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Old 22-04-2008, 11:38   #16
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As Irwin Sailor and others elucidated, the money aspects of a “project boat” may not always add up – and your local broker, with all their nautical inducement machinery, is counting that they won’t… However, money has little to do with recreational boating anyway (except, perhaps, for the bank you finance through, if one is burdened with that mill-stone…).

Assuming the boat in question to be generally sound, the meat of your question is your second paragraph… if, indeed, one gets serious enjoyment out of rehabs, from simple cosmetic TLC to semi-major renovations, then project boats make a lot of sense; however, two things (1) the condition and overall size of the vessel, and (2) one’s own proclivities and abilities weigh heavily… I’m a born procrastinator and depend heavily on my bride to boot me out of the sailor’s haven, the rocking chair… she’s rehabbed her own house, almost single-handedly, and will shame me into getting going – then I wonder why I wasn’t out there to begin with because I like boat work much more than sitting at my office (provides a roundabout rejoinder to the “money” issue as well). If yer not a born self-starter, then make sure you have a “stimulator” handy…

The last issue, of course, is that you will get to know your boat a whole lot better… and that can’t be a bad thing… I agree with doubling the time, but being a consummate scrounger, I usually keep costs in check – sometimes embarrassingly so, but that’s another story…

If the boat speaks to ya, and you truly enjoy puttering around in all that gooey stuff left in the bilge by unknown bums over the past thirty years, then go for it… But the minute you think you might be tempted to hire a dock hand for a few hours of dirty work, you may hear Irwin Sailor’s cautions ringing in your ears… Unless you’re planning to open a museum with paying clientele, project boats are mostly DIY stuff… on the other hand, most of the basics are not rocket science…
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Old 22-04-2008, 12:01   #17
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If you want to know if it is worth it. Just look at By Invitation, and his photos will let you know. What a fantastic job. That will bust your chest wide open with pride! BEAUTIFUL!
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Old 22-04-2008, 12:30   #18
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Yet another opinion

I've seen this discussion many times on this and other forums and I have a few opinions outside the usual answers.

First, if you have cash to buy a boat that you don't need for anything else then why would you not just buy a boat ready to go?

But, the fact that we even ask the question means that money is a factor in the decision. We will either tie up cash that would otherwise remain in savings or we will finance. In either case that will affect our future.
The big plus to buying an older boat and rehabbing it yourself is the greatly reduced debt. If your health or your personal economy goes south you can step away from the project and cut your losses.

Also, if the boat can be used right away and still get rehabbed over time then your'e still sailing. I do something on my boat every time I go on it, but it never seems like work.
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Old 22-04-2008, 12:46   #19
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A boat is a series of systems. Buy the best condition systems you can afford to start. Buying the parts on a boat is the cheapest way to outfit.

I forget who said it... but don't pay for the hull, thats what seduced you into buying her in the first place!

It is true that you never get out what you put in... Find someone else thats already dropped a boat load of cash into gear, sails, and electronics.

This may mean you end up with a smaller boat than you want, but your project won't be a total deck recore, paint job, engine rebuild, and replacing the rigging... it'll be wiring a new bilge pump, replacing some hoses and the like as they age.

These things nickel and dime you to death. Resin is expensive, paint is expensive, stainless steel hardware is expensive. High tech lines... expensive! Buy them all attached to the boat from the start, and in five years you'll have all the projects you ever wanted.

Unless you spend three hours for every hour you work on the boat scrounging for used parts, and lower prices it'll be hard to save money over buying one thats already in good shape. Absolute focus, and a known goal is required from the start. Hiring someone else to do it ensures that it is impossible.

I too was "Blessed" with the minds eye and imagination to look at a rotten hulk and see what it could be, for only $19.95 and 12 hours worth of work. Its taken a lot of projects and money to learn to ignore those desires and think it through!
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Old 22-04-2008, 15:03   #20
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From my own experience, when I was in similar straights (Single/Carefree) my project boat became more of a floating apartment. I barely worked on it and sailed it less than I should have. My other boat, was sail ready and I still barely used it (too tied to the wild life on land). When the kids are old enough to swim, I'll be buying the most boat for my money and hoping to upgrade systems (radar/nav/comms, safety gear) and interior rather than restore the whole thing. There's much to be said for an engine that runs, rigging/sails intact and sound electrical system. But IF you want to strip it down to a bare hull and rebuild from there; it has already been said that it's a labor of love, not an investment. Remember the old wag, "A boat is a whole in the water surrounded by wood, metal or fiberglass, that you throw a LOT of money into." Enjoy yourself. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:08   #21
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I want to use the project as an excuse to stop the 80 hour work weeks! The advice has been great, and really made helped me flush out some areas of my plan (yes I write it out in a logbook!). The information will help me make an accurate decision. Thank you all again for the info, this has been a great site for info and honest opinions.
In purely financial terms the answer is........don't buy a boat

I think I can see where you are coming from - and possibly not entirely dissimilar to my thinking 2/3 years ago.

I bought "Wayluya" Seadog (30' and built 1970) as a boat that could go anywhere for extended periods......albeit I bought her knowing she was not ready for the "big trip"......but I was not intending to head off into the Wide Blue Yonder any time soon, if at all - but I could later do so, without me having to buy a new boat.......although fundamentally sound she needed some TLC and mainly cosmetic refurbishment / updating plus I will add some new (essentially bolt on) "toys"....the boat yard will do a few things, but mainly will be down to me.

As I like fiddling around on boats (even if I am not especially able - yer may want to do a search on "Idiot" "Veneered Plywood" and "New Electric Sander"), had a lengthy time frame to play with, and couldn't find a Seadog that was exactly right for me it seemed logical to get a boat that although fundamentally sound (she has always been in commission since I bought her) did need some refurbishment and TLC and updating, so then she would be exactly what I wanted.

The key limiter here was most work had to be within my (limited?)capabilities.

The thinking was also that a boat needing TLC was cheaper than a "Nice looking" example, which fitted in with being paid in cash and for keeping well within my means, with the idea being to spread the refurb costs over a few years so I would not notice them so much!, as well as getting enjoyment from doing so - of course things did not turn out quite as planned with me doing very little to her over the last couple of years, but I was very glad I had her over that time, and even more so now

In USD terms she cost me under USD40k and I reckon another USD20k will make her spot on for me (on boats I do not count my time in £ notes - that's called work!) and she will be good for another 40 years.....but she would probably then be worth USD50k, on a good day......so in purely financial terms does not make sense - except a modern equivalent could not be had for that money, and an older equivalent would be very very hard to find at the right time........but I've p#ssed way more than that up against a wall in the past



So, I guess the answer is "depends what you want from the boat".
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:10   #22
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I'd say it really depends if you want to work at your current job for more years to pay for a new boat, or just get on with the boat part of things already. (assuming money isn't infinite here)

I think you want to do this for all the right reasons. There is nothing better than knowing your boat inside and out. Refitting the Gulfstar was a great education for me. Now, on a new boat, it took me maybe a week to get her in order for delivery thanks to all the experience I had with the Gulfstar.

Now, "modernizing" the interior (one thing I have done) is not really worth it IMO. Unless you are trying to impress people, the only things that may need modernizing are the systems.

I think it's a good plan, provided you get the boat for a good price, are prepared to spend hundreds (thousands?) of hours working on it and are really happy with the particular boat model.


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Prehaps, this is better posted in the "Dollers and Cents" forum, but I figured I would start here.

First off, i've been a long time lurker, and have caught alot of great information from here.

My question is this, I have my eye on a mid 60s Cheoy Lee 30' Ketch. The hull is in great shape, but she needs some TLC. What, in your experience, is the advantages/disadvantages to restoring, or even purchasing an older hull, and "modernizing" it.

Reasons "I" am personally considering this ... To know the boat, from stem to stern. There is something to be said for doing most of the work, and knowing that when your out on the water. It also gives me a chance to continue a 9 to 5 putting money away for that day when you can set your sails and not look back, as well as a project that parallels your (read my) dream. In a sense you "are" investing in your future.

Those that have done this, is it worth it or is it cheaper just to "buy new"?
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:13   #23
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If you want to know if it is worth it. Just look at By Invitation, and his photos will let you know. What a fantastic job. That will bust your chest wide open with pride! BEAUTIFUL!
Very true, very true but understand Scott is talented to the extreme. He's probably one of the most talanted guys on this site.
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:15   #24
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In purely financial terms the answer is........don't buy a boat
That is because the true cost of boat ownership is depreciation.
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:34   #25
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And the long term plan is to...

I would guess that if you are working 80 hour weeks and you buy a boat then you will end up working 100 hour weeks. Fixing a boat gets old quicker than I like to admit.

Rather than fixing a boat I suggest spending the time daydreaming. A boat is closer to a tool than a toy so what you end up using it for is the most important aspect.

Most of the joys in life come from people, not things. Creating a place in your life for that SO and realistic working hours must be important.

I suspect there are more than a few wealthy owners with beautiful boats and a heart attack.
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Old 22-04-2008, 20:32   #26
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Come on guys... if a boat had to make financial sense, who the heck would ever own one?

I'm definately in the DIY camp. Over time you become familar with every system (hell.. every bolt) on your boat. When things break... and they will, you will be able to fix it or at least patch it up yourself.

I trust you have more than a passing interest in fixing things and at least an interest in, wood working, fiberglass repair, electrical systems, plumbing repair, engine repairs, rigging design, sewing sails, biminis and the like (ummm what did I leave out?)? If not... don't do it.

The pride one takes in this type of vessel has already been mentioned. I second that emotion.
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Old 22-04-2008, 21:50   #27
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hi one way of answering your question is for you to go down to a boat yard where boat owners are doing what you are thinking .
every country in the world must have one of these yards ,and to the locals they are known as the yard of broken dreams.
I have spent years in places like this doing up one bargain boat or another.The boats and there owners come into the yard telling us yard dwellers that the boat was a steal and a couple of weekends work from the family will have it all fixed.unfortunatley 80% percent of the time we wait 5 years for some progress and then crane the boat on to a low loader and take it to the tip.
we have a endurance 35 (glass hull) going to the tip in next 3 months,have not seen owner in 4 years.
I have restored 3 boats 33 ft plus so it can be done.
stop working for a living and work on boat 5 days a week and have 2 days rest away from boat
if your budget is 30k allow for 45k
or do what I just did -wait till some one else does all the hard work,puts all the good gear on and spends 100k and then you by it from him for 60k and you will still find little things to do to it so that you get to know boat and keep you occupied.
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Old 22-04-2008, 22:03   #28
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Cheoy Lee bermuda ketch 30's look like they are in the asking range of $10-$15K. And they are awfully pretty. Just buy it. It's not like it's a $100K, possibly life ruining risk you're taking. The most you'll be out is the price of a decent used car. Buy it.
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Old 23-04-2008, 03:41   #29
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Cheoy Lee bermuda ketch 30's look like they are in the asking range of $10-$15K. And they are awfully pretty. Just buy it. It's not like it's a $100K, possibly life ruining risk you're taking. The most you'll be out is the price of a decent used car. Buy it.
Yeah, being pretty helps / can get you into trouble I'm talking boats here!

Plus a Fibreglass hull and an attractive price - even a Ketch version

However, to be honest I would personally think very carefully about buying one due to the Wood decks / coachroof given that this could involve a lot of work and my skills are simply not up to anything major......but no reason why yer could not spend time looking for a good one - a lot easier to maintain than repair - even if never as easy as GRP......but the prices reflect that.

And they are pretty............
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Old 23-04-2008, 09:41   #30
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JOLI,

No doubt Scott is extremely capable. The proof is in the pics, but you have to start somewhere.

Some people build their own homes, cars, etc. etc. For them it is the work of thier own hands, and the knowledge of the project. When my business justifies building a car for 45k that I can buy for 35k. I will take the loss for the satisfaction of the build, and for it to be MINE!
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