San Juan 23 mailing list
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You now know you need a long shaft engine, the 20"er. Don't give in to a good deal and get a short shaft. Also, I would very strongly recommend that you pay a few extra bucks and get a 4-stroke, minimum 8 HP, preferably a Honda. Having a 4-stroke will not only make your life considerably easier, it'll make your boat much more appealing if/when you sell it, and most importantly enable you to sail in more restricted areas like lakes (2-stroke engines are being banned in more areas). You'd also want to have a nice motor mount with a well varnished wooden board to protect the boat.
On cushions, save your originals for dimensions and shape for upholster. You may be able to get brand new cushions made for about $700-900, including a firm 3-inch cushions, and weather-hardy marine grade fabric and labor. The old foam is useless to recover over, and if the cost is issue, I'd wait until I could do the whole thing. We had ours redone professionally, and painted the hull and trailer ourselves (lots of taping and elbow grease!), and voila! It is the prettiest boat. Whenever we take our little SJ23 out we get such salutes from other sail boaters and motor boaters alike!
We have other tips on fuel tank (built in under the cockpit seat) and vents, boarding ladder built to the trailer, mast prop (for one person operation), old-fashioned brass handles for hatch or companion way, etc., when you are caught up with the basics... Happy laboring, matey!