Originally Posted by T34C
Congrats!!! Normally buying a boat is a big day, but buying 2 ....
Wow. My new feathering prop is the same price as his two boats. That's a lament, not a boast.
Seriously, though, it's a great time to pick up a Good Old Boat that is seaworthy and sound, but narrow, dark and unstylish and maybe a trifle pokey. A lot of people who bought 25-33 footers in their late 30s in the late '60s-1980 are either too old to want to sail now, or have moved up to bigger boats or trawlers. The entry-level classic plastic refuses to die and is practically given away as the cost of repairs (high due to lack of skilled labour and the amount of damaged boats from worsening weather) exceeds all but sentimental value. A friend of mine went from a Shark to a late '70s Pearson 30 in near-mint condition for just ten grand last year, and he is extremely happy with that extra six feet and the nearly six feet of headroom.
While it takes a fair bit of handiness to keep these boats together (tabbing bulkheads and inspecting keel bolts becomes an issue, but a solvable issue), it's rarely worth it to beautify them beyond new, non-brown-plaid cushions and maybe a new head and the removal of dodgy gate valves and house-grade wiring. Most of them will take an outboard, which may be a better bet than fixing an elderly inboard, and the engine space holds a LOT of cargo.
Another idea is to lay in solar panels or a small genset instead of the engine to give you enough electricity to run refrigeration and lights, making even a 27-footer a nice one-man liveaboard. You'll never make your money back on such a boat or such "renovations", but if you like the liveaboard life, you can do it for little money and a fair bit of comfort while preserving the sailing qualities of the boat to do extended coastal travel.