Join Date: Jul 2002
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Be afraid...be very afraid
All kidding aside, I am a perfect example of the "restore the yard queen" mentality. My current boat (Cal 25 flat top) was basically given to me with a completely caved-in hull-deck joint. The boat was full of water and it had a few structural problems. Nothing that a year of weekends, and several gallons of West System couldn't fix (ok and new shrouds, and tons of marine plywood for bulkheads, cabin sole, bunks, hanging locker, galley, dinette, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and replacing the mast beam, outboard "transom" beam, mast pedestal, and lots of fittings, sails and other stuff. What did my few hundred $ get me? a hull that needed restoration but a brand new Evinrude outboard which was lovingly tucked in the V-berth where it was safe and dry.
I used the boat as a father/son restoration project (I'm the son) and my dad is now acting 25 years younger. He's 76 y/o now and still out there racing with me on occasion and eager for any reason to visit the boat or go sailing. I understand the practicality of spending $1000 to $3000 for a good condition Cal 25 with racing sails and all the trimmings, but I don't know if I would appreciate the boat as much as I do now. Also, I designed all the running rigging. Because I have the experience of repairing everything aboard, I understand where to look and what to do when something goes dreadfully wrong while sailing.
Though a restoration project isn't for the faint of heart, it can be rewarding. My $500 boat ended up costing me over $6000 in materials, yard fees, rigging, etc. To date, I can't even begin to estimate the total cost of this ongoing project. The time spent with my dad, however was priceless. I'm not sure either of us would have as much passion for using a boat I picked up in good condition. I now sail my Cal 25 year-round in Annapolis (Yes, I winter race her as well......Brrrrrrrr).
Cal 25 #1651 Indefatigable