The other part of the above examples is that even if you pay the 120k for the new boat, in ten years of use it will need a refit so you have to add that to the original cost as well. So to compare apples to apples that 120 will actually be closer to 160, and it will be worth how much? There's just no free lunch when it comes to boats.
I think the biggest decision regarding refits is time, not money. I've done major refits on three boats now, and the money isn't what I remember being the hard part (and I didn't have much spare change then), it was the time. Time away from family, time away from work/business, time away from sailing and enjoying the boat with the family. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy working on boats and still do almost all of my own work, and I have learned a hell of a lot over the years by doing these refits which gives me the confidence that I could fix almost anything that came along. But, there are limits. The second refit came dangerously close to souring me on boating all together because I got into a situation where I didn't have a choice but to finish what I'd started and it took eons (or so it seemed at the time) to complete it which became pretty stressful with one setback after another (yes, it's true, not all boat projects go smoothly:-)). If you are staring at a long list of projects that you know (there will be many others you don't know about yet) you will have to do to be happy with the boat, make the best honest (consult with people that have done it and use their hours whenever possible) estimate of how long you think it will all take and then quadruple it (historically this is how long my projects have actually taken, you may be lucky and it will only be 3X). If you are not willing, or able, to devote that much time and effort (on top of the cost), think seriously about selling and buying a boat that is already in "sail away" shape (your family will thank you). After three refits I realize that I am an addict and there is no hope for me, but if my story can help others...
SV Laurie Anne
1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse
Last edited by jrd22; 07-27-2011 at 01:15 AM.