Trying to look at my current boat with an eye of a fixer. There is not an inch of the surface that doesnt have cracks. Head is not working. Atomic4 just has to go no matter how much Moyer saints bring it back to life. Boat needs some (anything) electronics, radio, depth, wind at least? there is only so much my wonderful Navionics on my phone can do. Also need set of beefier shrouds. They are undersized for a tall rig.
So all in all i guess between going diesel, complete surface refinish, new head and shrouds I can spend 25-30k and thats if I do some of the work myself. And then there is small stuff like stove, very old wiring, no cabin lighting, etc ,etc.
I can go the other route and strip it of off everything it has and go racing
Well, it sure sounds like you're faced with some serious work on your boat. Your 25-30K estimate, though, sure seems VERY high, unless you're planning on just making a phone call and writing a check.
The heads not working? Depending upon how you deal with that, you could take care of that for $250 (rip it all out and put in a Thetford 550P MSD; basically, a portapotty w/ pumpout and vent fittings) and not ever have to mess with a holding tank or plumbing again. The $250 includes new hoses and fittings. Even if you wanted to maintain a traditional head, the dollar value of replacing everything with brand new great stuff should be well under $1K.
The deck cracks... well.. yeah.. it's a ton of labor. Is it all cosmetic, or do you have wet cores? If it's cosmetic, do a little at a time. When you get one section looking pretty good, it'll give you a little "lift" and you'll feel more like attacking another section.. and another.. and you'll get better at it.. and faster.. before you know it, it's done (like, in a year or two..
). Again, the price for materials is pretty minimal.
"Need," or "want" electronics? Yeah, I'd hate to be without a depth finder, compass, or radio. Those, in my completely inexperienced opinion, are "needs." Add the "wants" as you go.
Wiring is relatively cheap to do, too. Routing wires can be difficult, I guess, but it's not THAT bad.. and when it is, there's always decent looking surface molding options. Cabin lighting? I redid all of ours with LED bulbs (7 fixtures) for about $100. The fixtures were there already, but they weren't anything special.. white plastic... they can't possibly cost much. Of course, if you want nice, salty-looking brass/bronze/chrome/zebrawood fixtures, you can spend as much as you want.
The engine, of course, is the biggie. I don't know much about marine engines, diesel or the Atomic 4. If yours really "has to go," then yeah, you're looking at spending some serious dough, but still... what... $5000?
Shrouds? Again, we're talking a couple hundred bucks.
Step back.. take a breath... decide to tackle ONE of the projects.. do it.
On the other hand, if you are sick of looking at all of the stuff wrong and that's all you can see (I get it.. I've been there), then it may be worth it to YOU to dump it and just get something in great condition and go sailing. BELIEVE me, I get it. I got kind of burnt out this year fixing stuff myself. However, now I've got a boat that I trust, an engine I trust, and am REALLY looking forward to next season. AND I've still got most of my money..
Best to you. Not trying to sway you either way. Time IS money, and there are definitely times when it's worth it to spend money to get back some time.