Love this thread! So much to read. I love seeing every ones thoughts here.
I noticed something here, again, and again, and again...10 pages and I'm only 3 pages in on the reading still, but it seems like every other comment here repeats the same thought of: "think about resale value vs money put into project"
, which makes me stop and ask if the folks on here have the same motives for rebuilding an old boat that I have
...aparently not. I'll explain.
See, I went into the whole looking for a boat to rebuild
, because I was looking for a place to live - permantly - for the rest of my life. My first boat. My only boat. No plans to sell later. No plans to trade
in later. So I went into this whole thing looking for a boat I could live in, not looking for a boat to rebuild
and sell. So I'm guessing my goals are vastly different from just about every one else's here, because so far it looks like (at least from reading the first couple of pages) that every one else here already has a place to live and are only rebuilding a boat out of either hobby reasons or business reasons and therefor have no real commitment to the boat, seeing as it's just something they are going to get rid of anyways a few years down the road...is that correct? (I'm not saying that as a bad thing or anything, it's just that's the sort of vibe I'm getting from the advice I'm reading on this thread, and it's contrary to my own "style" or goals in rebuilding a boat.)
So let's see, responding to the OP. Why am I going down the rebuild road rather than buy new road? Money
, yes, as you suggest, that is one reason, but it's not the main reason, and I do have to ask myself, if I had a million dollars in my pocket right now, would I rush out and buy a brand new boat with all the frills or would I drive up and down the coast peeking in old barns looking for an ancient wreck in need of rebuilding than spend all the money fixing her. My answer is clearly #2. Why? Because there is just something about the whole discovery of some ancient boat tossed in a field and begging to be rebuilt and set in the ocean again. So yeah, money is limiting my choice of boat to rebuild, but it is not the reason for choosing to rebuild, because if I had more money to work with I'd simple be rebuilding an even bigger boat (or building outright a 200' Dutch Merchantman Galleon from scratch, just because I don't think the chances of finding an old one of those are that good!
Yes I did want to be a pirate when I grew up, no I haven't stopped wanting to be a pirate, and yes if I had a few million to spend on a boat I would build myself a full sail pirate ship and sail it across the Atlantic.)
When you use the word ressurection jokingly , well, yeah, that's a pretty good way to describe my goals in rebuilding a boat. I didn't exactly go looking for a boat thinking "Hey, she don't need much work, I'll choose her." Nope, I actually went looking for boats and saw one that'd been grounded in a field behind a barn near on 20 years and thought: "OMG! She's beautiful, someone needs to rescue
her before there's nothing left to rescue!" Which is where I am at right now - trying to convince the farmer to let me rebuild, what everyone who's seen her has laughed and said is a totally not rebuildable boat. And yet the more folks laugh and say she's not rebuildable, the more determined I become to resurect her and let her live again. People are looking at her and seeing her as she is now, and I'm looking at her and seeing what she must have been once and what she can be again.
But than you point out the considerations of pre-boat purchase
: What will the boat be used for? Where will I take her? Why? What would I like to do? What am I likely to do? I'll answer those questions, just because it'll help me to put it down so I can sort out my plans (seeing as I haven't done any real "planning" yet.)
What will the boat be used for?
Will I need a place to live. After 27 years in a tiny beach cabin
, it washed away in a flood and I lived the next 3 years in a tent on the same spot, and the years after that in a car during winter, parked next to the tent which is still my summer home these many years later. If all goes as planned, by next summer the tent will be gone, replaced by 2 things: a small ancient motorhome and a huge even more ancient boat in bad need of repair. I'll spend the next 3 or 4 years living in the motorhome while rebuilding the boat. Than drop the boat in the water
and live in her for the rest of my life, and most likely spending the rest of my life in a state of constantly repairing my boat, so she doesn't get back to the way she is right now.
Where will I take her?
No where. Why?
Because I know me. I'll plan to take her all over the place, but I'll never leave the dock
. Just like I have planned to drive all over the country and have never been farther than 3 towns away. In short, I like the think about places to go, but I'm not really motived to actually go to any of them.
What would I like to do?
on my "power yacht", than sail my boat from Maine
than from Scotland
than to Papua New Guinea
than on to Hawaii
than to Alaska
than back to Maine
. And the not so fleeting thought of "Can I drive her down the Amazon River?" along with: "I wonder if I could drive her up the Nile?" and other various assorted thoughts which run through my head
every time I look at a boat, along with the utterly insane thought of..."I wonder if I could attach a Zeplin to her and fly her across the Atlantic?"
(yes, I think weird thoughts when I look at boats, I know.)
What am I likely to do?
She's unlikely to ever see sails
added to her and I'm likely to drive my boat from Old Orchard Beach to Bar Harbor once every 3 or 4 years or less and never get out of sight of the Maine coast, except maybe to head
up to Canada
once. I'm likely to hook her up to a dock
and than never move from that spot for the next 70 or so years.
Your questions about tackling projects? Yeah, I'm a project
person. You can probably tell that by this point. for me it's more about spending the rest of my life tinckering on this boat, than it is about the end goal of going any place with her. I've been known to take on huge projects (like hand embroidering tapestries) just because I know it'll take me several years to finish it (I started the tapestry in 1987 btw, I'm a little more than half done now, 24 years later). For me these sorts of projects are more of a soothing stress release thing, you know, something I can happily day dream about while working on it - something that I can expect to be there every day, waiting for me to work on it. I'm good at working on long tedious endless projects, and I actually avoid taking up projects that I can finish in only a few weeks. So for me going into a build rebuilding project, the more work the boat needs, the better. That's just the way my personality is. So, yeah, the 1,000s of little jobs are what I look for.
So for me the short term goal is to do what has to be done to get her livable, than live in her while doing everything else that needs to be done to restore her, than after than work on making her able to cruise
around the world, wither I ever do cruise
around the world with her or not. It's not a small project nor is it a cheap
one. I figure no less than 4 years at minimum and up to 20 years a good possibility, with money being the biggest hold up. A better job would = more money but also = less time, so it's a sacrifice of time to build or money to build, at the moment. Right now I'd rather have more time as in the beginning there is a lot that can be done with no money (scraping off paint
, cutting out rot
, etc), than later as I get to them I can worry about getting more money for materials etc.
I see several folks warning about relationship issues, seems a lot of wives don't take to well to hubbies working on their boats. I'm lucky on this one. My guy loves boats and doing big projects just as much as I do, and while I'm planning to work on this 40' yacht, he's got his own plans about a fishing
boat, he's already got one boat in his yard and is looking for another one, so, yeah, we both got boats on the brain. I think my advice to others here, is before you get married, maybe you ought to try looking for a gal who shares your interests? Just a thought. I mean if my guy didn't like boats as much as I did, we might not get along so well.
I do worry about my skill level, which in the feild of boat repairs
and woodworking is exactly 0. However, I'm very good at the whole "learn as you go" thing and that's what I've done with my other projects. I think it is good to be highly motivated. As I mentioned before, I'm not very motivated to get the boat out of the dock, however, I am highly motivated to get her into the dock. I want to see this boat brought back up to her former glory. She's a beautiful boat and it's a shame she was allowed to get so run down. I look at it almost as I'm a doctor and she's my patient and I have to make her well again. This boat needs me to fix her and that's all the motivation I need to learn how to get the job done.
As you can see, I'm new to this and so I don't have much advice to offer, and my post here is more to get my thoughts down where I can see them and figure out what I'm doing, so my comment is more for my own benifit than for helping anyone else, I suppose. I think I like this thread because I am myself in need of advice and ideas, and most of all I am in need of knowing that I'm not the only person out there who thinks it's emotionally and psychologically worth the time and money to rescue
and restore and old wooden boat. Sometimes it's just good to know you are not alone.
I think at the moment the only advice I could give to others just starting out is to: Realize ahead of time that the boat is worth far less than either the time or money you put into her. Do it because you WANT to do it, because you love to do it, because you can take pride in the end and say "I did it!". Know that in the beginning, a lot of folks are going to tell you, you are crazy, and that the more work the boat needs the crazier they will tell you you are and the more "I told you so" you will hear as you get going.