Hello, and welcome aboard. At least virtually any way. Our sailboat, Belle, is a 1980 O’day 23. By model year, it is naturally a “23-2”. Built from 1978 through 1984, it was one of O’Day’s most popular models. Originally, the 23-1 built from 1972 to 1978, had a slightly different layout and a pop-top or lift-top on the cabin. The 23-2 has a traditional rigid and permanent cabin top.
How She Came to be Ours
We came across Belle by serendipity. I was looking for an Alcort Sunfish hull to replace one that had been lanced through from deck to bottom by a fallen limb many years back. With our oldest boy at the age where I learned to sail, I was thinking it was time to get him on the water. On my Facebook market feed, an ad popped up for an O’Day 23 just a few miles away listed at $500. The photos looked pretty good for its age and price.
So we made a visit and checked her out. To our surprise, she’d been sitting on the hard for the last 27 years! Her last registration was in 1992 and like a foster child had been moved back and forth from the yards of the previous owners. Despite having sat for so long, she was really in decent shape for her age (and price). We carefully counted all her rigging and rolled out all three sails. All her cushions, rudder, and outboard motor (yes, included an outboard motor for $500) were in good shape having been stored indoors all this time. Without a trailer, however, she was a tough sale. We’d easily spend far more on a trailer than the asking price for the boat.
We told the owner we were interested if we could find an affordable trailer to set her on and went to work at finding a solution. Our Google searches lead us to KMs boat salvage operation in Plaistow. Keith specializes in taking old boats and trailers away and typically removing engines and valuable parts before crushing the hulls and then sells the trailers and engines etc. He had a yard full of trailers but none that were set up for a sailboat. We identified a heavy-duty single-axle powerboat trailer that might be suitable. It was an Escort with hydraulic surge brakes. The data plate was long since washed out so we had to estimate, but by counting the leaves in the brakes and 4″ tube frame we guessed it to be a ~5000lb trailer, suitable for Belle’s 3500lb capacity. At $650, it was a bargain.
So, we got back in touch with the owner of Belle and offered them $300, the amount he would have paid to have her moved again, and a promise to bring her back to the water. The offer was accepted and we bought the trailer and the boat. Check out our videos and blog posts about how we got her home and on the water!
Some specifications from Sailboatdata.com (https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/oday-23-2)
Rigging Type:Masthead Sloop
LOA:23.00 ft / 7.01 m
LWL:19.50 ft / 5.94 m
Beam:7.92 ft / 2.41
mS.A. (reported):246.00 ft2 / 22.85 m2
Draft (max):5.33 ft / 1.62 m
Draft (min):2.26 ft / 0.69 m
Displacement:3,425 lb / 1,554 kg
Ballast:1,200 lb / 544kg