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davidpm 02-07-2010 07:30 PM

What sailboats are "worth" restoring
If one was to take on a project boat, a backyard special or dock queen I suspect that some brands/models may be generally considered a better choice than others.

First a couple of definitions:
Worth: I'm assuming that any sailboat restoration is not going to be profitable. So by worth I'm not saying it could be sold for a profit. By worth I thinking in terms of, great sailing, reasonable resale value, historical value, amazing design not just dollars.
Restore: This one is a bit vague too. Not necessarily a like new refit but sail-able.

What are some brand/models you may or may not personally choose to restore but would at least understand the call and what makes that boat worthy in your view.

For example normal but put on this list is the Pearson Triton. Nice shape hull, solidly build nice lines good reputation.

bljones 02-07-2010 07:37 PM

Any Hinkley.
Any Herreshoff design.
Any Alberg boat. They are all the same, just different lengths and different builders.
Any boat that makes you see the potential, and you can defend without rationalizing when you inevitably have "the talk" with your significant other.

BarryL 02-07-2010 08:11 PM


Good thread.

I can't imagine someone letting a Hinkley or Herreshof get that bad in the first place.

Personally, I would think Tartan or Sabre. I think that some Sabres had problems with leaking chainplates resulting in wet decks. One of those could be a good choice to restore.


tomwatt 02-07-2010 08:30 PM

Worth is personal, to a point.
In locating my hull, I had specific things in mind, and the fact that the interior was in poor shape had little bearing on my final choice, as it is my intent (the scope of the project) to customize it to suit myself. So very few boats out there would have met my needs off the shelf anyway.
Having just spent part of this morning looking at a "project" that was sadly not salvageable, and being one of those sorts of dreamers that feels sadness at the thought of a fine old hull disintegrating through neglect, I suppose any reader can quickly peg me as "one of those"...
Since most (I'm sure the yacht brokers would quibble and I wouldn't argue that their viewpoint is invalid, at least from their standpoint) would agree that resale value has little to do with worth, you have to decide somewhere along the line what you're going to commit to a project.
And is it something with a big budget up front, or will it be a little along (which is the typical American backyard mechanic's way of doing things)?

catamount 02-07-2010 08:50 PM

I am quite happy with my Peterson 34, which I brought back from the brink.

Some other designs that I think would be worthwhile projects:
Cal 40
C&C 35

I would think you should be looking for a boat that has a well-known reputation for its sailing qualities, and for which the original construction was decent (the Hinckley's and Alberg's mentioned above, for example). I would steer clear of boats that have a reputation for being cheaply-built. There's nothing really wrong with production lines like Bristol, Pearson, Catalina, but they don't really stand out, either. Of course, much depends on your intended use!

Sabreman 02-07-2010 09:07 PM

I think that the question is too vague. Any boat is worth restoration if the end product meets the owner's needs and budget. The rest is just a matter of scale. There are "good" boats and "bad"; SailNet has lots of threads extolling the virtues and deficiencies of many brands. While I agree with BarryL about the virtues of Sabres and their chainplate issues, the list could be expanded greatly.

Perithead 02-07-2010 09:19 PM

I would have to say that the Montgomery line of boats are well worth restoring, I would love to find a M17 to restore myself I love that boat!

But any boat really is probably worth restoring as long as the restorer thinks so.

eMKay 02-07-2010 09:28 PM

I would say anything that can be brought back to life in one off season, but I like sailing more than restoring.

mitiempo 02-07-2010 10:13 PM

A boat that sails well, was originally well built for its day. All older boats have issues, but the "project" should be restoring the boat to its original quality and modifying items you would like to change, but not to make up for bad design or build to start with. Everybody's eye for beauty is different, and I forget who said it but when rowing away you should want to turn around for another look.

Hinckley, Sabre, CS, C&C, Cal, Pearson (Triton and others), Alberg, Spencer (B.C. built), Bristol, Contest, SHE (UK), Rival, Contessa (26 & 32) and many others as well as custom boats from good designers, S&S, Peterson, Rhodes, Lapworth, Crealock, Herreschoff (probably wood), Perry, Tripp and others.

And the Vega 27 all except for one.....

eMKay 02-07-2010 10:51 PM


Originally Posted by mitiempo (Post 568067)
And the Vega 27 all except for one.....


That boat would be worth it to the right person, but not me.

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