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Old 16-02-2011, 06:45   #1036
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One of the "secrets" to buying cheaply is to not need something. If you have the time you can trade that for money. How?

If you know what you would like / will need (at some point in the future) then you simply (and permanently) keep an eye out for bargains / opportunities - especially second hand. and can throw in being adaptable (not being too fussy? ). And you learn where to look / likely places to look. One man's gold is another's junk. With time on your side you simply walk away and not simply as a negotiating tactic.

The trick is to be disciplined on the "that could be handy" itch - actually know why you are buying, not just tempted by a bargain (paying $10 for a $50 item is still $10 wasted - if you have no real need for the item).
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Old 20-02-2011, 20:45   #1037
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

Steel hulls are as dry as aluminium , far cheaper and tougher. Whatever your hull is made out of , you can save yourself a fortune, by buying, or aquiring the use of a welder and learning how to use it. Three of us once built ten grand worth of anchors in two days.
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Old 21-02-2011, 09:36   #1038
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Steel Hulls vs Aluminum

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Steel hulls are as dry as aluminium , far cheaper and tougher. Whatever your hull is made out of , you can save yourself a fortune, by buying, or aquiring the use of a welder and learning how to use it. Three of us once built ten grand worth of anchors in two days.
Brent is quoting an oft repeated myth regarding materials.

Steel construction is not practical in vessels of this size due to weight.

An aluminum hull 36 ft LOA requires 4800 lbs of aluminum costing $10000

Were this hull built of steel 9000 lbs of steel are required costing $9000

The steel hull must be sand blasted and epoxy coated both inside and outside.

The aluminum hull need only be sand blasted and coated below the waterline on the exterior for the antifouling paint. It is practice to paint the decks and houses.

The difference in paint and sandblasting alone more than makes up the difference.

Plus aluminum can be cut with carbide faced wood working tools nearly as fast as such tooling works hardwoods.

Steel requires plasma cutters, or oxy-acetylene torch to cut, with attendant distortion.

The aluminum hull can be fabricated at a lighter weight than any other method, including carbon fibre. This permits a lower CG with less ballast, as much as 2000 lbs less, at considerable savings, too.

Regardless, the hull is at most 20% of the finished boat, and more likely 10%.

Then there is the not very small matter of maintenance. For a cruiser's take on this read any of Hiscock's books regarding his cruises in Wanderer 4. Aluminum does not rust out from the inside, as does steel. Aluminum carries a very high resale value, while steel vies with wood and ferrocement in a resale value far below that of GRP boats.

Remember, I speak From experience. Pegasus was designed for steel construction. By 1986, when I was lofting the boat, I had costed out her hull built in both materials to the point of top coating. Aluminum was 1/3 cheaper. When the 87 recession kicked in, AL plate was available, watermarked, for $0.65 / lb. I have never regretted changing to aluminum.

INDY
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Old 21-02-2011, 10:04   #1039
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--hey dude how you download that avatar{ i like it},,my next ponzi scheme,,
go to user cp....edit avatars.....look through the pages,it is there.
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Old 21-02-2011, 12:50   #1040
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

A Recap...........


This thread is focused upon the practicalities of micro-budget cruising.

Micro-budget cruising is defined here as on a budget of $500 USD / month.

To make this practicable, we build upon the experience of Lyn & Larry Pardey, Jim Baldwin, Kevin aboard Ruth Avery, Annie Hill, my own voyages aboard my Tartan 27, my canoe expeditions, my dinghy voyages, Eric Hiscock's early voyages, and others.

The common thread through all the above is:

a) a boat between 28-34 ft LOA
b) tiler steering
c) transom hung rudder
d) cutter rig
e) hard dinghy
f) no engine, or an engine of 1/2 hp/ton of displacement
g) wind vane self steering
h) no refrigeration or ice box
i) opening ports
k) dorades
l) Maurice Griffiths double coaming hatches
m) hand pumped water from tanks, or jugs
n) sink or wash tub
o) two burner cooker with or without oven often using pariffin as fuel
p) oil lamps for navigation and cabin lighting
q) no electrical system whatever
r) traditional navigation using compass, sextant, hand lead, taffrail log,
paper charts, handbearing compass, etc.

We have updated this to include the best of later innovations, and have costed out those recommended. For details of this see pp 28-36.

The updates recommended are as follows:
a) 120 watts of Solar Panels affixed to the hatches
b) LED cabin and navigation lamps instead of oil
c) Grundig or RadioLabs HF receiver
d) hand held VHF
e) Engel 45 qt refrigerator using 2.5 amps 40% of the time
f) LAVAC toilet or traditional bucket with cat litter.
g) GPS

We recommended choosing a boat from Atom Voyages "Good Old Boat" list. and used the Southern Cross 31 as our example boat.

Because all the boats costing less than $25k, our budget, are 30 or more years old, we promulgated the "Am I Ready Checklist" to ensure a wannabe cruiser thoroughly goes through his boat before departure, to ensure a successful cruise.

Given the extensive refurbishment these old boats require, I suggested that the minority with skills might prefer building anew. To this end, I suggested one design, the crusing version of Lapwing, by Dick Zaal. There are of course many others to choose from. It is my opinion that a skilled person could build a boat of 36 ft LOA and < 10 tons for $40k, given he kept the boat simple and scrounged as much as possible.

For example, winches for such a boat can be had from SailorMan in Miami for a fraction of new, or the boat could have a Chinese Lug cat schooner rig which uses no winches, The electrical system can be simplified, the head reduced to a bucket, hatches made with teak frames, and other simplifications to keep the cost down, including omitting the engine.

We also mentioned various strategies to reduce food costs, including the extensive use of beans, peas, and lentils.

We are looking for contributions from those with experience cruising on trailer sailors, and boats of this size, geared toward sharing their experiences, especially what works and what doesn't.

What this thread is not:
a) discussions of philosophy have no place here, this is a place for practicalities
b) discussions concerning larger boats than 36 ft LOA / 10 tons
c) discussions regarding engines larger than 25 hp
d) discussions regarding roller furling, reefing
e) discussions regarding electronic gadgets

There are many threads to be found in this forum, and most certainly, several exist that are geared to the person desiring information or networking on these topics. I hope you avail yourself of them.

Fair Winds,

INDY
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Old 21-02-2011, 18:50   #1041
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

Got my 33 contest friday and cleaned it out Sunday. I found out that it was owned by a 81 year old gentleman that couldn't keep up with or maintain it properly. I spent all day Sunday cleaning the cushions and scrubbing the vee birth. It was really nasty. I also removed all the carpeting on the sole of the boat.
Why people think they need carpeting on a boat is beyond me. I pulled it up and saw all that beautiful teak and thought he may have done me a favor..
I will also need to:
1. Rebuild the electrical system with a new battery switch and new interior and solar panels. New interior led lighting as well.
2. I have to see if the motor turns over. I have a chain wrench and will use that and if it does move I can oil up the cylinders, drain the existing fuel if any, replace and update the fuel system with filters and seperater. I'll also add a cleaner for the injectors.
3. The head needs to be redone, I have to rebuild the entire system with new toilet, hoses, Y valve and install a 15 to 20 gallon tank under a settee.
4. Rebed all stancions,and bow rails They are loose and show water damage in places inside the salon and Vee.(I'll do this on the hard)
5. Put it on the hard and strip and paint the entire boat. This is when I will rebed everything including through hulls or replace if needed. Things are showing signs of wear and it is a boat over 40 years old according to the title.
All this will get done in time and on a pace that is able to fit into my plans as far as when I can leave the United States for the rest of the world.

Cost so far $2800 USD for the boat
$100.00 USD (Cleaners and a battery)

Total 2900.00 USD (but I am well on my way)
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Old 21-02-2011, 18:58   #1042
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

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Got my 33 contest friday and cleaned it out Sunday. I found out that it was owned by a 81 year old gentleman that couldn't keep up with or maintain it properly. I spent all day Sunday cleaning the cushions and scrubbing the vee birth. It was really nasty. I also removed all the carpeting on the sole of the boat.
Why people think they need carpeting on a boat is beyond me. I pulled it up and saw all that beautiful teak and thought he may have done me a favor..
I will also need to:
1. Rebuild the electrical system with a new battery switch and new interior and solar panels. New interior led lighting as well.
2. I have to see if the motor turns over. I have a chain wrench and will use that and if it does move I can oil up the cylinders, drain the existing fuel if any, replace and update the fuel system with filters and seperater. I'll also add a cleaner for the injectors.
3. The head needs to be redone, I have to rebuild the entire system with new toilet, hoses, Y valve and install a 15 to 20 gallon tank under a settee.
4. Rebed all stancions,and bow rails They are loose and show water damage in places inside the salon and Vee.(I'll do this on the hard)
5. Put it on the hard and strip and paint the entire boat. This is when I will rebed everything including through hulls or replace if needed. Things are showing signs of wear and it is a boat over 40 years old according to the title.
All this will get done in time and on a pace that is able to fit into my plans as far as when I can leave the United States for the rest of the world.

Cost so far $2800 USD for the boat
$100.00 USD (Cleaners and a battery)

Total 2900.00 USD (but I am well on my way)
Congrats on the new boat. Contests are really great boats. My boat also came from an older fellow (86) who could no longer maintain it. but the good thing is, for many years (15 for my boat) it was really well loved and cared for. You probably got the same deal I did, an excellent boat, sound integrity, but needs pretty much everything updated, because old men are stubborn and have no intentions of 'upgrading' anything at all They just fix what needs fixin and keep on sailing...

Good for you. I'd suggest starting a new thread to maintain a separate discussion about your boat and fixing it up and all that stuff...
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Old 21-02-2011, 18:58   #1043
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

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Total 2900.00 USD (but I am well on my way)
You ain't kiddin'.
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Old 21-02-2011, 19:10   #1044
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

I think this brings up a good point. $2800 is about right for a micro-budget cruiser IMHO. Me and many other striving micro-budget cruisers, simply don't have $40k to buy or to put into a boat. It would take years of saving to come up with money like that. The whole point of cruising on a $500 a month is because that is all we have to spend in the first place. For me, I had to save up, buy a boat, and now outfit, with the same budgetary constraints I have to go cruising with afterwards.

I'm wondering if we can bring this discussion back down to the level of "so you have no money but you want to go cruising". instead of "how to live on $500 a month after you've spent $80k getting ready".
No offence to you INDY, I really appreciate the info you've been giving and I think your experience speaks volumes. But I feel just as constrained by your proposals as I would about buying a 50 foot catamaran. It's simply out of my reach. Even the $30k (low end) SC31 from your previous example is just going a bit too for a serious micro budget cruiser.

I say this not only from my own perspective, but from what i've seen/read/heard from other people out there doing it. It seems the average $500 a month cruisers are living on very small boats (less than 30') that they bought and outfitted on the exact same budget they are currently cruising with, which is to say, pennies...
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Old 21-02-2011, 19:18   #1045
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I think this brings up a good point. $2800 is about right for a micro-budget cruiser IMHO. Me and many other striving micro-budget cruisers, simply don't have $40k to buy or to put into a boat. It would take years of saving to come up with money like that. The whole point of cruising on a $500 a month is because that is all we have to spend in the first place. For me, I had to save up, buy a boat, and now outfit, with the same budgetary constraints I have to go cruising with afterwards.

I'm wondering if we can bring this discussion back down to the level of "so you have no money but you want to go cruising". instead of "how to live on $500 a month after you've spent $80k getting ready".
No offence to you INDY, I really appreciate the info you've been giving and I think your experience speaks volumes. But I feel just as constrained by your proposals as I would about buying a 50 foot catamaran. It's simply out of my reach. Even the $30k (low end) SC31 from your previous example is just going a bit too for a serious micro budget cruiser.

I say this not only from my own perspective, but from what i've seen/read/heard from other people out there doing it. It seems the average $500 a month cruisers are living on very small boats (less than 30') that they bought and outfitted on the exact same budget they are currently cruising with, which is to say, pennies...
I'd be interested in hearing the final cost of getting a $2,800 boat in shape for serious full time cruising. You must realize that $2,800 is just a starting point and depending on what needs to be done may not be a relevant figure.
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Old 21-02-2011, 19:19   #1046
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Thumbs up Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I think this brings up a good point. $2800 is about right for a micro-budget cruiser IMHO. Me and many other striving micro-budget cruisers, simply don't have $40k to buy or to put into a boat. It would take years of saving to come up with money like that. The whole point of cruising on a $500 a month is because that is all we have to spend in the first place. For me, I had to save up, buy a boat, and now outfit, with the same budgetary constraints I have to go cruising with afterwards.

I'm wondering if we can bring this discussion back down to the level of "so you have no money but you want to go cruising". instead of "how to live on $500 a month after you've spent $80k getting ready".
No offence to you INDY, I really appreciate the info you've been giving and I think your experience speaks volumes. But I feel just as constrained by your proposals as I would about buying a 50 foot catamaran. It's simply out of my reach. Even the $30k (low end) SC31 from your previous example is just going a bit too for a serious micro budget cruiser.

I say this not only from my own perspective, but from what i've seen/read/heard from other people out there doing it. It seems the average $500 a month cruisers are living on very small boats (less than 30') that they bought and outfitted on the exact same budget they are currently cruising with, which is to say, pennies...
Thanks for posting that.
I've been struggling to follow a lot of the logic on here for exactly that reason. I want to go cheap but go safe. If safe means don't go 'til you've spent a few hundred K it all becomes a fruitless challenge.
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Old 21-02-2011, 19:24   #1047
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pirate Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

After losing the 2001 Beneteau my last 2 boats have been 2500 euro's (22ft) and 1250euro's (21ft)... both I sailed from the east UK to Portugal non-stop across the Biscay in serious weather and with the minimum of fixing up...
the current boat, a Corribee 21, is now on the hard waiting for the weather to pick up so's I can get her ready for a possible crossing to the Caribbean... unless I win the Lottery first.
Paint hull and topsides, re'bed everything, new windows and a deck hatch, sliding hatch for companionway and a toilet...
A sprayhood, new cushions and sails would be nice too but thats next year
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Old 21-02-2011, 19:49   #1048
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

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I'd be interested in hearing the final cost of getting a $2,800 boat in shape for serious full time cruising. You must realize that $2,800 is just a starting point and depending on what needs to be done may not be a relevant figure.
I can't give final numbers because I'm in the beginning stages myself. But I'll start it off... I paid $4000 for my boat. Its sound, well designed, solid decks, hull, rudder, keel. The rigging will need to be updated before I do any serious sailing since its at least 15 years old (no telling its actual age), but it appears ok at this point. It has 3 good hank on jibs, a barely used roller furling genny (old shaefer that just hoists up the hallyard that shaefer didn't even advise upgrading because they were built extemely well back then) and two main sails in good condition....

So what do I need besides rigging?

Ground tackle: working on that first thing... The boat came with a decent danforth, I'll add another danforth for bahamian mooring and I've just purchased a delta anchor (for under $100) as my primary anchor. I still need rope, chain, and a bow roller...

I still need a dinghy...

What else is there????

I'll need to do some minor electrical upgrades. I can get two Deka group 31's from the local autoparts store for $80's each, and a group 24 (for starting batt) for under $50.. I'd like to get an Echo Charge, but I can get away with old fashion diodes if need be...I already have all the LED lighting I need in the form of flashlights and stickup lights. I'd like to get an LED anchor light. I've already upgraded the running lights to LED (all purchased for directly from hong kong over ebay, same sht you get at west marine...)
I've found the Solar Panels I want, their $150 (or less) each, 2x 50W panels I'll mount on the stern pulpit with a $60 mounting kit...

Navigation....I got a handheld gps at a thrift store about 2 years ago for $8. I paid $200 for a netbook that was already upgraded to 2gb ram and 64gb SSD. I have charts of the entire world (don't ask). I also have my regular laptop that is also low power consuming and adequate for video production and anything else I do... I also have an iphone that I paid $100 for last year with navigation software and charts of the US...that will work for now, but I'll be adding a handheld mapping gps in the future. I just bought my first cruising guide of the Chesapeake for $6.99 on ebay... I do intend to buy paper charts as I see fit...

I intend to save up for a Mr. Vee (SS) windvane ($1500) and I have a raymarine autopilot that doesn't work, but I believe I can send it in and they will refurbish it for a few hundred bucks, we'll see...

I'm sure I'll come up with 100's of more things to buy in the next few months, but I'm also sure I'll keep finding the best deals possible and I can't possibly go over my budget because I live on a cash only basis (I actually use a bank, but you know what I mean...)
It's a slow process, but the difference is instead of saving up for 5-10 years, I'll be spending next winter in the Bahamas, and the year after that in the Caribbean, and the year after that I'll be on the west coast, then Hawaii, and so on...

I don't have all the answers, but I know the path I'm currently on is working and I believe it will continue to work. It's not easy and it's not for everyone but such is the life of a $500 a month cruiser.
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Old 22-02-2011, 03:16   #1049
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

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Congrats on the new boat. Contests are really great boats. My boat also came from an older fellow (86) who could no longer maintain it. but the good thing is, for many years (15 for my boat) it was really well loved and cared for. You probably got the same deal I did, an excellent boat, sound integrity, but needs pretty much everything updated, because old men are stubborn and have no intentions of 'upgrading' anything at all They just fix what needs fixin and keep on sailing...

Good for you. I'd suggest starting a new thread to maintain a separate discussion about your boat and fixing it up and all that stuff...
I disagree, this is the place to discuss refurbishing his Contest 33. As he goes through this boat and brings it up to standard, we can all share in the experience and learn from it. It will prove invaluable for those still dreaming.

So, please share with us the choices you make, as you make them.

So far, it looks like you have the project well in hand.

A few suggestions.....

a) plan on inserting hardwood blocks in place of the balsa core in the way of all deck fittings, including chain plates.9
b) if the balsa core is mushy in places, due to water ingress(most likely) make a slit where the deck turns up into the house side and rake the soft core out, replacing it with polyurethane foamed into place, then cover the slit with GRP.
c) buy a roll of 1X19 wire rope sufficiently large to replace all the standing rigging and of such size to replace all the shrouds and stays with one common size.
d) replace all the rigging screws with open bronze ones
e) refasten and rebed all chain plates, you may need to remove part of the interior to do this
f) inspect the hull deck joint, particularly the bolts, remove several looking for crevice corrosion. If you find any, you must condemn them all and replace them, rebedding them as you go. You may have to remove the toe rail cap to do this.
g) plan on replacing all exterior teak, it is quite old and brittle, hand rails in particular are likely to be weak
h) regardless of whether the engine turns over or not, unless parts are readily available for it, now is the time to repower. Stick with a widely used engine like the 4-108 or the Kubota or the Farymann
i) if you need to rebuild the interior, now is the time to change it to suit
galleys in most boats of this size are minimalist, forward vee berths take up necessary storage space, heads often take up too much cabin realestate. You need a u shaped galley with sink and cooker, and a salon with setees which convert into comfortable berths at night, and storage for everything.

Fair Winds,

INDY

Other suggestions as you get to them....
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Old 22-02-2011, 03:33   #1050
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month....

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I think this brings up a good point. $2800 is about right for a micro-budget cruiser IMHO. Me and many other striving micro-budget cruisers, simply don't have $40k to buy or to put into a boat. It would take years of saving to come up with money like that. The whole point of cruising on a $500 a month is because that is all we have to spend in the first place. For me, I had to save up, buy a boat, and now outfit, with the same budgetary constraints I have to go cruising with afterwards.

I'm wondering if we can bring this discussion back down to the level of "so you have no money but you want to go cruising". instead of "how to live on $500 a month after you've spent $80k getting ready".
No offence to you INDY, I really appreciate the info you've been giving and I think your experience speaks volumes. But I feel just as constrained by your proposals as I would about buying a 50 foot catamaran. It's simply out of my reach. Even the $30k (low end) SC31 from your previous example is just going a bit too for a serious micro budget cruiser.

I say this not only from my own perspective, but from what i've seen/read/heard from other people out there doing it. It seems the average $500 a month cruisers are living on very small boats (less than 30') that they bought and outfitted on the exact same budget they are currently cruising with, which is to say, pennies...
Your points are well taken, and I appreciate you expressing them. It is particularly instructive to finally hear from one who has minimal means and yet wants to go cruising. I hope more of you contribute to this thread, so we drive the maxi boat gang elsewhere.

Now to your points...

On pp 28-36 I mentioned using Atom's "Good Old Boats" list which can be found at:

Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat

I used several boats as examples, including the Pearson Vanguard, which are available cheap. Your task is finding one in the condition our friend's Contest is in. Ie: look for a boat owned by a person now long retired, who must give it up, because he can't maintain it any longer. Talk to him about your cruising plans, and why you want his boat. If he had the dream, you can make a deal. You must trade moxie for money. Simple as that. You must knock about boat yards and clubs, try a local broker, but don't expect much from him as your business will bring him little.

A very large caveat, buying a 40 year old worn out boat of GRP gives you little more than a bare hull to start with. Most of these old boats have sound solid GRP hulls, but balsa cored decks. In many cases you will have to replace or rebuild the deck extensively. Be realistic about your financial ability to do this. Since this is such a major issue, make friends with a marine surveyor and have him show you how to survey for soft balsa core(you need a mallet).

Be realistic regarding how much money per month you have to put into refurbishing the boat. You can save by using galvanized wire rope and galvanized rigging screws. You can buy sails from Bacon and darn them your self. You can install a bucket head, a dishpan instead of a sink, store your water in milk jugs, weld up your own anchor, etc.


As you get into it, here is the place to come for ideas.

INDY
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