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Old 17-12-2011, 11:09   #91
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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Originally Posted by s/v Breakaway View Post
"On the other hand, I knew someone who bought a big strong boat that needed lots of work, they did nothing to it and went cruising. The deck core was so wet that it was visibly buckled up in spots. The Perkins was old with many hours, but ran well. When they were done cruising about 3 years, they sold the boat for ~ the same they paid! I think they were smarter than many of us!! " said by Cheechako in post #17.

I'm afraid you have a very valid point. When I bought my Cal 34 about 8 years ago, there was nothing substantial wrong with her; only had a depth gauge, compass and VHF; tired old mainsail, soft spot on cabin, original upholstery. Since then I've spent more hours refurbing than sailing. I admit I may be the type sailor who enjoys refurbing almost (?) as much as sailing, but in hindsight I could have just sailed her as-is and saved myself thousands of $. But once we have a boat, there is some "pull" some sense of the romance of sailing, that compels us to bring the boats back to their original beauty. And I am betting many boats being rehabbed by us could have followed the quoted example. Thoughts?
I think you hit the nail on the head ..nothing wrong with my boat ,other than a little overdue maintenance... its 37 years old and sails like a dream..I dont mind the heel at all, adds a little salt and feels right..I could use some new running rigging but havent got around to changing it...I know when I drop her in salt I will have a little more money in her ,but nowhere near what would seem to be the average that others are spending..not that I am some sort of minimalist,just dont see the need...DVC
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Old 17-12-2011, 17:00   #92
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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Originally Posted by s/v Breakaway View Post
I'm afraid you have a very valid point. When I bought my Cal 34 about 8 years ago, there was nothing substantial wrong with her; only had a depth gauge, compass and VHF; tired old mainsail, soft spot on cabin, original upholstery. Since then I've spent more hours refurbing than sailing. I admit I may be the type sailor who enjoys refurbing almost (?) as much as sailing, but in hindsight I could have just sailed her as-is and saved myself thousands of $. But once we have a boat, there is some "pull" some sense of the romance of sailing, that compels us to bring the boats back to their original beauty. And I am betting many boats being rehabbed by us could have followed the quoted example. Thoughts?
That sounds kinda familiar but to be fair, took me 3 years to get started on the refurb proper......albeit always the original intention.


For someone on a budget and / or looking to "go now!", I would suggest not trying to get her factory fresh, nor country cottage cosy.

Instead aim for sound and clean - with anything else a bonus (or in the "do later" part of the "To do list" ). By that I am suggesting somewhere between stripped out ocean racer and "Homes & Gardens" nice......in practice will mean a bit of hotch potch looks wise down below - as no point throwing out things that you have to simply acheive a consistent look.


The Ocean Racer look




The "Homes & Gardens" look


No bunk cushions (or seriously fooked)? - decide how many berths you actually need to be operational (probably won't be all 4 or 5) and get an el cheapo mattress (or 2) from Walmart etc or a camping shop (100% man made) - doesn't quite fit? who cares - close is good enough . Fitted sheets my ar#e! - sleeping bag and a couple of cheap (man made) throwovers. If feeling all "Homes & gardens" add a few scatter cushions .........at some point can make "proper" cushions etc - or not . For the other Berths / seating - a few Cushions from an old settee or 2, only needs to be big enough for your ar#e, Not a pefect fit? Velcro is your freind. In practice will find that extra berths make good stowage - whether "au natural" or from straping a couple of plastic boxes / draw stacks on.

Same for manky vinyl headlinings , take 'em down (probably will need access behind during the refurb anyway) and depending what is there and how the linings are (mouldy *****?) - either replace with plastic or painted board.......or go naked . Looks not so important as functionality....albeit sometimes the headlining does cover things like bolts that would otherwise dig into your noggin - so not always simply decorative, but don't mean the whole cabin needs to be re-done....nor look twee.

Insulation? Unless somewhere which has very cold weather (and living aboard) then forget it (for now).....I'd spend my time and money on a decent solid fuel (wood / coal) heater so you have heat to spare....a squillion designs at various budgets.....especially if doesn't have to be a permanent fitting (so flexibity where it can be located - whilst hibernating at a dock for the winter). Off E-bay and then back on (or into storage / buried in the bilge for next winter).....cheapest insulation from the sun is a tarp over the boom (to shade the deck and create some airflow) and can pick those up from Walmart. (the rich have a tailored boom tent. made out of perfumed silk ).

Oh, and paint is your freind . white paint ......can always add a splash of colour with a scatter cushion

Could easily spend a year or so tweeing up an interior - when the time (and money) could be spent on doing the important stuff...........to be cont.
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Old 17-12-2011, 17:12   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey

That sounds kinda familiar but to be fair, took me 3 years to get started on the refurb proper......albeit always the original intention.

For someone on a budget and / or looking to "go now!", I would suggest not trying to get her factory fresh, nor country cottage cosy.

Instead aim for sound and clean - with anything else a bonus (or in the "do later" part of the "To do list" ). By that I am suggesting somewhere between stripped out ocean racer and "Homes & Gardens" nice......in practice will mean a bit of hotch potch looks wise down below - as no point throwing out things that you have to simply acheive a consistent look.

The Ocean Racer look

The "Homes & Gardens" look

No bunk cushions (or seriously fooked)? - decide how many berths you actually need to be operational (probably won't be all 4 or 5) and get an el cheapo mattress (or 2) from Walmart etc or a camping shop (100% man made) - doesn't quite fit? who cares - close is good enough . Fitted sheets my ar#e! - sleeping bag and a couple of cheap (man made) throwovers. If feeling all "Homes & gardens" add a few scatter cushions .........at some point can make "proper" cushions etc - or not . For the other Berths / seating - a few Cushions from an old settee or 2, only needs to be big enough for your ar#e, Not a pefect fit? Velcro is your freind. In practice will find that extra berths make good stowage - whether "au natural" or from straping a couple of plastic boxes / draw stacks on.

Same for manky vinyl headlinings , take 'em down (probably will need access behind during the refurb anyway) and depending what is there and how the linings are (mouldy *****?) - either replace with plastic or painted board.......or go naked . Looks not so important as functionality....albeit sometimes the headlining does cover things like bolts that would otherwise dig into your noggin - so not always simply decorative, but don't mean the whole cabin needs to be re-done....nor look twee.

Insulation? Unless somewhere which has very cold weather (and living aboard) then forget it (for now).....I'd spend my time and money on a decent solid fuel (wood / coal) heater so you have heat to spare....a squillion designs at various budgets.....especially if doesn't have to be a permanent fitting (so flexibity where it can be located - whilst hibernating at a dock for the winter). Off E-bay and then back on (or into storage / buried in the bilge for next winter).....cheapest insulation from the sun is a tarp over the boom (to shade the deck and create some airflow) and can pick those up from Walmart. (the rich have a tailored boom tent. made out of perfumed silk ).

Oh, and paint is your freind . white paint ......can always add a splash of colour with a scatter cushion

Could easily spend a year or so tweeing up an interior - when the time (and money) could be spent on doing the important stuff...........to be cont.
But whatever you do, do not leave port until you have mounted the ivory tusks on your bar.

There are certain standards that must be maintained!
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:59   #94
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
.
4) Do it right the first time.
I disagree to some extent... sometimes "good enough" is indeed good enough. Waiting to do something until you've built the skill-set to be a professional won't get you out here.

Just my opinion and I realize that some safety issues are far more critical than others but don't become paralyzed attempting to attain perfection. It isn't going to happen.
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Old 18-12-2011, 16:23   #95
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

"Doing it right" doesn't mean perfect. It's doing it within an acceptable standard set by authorities. "Good enough" is more like "I'm tired of it" or "I've had enough".

And I guess getting out there's is fine for some. But It's getting back that counts! And being able to do it time after time w/o failure, that's success.
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Old 18-12-2011, 17:49   #96
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Never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over...
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Old 19-12-2011, 13:44   #97
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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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)
Nice job ..looks great...DVC
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Old 19-12-2011, 15:01   #98
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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Never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over...
Indeed, and by the third time (as it inevitably happens), you are so fed up that you do it beyond "right" and it costs three times as much as "right" would have (and you've bought cheaper materials three times and spent untold hours trying to figure it out each time).
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Old 19-12-2011, 17:33   #99
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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Nice job ..looks great...DVC
photos are not the same boat...but at least I have something to look up too

also from reading many coments I dont understand why such an easy task as boat refit can generate so much fear...I buy the materials...its up to me if I buy $2000 worth of mahogany or whait for a bargen or find substitut...in this case I was lucky enough to find the wood I need for $500...in the end I am master of my walet, I can chose to get my hands dirty or pay others to do so...then it would cost me a lot...and if I chose to spend mucho on a refit, would this qualify me to come here and say (dont wast your time and money) no it would only prouve that I am pour at making dicisions and that a refit project is not for me.

perhaps some would need severald project to finaly understand you have to be wise and causious when doing a refit.
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Old 19-12-2011, 22:15   #100
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

This is a great thread. Thank you all for your valuable and enlightening comments. My first boat was a C30 that needed alot of TLC and reworking. I learned so much on that boat and still think of her fondly. One thing that I learned was that all the time and money that I put into her was for me only. I was NEVER going to get that money back. I'm okay with that because, like a lot of you, I enjoyed the process. Another thing that I learned was that my next boat would not be a fixer-upper. I was going to buy a boat that somebody else had dumped time and love and money into. And that is just what I did.
My current boat, Wild Wind, was pristine when I purchased her. The seller had receipts in hand for about $40K in upgrades and improvements. I bought her for a very good price just as the economy started to slide. She needed nothing to be done to use her and enjoy her.
So what have I done? Rewired, relocated and expanded the battery system, added a battery monitor and Echo Charger, new battery charger, rewired refrigerator, added fans and vents, made covers for all ports and hatches, covers for outside hand rails, added a stern roller, new anchor and rode, new stern seats,and countless other small and large projects.
Do I regret any of it? Not in the least. I sail almost weekly, and work on her weekly. She is my floating refuge from the rest of my day to day grind. I get my family out on her occasionally too. When I am not on her I am thinking about new ways to improve/modify her.
So carry on all you wayward souls. I'll see you on the water or in the chandlery.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 19-12-2011, 22:41   #101
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This is a great thread. Thank you all for your valuable and enlightening comments. My first boat was a C30 that needed alot of TLC and reworking. I learned so much on that boat and still think of her fondly. One thing that I learned was that all the time and money that I put into her was for me only. I was NEVER going to get that money back. I'm okay with that because, like a lot of you, I enjoyed the process. Another thing that I learned was that my next boat would not be a fixer-upper. I was going to buy a boat that somebody else had dumped time and love and money into. And that is just what I did.
My current boat, Wild Wind, was pristine when I purchased her. The seller had receipts in hand for about $40K in upgrades and improvements. I bought her for a very good price just as the economy started to slide. She needed nothing to be done to use her and enjoy her.
So what have I done? Rewired, relocated and expanded the battery system, added a battery monitor and Echo Charger, new battery charger, rewired refrigerator, added fans and vents, made covers for all ports and hatches, covers for outside hand rails, added a stern roller, new anchor and rode, new stern seats,and countless other small and large projects.
Do I regret any of it? Not in the least. I sail almost weekly, and work on her weekly. She is my floating refuge from the rest of my day to day grind. I get my family out on her occasionally too. When I am not on her I am thinking about new ways to improve/modify her.
So carry on all you wayward souls. I'll see you on the water or in the chandlery.

Cheers, Bill
Welcome aboard montenido. You look very familiar. I knew a guy named Max that looked like you. He was a bit mad though...

FWIW - upgrade projects are way more fun to me than restore projects. I categorize painting, rebuilding travellers, neww sails, broken furlers, repairing decks and hulls as restorative. New electronics, battery systems, solar etc. are "toys" that add utility or funcionality. Way more fun, at least in my book.
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Old 20-12-2011, 02:59   #102
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

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also from reading many coments I dont understand why such an easy task as boat refit can generate so much fear...I buy the materials...its up to me if I buy $2000 worth of mahogany or whait for a bargen or find substitut...in this case I was lucky enough to find the wood I need for $500...in the end I am master of my walet, I can chose to get my hands dirty or pay others to do so...then it would cost me a lot.
As a bit of a radical (?) alternative to jumping straight into a refurb project, especially if a Newbie to boats and / or a major refurb.......

What about buying a dirt cheap (or a freebie ) boat that is well past the end of it's life........and then dismantling her! (with limited chainsaw use!). The advantage being that you can get close up and personnel and see how the boat was constructed and also many of the problems you might (?!) want to avoid buying later - could even try out a few fixes to get an idea of how much time "You" would need doing same on the boat (we all have differing skill strengths)..........might also end up with a few bits and bobs for either E-bay or parts for into the next boat fund.

Personally I would go for something wood, even on a rotten boat the odds are good that at least some of the wood will be recoverable (and likely of a quality that no longer readily available).........and if being adventurous, could even try and replace a few planks / ribs / part of the deck etc just to see how that goes (without the fear of buggering things up or requiring the finish to be nice ) - if someone can get a good handle on wooden boats they will have an endless supply of cheap boats - forever?

Obviously won't work so well for the "Go Now!" folks, but the good thing about stuff like this is you do get to make up a lot of your own "rules" to fit own circumstances - downside is you get to live with the consequences . But that's the price of being free
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Old 20-12-2011, 03:39   #103
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

David I belive anyone can rebuild a boat (wood or fiberglass) if they set there minds to it...perhaps dismantaling an old wooder is the best way to understand the works...it dont mater the time we put into a project, the experience gained and the satisfaction is something priceless, you can only get from doing.

needless to say I am not telling others to jump into a project eyes closed and go broke from making bad decisions...go with what you belive is douable.

me I am the kind of guy who will take whatever to the extream...il probably do more boat refits these next few years just to gain experience that will help me in my cruising lifestyle...as a landlumber I am a mecanic and bodyshop owner, as a sailor I will be the guy you can trust your boat with after shipreck (wood or glass)
cheers
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Old 20-12-2011, 04:24   #104
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Re: Refurbing / Refitting an Older boat - Advice and Ideas

Perfection is the enemy of quick

Obviously one can't avoid doing things "right" when structural matters are concerned - but that doesn't mean the results have to always be pretty, that's simply a bonus if it happens .
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Old 20-12-2011, 04:31   #105
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Great thread Dave.
I have a 33 ft contest I bought in February. I have recently started to refurbish the inside and companionway.
My main goal at first is to keep the water out so I rebed the bow rail and sampson post. I wtill need to rebed the life line stancions as well as replace the lines with Dyneema or double braid poly lines. I also want to rebed the chain plates as well as add a good size plate to each under the deck.
The engine is locked up and I still have to pull the block.
I had a man clean the bottom and he said all thru hulls looked good even though the man before me hadn't cleaned the bottom in years.
The rudder moves all the way to port now. He said he cleaned four inches of barnicles off the prop and shaft.
Next year I will be pulling it and replacing all sea cocks, painting and barrier coating the bottom. Adding a three spade prop that came with her and replacing any seals and bushings it needs while I''m there. I'm hoping then I will feel good enough about her to start sailing her while doing major work projects at the same time.

1 Keep the water out.
2. keep the engine running.
3. paint and barrier coat her as well as adding new bronze sea cocks.
4. Work the entire electrical system from the batteries to the fuse panel.
5. Add solar and wind generators.
6. Paint the decks and strip that god awful blue non skid off the boat.
7. Varnish the inside (which is what I am doing now)
8. The head has to be redone using a gravity tank system for draining and pump out.
9. Sail sail sail.
10. Crew crew crew

That's most of my list though not in that particular order. The head will be next year also. But right now there is a lot I can do at the marina at night after work.

Hopefully this link will work. If you want to see a work in progress here are the pics of her when I got her.

Flickr: w1651's Photostream

I will say this. The bare bones are there with my boat. Many have said the guy who cleaned her bottmo included that she doesn't have a soft spot on her.
Really glad you added #3 above. Those rusted gate valves gave me palpitations. I can't believe any boat builder thought those were okay at one point...
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