I like your sentiments, Larry.
It seems to me that if one is a lover of more traditional designs, you've only got a couple of choices - buy new from one of the higher-end semi-custom builders, or find a beautiful classic and restore her.
Not being willing to spend more on my boat than I did on my house, I chose the latter approach. For me, the next few years will be a series of DIY projects as I refit
my 35-year-old girl - I know that when done, I'll have invested more than I can expect to get back in a sale
, but that's not the point - I'll have a boat to be proud of, and I won't have crippled the retirement
I will also have an intimate knowledge of my boat and her systems, which will hopefully serve us well. Things seem to break on all boats, new and old, and knowing how to fix or jury-rig may be critical.
I guess it's all a very personal thing - my slip neighbour picked up his brand new Catalina
34 the same day I got my boat this past summer. Over the course of the season, we used our boats about the same amount, and likely inflicted the same number of dings and scratches.
For me, these new blemishes are just wear and tear which will be addressed along with everything else over the next few years. For my buddy, the scuffs on his starboard side are part of a general depreciation over the first two months that likely equalled the total purchase price
of my boat.
At the end of the season, standing in the yard with the boats on cradles, we chatted about this, and he was philosophical. He admits he's up to his eyeballs in debt, and will likely have to work a couple of extra years to pay for the boat, but says it's worth it because he and his wife are now able to do the type of entertaining and cruising they dreamed of without worry over tired sails
or a worn out engine
or leaky hatches. He's a house builder
, and says he has no interest in taking his work home, so didn't want to look at a fixer-upper.