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Old 02-02-2016, 11:54   #31
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

How long do you plan to keep the boat?
If you are in your late 70s an expensive refit is a good idea only if you want your son or daughter to sail her in the future. That's a pretty good idea if they spent their childhood and teen years on the boat. Classic cars often are inherited and stay in the family.
If you keep a boat 10+ years after a refit it is likely you will get the original value of the boat back when you sell her. Check out the depreciation of a new boat after 10 years add the cost of her refit and the older boat refit option can make good sense.
The time you spend on the refit can be less than the time you need to be working to pay for a new boat.
There are a lot of variables that need to be included in this equation - you need to identify all of them to get your answer.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:18   #32
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

I suspect the the time to get rid of a boat is a little before you start asking "When to give up on a good old boat".
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:33   #33
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

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but the time wasted is something we can’t get back. Is this just the way of it? We were just interested in finding out some other people’s perspective on what I am sure is an all too common scenario.

Thanks,
J.M.
Hi JM

Whilst you have been working on your boat I have been cruising between one palm covered island and another mixed in with a lovely sail to a culturally significant area for that sort of tourism.

I have been doing it for 7 years non-stop.

During those 7 years I have read countless posts from people on multi-year refits while I relax on my plastic boat most refitters think is a dogs pile of ****.

Many think the refit will just take a year (1/7th of my time cruising) but most underestimate it by a long shot.

Many finally give it up and sell the half finished boat for peanuts.

But what about those people who do finish the 5 year refit? Where do they go? Because they sure as hell don't share my anchorage. I don't think I have ever had Sundowners on a boat that's done a huge refit.

Maybe they just keep quiet about the work involved?

All I know is I have a very short life expectancy and I am going to spend it under that palm tree, not under the keel in a boat yard.

Go buy a turn key plastic boat and come share my anchorage.

Mark
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:24   #34
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

In a perfect world we'd be able to buy a Bristol shape Swan or some such and sail into the blue ocean with a cruising kitty bursting at the seams. But since we are stuck in reality not many of us can fork out $300-500K required these days for a new semi-decent passage maker, never mind a 50ft new Swan or Oyster.

This being the case I think it's all a matter of priorities. If one is not retired nor is independently wealthy the real choice is between getting an older cheaper boat and slowly working on her as needed between the sailing seasons or work longer hours at one's primary job/business or 2nd-3rd jobs to afford a turn-key newish boat. But in the latter situation when will one have time to sail her if one will be working long nights and weekends to afford her?

To advise someone whose total boat budget is $30-50K or less that they really should be sailing rather than working on their boat is akin to Marie-Antoinette advising the breadless Parisian plebs to switch to eating cake. After all said and done I'd rather be working on my good old boat than not having a boat to begin with. But that's me.
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:44   #35
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

I know too many "sailors" who spend all their time on the hard in the marina. If a can't sail a boat home, I'm not interested. Even if its "perfect", you know it will still need a ton of work.

I look at the current value of the boat, minus the cost of repairs. That number needs to be much greater than zero. I'd rather buy a boat that is ready to go, than one that needs repair, even if the dollars add up the same. I prefer sailing over boat repair. Boat repair is a necessary evil needed for boat ownership, and I do my best to keep it to a minimum.

There are boats out there right now "for free" that I would not touch with a 10' boat hook.
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:48   #36
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

MarkJ.....there's only one part of your scenario that doesn't fit all, and that is some people aren't to the point of being able to sail off into the blue yet, regardless of what kind of boat they get, and the expensive turn key boat that comes with a loan may keep them working even longer. We could have afforded a turn key boat, but we didn't choose to go that route for reasons that sometimes make sense to us and sometimes leave us scratching our heads. Be that as it may. When we bought our current boat we knew that we had a minimum of two more years, possibly three, that we had to work anyway before I was eligible to retire and take my pension. Boat or no boat, sailing from island to island wasn't on the table yet. So in our minds we had plenty of time to finish the refit. As you said though, they do tend to take longer than you think, and having done several before we knew that. At the most this refit will cost us one season that we could have otherwise been cruising, but if we are able to be retired that will be good enough for us, and time spent in the boatyard isn't as objectionable to us as it might be to some people. So those people that have to keep their 9-5 for now anyway may just find those weekends in the boatyard to be just as enjoyable for them as your islands are for you. And if their sweat equity profits them something in the end that brings them enjoyment and they may not have been able to afford any other way, then so much the better. To each his own.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:01   #37
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

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Originally Posted by JMK View Post
When is it time to give up on a “good old boat”, cut your losses, and buy a new boat? Believe me, I’ve been down this road before. By an older boat, spend time and money fixing it up, and then eventually sell it. We are now back at that same point. We bought a classic boat with a great layout, and 35 years under her keel and have spent the last year addressing everything you would expect to find on a boat of this vintage. Along the way there were a few extra hiccups. A defect on the bottom of the keel resulted in a $10K repair as we discovered water all along the encapsulated lead keel. Then there are other things we still need to address. There’s some water intrusion in the balsa core side decks, the engine needs to be replaced, the plumbing and electrical systems needs some upgrading – everything you would expect in a boat of this age. In the past it was always a trade-off of our time and effort to get a better boat out of it all. Now it seems that there is not enough time, when we would rather be sailing than spending time in the yard renovating. What’s the tipping point? In the end it would be money ahead to stick it out with the renovation, but the time wasted is something we can’t get back. Is this just the way of it? We were just interested in finding out some other people’s perspective on what I am sure is an all too common scenario.

Thanks,
J.M.
J.M.

I think you already know the answer. Sad but sometimes it is what it is.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:16   #38
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

Why do some people dream of building their home with their own hands while others want new construction and Ikea furniture? Why will some people spend ooohgobs of money and untold hours in their garage working on an old 57 Chevy when they could just turn the key on a Toyota and drive? To the person who doesn't have that calling there is no explaining it, but sometimes I sense a tone to some of these posts when people who work on boats are referred to as "sailors" (we all know what that means, right?) where it seems that there is an inference that there is no value to what they are doing and somehow it makes them "less of a sailor" than those who don't do it, as if the two can't co-exist. I have had these comments made directly at and about me on other threads, that insinuation that we don't or can't sail because I often comment on restoring old boats.

I have never heard anyone accuse someone who restores classic cars of being a non-driver. Where does this come from? We've restored a lot of boats. We've sailed them too. Out of the 35 years we have been boating I would say probably 8 of those years have been spent in the process of refitting a boat entirely and not sailing. Other times we have been refitting a boat but also had a second boat that we could use. We enjoyed that time doing the refit almost as much as the time we spent using the boats after they were done. We see it as a craft in a way. We get such a feeling of accomplishment out of it, and there is a pride that comes with sailing a boat that is so very personally yours because you have literally put so much of yourself into it. You can't get that by saying, "yep, I bought this...." Not that we haven't gone that way too, and enjoyed sailing boats regardless of how we came by them. But it seems every thread I have ever been on in this forum that deals with the topic of restoring old boats will at some point bring those posters that imply that people who choose to lavish their time and money on the restoration of an old boat are wasting our time, there is no value in spending the resources to restore an old classic, or we are somehow non-sailors. I built my own camping trailer too, from scratch, on an old frame that once had a pop up on it. Could have easily bought a camper for less than I spent building it but I had a total blast doing it. Then I had a total blast camping in it for 3 years. And it was such a rush when people would come up to me and say, "cool camper, where did you get it?, and I got to say, "I built it." But the fact that I built it didn't make me a "non-camper." It's absurd.

The other thing I find interesting is why people who wouldn't touch a boat restoration project with a 10 foot boat hook want to get on a thread that is about restoring old boats and make negative comments about restoring old boats.

And for all you folks also debating over on the green thread about the environmental impact of all these plastic boats, it keeps them out of the landfill just a little bit longer, maybe even a lot longer. That's not a bad thing, is it?
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:26   #39
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

Oldragbaggers,

No one should denigrate people who like doing refits etc. And as you say, many are great sailors. Viva la difference!

Asked a young couple about the name of their boat: "Tookawhile"

The builder took 13 years to build it and on the first sail was seasick and put it up for sale. As it was a home built boat no one wanted it so the price dropped till this nice young couple could buy it and live out the 13 year dreams of the builder.

Not everyone, but some.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:36   #40
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

ok so here it is... i bought abeautiful but geeked up 40 year old boat with intact masts, decent ( hellacool )autopilot, blown up engine, and new rigging, for what turned out to be 4650 usdollars. ok. ( so otto is, new, installed, would have been 15000 usdollars. ok) (rig was 10k in lost angeles, 2004)... had outdated 'tronix--no big deal. usable tempoorarily until i find what i want.. and i did, and continue to so do at lesser prices than others. my old SOLID hull and deck and sails and spars are good. my newly rebuilt engine is awesome. i have a newly built perota mizzen boom and i will convert all my horizontal spars to perota. beautiful wood.
you may know it as ipe.
i have put 3000 miles on this boat, and now i want to refit her. i know what i want now.
i want this boat with minor mods. and beautiful wood spars and some other mods, and more sailing.
this is a wonderful cruising boat.

btw--most of the fails here i have seen have been on newer "ready to go" sloops...


and did i mention that when i had my boom created to be exactly like the other one (thai cedar), that my finished price was 1200 pesos at 16 to one usd?? these are hollow box with strip stringers each board, epoxied and then epoxied after creation. i will be playing with auto clear coat. no paint. no varnish.
i anticipate my main boom being mebbe 2000 pesos.
and 1500 for the sprit. pesos.

and did i mention i actually sailed 3000 miles before i rebuilt the engine realigned it and went another 300 to get the rest of the repairs done.....

anyone can sail a perfect boat or a new boat, but it takes a really smart and creative soul and good sailor to sail a boat with issues.
i would rather learn the issues as i am doing, on the go, in a pretty and solid ketch than have em surprise me as they do in those new fangled plastic production boats right off the line.


one more thing--if you consider your boat a thing an dexpendible, and not as an integral part of lifestyle, then you ar eprobably ready to sell it and move on shore.
if you enjoy your boat and consider it something more special than a thing in your life, you can only make it more comfortable. why trade this one you are knowing for one you do not yet know and will have same exact issues .....
why ditch the devil you know for one you do not know.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:43   #41
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

Some people LIKE working on the boat over using it. The problem is that not many of those seem to know it.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:45   #42
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

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Oldragbaggers,

No one should denigrate people who like doing refits etc. And as you say, many are great sailors. Viva la difference!

Asked a young couple about the name of their boat: "Tookawhile"

The builder took 13 years to build it and on the first sail was seasick and put it up for sale. As it was a home built boat no one wanted it so the price dropped till this nice young couple could buy it and live out the 13 year dreams of the builder.

Not everyone, but some.
I know of someone who bought a $50K boat for cash and took it out and got sea-sick and came home and sold it. At a loss. At least while you are working on a boat you can have the immense pleasure of anticipation of that day when you will sail away, no matter how it may turn out. Foolhardy? It boils down to what makes you happy. Perhaps those were 13 very happy years for the builder.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:58   #43
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

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Some people LIKE working on the boat over using it. The problem is that not many of those seem to know it.
I'm firmly in both camps.

Personally I believe that the value of knowing your boat inside out far outweighs the time lost/spent working on her. Given the choice of working extra hours at my day job to earn more $$ to either get a newish boat or pay someone for a refit I'd rather spend these hours with the boat getting to know her every nook and cranny and every system and doodah. Now if I win the lottery then may be I'd be sailing more and working on the boat less. But I'd still would invest my time in getting to know the boat. As an old salt once advised me - there ain't no AAA out there in the ocean and to be stuck out in the middle of it there knowing only whom to call to fix things on the boat won't be much help either.
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Old 02-02-2016, 15:03   #44
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

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I'm firmly in both camps.

Personally I believe that the value of knowing your boat inside out far outweighs the time lost/spent working on her. Given the choice of working extra hours at my day job to earn more $$ to either get a newish boat or pay someone for a refit I'd rather spend these hours with the boat getting to know her every nook and cranny and every system and doodah. Now if I win the lottery then may be I'd be sailing more and working on the boat less. But I'd still would invest my time in getting to know the boat. As an old salt once advised me - there ain't no AAA out there in the ocean and to be stuck out in the middle of it there knowing only whom to call to fix things on the boat won't be much help either.
if i won lottery i would have dough for a larger work crew so more time on water lol.
mebbe move up to a 51......formosa....
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Old 02-02-2016, 15:05   #45
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Re: When to give up on a good old boat

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I know of someone who bought a $50K boat for cash and took it out and got sea-sick and came home and sold it. At a loss. At least while you are working on a boat you can have the immense pleasure of anticipation of that day when you will sail away, no matter how it may turn out. Foolhardy? It boils down to what makes you happy. Perhaps those were 13 very happy years for the builder.
I actually find working on the boat quite therapeutic. As opposed to day sailing which is sometimes nerve wrecking when you have landlubber guests who keep treating the galley, the head and the boat in general as though they were home.

Not to mention the satisfaction of accomplishing some task or project which I could never afford if I had to get the boatyard to do it for me.
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