I have some small boat restoration
experience. I will try to share here some of what I found doing my own projects.
To start with, have a look at the price
of a typical new, boatyard built boat of similar size / design.
Say it is 100 'units'.
In the asking price
, there are things like planned profit, taxes
and labour costs, etc. which one may be able to go around, if restoring one's own project
. Depending on where the boat was build -
- we are now down to say 50 units.
However, it the price of a new boat, there will also be some price benefits that a sole restorer will find next to impossible to get - imagine buying
resin, in bulk, for building of 10 thousands identical hulls, imagine buying
, glass mat, masts and rigging
, sails, engines, ropes ... OK, OK - so - you will hardly ever get things at the prices a big boatyard will. So, we are now back at -
say 70 units.
Now is time to decide how much of a price of a new boat can be discounted to arrive at your estimated restoration cost. From my experience, a lot. And some amt has to be added on top of this figure to correct for materials and equipment
prices as discussed above.
I think, at least 30%.
The other huge factor is your skills and your labour cost. If you are a retired and a very competent hands-on boat builder
/ boatyard worker, you will have the time, the skills and the persistence and the friendships to take up almost any job and do it to the standards you have developed and achieved over years of practice, the further you are from this ideal, the more time you will need for the project
and the further the result will be from what you see in a new boatyard built boats.
Last but not least, the restoration project will has to take place somewhere - trade
in the shed / boatyard / marina costs to get the full picture.
Now back to my personal experience, restoring a classic beauty is WAY more expensive than building a new one - skilled labour costs are huge in the places where such a restoration takes place, material costs are high and boatyard space is expensive. This, I think will cool you down a bit.
However, the other side of a story is pretty bright: a good design / condition hull
with spars and working engine
present can be gotten to seaworthy condition at very reasonable cost NO FRILLS. Young people from my part of the world will often pick up a small GRP boat, bring her up to shape, sail round the N Atlantic and sell it off (often with a gain) one year later.
So, depending on your own skills, location, the subject and the target, you can have a good boat for much less than the one that leaves the boatyard.
For the first project, I would pick up the cheapest quality hull, preferably with all spars and an inboard, and go for it. Do not go for a derelict, go for a boat you think you can restore.
If it is not what you are cut for, all you may lose is some restorer's pride and a couple thousand. If it works, you learn the cost tricks, you develop your skills and you sell the project off. Then you use the money
you made towards THE project. Or else you use the money towards a brand new and shiny boat fresh from an the boatyard.