Now here's a topic near and dear to me. I got my Grampian
26 for free on craigslist, worked on it myself for just over a year built it into a great little liveaboard
by launch time.
I have to say the biggest help to me for getting the boat done on a budget was craiglist. I got the boat for free, a 5HP outboard
in great shape for 200$, a West Marine VHF
for 20$, a NOS jabsco
manual head for 40$, I got a new main sail for 120$, storm jib
for 40$, Full size jib
for 85$, a 150% for 110$, and a 45LB CQR
for 80$ all from craigslist.
I picked up a boom in florida
when I drove down to visit relatives anyway for 50$, I got a barometer, hydrometer and thermometer from a yard sale
for 10$, got my hands on a uniden shoot through depth sounder
for clearance at west marine
for 40$. I got 350ft of 1/2 nylon rope
, new hull
zincs, most of my running rigging
and a rebuild
kit for my Jabsco
head from a closing local marine store for 46$ total. I put 1' closed cell foam insulation
around the hull
, used recycled hardwood for the stringers, and finished with cedar slats for an inexpensive, great smelling, nice finished look.
I also put in a back splash behind the sink and oven
out of a fiberglass
sheet and bronze and champagne metallic tiles on clearance from lowes.
I primed and painted the boat myself using rustoleum marine enamel mixed with thinner mineral spirits and enamel hardener, white and oyster cabin
blue hull and silver conning and boot stripe. I got my bottom paint
and two gallons of interprotect from online for less than half what west marine wanted plus I used an online coupon and even got free shipping
Also after spending 6 months thinking about ways to rig my standing rigging
without any access to old rigs and no known shroud
or stay measurements I wound up going the slightly inelegant method of over estimating the sizes, ordered the wire rope
from seco, and doubled up nicopress fittings to the mast
, after launch I gave a local fisherman 60$ to use a dockside crane to raise the mast
and put double nicopress fittings on the ends of all the shrouds and stays while the crane held the mast up.
Main points I would say would be to never stop looking for whatever you need, look everywhere and when you do find a particular product do all the research
you can on it. Craigslist, recycled lumber
stores, marine salvage
yards, clearance section in marine stores, closing marine stores, etc.
Secondly, the more research
you do the more money you can save. 12 volt marine light fixtures are generic looking and while not exactly expensive, aren't cheap either. Most of my interior
lights are 12 volt copper brushed exterior accent fixtures from lowes, cost between 5$ and 15$. They look great, use the exact same internal fixture and are the same build quality. I also couldn't afford a new marine stove. Camp chief makes a backpack oven
that's all stainless and brass for 1/10 the price that at least three sailboats have had installed with good results.
Finally, the more out of the box you think the more you can accomplish on your own. Marine refrigeration
was way above my budget, so I took a saber saw to a mini fridge that was in sitting in storage
, scooped out the whole system in one piece, cut a hole in the side of my icebox
to install the cold plate, built a gimbal for the compressor
, reglassed the inner and outter lining of the box and added 5" of insulation
. On its lowest setting the box gets down to 7 degrees and can be run off my inverter
, shore power
cord (craigslist 20$), or a 900 watt HF generator
I also got off craigslist for 40$
In total I'm living on my boat for around 2500$ including getting the boat trailered to my work space and again from my work space to the launch ramp
. I really wouldn't mind spending more, buying
new and getting more marine specific goods if I could, but I can't really let that stop me from doing all the traveling and sailing I've always wanted to do.