I have never understood the mindset of a person who would get a basically worthless item i.e. a boat requiring more repairs
in terms of $$ then one can get for it once it's fixed, and putting even more $$ into it.
Granted many (most?) of us probably ended up dong it with our first boat we fell in love with or could afford but why keep doing it when there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of boats for each one ready and able buyer.
My first boat 10+ years ago was a 27 footer, 23 years old at the time which required $4-5K of boatyard's worth of repair. I certainly would never consider buying
it under those circumstances. But a friend directed me to a very knowledgeable all around "boatyard guy", who also turned out to be a diesel mechanic
, who incidentally to my request for a repair estimate, did a quick survey
and pronounced the boat OK, other than the repair needed and he offered to do the work for $2,000-2,500, including materials. Considering the prices of similar size and condition boats at the time that made sense but only if I could get the boat for under $1,000 including transporting it to a friend's backyard.
As the boat's asking price
was dropped to $1,100 (from initial $4,999 a year or two before and $1,400 when I took my boatyard guy for a look) I started looking for haulers' quotes. The first one was Brownell's - $900. I came back to the seller and explained to him my reasoning for my total of "$1,000 to be spent" offer which would only leave him $100. He countered with an offer to find a cheaper hauler and to keep the difference. So his own hauler quoted $450 plus $100 rental fee for the stands. As the seller wasn't including the stands we split the difference and I ended up paying him $400 for the boat. (Looking back with the knowledge that I have now, today I probably would have talked him into him paying the hauler for me to take the boat off his hands and that would be generous as that hauler would have charged him at least $1,000 to junk that boat)
Now by the time all this took place my initial boatyard guy had to move across the country and could not do the work I was counting on. I frantically started visiting boatyards
to get a quote but most laughed me out of the office figuring I'd never hire them at their regular rates for that type of work on that type of a boat. So I turned to craigslist and started looking there for a "boatyard guy" to do that work on his weekend time. Incidentally I had an old sports car there for sale
for which I was asking $5K but the best offer in 3 months was $1,500 and that was from a tire kicker
. Lo and behold I get a reply to my boatyard guy search and at the same time same guy is emailing me re: my car for sale
. Needless to say, we have struck a deal where he got that car in return for fixing the boat. And everyone walked away happy.
Of course that boat was not in any kind of "Bristol shape" but for the training 1st boat it was more than fine. The head
worked, the diesel
worked (at least the first 4 seasons), the sails
worked (kind of, the main had to be replaced into the 3rd season so I got a one from craigslist for $80 from Cal30 and used its 1st or 2nd reef points to attach to the boom). My 1st sailing season the boat took a hit on the rocks at 3-4kts and came out with flying colors - just a small dent in the keel
lead and about 5 degree bend of the shaft which I left alone and just filed and re-glassed top portion of the rudder
to keep it from touching the hull
. I didn't even haul it out until the end of the season but when I did my boat building buddy after seeing that boat for the first time and inspecting that damage pronounced the boat "built like a brick outhouse".
So the point of my long post is this - if you want to sail and have a limited budget
- get an older but still solid boat and sail her as is. If you want to putz around that old boat until it is "Bristol condition" - go ahead and do that. But in the first case you will sail for relative peanuts and in the second case you will have a never ending money
pit. Your choice.
PS I got 4 full seasons and 1 half season out of that boat and sold her for $1,100.
PPS. As an added bonus that boat's somewhat rough shape below decks and lack of amenities (mismatched home cushions
, 2 burner camping stove, etc) have conditioned my g/f to be tolerant of those things so that my next boat, which was in good but also not Bristol shape, seemed outright luxurious to her (and to me).