Colvin Gazelle, desperate seller $5000 in Sausalito, CA (SF Bay)

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  • 22 Apr 2019 07:07
    Message # 7297183

    The listing has ended and the seller is desperate to get off the boat, so I don't know how much longer it'll be available. His wife has Alzheimer's and is having difficulty getting in and out of their kayak, and he just wants to get off the water. He told me he had it advertised on eBay before at $40k, then $30k, and if it didn't sell this time he was going to try to donate it to the Boy Scouts.

    We spent about 20 minutes talking on the phone before switching to text messages because his connection was poor and I was only getting about 5% of what he said. The rest of the conversation spanned the next 24 hours or so, and then I admitted I wasn't ready to buy his boat, as much as I'd like to, and asked and received his permission to post the ebay link and everything he'd told me here.

    UPDATE: Tangram is this boat's name, and it seems like she's sold twice since I started this thread. Shortly after my last conversation with Duane (see below), this other thread popped up about possibly the same boat for sale for $25k. Then most recently, Martin Foster, a member of the Colvin Gazelle Facebook group posted about it again. I don't know whether Martin bought Tangram directly from Duane, but he says he believes she is the same boat as the one that was offere for $25k, and also that he talked to Duane before he bought her. She's coming back to Oregon for a rebuild/refit, and he plans to sail out the mouth of the Columbia and turn left in 5 years.

    Last modified: 28 Jun 2020 20:58 | Anonymous member
  • 22 Apr 2019 07:21
    Reply # 7297186 on 7297183

    The seller's name is Duane Funke, and his cell number is <<PM me if you want his number>>.

    I'll try to remember as much as I can of what he told me over the phone.

    He bought the boat in 1997 and has lived on her since then. He bought the boat in Bellingham and spent some time sailing around the San Juans and Puget Sound before heading south. He lived in Coos Bay and Brookings for a while before heading south again, and ended up in Sausalito about 3.5 years ago. He married, and they've been anchored out in the squatter's flotilla there since then. Besides his wife's health, he's 65 years old and starting to find it difficult to get down next to the engine work the sails, etc. We were discussing his voyage from Brookings, Oregon to Bodega Bay, California when I decided to switch to text messages, which I'll go ahead and paste in their entirety in the next reply.

    He said he has "sailed her in the ocean - well nothing serious like to Hawaii or anything, but she could do it, I think."

    Last modified: 29 Apr 2019 20:43 | Anonymous member
  • 22 Apr 2019 07:37
    Reply # 7297191 on 7297183

    Here's the entirety of our text message conversation after we gave up on the poor cellular connection:

    David: So, Brookings to SF Bay?

    Duane: More or less with a stop in Bodega bay

    David: Sorry, I was only hearing about 5% of what you were saying.
    How long did it take from Brookings to Bodega Bay?

    Duane: About 2 1/2 days
    One day to sf

    David: Wow, seems fast. Any motoring?  Between Brookings and Bodega

    Duane: Ya motor with the sails up

    David: Trying to find my chart of the west coast, but that's about 300nm, right?

    Duane: The junk sails are original but have a brand new set of light air sails for her
    Sounds close

    David: Light air, still cut for a junk rig? Or do you mean triangular sails?

    Duane: She will do about 6kt at hull speed
    A 110% head sail a top tringular top sail and a main
    Also a 100sq ft storm jib
    Used once

    David: Is the light air main a gaff rig or triangular?
    The triangular top sail would be what Tom Colvin called a fisherman, I think.

    Duane: The fisherman is a lot bigger this one is only 150sq ft

    David: Oh ok

    Duane: Flys between the mast up top

    David: Where does a fisherman fly then?

    Duane: Same but hangs down a lot lower and a lot bigger

    David: Ok
    What do you mean by the head needs de-carbonized? It's a diesel, right?

    Duane: I've also got a complete set of plans for it colvin died a few yrs back and plans are no longer available
    Yes it's a two cilnder 18 HP sabb

    David: Yeah, I've talked to a couple of his sons a couple times trying to buy plans or books but no dice. Sad to see his work disappearing.

    Duane: I'm no Mac. So I've not done much with it I can't get it to turn over

    David: That's actually how I found your listing, because I've got a running search saved looking for one of his books, and I get an alert anytime someone lists a new auction that mentions Colvin and sails together.

    Duane: I've had people just want to copy the plans

    David: What engine does it have?

    Duane: 18 HP sabb

    David: Diesel?

    Duane: What book is it

    David: Sailmaking

    Duane: I have a copy I'll throw in with the boat

    David: The one he self-published,  "Sailmaking: Making Chinese and Other Sails"?

    Duane: Ya it's just a soft cover

    David: Yeah, that's the book I'm looking for. Huh.

    Duane: The Sabb is a twin diesel

    David: How would you get it back up to the Portland area if you were me?
    No, you can't tell me that I guess without knowing more about my situation. How would you do it if you were 20 years younger?

    Duane: I don't think it would take much to get the engine running
    I was going to have it trucked back to coos Bay but they want about 6 grand

    David: So you'd motorsail the whole way?

    Duane: Yes but that's just me

    David: From what I've read it would be mostly motoring because of prevailing winds and currents.
    Will she do 6kts motoring?

    Duane: Ya or early fall
    Yes at about 3/4 gal he.
    Fuel tanks are full about 60 gal total
    There a 45 gal for the engine a 10 gal for the Dickerson stove
    Always kept full no problems with alge

    David: 365nm from SF Bay to Coos Bay, that's about 61 hours of motoring if it was dead calm and no wind or current. Burning 3/4 gallon per hour, I'd need about 46 gallons. Is that about right?

    Duane: Sounds close

    Duane: The current gos north most of the year

    David: So considering current and wind, I guess I'd expect to use at least twice that much. But I could stop at Crescent City or Humboldt Bay, or carry jerry cans of extra fuel. Or both.

    Duane: No I think that's a good guess
    The current would be with you
    I've always carry a few cans

    David: Well the pub 108 pilot chart for August shows prevailing winds and currents both sweeping down the coast from the northwest. But only 1/2kt current, so not bad.

    Duane: I would always add a 5gal can right before I would cross a bar just to be sure don't want to run out of fuel crossing some place like Florence

    David: Have you ever crossed the Columbia or Tillamook bar?

    Duane: No
    I think those are the only two I haven't
    The plans have a drawing for a 22ft ulow or sculling ore
    So you can row the thing always thought it would be cool to have

    David: Wow, I love that idea. I've wondered if a boat that big could be powered by a yuloh.

    Duane: Ya I guess colvin talks about it

    David: Yeah, I made a sculling oar for my little sailing dinghy a couple years ago. We sculled all around Lost Lake whenever the wind died down.

    Duane: It would be great for the delta

    David: The delta - is that near you?
    How long since the engine ran?

    Duane: Ya just head East and your there

    David: And you have a dinghy that goes with the boat? What kind/size of dinghy?

    Duane: No not anymore
    About a yr but I've always let it set for a while without any trouble
    But I do have 2 outbordes

    David: How do you get to shore now?

    Duane: A 3hp mercy and 3 hp seagull
    A kayak

    David: So I'd probably need to buy or borrow a dinghy to carry engine parts out to the boat if I wanted to work on it where it's anchored. Or hire a towboat to get it in to the marina. Do you sail her around the bay?

    Duane: No we have just been trying to get all are stuff off and moved to our storage unit in Eugene

    David: Eugene! So you'll be coming back north? How would you feel about helping motor her partway up the coast over several trips this summer?

    Duane: We are members of the Sausalito crewing club it's 500 a yr dues but they have a lot of kayaks and Dinges
    I would love that but my wife is in late stage so she would not be able to make it and I have no place to leave her
    It's all she can do to get in and out of the kayak and I don't know how much longer that will last if I don't sell it soon I'm just going to donate to the boy scouts or something
    We should have been gone month ago
    As you might imagine I'm desperate to dump it
    I'm just not going to give it to someone that doesn't know what there buying
    5000 is a very low price

    David: Yeah it is. What kind of ground tackle does she have?

    Duane: I've still got a new water maker on board and a few other new elect. That haven't been hook up ground tackle is a 45 cqr 200 ft chain a 75 yacht man with 50 ft chain 300 ft 3/4 nylon and a 15 lb aluminum Danforth 50ft chain and 300 ft 3/4 nylon all with swivel
    Now I'm just using the car and it's held in up to 50/60 kts
    CQR damn spell check lol

    David: Yeah, I thought that was what you meant, haha.
    Any nav equipment to go with it?

    Duane: 600charts new off shore life jackets harness thethers and Jack lines one old GPS still works a new vhs radio with ram Mike
    I was hoping someone would bid on it but I'm not a fan of eBay so who knows

    David: Have you tried Craigslist?

    Duane: Plus all the sailing rage but everyone want a race boat so that can play American cup lol
    Ya just lookyloos

    David: By the way, I live on the Columbia River. It's 10.5 hours for me to drive down to see the boat, and I'm considering it. I can fly down for $100 or so once I'm ready to start bringing it back up here. My goal would be to get it at least partway up the coast this summer, and eventually to a yard on the Columbia where I can do more work on it.

    Duane: Is this the one you're looking for my copy is kind of beat but here is a picture of the yuloh drawing
    (he attached a couple pics of the plans and the Sailmaking book, which I can post here if anybody's interested)

    David: That's the book I want, yeah. If you donate the boat would you send the plans and books with it, or could you sell them separately to me?

    Duane: I think we can make a deal
    Or I could just sell you the book and plans for 5k and through in a free boat  LOL
    Not sure what a set of plans are worth

    David: Haha. I really wish I could swing the boat, but I'm realizing it's not just a matter of getting it and bringing it up here. I'd also have to take care of it and use it, which I think would be really rewarding, but it won't fit with what I already had planned for the next 3-5 years.

    Duane: I understand what do you think the plans are worth I was offered 500 to copy them but don't want to get into a copy write thing not sure what colvin was selling them for when he was alive
    Looking on the internet I see sailrite has sail plans and kits for the junk sails also say that are redesign with the main smaller and the for larger not sure who came up with that but I'll bet it wasn't colvin

    David: I'm looking at plans for sale for other similarly sized boats for comparison. Jay Benford sells plans for several boats close to the same size for about $1950, which is more than I'd want to pay right now. Michael Kasten, who I consider the closest living designer to Tom Colvin's philosophy, offers plans for a 44' junk rig schooner for $39,500. Both those guys are still living though and buying plans from them includes ongoing consultation. That's why Tom's kids won't continue selling plans, because they don't want to be responsible for supporting builders who have questions.

    Duane: Jezzzz I had no idea they were that spendy maybe sell the plans and through in a free boat isn't so crazy after All LOL

    David: Yeah. In 2002 Colvin sold study plans, which are just the 2 or 3 views you usually see, the side view of the hull and sails, a deck plan, and an interior arrangement plan, for $40. Jay Benford sells study plans for his 42' topsail schooner/ketch design for $295 and construction plans for $1995. Again, that price also comes with support, and nobody is supporting Colvin's designs. I guess I'd offer you $500 for the plans, if I had the much available. Frankly though I'm wasting your time, because even if you offered to give me the boat for free I'd still have trouble talking it off your hands. I want to be comfortable when I retire and I'm pretty sure if I focus on a boat now instead of trying again to build a successful business, I'll be broke with a boat and no other assets in 20 years.

    Duane: Seems that if one was going to spend that much on plans how much consulting would one want or need
    No problem I've enjoyed our conversation as far as being broke with a boat   I resemble that remark.  LOL please feel free to contact me with any other questions or ideas
    Thanks Duane Funke

    David: Thanks for your time. Do you mind if I post your number and everything you've told me on the JRA forum?

    Duane: Not at all please do and thank you..

  • 22 Apr 2019 14:17
    Reply # 7297490 on 7297183

    Wow – that could be really special for somebody. Thanks for posting!


  • 23 Apr 2019 06:32
    Reply # 7298909 on 7297183

    I agree, Shemaya - I wish I was ready for a project boat, and I hope somebody picks it up before it gets scrapped. I really think the seller is almost ready to just give it away.

    For price comparison, there's another aluminum Gazelle, Joss, for sale in Florida for $97k. Joss was built by the same professional yard, Greenwich Yachts in Richmond, BC, 2 years before this one, and has undergone a complete refit. The broker really hypes the polished appearance, but from the pictures it looks like he's not exaggerating:

  • 24 Apr 2019 03:15
    Reply # 7300805 on 7297183

    Wow! Too bad it would cost around $10 000 to truck to my area. Bad timing. Golden rule, there's always another boat...

  • 24 Apr 2019 08:51
    Reply # 7301154 on 7300805
    Maxime wrote:

    Wow! Too bad it would cost around $10 000 to truck to my area. Bad timing. Golden rule, there's always another boat...

    From here, even at $15,000 it seems like a lot of boat for the money.  I'm not sure why it's been described as a 'project' boat.  From the few photos on E-Bay it looks to be in pretty good shape to me.
  • 24 Apr 2019 12:41
    Reply # 7301378 on 7297183

    Annie, I agree, it looks a lot of boat for not much money. Also a good start point for my plan to reach NZ!

    So I am well familiar with the ways to inspect a steel or plastic boat but Aluminium is new to me. If one was to fly out to her with ultrasonic thickness guage in hand, would I be able to use it from the inside with good results whilst she is afloat? What are the corrosion issues and places to look? Finally, does anyone have a lead to USA SABB service and repair parts or a local engine person who they might recommend.

  • 24 Apr 2019 21:07
    Reply # 7302212 on 7297183

    I spoke to the owner a few months ago when he first listed her. I never got a chance to inspect the boat , since I've been traveling and the boat is anchored out in Richardson Bay. She seems like a hell of a deal for someone. I am sure you could get the motor running in no time. Those Sabbs are built like tanks. (I always forget: Sabb or Saab??)  I've been searching myself , but seem to have found what I am looking for  ...or else I would seriously check out this boat , and / or the Dory in Mexico. We all went from no junks for sale to too many junks for sale!!! As for my new boat??? Stay tuned!!! 

    Last modified: 24 Apr 2019 21:08 | Anonymous member
  • 25 Apr 2019 03:06
    Reply # 7302746 on 7301154
    Anonymous wrote:
    Maxime wrote:

    Wow! Too bad it would cost around $10 000 to truck to my area. Bad timing. Golden rule, there's always another boat...

    From here, even at $15,000 it seems like a lot of boat for the money.  I'm not sure why it's been described as a 'project' boat.  From the few photos on E-Bay it looks to be in pretty good shape to me.

    Indeed. It's torturing me, but I just can't make it out to California to go check out the boat before June at the earliest, and then it would end up being stored for a year. I bought a Gazelle from a motivated seller in 2009 and ended up losing all my money (the boat had a mortgage lien), so I am wary of rushing into things too.

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