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Old 17-10-2009, 07:48   #1
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Car Restoration vs Sailboat Restoration

For those who have restored cars and boats how do they compare?
I bought a junk yard dog ( 1971 Dodge Challenger ) for $600. Spent $45000 restoring it and sold it for $25,000 12 years after the junkyard purchase. Now that would be a big financial loss but I drove it for 10 years after the restoration and had a blast!!! It was well worth the 2 years of blood, sweat and tears working on it. I entered car shows and get a lot of praise for the before and after photos I displayed. I did all the work on the car (except final paint and engine rebuild which I dont trust myself reading a book to do properly ).

Would a 1968 Cal 36 sailboat resto be as rewarding? I of course would like to be able to sail it 1-2 years after purchase. I would plan on keeping it for many years....hopefuly 10+ to recoup my efforts.

Since I have a lot of auto background and ZERO sailing background am I just better off buying a decent sailable boat and forgetting the resto dream, if I really want to sail?

thanks for any advice...
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Old 17-10-2009, 08:42   #2
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... am I just better off buying a decent sailable boat and forgetting the resto dream, if I really want to sail?


Do you want to sail, or to restore?
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Old 17-10-2009, 08:51   #3
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Marine parts are more expensive than car parts because the market believes that sailors are rich..... stick to fixing up cars and enjoying sailing where the only red lights are the weather ones
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Old 17-10-2009, 09:13   #4
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It sounds like you enjoy the work of restoring things. I do as well. One difference is I have always had sailing as a passion. I have now spent some money and time on my sailboat as anyone has to do with most boats over 10 years old.
The work is rewarding but I like to sail and do performance and comfort improvements.
My suggestion is this

Find out if you lke to sail. Do you want to do 1- 2 knts on a light wind day and at the most 7 knts. The reason I'm bringing this up is your Challenger looks powerfiull (454 Hemi?) and sailboats are not. Many new boaters are not aware of displacement rules.

If you like restoring and want power and are mechanical. You may even want to look at a trawler restoration see some posts here( I think knottybouyz)

KnottyBuoyz III - The Project Update

Working on a sailboat restoration you find yourself doing woodwork, fiberglass. Its a cross between a mechanical vehicle restoration and a cabin renovation.

Be aware at here are many attempted sailboat restorations. Many very cheap boats and hulls lying around make it tempting. Ask yourself do I have space.
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Old 17-10-2009, 10:10   #5
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you will likely loose money on a boat restoration. I did make money once but it was an unusual boat in a top economy and all the microsoft millionaires were trying to figure out how to spend their money. The last car I restored lost a little money, but it was a mustang and there are just too many around. Same proably goes for a Cal sailboat. Now if you find a Hinkley cheap you might make out! Definitely buy a sailable boat and go sailing... you will find you are "restoring" almost every boat anyway... but at least you will be sailing while you do! Every boat restoration I've done I've come away wondering why I did that... The ones that were decent to start with I had more fun!
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Old 17-10-2009, 10:24   #6
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I bought a junk yard dog ( 1971 Dodge Challenger ) for $600. Spent $45000 restoring it and sold it for $25,000 12 years after the junkyard purchase.
How long have you been a United States Congressman?



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Old 17-10-2009, 10:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan1969 View Post
For those who have restored cars and boats how do they compare?
I bought a junk yard dog ( 1971 Dodge Challenger ) for $600. Spent $45000 restoring it and sold it for $25,000 12 years after the junkyard purchase. Now that would be a big financial loss but I drove it for 10 years after the restoration and had a blast!!! It was well worth the 2 years of blood, sweat and tears working on it. I entered car shows and get a lot of praise for the before and after photos I displayed. I did all the work on the car (except final paint and engine rebuild which I dont trust myself reading a book to do properly ).

Would a 1968 Cal 36 sailboat resto be as rewarding? I of course would like to be able to sail it 1-2 years after purchase. I would plan on keeping it for many years....hopefuly 10+ to recoup my efforts.

Since I have a lot of auto background and ZERO sailing background am I just better off buying a decent sailable boat and forgetting the resto dream, if I really want to sail?

thanks for any advice...
No advice, but way cool car. I had a 71 Challenger long time ago. Just terrorized I-95 and the local neighborhoods. Same Mopar green. What a lot of fun beating that thing around town. One question. The grill looks like a 72. Didn't all the 71s have the two horizontal slots in the front grill?
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Old 17-10-2009, 11:04   #8
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Look at it this way if you go out and buy a boat in really nice shape you'll still be working your behind off maintaining it. The drive to do restoration will be fulfilled - I promise. There are always projects on a boat.

I would compare working on boats by comparing them to fixing bicycles. If you were a great bicycle mechanic and wanted to rebuild engines and transmissions the difference would be similar to starting with cars and then wanting to rebuild boats. Far more dimensions to every aspect of boats. 6 times the number of skill sets and then you have operations and just the part about becoming a skilled sailor to throw on top of the pile. Just buying a boat in decent shape is a very full plate. You'll still use everything you ever learned about cars in some way or another and still be learning tons more for at least the rest of your life. In that sense you could like boating too.
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Old 17-10-2009, 11:32   #9
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Well, I've done both. My '64 Riviera was (and is) a labor of love. But working on the Riv, I could steal 15 minutes here and there to work on it. My '73 Hallberg Rassy was 45 minutes away. Too cold, too hot, too rainy, bad traffic...nothing gets done, sometimes for weeks. Also, the boat has more systems in it than your house does, so mulitiply your time, effort and expense by a factor of, I dunno, maybe 9. I've replaced every inch of wiring and everything electrical, new Kubota, everything in the head and galley, upholstery, paint, lifelines and fittings, bowsprit, windlass.......the old adage of having a $40,000 into it, and still having a $40,000 boat rings true. Except the $40k into it is more like $60k+ at this point. Was it worth it? Well, I'm proud of my work and tenacity. Would I do it again? Hell f'n no. I missed about 6 yrs of sailing doing the resto-if I'd bought the (relatively) turn key Shannon I was looking at, I'd have been to the Caribe several times by now and saved maybe 30k. Think carefully before committing.
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Old 17-10-2009, 11:43   #10
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Well, I've done both. My '64 Riviera was (and is) a labor of love. But working on the Riv, I could steal 15 minutes here and there to work on it. My '73 Hallberg Rassy was 45 minutes away. Too cold, too hot, too rainy, bad traffic...nothing gets done, sometimes for weeks. Also, the boat has more systems in it than your house does, so mulitiply your time, effort and expense by a factor of, I dunno, maybe 9. I've replaced every inch of wiring and everything electrical, new Kubota, everything in the head and galley, upholstery, paint, lifelines and fittings, bowsprit, windlass.......the old adage of having a $40,000 into it, and still having a $40,000 boat rings true. Except the $40k into it is more like $60k+ at this point. Was it worth it? Well, I'm proud of my work and tenacity. Would I do it again? Hell f'n no. I missed about 6 yrs of sailing doing the resto-if I'd bought the (relatively) turn key Shannon I was looking at, I'd have been to the Caribe several times by now and saved maybe 30k. Think carefully before committing.



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Old 17-10-2009, 12:25   #11
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I've done a lot of car restoration and some on boats. Boats are a looooot more work. You have all or your car systems- engine, transmission, body, lighting, and maybe some climate controls plus you have refrigeration, 110V electrical, nav electronics, plumbing and then there's all that sail stuff up there. It's like an RV with a sail on top. Buy a decent boat like a Catalina 27 or a Cal 25 you can sail now and also buy something like a wooden lapstrake sailing skiff to restore. That will get your varnishing impulses under control and you can also enjoy improving your sailing skills.
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Old 17-10-2009, 16:08   #12
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got it....

I never want to restore another car. Im 40, not old, but Ive dont enough resto's that I buy newer now ( '04 GTO 5.7 ).

So I will heed everyones advice and get a good sail-able sloop and enjoy myself more. thanks
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Old 17-10-2009, 16:12   #13
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yes I understand

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Find out if you lke to sail. Do you want to do 1- 2 knts on a light wind day and at the most 7 knts. The reason I'm bringing this up is your Challenger looks powerfiull (454 Hemi?) and sailboats are not. Many new boaters are not aware of displacement rules

.
I want to sail for the relaxation. I restored cars and raced sportbikes for years and I just want to slow down a bit...or a lot depending on how you look at it.

Close on the motor. 440 with 8-71 BDS blower. Made 780hp on the dyno
I could leave the car standing still though with my Turbo'd Hayabusa ( 217mph...and it got there very quick! )
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Old 17-10-2009, 16:14   #14
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lol

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How long have you been a United States Congressman?



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Old 17-10-2009, 16:17   #15
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One question. The grill looks like a 72. Didn't all the 71s have the two horizontal slots in the front grill?
good eye. While I was doing the resto some parts were just so outrageously expensive that I said no way. In this case the grill is from a '73 and fit it nicely in for $150...verses nearly a grand for the right one! Same with the bumpers, they have flaws but I cleaned them up myself, verses new for several grand! I spent the savings on the motor
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