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Old 13-12-2011, 13:52   #46
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But there's another kind of boat. One that is old, but has been well cares for and remains in reasonably good repair. They still need tons of gear, paint, rigging, and whatever else. But the not so much that it can't be sailed/cruised, or lived upon.

This why the shopping process is so important. You don't just get the cheapest one, or the nicest. There's an incredible amount of sailboats out there, it shouldn't be too incredibly difficult fir anyone to fid a workable boat that's not a project, in their price range.

Then upgrade/repair as needed. It's not necessarily cheaper than buying an already equiped boat. But it doesn't require the massive initial investment...
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Old 13-12-2011, 14:28   #47
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

and again..... as was said above: For every project it will lead to about 2 more... and some of them will be bigger than the first project!
Just one example: on my 44 footer, I decided to rebed the staysail chainplate. it was bedded on the anchor chain locker bulkhead, but penetrated the deck also. After removing it, I discovered that it had been leaking into the deck core. I ended up removing the V berth overhead panels, cutting out the fiberglass overhead for about 6-8 square feet. Cleaning out the rotten coring, drying it out, grinding the fiberglass debris, epoxying foam core squares back in, and reglassing on the inside... all the while with resin dripping on me and all over. Should have never rebedded that chainplate I guess!
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Old 13-12-2011, 14:29   #48
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Another aspect of a big refurb. is that where it happens and good cruising areas are usually quite some distance apart.

If I were to do it again (very unlikely) I'd go for a much smaller boat (say a 22' trailer sailer). It would be a (provided it was a good boat to start) a much more satisfying project, results being evident in hours, not months, and if it stalled the cost of keeping the boat would also be small.

It's the maintenance skills that are the big return from a project boat. Knowing that if the engine don't go one has the tools and knowledge to fix it on the spot in 15 minutes, rather than waiting 3 days for a $120ph mechanic.

The other big downside of a major project is that one does not build up essential seamanship skills and experience. Most of the skills learned on a small boat apply well to a bigger boat.

One the skills are there and the money is in the bank it can be translated to a useable boat almost anywhere on the planet.
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Old 13-12-2011, 14:49   #49
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

I've been in this debate with the wife several times. She says why not just buy a new boat or one that's complete and ready to go.

I have to keep explaining the costs to her all the time. And these are our situation, not ready to go yet.
So why then have a boat? Because one still needs to stay on the water, even if occasionally, to keep the skill/experience level up to par + vacation time. (Don't like Yacht Clubs)

First is the huge up front payments, that is just within the budget.
Second, is if making payments, one has to buy insurance.
Third, is slip fees here in the USA, and again insurance is required in most. (the boat's on the hard for now)
Forth, if you buy used, that's what your getting, USED, and you don't know the abuse (until you have dug into the boat).
Fifth, up here in the PNW, the winter is mainly a storage period for most. So the boat sits, aging away at premium costs. On the hard most of the year the boat is preserved, if covered.
Sixth, electronics! Why bother with any good stuff until one is ready to hit the open sea. I'm waiting until it's time, to go, to purchase all the good stuff.

If one is not ready to head out, then rebuilding is a good pass time while the dream is alive and between summer cruises. And one can make the final investments when it is time to go. e.g. Up to date electronics, bottom paint, off-shore insurance, new safety equipment, fresh supplies and gear.

Sure if one has the money and doesn't have to work, then buying outright might be good.
But what some of us are doing, that don't have those immediate funds, is getting the experience of sailing and full knowledge of the boat before hitting the rough. And making good use of free time to gain a better boat.

Craftsmen are a different breed of people. The need for money is there to pursue ones skilled ambitions rather then live the luxurious life, and is usually only acquired by chance for craftsmen.
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Old 13-12-2011, 15:20   #50
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Boat refit don’t have to cost an arm and a leg…on this 1940 woodie I need to change 7 planks and refasten the hull…my budget $2000 and 6months, being generous…
Needless to say many would estimate this refit in the $50,000+ and 4-5years.
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:29   #51
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

When you look at it properly…all it takes to go from that (my poor boat) condition to this (pristine from the net) is sanding, paint and varnish… The only major cost of a refit is elbow grease (your time)
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:45   #52
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by jobi View Post
When you look at it properly…all it takes to go from that (my poor boat) condition to this (pristine from the net) is sanding, paint and varnish… The only major cost of a refit is elbow grease (your time)
Paint is all fine and dandy but hasn't got much to do with getting the boat down the wind aways.
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Old 13-12-2011, 18:57   #53
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Really its the same question, "do you want to sail or fix boats?"

Build a boat - you can save a lot of money. You know the boat intimately etc. etc.

Buy the boat - you sail now and you rolling refit. I think you still learn the boat over time. Unless you pay for all maintenance (not wise imo)

I am a weekend warrior. I gotta work. I wanna sail. I only have so much disposable time. I have friends with boats on the hard. They sail with other people for their "fix" if they sail and work 50/50 then the rebuild takes that much longer.

I like day projects and I have no aversion to spending 1 week vacation a year doing anti-foul and all the jobs I can fit in. But I lean way towards sail rather than fix boats.

My brother may be the smartest one. He just bought a boat that has 3 transatlantics, a panama transit and a pacific crossing under its belt. He picked up the boat pretty cheap. He's gonna spend money, its a boat after all. But it sailed in so it will sail out is kinda the philosophy. If he gets a couple of years of cruising before the maintenance cost becomes overewhelming hes two years ahead of me...

I dont think it will sink but he has a place to live and he may end up in a marina, with a job, living on board. Even that sounds good to me...
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Old 13-12-2011, 19:46   #54
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

This is an interesting topic and after living in a boat yard for most of the last few years while restoring my old boat it's a topic that I could talk about for a long time. I could come at it from a variety of perspectives depending on how the day's boat work went and should share that today, and in the past week it has gone well (we won't go into the previous weeks!). From what I've seen in others, and experienced with my own, sail boats always end up becoming very expensive and a lot of work. Even the folks that buy the newer, larger and ready to go yachts still end up putting in their long days spending more time and/or money than expected, even if it's only spent in trying to get others to do things the way they want.

I've seen folks buy older used boats and then get them put together and into the water in a matter of months so, as has been said, shopping can lead you to a better boat that is a balance between work/cost/sailing/etc.. Those folks didn't spend the hard years that others may have but they got to experience the yard/work side of boat ownership long enough to know what it's like (and to appreciate getting out on the water), and then got to sail before they started to begrudge the projects/boat. If I ever get a different boat I will do my very best to be one of those people, buying a good used boat that needs only minimal work, outfitting and provisioning. Fortunately I now know enough about boats to have a chance at joining them, where I certainly didn't before my months and months of boat work and learning.

I've also seen folks that continue to create projects as they go and that may never see the water. I can relate to these folks as it's hard to keep ones head and priorities straight in a boatyard. There are always nicer boats to compare your work to, and folks that will tell you that you "just have to do project X" etc. etc.

My Pearson 28-1 with little wood on display and no varnish to be found looked simple enough and sound enough to justify the restoration. I thought it would be a good learning experience and that I'd launch after a season of work, but I had no idea what the boat needed or what it really would take to fix those things. After a few years and a learning/work experience that seems to have been more intense than the entire university/degree process that I went through a few years ago I still have months of work to go before I can shift focus back to sailing (even partially). I could have bought multiple examples of solid and fairly complete boats of similar size/capabilities for what I've already spent on my P28 and that's not counting my labor or what I'll spend before I launch. Even though I've learned a ton about boats and enjoyed a lot of the process (though certainly not all) there is no way that I would go in for this again.

At the same time I wouldn't trade the last few years for many of my previous years of life. The boatyard where I am sees a steady stream of boat folks from all over the globe and that is a very good thing. I've made lots of cruising friends and have been immersed in the culture that I hope to be a part of for a long time to come. It's gotten to the point where the boatyard and working on the boat is now home and it will be saddening to leave once the boat is ready (don't worry, I will still leave, asap). I have also probably avoided a lot of expensive and difficult lessons on the water through learning about those from so many experienced cruisers. I'm sure I'll still find plenty of these though once I get back out there.

I feel like I've been fairly successful at restoring my old, broken-down boat and that I'm close enough to the end of the process to believe that I may even sail her one day From that perspective a few of the techniques that I think have helped immensely though this long and laborious process are:

-steady feeding of the dream through sailing books, magazines, videos, conversations, forums, sailing trips (on other boats and in my little sailing dingy) and other sources. For years I've been passionate about sailing but that was hard to keep alive at times during the restoration (during days of mid-Summer fiberglass work for example,, why am I doing this again??). Keeping that passion alive helps one get up on the boat for another day of work when anything else might be preferable. Day after day,, getting something done was all I could do since the end was nowhere near my field of vision.
-an organized restoration plan defining the work ahead and the estimated costs for each task group. This helped me pace myself and also allowed for me to order my work in a sensible way, spacing out large costs and boring jobs as much as possible.
-having enough money to do the jobs I needed to do... There have been times when I've had to switch to cheaper/labor intensive projects until I had the money to buy more expensive items but without a steady stream of money it would be hard to get anything done in a timely manner. At a minimum this has meant a few hundred a month in small parts, sandpaper, paint, epoxy, brushes etc. but most of the time I was spending much more just to keep the project going as it had to at that time.
-listening to all available opinions and then making up my own mind. After a while I realized that I had spent more time thinking about whatever problem, and knew a lot more about what I wanted out of the solution which made me the leading expert in terms of my own boat/project. At the same time, I've learned from everyone I've talked to about various projects and from a few true experts I have learned an immense amount about fixing boats.
-being relatively young (early 30's) and single. This has worked for and against me. These have probably helped a lot in the face of a boat restoration that didn't make much sense financially or in terms of work time needed since the personal rewards/education may be the biggest returns from the last few years of work. I should say though, that most cruisers seem to be couples from what I've seen and I often envy their teamwork. These couples probably do a better job of selecting good boats, and it would be great to have help since with the boat and all of the non-boat things that still have to happen (food, laundry, bills, etc. etc.) Most cruisers are somewhat older than I am, which also seems to help in selecting a solid boat and knowing how to succeed in a refit/rebuild.
-taking sufficient breaks from boat work. I've not worked for more than 6 months straight on the boat, and that was probably a month too long. It seems like I am way more productive for the first few months after returning to the work and then things slowly taper off as I get fed up with the work etc. After leaving for a few weeks, or months I'm back to laying awake at night planning my next projects..

I think I've proven my first sentence true so I'll bring things to a close by wishing all those who are rebuilding (or building) boats the best of luck and productivity in their work.

Jonathan

oh yeah,, for those that want to see accounts of my restoration up to this past Summer you can do so here:

Poolio&#039;s sailing and travel blog.

I've kept working at a steady pace but stopped blogging this Summer to save time for boat work. I'll be updating the blog this Winter while I travel and get ready for what I hope to be the final push and a late Spring launch.
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Old 13-12-2011, 19:51   #55
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

I bought magic off an ebay auction. paid 5k. Had good engine and drive. refrigeration, ac and most systems were up. the bad hurricane damage to rubrail mast was in two pieces, salvage company cut rigging. She was on stands 100 mi from home. cost $1200 to get her home bottom paint and splash. Traded canvas work for mast repair. found standing rigging for free out of someones garage. bought new mechanical fittings for bottom terminal ends and was sailing. Manu thousands later added all the bells and whistles but sailed boat constantly all the while. My recomendation is dont wait untill the boat is 100% it never will be. Get the rig and power together and do the rest while you enjoy your boat. 8 yrs later Im on my second boat which is designed more for bluewater. plan on being down for about 3 months while I transfer rig and rebuild transmission and reinstall engine in bristol fashion. Then its off to carribean
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Old 13-12-2011, 19:55   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanSail

oh yeah,, for those that want to see accounts of my restoration up to this past Summer you can do so here:

Poolios sailing and travel blog.

I've kept working at a steady pace but stopped blogging this Summer to save time for boat work. I'll be updating the blog this Winter while I travel and get ready for what I hope to be the final push and a late Spring launch.
Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Now get back to work - LOL...
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Old 13-12-2011, 19:55   #57
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanSail View Post
I've kept working at a steady pace but stopped blogging this Summer to save time for boat work. I'll be updating the blog this Winter while I travel and get ready for what I hope to be the final push and a late Spring launch.
Can't wait to see pictures of the launch!
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Old 13-12-2011, 20:48   #58
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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I have a one thing a week policy.
Me too!

Last week I changed the propane tank.
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Old 13-12-2011, 22:14   #59
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

And people wonder why it takes 2 years to refit a boat

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Old 13-12-2011, 22:21   #60
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Since I would like to get a catamaran, things are a little different in terms of the price of old boats. And there don't seem to be nearly as many (or any at all) in the sub $10,000 range.

My question I have is, would it be better building a new catamaran using this technique: KD860page
KD 860 from builders around the world
than having to do repair work all of the boat, change out appliances, lights, engine(?), tanks... You could also customize it to fit you a little easier too.

Or maybe it would be good to buy one of these inexpensive boats and reuse the parts (compass, stainless steel, anchor, backup sails (or actual would be better) and rigging, radio on a newly built catamaran? Maybe it is cheaper and easier to buy each piece on eBay instead, I don't know I haven't looked yet. I was flipping through the West Marine catalog last night, and the basics that are on most boats cost more than some cheap boats.
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