Rather than look at the big projects, why not see what a small one is like? I picked up an old Snark daysailer for free off Freecycle and decided to use it as an educational restoration project. Rather than talk about big, expensive project boats, let's see it done in miniature.
For those interested, here's my chronicle of dinghy restoration: Mini-Heeler: There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Boat
It's amazing what you can do with a local West Marine and a Home Depot.