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1962 Wooden Racing Dinghy

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1962 Wooden Racing Dinghy

Postby Derek Romo » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:51 am

I have recently come to own a wooden racing dinghy from the early 60's. It has been stored in a garage for the last 31 years. I am fairly certain it is an Albacore, circa 1962. I am not familiar with sailing and I was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction. I would like to assess its value and possibly find a buyer. There are two sails, the larger one has an emblem in black that looks like a capital A with a tail. They both have a red semi-circle sewn on them that says Ratsey & Lapthorn Sailmakers, Gosport England, 1962. The larger sail has the number 20426 and the smaller sail has 20427. Below is a Shutterfly URL that has photos if anyone would like to look at her. Thank you
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Re: 1962 Wooden Racing Dinghy

Postby townsend » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:36 pm

It certainly looks like an Albacore, and that's the Albacore logo on the sails.

There should be a hull number somewhere on the hull - fiberglass boats usually have it engraved or stamped on the inside of the transom, but I'm not sure about woodies. This would be a three or four digit number - you boat looks like a Fairey Marine Mk2 ( built between '64 and '69 so look for a number somewhere between 700 and 1700.

As for what it's worth, fully restored and in sailable condition maybe $5k or so if you can find the right buyer. If it needs work, considerably less depending on what needs to be done. It looks to be in better condition than "free to a good home".

Since you are unfamiliar with sailing, I wouldn't recommend trying to fix it up yourself in hopes of selling it for $5k. One, you won't have the expertise to do it right, and two restoring a boat of this vintage is a labor of love - if you value your time at some reasonable rate you will not recoup your investment.

As for selling it, since Albacores are not very common in California, finding a buyer may be difficult. This boat has a steel centerboard, so it's not going to be of interest to most woodie afficianados who buy them to race. Classified ads on the CAA & USAA are free, so I'd start there. If there's some wooden boat network in your area you could contact them and have them make an assessment.
Paul Townsend - Albacore 6040 - Michigan Albacore Fleet
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Re: 1962 Wooden Racing Dinghy

Postby Sailnick » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:48 pm


As a Brit ex-Pat living in SoCal, and having rebuilt numerous wooden dinghies such as an Int. Canoe, Osprey, Wayfarers, etc., (yes, I used to race against Mike Mac in the Wayfarer, and my family in the UK still does!), I would like to comment as a non-Albacore-owner-but-experienced-wooden-boat-restorer.

If it were a Woof wooden Albacore I agree with Paul T that it could possibly be worth $5,000 completely restored to racing condition (my friend, Stu Rix, had a Woof and it was a piece of furniture). But it’s not a Woof. Already-professionally-restored wooden Albacores that aren’t Woofs tend to go for $1,500 to $3,000. I also agree that because it’s rigged with the steel centerboard it’s never going to be of interest to those who race (without serious investment of a new centerboard and centerboard trunk). Sadly, and I know this from personal experience, there’s next to no interest in wooden boats in Cali or much of the western US, even for west-established US classes like the Thistle or Lightning, let alone rarities like the Albacore. Moreover, I suspect that there will be evident or hidden glue issues and delam issues, with a re-decking likely to be needed, but even if there is not, to get her into racing condition with competitive mast, boom, foils, jib and main, just the hardware alone will cost in excess of $4,000, and that does not take into account the new centerboard trunk, any repair requirements and the stripping and refinishing required (the stripping and refinishing alone, using Nitromors, sandpaper and a simple, single-pack varnish like Deks Olje, will run to a few hundred $$$).

Derek, therein lies your problem – it’s never going to be a viable option to make this boat race-competitive, and that’s where any value lies. That leaves daysailing; low/no maintenance plastic boats can be found in sailable condition for $1,000, and daysailing enthusiasts tend to want limited maintenance so wood is out. I heard of a wooden Albacore being bought in LA recently for less than $500. Once again I agree with Paul that from the photos, your boat is not a “free to a good home” example. However, from the basic laws of supply and demand, I suspect that you will be very fortunate indeed to find a buyer locally, and certainly not for more than a few hundred dollars.

Not trying to be a downer, but I do want you to have a realistic view of the (non-existent!) wooden dinghy market in the west! If you plan on working on her, good luck! If you plan on selling her ‘as-is’ I would be interested in seeing her as I am looking for a project to keep me occupied!


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