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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-03-2014 06:27 PM
Re: Full refit or Partial

If you want to go while you're still young, make sure the essential stuff is tip top and go.

Remember that cruising is often defined as working on your boat in exotic locales.
02-03-2014 02:12 PM
Re: Full refit or Partial

When I got my little boat it had been neglected , inside and out . Major stuff it needed all new canvas and dodger , a new head system and holding tank , a new fuel system & fuel tank clean , some seacocks . New running rigging and the mast head was froze up . Blister job & bottom paint . Fortunately the engine and electric system were good . My point is if you want to get something for less that needs some attention , try to get it with the basics in good shape . If that's possible . On the other hand if it needs a new engine/trans what the hey then you will know the engine is sound too.
02-03-2014 01:41 PM
Re: Full refit or Partial

Partial for me. I wouldn't mind choosing my own sails, lines, maybe even bottom paint or electronics but I don't need a year on the hard getting her ready either....

Something that was pre-loved and loved well but maybe some things were neglected or made due with do to $$$.

My boat was like that, the owner loved her, waxed, teak oiled, clean, replaced a line or two at a time. One by one replaced the winches and even had the cushions re-done about 5 years ago, etc, etc....But kept her on a trailer so the bottom was never attended to for the 10 years he owned her and the sails were all original for the 1988 Catalina.

I upgraded the sales and did a complete bottom job and was good to go.
02-03-2014 01:01 PM
Re: Full refit or Partial


I did ALL of that in the first three years of owning my boat. I've now owned it another 5 granted with out having to do anything. Again, depending upon the how you do things, new could be as good a deal as used.

I would say I have done a complete refit as one can refit. ALL of the interior panels that are removable, have been home to my garage, and revarnished. ALL of the cushions have be replaced. ALL of the vinyl covered panels, and foam backed vinyl on the hull etc have been replaced. NON of the original 20 yr old sails are around per say. ALL of the running rigging has been upgraded.

It is about as rifit as can be.

02-03-2014 12:21 PM
Re: Full refit or Partial

The only way to know what the best purchase tactic would be for you, would be to make a very detailed shopping list of things that would need to be replaced b/f you would be comfortable sailing. Make this list on the older cheaper boat, that needs a lot, and on the newer more expensive boat that needs less. Compare. The major unknown human variable is how much stuff YOU feel like you need to replace b/f you go. If that is almost everything, then just get the older boat and replace everything.
02-03-2014 11:04 AM
Alex W
Re: Full refit or Partial

Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
Along with the reality, that sometimes buying a NEW boat can be cheaper depending upon the refit you go thru! I have about 60K in my 28' on deck boat I bought. That includes, sails, lines, interior replacement of all cushions etc. The only thing I have not replaced per say is the shrouds and stays. For an additional 20-40K or so, I could have bought a new boat 30-32' longer than I have from the same manufacture.
How long have you owned your boat though, and how many sets of sails and lines have you purchased for it? New boats will need those items to be replaced on a regular basis too...

I replaced sails, electronics, furler, and running rigging on my boat last year (the first year of ownership). That was about $10k on top of the purchase price. Standing rigging will likely happen this year or next. Even if I get up to $35k total investment within 5 years I think I'm over $100k cheaper compared to where I'd be 5 years into a brand new and similar quality/feature set 28-32' boat.

BubbleheadMd and I have similar ways of looking at this I think. I did learn my boat really well last year preparing her for a summer of coastal cruising. That doesn't mean that I replaced every single item, but I have learned how to service almost all of them.
02-03-2014 11:03 AM
Re: Full refit or Partial

David, I'm not sure those two lines of thought aren't "apples versus oranges".

OTOH, you're buying the best boat you can. What's that mean, in terms of budget or unlimited budget?

OTOH, you're buying a boat and having it refitted.

That's a difference, having a refit on anything, versus buying a pig in a poke.

I can understand the Pardey's point of view, and mean them no insult when I say they sound more like water hippies than "cruisers". (How many years with no showers and no head and just a dear cedar bucket?) It's a great way to go camping or whatever, but some folks don't just want to go camping.

So the way I see your choice is either buy whatever your budget can afford, now, and go. Or, buy whatever you can afford to buy and refit, for certain, then go. The trick in either case is to avoid the landmines that will keep you sucked into refitting or repairing for so long that you're either broke or out of time.

I'm all in favor of "go small go now" but even if I'm going on a "new to me" boat for a weekend, I want to put eyes and hands on it from bow to stern and make sure it is reasonably reliable for where I'm going. That may just mean "doesn't look like it will sink this weekend", that can be good enough. But if I was taking the same boat out for six months and heading offshore and out of tow range? I'd want to inspect the fuel tanks and have a discussion with Mr. Diesel about how the entire fuel system was, too. I trust diesels about as much as pit bulls, nice doggy, trust but verify.

So, time, budget, finite ends to things. Who does the inspection and refit, doesn't matter if they're competent to do it. How long or how much you allocate to it, doesn't matter as long as it suits your timetable and pocket.

I'd rather buy "stark plain jane" and add new, than untangle obsolete used gear a PO might or might now have installed or maintain correctly, fwiw. I just think it is easier that way.
02-03-2014 10:58 AM
Re: Full refit or Partial

I just know, if I ever did a full re-fit, I would have a full page of squawks within a month.

If I were really configuring for an extended cruise, my re-fit would focus on safety. All other systems, would probably be based upon condition.
02-03-2014 10:17 AM
Re: Full refit or Partial

Originally Posted by davidpm View Post

So my question is, if that is what someone is committed to do, is is likely that the premium paid for a good boat going to pay off in a faster cheaper refit?

What is your experience?

There will be a temptation to address the wisdom of a refit vs fixing things as you go.
I know different people will make different decisions in this regard and have good reasons both way.
I envy the people that could just take off on a boat they hadn't refit and learn and repair on the way.
I personally don't have that ability or confidence so that option is not one I'm likely to follow no matter how good it might be.
If you can please don't get off topic and talk about the just go option.
I am specifically interested in the potential payback of refitting a better boat vs a not better boat.
do you mean financially as an assetwhere you recoup costs oif refitting or are you talking about payback in the sense of having a better suited boat to yuour liking that makes you have better peace of mind regarding the safety of your boat?

if the first refits never recoup money...unless they are sold for 1 dolar and even then as a gift or before the wreckers the amount of money needed to biring a boat to life is often lost when you compare other boats for sale just like the one you are refitting

if the second there is absolutely no $$$ amount that will make your boat bomb proof or unsinkable peace of mind comes from being sane and objective in your decisions both BEFORE AND AFTER the refit

so for example and this is a very broad example if you bought new rigging but yor mast is original its sane to never go ALL OUT all the time...etc...

now if you oversize mast, have it stubby you have new plates, oversized rigging mast plate, keel reinforced you basically over design the rig its quite possible to do so and run her hard...

but what if your hull gets affetcted by this and suffers?

refitting is a delicate art of balancing good and bad...

ps. please define better boat and not better boat? are you talking about condition or design or $$ amount? etc...

02-03-2014 10:09 AM
Re: Full refit or Partial

hey david, check out my islander 36 projects in paradise thread

not saying its the envy of all boats yet or ever will be but a full refit for me includes some of the stuff Im doing like for example new bulkheads, chain plates woodwork....gelcoat...deck repairs etc

I agree that its always about the best boat you can afford...Im a firm advocate of DONT BUY THE BIGGEST BOAT YOU CAN AFFORD

but quite the opposite in that a properly rigged 38 footer that has been modded and outfitted to your complete liking is better than a 45 footer that you have run out of funds to outfit or take shortcuts cause of cost etc...

not to mention that any big projects like bulkheads will be more demanding on a bigger boat, forces involved like rigging and keel work increases and with it expense etc...

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