Originally Posted by jobi
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.
Yeah, the doing
is the key
Lots of things sound easy (or quick
) on paper / in theory........learning ones own limits (in time, skills and enthusiasm!) is very useful..........and getting satisfaction out of the process is essential.
On which note:-
10 years out? - time to upskill
No need to buy "the" boat from the getgo, even as a longterm project
- if also starting from a low skill base (sailing and / or refurb) then have plenty of time to learn some of the skills you will later need, even if only to know your own limits but nonetheless be able to know what needs doing (and how) by others. And if the boat fund still needs a few more years (or so!) then acquiring skills now is a fairly cheap
way of making progress without the need to write a large cheque(s!) from the getgo. and will save money
later (on purchase
of "The" boat and during refurb).
I would suggest:-
1) Basic Carpentry
- could even start with a shelf
and or a basic box (both design and build), even if (when?!) they come out looking like cr#p you will
have learnt a lot - including on what other tools would make your life easier and your patience (will need a fair bit for a long term boat refurb). When you give something a go often find that not so complicated or difficult as first imagined.....albeit sometimes it's worse
2) Build a boat!
- I would go for a simple small dink, possibly as a potential tender
for "the" boat - or even with a sail on for use in quiet water
. Or for E-bay.......much the same reasons as building the shelf / box, except now you are looking for the results to be nice - and will throw in some use of Epoxy
or F/g which you will need later (not as scarey as it sounds - the key (lol!) is preparation). Will also develop some hands on understanding of what various bits of boats actually do.
3) Get some training
- Personally am not a big one on paper qualifications, but nonetheless for someone starting out then training (on top of some reading) is a good way to quickly learn at least the basics (what the various bits of string do, rules of the road etc)....at least to the point of having a decent handle on knowing your
unknowns. Can be formal ($$$) and / or from freinds / dockmates - be aware that not everyone knows what they are doing
and sometimes what works well is boat (and Skipper) specific........but the more varied the experiances (and boats and "teachers") the better, over time you will learn to pick the bones out for the useful stuff.
4) Buy a small Boat
- if the sailing dink is / becomes not enough, then time to skill up on both the sailing end, the boat ownership
/ maintanence and skippering end of things (all related and plenty of overlap - but all different)....with those no substitute for hands on doing. If you start small (the definition of small will vary for each - for me around 20 foot, plus or minus a couple) then any buying mistakes
won't be so bad and / or can sell failry quickly simply by a price
reduction that won't cripple you. One of the tricks is not to overspend on a boat you know will be sold sooner or later (any major refurb
costs won't be reflected in the sale
price) at least not on things that can't be taken onto the next boat (say, like an Engel Fridge / Freezer
and a Solar
Panel etc)....hell, even if this boat came with a few nice toys doesn't mean she has to be sold with them! Just don't make the removal
obvious by leaving large holes!
Not to say that you would be stuck with your first boat until "the Boat" arrives, but obviously the more boat buying
and selling the more likely to lose money
The big advantage of having own boat is it allows you into "the club" of boat owners in your locale - no longer seen as a dock
dreamer (timewaster?) simply passing through....plenty of advice (good and bad!) and even help (see above re training), many folk are happy for a crew member
(even if they don't need one)........especially if they are known to bring goodies onboard (Beer or Food!) - word gets around quick in boat circles
, gossiping is
the boat owners favourite pastime
- get some basic understanding, try wiring
in something simple like another light (or even a Solar
panel) or simply re-wriring one or two things. Like the rest of the hands on stuff, things become clearer from the doing - odds on that you will need to do a re-wire at some point on "the" boat.
- On a budget
you need to know at least how to service
a marine diesel
and / or an Outboard
would be useful........and how to spot when something is not quite right (before it gets expensive - or terminal!)....anything on top of that probably requires some inherent mechanical gift - or at least a willingness to give something a go
and being able to live with the consequences of things not going so good! (I am very good at taking things apart, just no idea whether what I am looking at is good or bad (but parts
off an engine
can be walked to a shop for advice / re-build = cheaper) - am not so hot at putting things back, with nothing left over
Given time and inclination, the ideal upskill would be to rebuild
(fully) an engine
in your own workshop - kerplunked engines fairly cheap
to acquire, (may get a free one with a boat you dissassemble!) even if you need to scrounge 2 (or 3) and add some new parts
Apart from the learning
curve could also end up with a working engine that would allow you to buy "The" boat with a non-working engine - and that really
drops the price
......obviously on top of that there are the install costs which are pretty unavoidable (unless lucky enough to be doing a like for like replacement - and even then new replacements
for much probably prudent).
7) Extra skills
- everything is useful, but what springs to mind is rigging
, principally being able to swage (fix) on fittings. The odds are that the age of the rigging
on "the" boat will be unknown (or claims not to be trusted), so will need a re-rig.
Probably need to spend on a bit of kit, but makes a re-rig fairly straightforward - the skill of a proffessional rigger (apart from being quicker / doing things right first time) is principally about knowing what a boat needs - but for that you can cheat
, by simply replacing like for like (if the mast
has stayed up for 20 odd years the rig design must be good - albeit a quick Google
might be a comfort to find out whether failing rigs are common - "they all do that" good to know beforehand!)......I would try out on your first boat (whether needed or not!), as any problems are likely to be identified mid bay rather than mid ocean
On my own wish list are also being able to steam wood
and bend stainless steel tube
and use a sewing machine
...how all that will work out is another thing
.....for others extra skills may be more boat specific. Like Welding or Plastering!
I am not saying that everyone needs all (or any!) of the above before getting involved in a refurb
project on "the" boat, nor that you need to acheive Craftsman status in each (you won't in all - and probably not in any!) - but bottom line is that you get to choose when you acquire at least a basic part of these skills - either before or during a Project, and during adds time to the Project - great if you have it, but even if have easy to get bogged down / dispirited from lack of progress.