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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi There! I was wondering other people's thoughts about renovating a sailboat and the possible costs....? My brother and I are looking to buy an older boat for under $20 000CAN and then renovating it. We then plan on sailing it down to the Caribbean and possibly down to Panama. Our goal is to set sail in July 2012, if not sooner. I am hoping to find a boat between 25-35' that floats (min. requirement LOL). We have never done anything like this and are both new to even renovating something (ages: 18 & 23). I would really be interested in other peoples ideas and does anyone know of good websites of places where I could search for our "dream boat", hopefully in eastern Canada or the Northeastern States. What are the things we need to look for when purchasing the boat, and time and costs associated with the renovation process??

Thanks!
-Kel
 

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One of None
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there has to be thousands of project boats just like your describing that were purchased with the same intent you have. I'm sure you will find one. I'd think that for the trip you hope to take you may be looking 35- 41 ft though. Sites Like "good old boat" and wooden boat rescue are good places to look.. Also Yacht clubs. My boat was a "Needs some TLC" type of boat. most of the problems were created by the PO. I try to improve things a little bit each year. it's expensive. good luck!
 

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We are re-doing a solid, but tired, older boat. She was completely functional when we bought her, but needed most systems refurished. The economics are such that we will have more in the boat than she is worth, but we will have a boat with all new systems for about 25% of cost new.

I would suggest that you select a reasonable functional boat, rather than trying resurect the dead. Big parts like decks, partitions, keels, can get very $$$ very quickly. Not to mention time and effort to get something to essentially a basic state. It's not that much more to buy something that is all there.

I would fruther suggest that you select a production boat made in reasonable quantity. Parts are easier to come by, generally cheaper, and the base of availabe knowledge is much broader.

BTW, We are on a similar timetable and budget as you, with similar goals. Good luck!
 

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I hope your $20K budget is just the seed money... by the time you're truly 'ready' to set sail I'd expect you to be into at least 5 times that.

Given your apparent lack of experience I'd focus on a smaller more locally-based project, cut your teeth on simply owning/fixing a boat for coastal work - when you're ready to make the leap you'll have a much better idea of what will work and what won't.. (although even then it's a big shift to offshore sailing)

By all means dream, and work towards that dream, but do it in such a way that yours is not ultimately one of the failed projects now available that Denise alluded to.
 

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Telstar 28
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Be aware that most boats that need TLC will require more money to restore them than the difference it would cost to buy the exact same boat in decent shape would have cost.

I would highly recommend you look at James Baldwin's Boat List, as many of the boats on that list are reasonably inexpensive and capable of doing what you're looking to do.

I'd also recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, as it will help you determine whether the boats you look at are even worth going forward on, saving you the price of a survey on boats that aren't worth looking at further.

A few other questions:

1) Do you have a place to work on the boat and store it while working on it? If not, then you'll be paying yard storage charges, and that can get expensive quickly.

2) Do you have the tools and skills to do a restoration? Restoring a boat will require most of what I've listed in my Boat Tool Kit post.

3) Do you know how to sail?? A lot of people start this type of project, only to find out that they get brutally seasick... If you don't have any experience sailing, get some first.

4) Where are you located?? My guess is in the Maritime provinces PEI, NB, NS, since you're talking about Eastern Canada and the Northeastern US. Buying a boat that is geographically close to you will reduce the costs of transporting it.
 

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All the above.

There are project boats and then there are project boats. If you start replacing major components, you can spend $100,000 on repairs!

Price a rebuilt diesel engine or transmission.
New rigging to keep the mast up will cost you $3000 to 6000.
New set of sails will cost you $6000 to $12000
New refer system will cost you $1000 to $2000
New battery bank will cost you $300 to $600
New electronics will cost you $300 to $3000
New autopilot will cost you $2000
Stripping the hull can cost several $1000
New rudder can cost $3000 or more
All new dock lines, anchor lines and sail handling lines can cost you $2000
How about a new anchor chain and anchors? $1000
How's that canvas on the dodger/bimini? $2000 to $6000

ETC

ETC

ETC

While you're working on the boat, you're paying storage & insurance.

Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
 

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If they have someplace to work on the boat, storage should not be an issue... If they talk to their insurance company, they can probably get a minimal insurance package that covers loss and minimal liability, since the boat won't actually be sailing until they fix her up... so the insurance shouldn't be very expensive.

All the above.

There are project boats and then there are project boats. If you start replacing major components, you can spend $100,000 on repairs!

Price a rebuilt diesel engine or transmission.
New rigging to keep the mast up will cost you $3000 to 6000.
New set of sails will cost you $6000 to $12000
New refer system will cost you $1000 to $2000
New battery bank will cost you $300 to $600
New electronics will cost you $300 to $3000
New autopilot will cost you $2000
Stripping the hull can cost several $1000
New rudder can cost $3000 or more
All new dock lines, anchor lines and sail handling lines can cost you $2000
How about a new anchor chain and anchors? $1000
How's that canvas on the dodger/bimini? $2000 to $6000

ETC

ETC

ETC

While you're working on the boat, you're paying storage & insurance.

Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanx everyone, your input has really helped. We do have somewhere to put it while we work on it. We live on the Ottawa River north of Ottawa, Canada. We have very little experience but we're quick learners and work well together so it should be a fun project. The only part annoying me is my brother is kinda curious about the costs of getting a powerboat instead but I told him it'll cost a lotta $$$$$$ on gas to head down the coast to the tropics with it. He thinks though that it'll be less work to get and maintain a powerboat and more worth it for the $$$ to work ratio. Is he right???
 

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Just curious, but how many circumnavigators and other long voyages have you read about being done in a POWERBOAT... .yeah, thought so... People have sailed around the world in relatively small boats for years... Webb Chiles did one circumnavigation in two 18' boats, the second given to him by the makers of the boat when his first was confiscated in Egypt.

Thanx everyone, your input has really helped. We do have somewhere to put it while we work on it. We live on the Ottawa River north of Ottawa, Canada. We have very little experience but we're quick learners and work well together so it should be a fun project. The only part annoying me is my brother is kinda curious about the costs of getting a powerboat instead but I told him it'll cost a lotta $$$$$$ on gas to head down the coast to the tropics with it. He thinks though that it'll be less work to get and maintain a powerboat and more worth it for the $$$ to work ratio. Is he right???
 

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Just for fun check out all the various gallery pictures of Caribbean ports-of-call... virtually NO powerboats. Few have the range for extended cruising, nor the characteristics and behaviours that would suit.
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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Well, powerboats have hulls that need maintenance, just like sailboats.
Power boats have electronics that need updating/work just like sailboats.
Powerboats have engines that need maintenance, just like sailboats.
The only real difference is that if your engine conks out 100 miles from shore, you have screwed the pooch. On a sailboat, if your engine goes you can still get where you were going.
Powerboats require lots of smelly, expensive fuel. Sailboats sail on the wind, which is free. ( thank God SOMETHING in sailing is free)
 

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Are you trying to scare the n00bs off??? :laugher:laugher:laugher

Well, powerboats have hulls that need maintenance, just like sailboats.
Power boats have electronics that need updating/work just like sailboats.
Powerboats have engines that need maintenance, just like sailboats.
The only real difference is that if your engine conks out 100 miles from shore, you have screwed the pooch. On a sailboat, if your engine goes you can still get where you were going.
Powerboats require lots of smelly, expensive fuel. Sailboats sail on the wind, which is free. ( thank God SOMETHING in sailing is free)
 

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Focus on developing sailing skills. Offer to crew at your local sailing club. When you're invited to sail pay attention, work hard, and be pleasant and you will be invited back and have opportunities to sail on other boats.

Defer purchasing a boat until you've sailed a little and seen how various boats perform.
 
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