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post #20 of Old 05-17-2009
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We have a 40 old sailboat. My husband got it for very short money before we were married.

We've put in probably 5x the original price for it. (Don't be too worried, he bought at an auction and had no survey done before taking it...we're probably lucky it's not more. )

But what we've paid has been over seven years of ownership. And at this point we put money away every paycheck just to prepare for expected and unexpected expenses, and also for planned improvements.

We've since gotten the bigger boat bug. We now know enough to know what will be too much work or expensive or time consuming to fix. Fortunately, we learned (and continue to learn) what you are learning now. And it's nice to know that everything you fix is (probably) one less potential unpleasant surprise in the future.

Maybe hold off on the bottom for another year. Or do it yourself. (If you can afford to pay someone I strongly recommend it though. It's not overly difficult, but it's not fun. Or fast. At all. Really, I mean it.) We've sailed with decades of bottom paint on our boat, we still had fun.

Maybe wash the cushion covers and spray the foam with bleach or something and let them sit in the sun. For the cushions we sleep on, we bought a foam mattress topper, cut it to shape with an electric knife and put topper on top of the cushions with sheets over the topper to sleep. And there's no rule that you have to do all the cushions at once. We're doing half of our cushions this year. (Yay!)

Sure, it puts a damper on any fantasies created from going on the shiny new boat show boats. But do what you can to make improvements AND get the most fun out of your investment.

A boat really IS a hole in the water you throw money into. You just have to figure out how to make it worthwhile.
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