full keel design which stands up well to its sail area and is a good mover in light winds.

This particular boat was moved to the boat haven back in the late winter or early spring and was on the market through Craig’s List.  An email from the owner said that the boat had been stored in a barn in Spokane area.  Heavy snow-loads collapsed the roof and as a result the mast and the bow and stern rails are bent.  He said he knew where a replacement mast could be had for a reasonable price. The ad disappeared and the for sale sign on the transom both disappeared and the seizure notice went up in August.

This boat could use some new paint on the bottom and topsides.  There is a wooden structure over the aft end of the cockpit that should probably be disposed of.  I can’t quite figure out the reason for it’s being there as the cockpit and motor well layout on this design is quite adequate.   There is a 10 horsepower Honda in the well and the rudder and tiller look to be in good condition.  The hull appears to be sound.  She has been on jackstands in a dry storage area for as long as the boat has been here.  I haven’t been able to get inside but I have seen through the open companion hatch and the interior looks to be intact and in need of a cleaning.  I have no idea of the condition of the sails.

This vessel has potential for someone with a bit of cash and the desire to earn some sweat equity.  She should go cheap.  It will be interesting to see if an energetic individual steps up and takes the chance.  to learn more about this model of boat go to

20 Foot Sloop

This approximately 20 foot long sloop is of unknown vintage and pedigree.  I have been trying to research it but have not determined who designed it.  It may be a one off design or an open boat hull with a cabin added.  the house has a peculiar arrangement of portholes.  The forward port is located very low on the house.  Nevertheless, it is interesting as an example of the sort of non-commercially produced craft that can be seen in boatyards , marinas and backyards everywhere.  The small cockpit well and low aspect ratio rig suggests that the boat was made for offshore sailing.  The fittings look to be good quality and adequately sized for the vessel. The winches, sheet block and track, Portholes, are all bronze.  The freeboard is a little low which may be why the cockpit coaming is a bit high.  All lines are led aft to the cockpit, handy for single-handed sailing.   The aluminum mast and stainless steel rigging appears to be in good shape.  Some rust streaks appear on the hull (see video).  There could be some iron or steel fastenings corroding under the fiberglass.  If you happen to know the origin of this design or recognize this particular boat please send me an email with whatever information you may have.

You could probably arrange with the Port Authority to get aboard and poke around in the bilge and chine areas if you present yourself as a serious potential bidder.  At the very least all vessels are open for inspection the morning of the auction.  The boats will be listed on the Port of Port Angeles website prior to the sale although they haven’t done that as of this writing.  I will be checking up on that periodically.  I will probably attend the auction so that I may report on the sale.

I don’t need the problem of acquiring a new mast otherwise I might take a shot at the Privateer.  The design has a good reputation and I sailed on a Kittiwake and loved the way she moved.  Although that was an Alberg design they have similar lines with a nice bit of hollow forward. It will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate.  Perhaps it will be you.

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