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Old 20-06-2007, 08:33   #31
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Got pictures?

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Old 20-06-2007, 08:36   #32
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define reliable!!
i suspect it will give you $105,000 boat with hopfuly enough money and time to maintain it.

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Old 20-06-2007, 08:48   #33

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Old 20-06-2007, 09:09   #34
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Here's the MGB theory on this problem. "If it is running, drive it."

I have an old boat that still needs work and it seems that every time I get to the dock I go sailing. This happens even though I love to work on the boat and bring projects with me. I swear I'm staying the the AC and fixing the bla-bla. But I always start the motor just to check it out and next thing you know I'm headed past marker 2.

If the rig isn't coming down, the motor runs (optional) and the hull is sound, with an Ericson it should be, take it sailing regardless of what else might break.
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Old 20-06-2007, 09:12   #35
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Kinda between 1 and 2

I agree with much of what has been said. I really appreciate MADDOG's post about the satisfaction of knowing you can fix, maintain it yourself.

I believe that any boat will require maintenance. A friend just bought a large powerboat. His 3rd in the last few years. His mainteneance issues are much more severe then mine... and he can not just 'do it' himslf, but has to coordinate different techs from different companies to get anything fixed.

I think you should be honest with yourself, buy what you need and no more (think smaller, simpler) and fix what breaks.

I have read on the internet a saying that goes 'what the boat wants, she gets'. I think there is wisdom in this.
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Old 20-06-2007, 12:00   #36

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Build in steel . Nothing properly welded together ever breaks nor leaks .
For steel boats , stainless trim on all outside corners and thick paint , inside and out , the thicker the better, is key to minimal maintenance .
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Old 20-06-2007, 12:59   #37
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Originally Posted by kennykroot
Okay, now let's open it up to some wild speculation and shameless opinion mongering. I'll give you my specific project.

First, forementioned 30 year old boat is going to someone with a bit more maintenance know-how and at least 1,259% more patience.

I'm in Southeast Asia where labor costs are low. I've located a rather tired 20 year old 43-footer. They want $55,000. I've budgeted another $50,000 for a complete re-fit. Rebuilt engine, new rigging, new deck hardware, new electronics, new plumbing, ....well, new EVERYTHING.

Will that $50,000 give me a reliable boat?

You'er missing the point. $50K will buy you $50k worth of reliability. maintence and refit are never ending. I belive the question should be,"Will $50k buy me piece of mind and enjoyment for X amount of time?" I have the feeling you know the answers to these questions and are looking for validation for your forth coming decision. If you put the $50k of refit and upgrades to good use it should get you far, how far will depend on you.
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Old 20-06-2007, 17:09   #38
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buy a dingy.
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Old 20-06-2007, 17:57   #39
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Why rebuild the engine?

I have just taken out my old engine/gearbox (Ford 2402E/Kanzaki 2:1) because at 25 years old it is just not feasible to rebuild (no parts, support, manuals etc.).

I costed the rebuild at $12k, and that was just a basic rebuild.

The equivalent modern engine/gearbox (John Deere 4045/ZF63) with better characteristics is $20k. Both engine and gearbox are rated for continuous running.

I get a one year warranty with world wide support from reputable and reliable companies.

And hopefully I can stop cleaning oil from the bilge.

I have included a photo so you can see what fun an old engine is...
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Old 20-06-2007, 18:21   #40
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Originally Posted by kennykroot
So here's my story.

Last fall I bought my very first boat - a 30+ year old Ericson 32. It was in reasonably good condition but I had no illusions. I knew that there was going to be a whole lot of fixing going onboard. But I knew that was part of the deal. I knew that if I was ever going to understand owning and maintaining a boat that sooner or later I would have to get my nose bloodied while fighting the good boating fight.

What I would like is some sound, specific advice. How does one own a boat and spend more time sailing than fixing?

Thanks in advance!
Hello KennyRoot,

Your post is extraordinarily valid - When I first got into boats - I was reminded that "The day that you buy a boat is the day that you start maintenance - even if it is brand new out of the box" - 25 years later the reminder still applies.
I haven't read all the replies to your conundrum - therefore in danger of repeating a similar solution.

For someone starting off the process :-
Find a good surveyor for an "out of the water" survey - pay top money for a report which lists the defects in priority order. Prepare a repair-flow chart and have it itemised in terms of predicted costs and time/manhours.
At that point one is in a position of deciding to proceed with the purchase or not.
For someone who is immersed in continous maintenance projects - to the exclusion of sailing - then opportunities to crew on other boats should be looked at - example joining a yacht club to crew sail on days free from maintenance. Everyone needs to plan in pleasure into their lives, along with time with family and friends. As far as current projects are concerned a plan to tackle them in some order of priority is important - any plan better than no plan.
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Old 20-06-2007, 21:18   #41
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Renovating an old boat...

When you are renovating an old boat you also have to allow for upgrading the hull. That is, taking the boat from the water, allowing it to dry (for wood or fibreglass - then upgrading major structural items. Like bulkhead tabing, barrier coat, deck integrity, rudder) or pulling out the interior, repairing and reblasting for a steel boat

I am now up to 1300 hours on my 44 footer and it will probably need another 700 before I can use it. Maybe another 1000 to get to fully servicable (able to be single handed).

In terms of cost my $36,000 initial spend is up to $80,000 with at least another $50,000 to come.

This is with doing almost all the major work myself.
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Old 21-06-2007, 03:57   #42
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Of coarse BOAT stands for Bring On Another Thousand. If you own a boat you are never short of something to do.Greg
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Old 21-06-2007, 04:42   #43
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"I've located a rather tired 20 year old 43-footer. They want $55,000. I've budgeted another $50,000 for a complete re-fit."

Is it a $105,000 dollar boat when you are done? Or is it an $80k boat?

If a 32 foot Ericson is giving you maintenance nightmares than I would suggest a tired 43 footer is probably 2X or 3X the headache.

If they are estimating $50k I would add 50% to that number. Yes labor is cheap in Asia but parts don't come from Asia. We pay a premium to get them here.

Let's say that you do spend $105,000 for a 43 foot boat. That's the cost of the boat. What you really have to ask yourself is after paying $105,000 for a "decent" boat are willing to pay $600-$1000 a month all in with insurance, mooring, bottom cleaning and maintenance for the priviliege of owning and operating a boat.

We are budgeting $500 a month for our little 26 footer. Others will probably chime in and say that it can be done for less. Probably but budget more and be pleasantly surprised rather than budget less and cry every time something breaks.

Since you sound like a person who wants to put it all in the hands of a boat yard crew you should be realistically prepared to pay what it takes.

BTW - There is a lot to be said for what you are suggesting - i.e. buy a tired boat and pay up front to have it refit. The key is a very good independent survey. Do not take a survey from the boat yard that is going to do the work. Do not take a survey from the marina where it is currently based. Do not take a survey from any one connected with the owner or has anything to gain from you having the boat. Caveat sailor.

BTW - Set up a search on for anything in the region. There are a lot of $100,000 boats for sale in Asia. Some are in sail away condition.

OK - SOmeone mentioned airplanes so I have to comment. There are a ton of similarities. A large supply of old airplanes with various levels of maintenance. A new motor for a private passenger airplane is usually worth 50-100% of the total airplane. You can't swap out powerplants and everything has to be FAA certified. There are folks who buy "great" $50k airplanes and then spend 80-100k on fixing them.

Regarding reliable Toyotas. Interesting analogy and one used by airplane guys a lot. The question is - How many 1977 Toyotas have been operated in as severe as an environment as ours (high altitude or the ocean) and are still purring along like new. Cars are a horrible analogy to planes and boats.
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Old 21-06-2007, 05:21   #44
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Sailboat ownership is NOT about sailing only. I have done a LOT of work in my boat. There is no other way to get the knowledge needed to solve on the spot problems. Once you have worked extensively in your boat you know where everything is. Every seacock, every cable, every connection etc.When you are outthere in the middle of nowhere its you and your boat thats it.
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Old 29-06-2007, 02:27   #45
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Our first boat was a 5-year old Beneteau 30' which was very lightly sailed. We sold it after 8 years for nearly the price we paid. What I learned in respect of keeping costs reasonable (and maximizing sailing time) was this:

1. Buy the smallest, simplest boat which meets your needs. We wanted something for coastal sailing and weekends away. The electronics included a handheld VHF and an AM/FM radio. I suppose splurging on a hand-held GPS would have been fun but it sure wasn't necessary.

2. Buy used but reasonably new. We paid about 50% ($40K less) of what the previous Owner paid. After 8 years we sold it for $1000 less than what we paid. We averaged about 7 1/2% yearly in annual maintenance and repairs (less to start, more when she hit 10 years old).

3. Preventative maintenance. Fix things before they're totally clapped out and break. I replaced the mainsheet blocks (and upgraded to nice Shaeffers) before they needed replacing. I upgraded a few key systems in this fashion. Breaks in critical systems can end up damaging perfectly good equipment at the same time.

4. Be strategic if you refit. I had an acquaintance who spent $150K refitting a 15-year old $125K boat for a total investment of $275K. He sold it a year after the refit for $125K. The boat looked great but basically $275K would get you a 1 or 2 year old boat. He could have 'freshened up' the boat nicely for $30K.

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