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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I bought a 32 year old boat last September and made big plans for it, with the biggest single expenses being replace the moldy cushions ($2,000), soda blast and apply a barrier and new paint ($1,900), replace much of the running rigging and upgrade the electronics.

But now I find this rot in the foredeck that has completely shaken my confidence in the survey that was performed and in the boat itself. I realize that this one section can be fixed but I'm worried that there is more and other problems not yet detected.

I have put the soda blasting on hold and can probably cancel the cushions, although I think the fabric is ordered.

The electronics can come with me to the next boat, but other than that, it looks like this boat either has or will have no value. I was hoping to keep it for the next 8 seasons and look at a new boat then, but if the cost of maintenance is going to exceed the cost of the payments, I am probably just wasting money.

At what point do we just pack it in?
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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I think the answer lies in the reason you chose this boat. Is this the perfect boat for you for the next ten years? Did you purchase it because you LOVE this boat? The way it sails, the lay out, etc? If so, it might make sense to spend the money to save her and sail the pants off of her for the next ten years, then sell her to someone who can appreciate the love and attention you have lavished on her. Even if you were to buy a brand new boat, you will still have expenses for maintenence, outfitting etc.

On the other hand, if you bought this boat because the price was right but you don't really love anything else about it, then you will never be happy with the end product no matter how much or how little you spend.

No one can give you a definitive answer because a boat is always a silly financial investment. You will never get your money out of a boat. What you do have to look for is a way to get maximum joy for your investment.
 

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Sea Slacker
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:) doesn't sound like it's been all that expensive.

I bought a boat that is now 37 years old. I usually estimate that for any boat I would spend the same amount I paid for her in improvements in the next few years. In this case I was off by a factor of 2 :) I spent twice what I paid for her so far (and I paid quite a bit for a boat too, it wasn't one of those junkyard cheapo deals).

It's got to be something you enjoy doing and don't feel bad about paying for. I do not - it's something I like and I like spending money on my boat. If you do not - then it's pretty much a given that any amount spent will make you unhappy.

Buying any boat is rarely a good financial decision. Buying an old boat is *never* a good "financial decision".
 

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When you buy a 32 year old boat, the first question you have to ask yourself is...

do you really enjoy messing about in boats? Fixing thing. Figuring things out for yourself. Being a sailor is as much understanding the boat and repairing the boat as it is understanding sailing.

I had a 30-year old boat, sold it in much better shape than I bought it, but really didn't spend much. But did learn the boat inside and out.

Not to save money, though, if the above is true and you are, or can be come good a the above crafts. It should be to enjoy the process. If you are going to pay others, perhaps the battle is lost.

Really, the surveyor should not have missed the deck issue. That is what you paid him for. Perhaps a second inspection of some manner is in order, just to get the major issues on paper.

Can you sew? Can the cushions be cleaned? Can you strip the bottom? Do you need to, or can you paint over it with minimal sanding? Most do. A hand-held GPS, depth sounder, and VHS are all you NEED, and the VHS is the only real need, since the others didn't exist 30 years ago in any practical sense. Sail repairs can be done by hand or at minimal cost.

And I am sorry for the rude awakening, but buying a 30-year old boat with payments was a misstep. New boats have payments and few repairs. Old boats have no payments and many repairs. You'll be OK. You just have a learning curve.
 

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I have seen some pretty big messes with NEW boats :)


Pretty much everybody i know has and older boat (many who could afford anything like the J44 guys) and unless its really horrific just deal with a bit at a time.

You can do a WHOLE lot of work for 1k+ a month new boat payment over 20 years
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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As Mimsy says, Do you like the boat? Like sailing it, looking at it, etc? If so, I'd start at planning to keep it.

But if you don't trust the survey that was done (was this by a surveyor of your own choosing?), why not do a survey of your own at this point to help decide? Look thru Sailingdog's tips for inspection. Check some fittings other than the baby tang to see if they've had water intrusion. Do a complete plastic hammer tap test of the deck (and I can't believe you surveyor missed the 'thunk' that would have occured on your rot!). If the surveyor was yours, maybe you should give him/her a call and suggest that they owe you a good tap and moisture test of your deck, since they missed something so large.

I don't think the money we put in during ownership of a boat--including upgrades--makes the boat worth more necessarily, just worth more to us. The calculation of worth is all yours, but I'd get a new baseline on just what you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
And I am sorry for the rude awakening, but buying a 30-year old boat with payments was a misstep. New boats have payments and few repairs. Old boats have no payments and many repairs. You'll be OK. You just have a learning curve.
Oh I didn't finance the purchase of this boat, I just paid $11,500 outright. I have no payments. I'm told its now worth $9,000 but right now is very different then even last September for boat values. If I spend another $10,000 on repairs now AND the boat does well for me for the next 8 seasons with minor repair and ordinary maintenance I'll be okay with that. Yes any boat is a bad financial move, but some must be worse than others.

My worry is what lies ahead. The suggestions that I get a better evaluation of the deck and probably the hull to make sense. Then at least I'll know what I am in for.

As for whether I love the boat, not really, but I don't hate it either. I thought I liked it when I bought it. I thought it was odd that the engine was in the middle of the cabin. The six weeks of sailing I got in last season convinced me that having it there really sucks, as its hard to squeeze by it and there is no leg room to sit and such. Then I learned that someone moved the engine from where it belongs to the middle of the cabin!
 

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Telstar 28
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Just remember, that boat maintenance, as a rule when done properly, gets lower rather than higher. If you do the preventative and proper maintenance, the big costs generally are avoidable. Bringing a boat up to spec, after a long period of questionable maintenance takes some doing, regardless of what boat it is.

I would highly recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you get a real baseline on what is needed with your current boat.

If you like the way the boat performs, sails and looks... there's no reason not to go ahead an invest in the boat, provided she's basically sound to begin with.

Looking at a boat from a purely financial perspective is ridiculous...since any financial perspective is going to say that not owning one is the only thing that makes sense. They are a financial strain any way you look at them, even if brand new.
 

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"Then I learned that someone moved the engine from where it belongs to the middle of the cabin!"


A LOT of boats have the motor there even good ones like a Tartan 372 which is why we were now have a LOT of saildrives
 

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Sea Slacker
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I know every person is different, and personal expenditures differ too. That said, 10K doesn't sound like that much money to me in terms of boat costs (relative to what many boats and boat repair jobs would cost).

That's not to say that you should just throw money away. However, I do think that if sums of this scale make you cringe - it will be difficult to deal with any boat, since sums like these come up pretty much all the time even if the boat is new and you are a DIY kinda person.

You know that boat is now, due to inflation, is renamed BOATT - bring out another ten thousand :) It is a joke, but it's only funny because it is true.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I know every person is different, and personal expenditures differ too. That said, 10K doesn't sound like that much money to me in terms of boat costs (relative to what many boats and boat repair jobs would cost).

That's not to say that you should just throw money away. However, I do think that if sums of this scale make you cringe - it will be difficult to deal with any boat, since sums like these come up pretty much all the time even if the boat is new and you are a DIY kinda person.

You know that boat is now, due to inflation, is renamed BOATT - bring out another ten thousand :) It is a joke, but it's only funny because it is true.

YMMV
haha... That is funny...

Its not the sum that makes me cringe. Its whether that money is better spent on another boat that won't have issues. Er, will have fewer issues. Or at least issues that don't require tearing up the deck and making a new one.

I guess its a matter of efficiency. If the boat needs x dollars of repair, is that x better spent on a different boat, and should I cut my loss now or keep throwing money into it.
 

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The devil you know..

Its whether that money is better spent on another boat that won't have issues. Er, will have fewer issues.
It's the devil you know and there is no such thing as a boat that "won't have issues"...;)

My boat would be, and was considered in the top 2% condition wise, when I bought her. But still I have managed to plunge thousands and thousands of dollars into her and still need to address some dry deck delamination that I knew was there when I bought her.


A lot depends on your level of satisfaction and attention to detail. Much of what has been done on our boat would have never been done by 80%+ of sailors. Unfortunately I grew up around concourse show cars and don't seem to settle..:rolleyes:

Here's a short list of what i have done in the last three years. When your wallet is feeling empty just open up my list and view it one more time and you'll feel better..;)

CS-36T Upgrades

2009

2009 - Bottom stripped, faired & barrier coated 5 coats IP2KE
2009 - Keel joint wrapped, keel faired and bolts torqued
2009 – New 3 blade Campbell Sailor Prop
2009 – New Raritan PH II head
2009 – New Raymarine ST-60 wind system
2009 – New Raymarine ST-60 speed log
2009 – New main sail (top two battens full)
2009 – New Sailcover
2009 – New halyards Yale Vizzion (main, genny & spin)
2009 – New LED bow light Aquasignal 32
2009 – New stern light AS 25 with Dr. LED bulb
2009 – New Aquasignal Series 40 anchor light with Dr. LED Polar Star 40 Bulb
2009 – Repacked rudder stuffing box / Teflon impregnated flax, four rings
2009 – Aligned steering, replaced cable
2009 – New cockpit speakers
2009 – New cockpit mounted VHF speaker
2009 – New Lewmar folding steering wheel
2009 - Lubed & cleaned Seacocks
2009 – New battery charger
2009 - New cast acrylic lenses in both Goiot hatches


2009 Engine Work

2009 - Replaced rear main engine seal
2009 - Rebuilt alternator
2009 - Rebuilt starter
2009 - Replaced all four motor mounts
2009 - Replaced every hose and hose clamp in the engine compartment
2009 - Rebuilt Perko sea strainer
2009 - Replaced two piece 90's with one piece bronze sweeping ells
2009 - Replaced valve cover gasket
2009 - Removed, cleaned & pressure tested HX
2009 - Flushed engine with water forwards and backwards
2009 - Flushed engine with Rydlime de-scaler forwards & backwards
2009 - Flushed engine with water forwards & backwards
2009 - Flushed engine with distilled water
2009 - Filled engine with new non-Dex-Cool antifreeze
2009 - Replaced t-stat
2009 - Rebuilt raw water pump (complete re-build)
2009 - Replaced impeller
2009 - Stripped and painted most any engine components I could get at
2009 - Replaced battery cables
2009 - Added ground jumper from starter to main ground point on engine
2009 - Replaced anti-siphon valve
2009 - Changed petcocks on HX, Strainer & t-stat housing with 1/4 turn valves
2009 - Changed both fuel filters
2009 - Changed transmission fluid and flushed four fresh quarts through it.
2009 - Painted transmission
2009 - New Campbell Sailor Prop
2009 - Replaced PSS bellows, o-rings and set screws re-machined stainless rotor
2009 - Had prop shaft trued and checked for fit & face
2009 - Replaced every nut and bolt I removed from the engine with new
2009 - Adjusted valves
2009 - Replaced cutlass bearing
2009 - New Harken furling line
2009 - New complete Harken furling lead block kit

2008

2008 - Eight new 316 cast stainless steel New Found Metals ports
2008 - New Garmin 3205C plotter
2008 - New Garmin GMR 18GHD radar
2008 - New Raymarine S1 autopilot
2008 - New Raymarine S-100 remote control
2008 - New Raymarine ST 60 depth
2008 - New Navpods - 4 way swivel pods for ST-60’s & Garmin 3205
2008 - New Starboard drink holder
2008 - New Garhauer genny cars
2008 - New Garhauer main sheet blocks
2008 - New Ultra Suede interior cushions’
2008 - Refinished cabin sole
2008 - New LED cabin lighting throughout (Sensibulbs)
2008 - New ABI cabin lighting fixtures
2008 - New 12v 19” LCD DVD/TV combo
2008 - New sanitation hoses (replaced 100% of them)
2008 - New 12V macerator
2008 - New fresh water manifold with shut off valves
2008 - New anchor rode (300 feet 5/8” double braid)
2008 - New 5/16" anchor chain - 70 feet
2008 - New Sunbrella pedestal cover
2008 - New genoa sheets ½” Sta-Set
2008 – Rebuilt sink / new cast brass strainer / new mounting studs
2008 – New faucet
2008 – New water filtration system (two filters)
2008 – New fresh water pump
2008 – New diaphragm tank for fresh water pump to reduce cycling

2007

2007 - New through bolted seacocks utilizing Groco bronze flanged adapters
2007 - New solid fiberglass backing blocks for seacocks
2007 - New anchor roller
2007 - New Harken MK-IV roller furler with new head stay
2007 - New 316ss 1X19 standing rigging (swaged at top mechanical at bottom)
2007 - New start and house batteries
2007 - New Xantrex XBM battery monitor
2007 - Replaced nearly 60% of the wiring on board using UL 1426 tinned marine grade wire
2007 - Painted hull - Awlcraft 2000 / Stars & Stripes Blue
2007 - New stereo with iPod input (Pinoneer)
2007 - New cabin speakers (Bose 151 Environmental)
2007 - New 80 watt solar panel and charge controller
2007 - New Lifelines
2007 - New primary anchor (Rocna 33)
2007 - New bilge pump & hose
2007 - New bilge pump switch
2007 - New prop shaft & coupling
2007 - New Lewmar self tailing head sail winches (ST-46's)



I'm sure there is a bunch of items I have missed..:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maine Sail, may I borrow your time machine? You must have one, because you must make time somehow...
 

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SDs is right, that the first year is the worst.

Just remember, that boat maintenance, as a rule when done properly, gets lower rather than higher. If you do the preventative and proper maintenance, the big costs generally are avoidable. Bringing a boat up to spec, after a long period of questionable maintenance takes some doing, regardless of what boat it is.

I would highly recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you get a real baseline on what is needed with your current boat.

If you like the way the boat performs, sails and looks... there's no reason not to go ahead an invest in the boat, provided she's basically sound to begin with.

Looking at a boat from a purely financial perspective is ridiculous...since any financial perspective is going to say that not owning one is the only thing that makes sense. They are a financial strain any way you look at them, even if brand new.
You will discover flaws, dislikes and what has been neglected. Once you get it TRULY water tight and get through the to-do list, it will get better. Much better. But there is always a "list."

Just remember, every new "toy" you add requires maintenance. Simple is good.
 

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midlife crisis member
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I dunno, I like working on my boat almost as much as sailing it. Yeah it costs money but you don't need to do it all at once. Put off some cosmetic stuff and concentrate on structural and safety stuff. (Deck, rigging). Once the boat is sound, do the other stuff a bit each season.

Of course, it helps if you like the boat. If you don't, fix the deck and sell it next season. Buy a boat you like and begin again.
 

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Its not the sum that makes me cringe. Its whether that money is better spent on another boat that won't have issues. Er, will have fewer issues. Or at least issues that don't require tearing up the deck and making a new one.
When you look at boats for sale you'll find there's a general market price for each model - some variance for options and level of maintenance but there's still a general range.

I don't believe that it is possible to obtain a well-found boat for less than market value unless the boat fairy should happen to drop one in your lap one night (and last I heard he wasn't in the business of doing that anymore :( )

My personal belief is that the cheapest way to get a boat in good condition is to buy one that has been reasonably well-equipped and maintained and the expensive way is to buy one in poor condition and refit the vessel yourself. But remember - it is only money and we go through this life but once !

Good luck ! :)
 

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Suffer no illusions or delusions...boats cost. For some its time for most its time and money. Our boat is now 24years old and I have had her for 8 now.
This year we replaced
Head
Hoses
Mascerator,Thru Hull Deck fill
Holding Tank
6 Lifeline 6 volt AGM
Xantx 2 Truecharge 40
Xantrex Echo Charger
Blue Sea Panel DC 12 volt- 12 switches
Blue Sea Panel 8 AC 110 and 16 DC 12 volt
X- Raymarine Autopilot,
Shakespeare Hight Gain TV Antennae
20" HDTV/ DVD Sharp
Alder Barbour Soper Cold Machine
Admiral Is making all new Bimini and Dodger (bows and material- $1000)
Last Year
Garhauer Davits
Walker Bay Odessey Dinghy
Tahatsu 4HP with 3 gallon remote tank
Soprego Inflator
Manson Supreme 35lb Anchor

2 years ago
ST60 Wind, Depth and Speed
c-80 Raymarine Chartplotter

These were just the high ticket items. But now I know the stuff is new. Our boat is ouor hoje away from home every weekend for almost 6 months. It is also quite time my wife and I have together we dont get much of during the work week. We take long vacations (NYC last year) Mytric this year on her. My wife, my friends, and my employees think I am crazy in February as I am out there lack Nanuck of the North working on her so when the time comes to sail we can just do it.

Dave
 

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Be carefull. You can put a lot of money into a worthless boat!!!. There are a lot of boats on the market. If you can sell your boat with not too much loss a newer better boat may be the way to go. But if you can sail it now and are happy to work and spend??? Personally I prefer sailing a boat to working on a boat. With little free time to spend at the boat the last thing I want is for every boat day to be a work day. A boat should be a thing to bring joy to our lives. Fundamentals of Restoration Projects: This Old Boat
 

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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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