The main problem I find with most peoples "refits" of older boats is the same I find with people who do cosmetic fixes on houses. Instead of gutting the damn thing they slap some paint
on it and call it "renovated", then the wall cracks.......
If your buying
an older boat make sure you have a really solid idea of what it's actual condition is, then make up a list of the work it will take to correct the problems, estimate the time it will take, then double that time.
Most "refits" I've seen were minimum effort, mainly just enough to make it usable and get it in the water
, then the same people spend most of their time putting bandaids on the underlying problems. It's much easier and much cheaper to go full bore for a period of time while the boat is still on the hard
and fix the issues than to try to niggle it to death while in the water.
If you don't have the skills and ability to do the majority of the work yourself it will be a costly and long, drawn out affair. I don't know how the marine
contractors are in your part of the world but around my neck of the woods its a painful and aggravating process to get them to show up when they say they will and even more painful to get the work done right, with the exception of a few, and those few are not cheap
The boats I've refitted usually required a year of intense, hard work and a moderate amount of money
, but I always went in with a plan and went to it. On our current
boat I have to pull the engine
because of oil leaks
, but while it's out I'm going to rebuild
it, because 70% of the work is getting it out and putting it back in, I'd have to be nuts to do that and not rebuild
it. While it's out I'm going to gut most of the wiring
in the engine
compartment and redo it, to fix all the half baked "modifications" done by previous owners and the contractors they hired. Why? Because it's the easiest time to do it and I'll have excellent access. Ditto for the other wiring
on the boat.
I'm also going to rip out most of the plumbing
and redo the water and waste systems for the same reason, it's easier to rip out the old completely and do it right rather than try to patch up the original 30 year old system and all the bandaids that've been put on it in that time. It's also cheaper in the long run.
Since it'll be on the hard
with the mast
removed I'll be able to inspect the rig, even though the rig is only 4 years old, it's still cheaper to replace iffy parts
than to wait for a failure. I'll also rewire the mast
at the same time, a couple hundred dollars of wire is cheap insurance
considering the cost of pulling and re-stepping the mast. Why wouldn't you?
All the deck hardware
will also be pulled and re-bedded, it's cheap insurance
and damage. If your not willing to go to that level your probably better off buying
a new or a newly refitted boat, otherwise your boat will just become an ongoing work in progress, never quite done and never quite right.
But, if your willing to go to that level of refit
you can get a 10 year span of relatively reliable service
from your boat, at least that's what I've found over the years. Then sell it before you have to do it again, your usually only good for 10 years or so before it requires extensive work, the other alternative is to start doing projects one at a time each season at the 5 year mark, in that scenario you can keep your boat in pretty good shape over a long period of time.
If you can't do the work yourself, it's not a financially wise venture.