I spent $6500 for my 1975 Newport 28 with an Atomic 4 engine back in 2007. She was sailable immediately, but in the passing years I've completely rewired her engine electrical system; replaced the head gasket, water pump, exhaust system, manifold, and carburetor; had the alternator rebuilt; had to have extensive patching of my genny and a cunningham cringle added to the main; and added various bits of deck hardware here and there.
My hope for the boat was that the family would take an interest, but that never happened and I single handed most of the time, with my nephew serving as crew occasionally. Now he's married and wants to raise a family, so I've lost him as well.
Now I've decided to sell the girl after this season, and I plan on fixing up the shore power, alcohol stove, and sinks to good condition, and replace the old through hull valves before I sell her.
I have no idea how much I've put into her, but I look at it as money spent on entertainment. Since I am not buying a replacement boat, I'm planning on letting her go for some amount that will guarantee she sells -- if I get my last year's slip fee out of her, I'll be happy.
My point is not put sneak a for-sale ad into the thread, but to point out that I think the important aspect of buying a boat is to make sure you can sail her right away. Unless you drive her off the lot, any boat you get is going to need some kind of work, so why pick one that you can't get on the water RIGHT NOW, and do the maintenance in the off season or during the height of the doldrums in mid-summer?
Of course, this doesn't help anyone already trapped on the hard with a project boat -- but I think it's good advice for those looking for their first boat. When I was shopping around I turned down a boat just because we couldn't get the engine started when I looked at her. The owner swore it'd start right up with a fresh battery, but it sounded like it was turning over OK to me, and as simple as a marine gas engine is, if it won't start right up God knows what might be wrong with it. The gal I finally bought fired right up and we had a nice sea trial. And that was the final decider for me: no good sea trial, no sale.
S/V Free Spirit
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