Join Date: Dec 2010
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Re: Just curious if anyone still makes a living fixing up old sailboats
I think you're right, the window to make money refurbishing an old boat and reselling it, closed about 10 or so years ago(there are some exceptions).
I've been in the design building (home ) biz my whole working life and the last decade - especially, has seen new construction costs spiral.
I see the increase mostly in the labor market. Plus today there are newer more complex systems that require more specialists. With these factors (and others), the speculative market in new homes has just about disappeared in my region (New England).
You can tie the above into the marine industry as well. There's great potential for businesses that care for other peoples boats, to prosper but the owner of the boat will never recoup his investment of labor and material costs, never mind the business profit margin the owner is charged.
The boat speculator has to make money on his time - pay his expenses(building, tools, etc) - and end up with a profit to make the work worthwhile.
Boats aren't assets (like homes) and as the market has gone soft (and getting softer), you could lose a lot of money trying to rehab and turn over an old one today.
Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
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