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I think I have determined through trial and error, the cheapest way to get a boat ship shape, is to buy one that is already in good shape, whether that be a newer model or a well cared for older model, the same guideline seems to apply.

Not sure why so many new boat owners seem to be attracted to beat up boats.

To me, a restoration could be something you do for the pleasure of bringing an old boat back to new life, but not necessarily a great way to get an affordable boat.

Currently restoring my Dads old 17' Cedar Strip Canoe that he built in the 80s. Looks like new Gunwales are going to cost me about $700. You can buy a brand new 17 ft canoe for $1300...
 

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I didn't make $100./hr during my career. But after 35 years, I have a decent pension +SS + savings. It wasn't until after I retired that people started offering me nice money to do some consulting. I don't have to work, I choose to. I enjoy what I do. I make my own schedule and I try to keep it to 2 days a week. I'm selective about when I pay the yard to do work and it's usually when I know that they'll do a better job than I would, or it's a job, I'd just rather not do.

I.E. My water heater gave up the ghost two falls ago after 33 years. I still had some season left, so I removed it, cleaned all the plumbing fittings and marked them, and T'ed up the hoses to bypass the heater and run the engine. ( why have to winterize a brand new heater with only a few weeks left ) In the Spring, I ordered a new heater, which was the big ticket item. I would have paid for the heater whether I did the install myself or had the yard do it. So basically the difference came down to Labor cost. I let the yard install it, and as I recall, they billed me for less than 2 hours of labor: while, I worked for 2 days in a clean shirt and Khakis in a class room. The client buys my coffee and lunch and after 2 days, I go sailing again, with a new water heater.
 

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. I don't have to work, I choose to. I enjoy what I do. I make my own schedule and I try to keep it to 2 days a week.
Reminds of something I heard in a movie......Now what was it......

I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I am my own boss!
 

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Cost of "boat in appropriate condition"< the cost of a "candidate boat" + the cost of bringing the boat to "appropriate condition". Therefore, get the best bang for your buck by buying and sailing a boat that is ready to go. Any prospective boater should seriously consider, "If this doesn't work out, how will I get out?" Unloading "candidate boats" can be daunting.

If a prospective buyer with sound basic skills and the grit and time required insists on buying a fixer upper, proceed only after accompanying a surveyor inspecting the prospect. Over the years I have found honest skilled boatwrights, sailmakers, and mechanics, whose work is fairly priced. The chance of new boater stumbling upon these skilled tradesmen are slim. Therefore, the "new to boating" buyer will likely pay to effect repairs than a more experienced boater.
 

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SAILING - finding the balance between living the dream and not going broke

The cost I hate about DIY projects on my boat, is the little stuff. Sandpaper, gloves, brushes, fasteners, connectors, sealer, tape... they always seem to add up quickly. Oh yeah and replacing tools that were given to Neptune.
 

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It seems someone on this board thinks sailors are rich folks . . . . In the past 20 minutes I have seen a banner advert for a Maserati and another for a Bentley Continental GT! :)

Either one of those is worth more than my boat.
 

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PHP:
It seems someone on this board thinks sailors are rich folks . . . . In the past 20 minutes I have seen a banner advert for a Maserati and another for a Bentley Continental GT! :)

Either one of those is worth more than my boat.
I think the banner ads are targeted at your recent internet searches. my ads are for shirts and Ties, ( I have a wedding to attend) and Masonry products, I need to repair some brick.

You been dreaming about sports cars lately?
 

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.....The cost I hate about DIY projects on my boat, is the little stuff. Sandpaper, gloves, brushes, fasteners, connectors, sealer, tape... they always seem to add up quickly.......
This is one of the things that kills me on my yard bills too. They often charge for the quarts of solvent, or pack of rags, or whatever, when I'm sure they weren't all used. I don't get the excess, because they don't disclose there was any. It just stands to reason the entire quantities weren't used. No doubt they're either taken by the guys for their own use, or just resold to the next guy.

Although, this pales in comparison to the number of hours they bill for jobs I've done myself, on the same boat, in half the time. T&M jobs are valued by contractors for a reason. They can work at whatever pace they please.
 

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We bought SoulMates, a Jeanneau DS40, brand new and I knew nothing about boats or boat upkeep. But growing up on a farm I learned how to care for equipment. So when we had work done we got estimates and then hired the one I thought was the best only on the condition that I work with them. I learned a lot.
As we moved on I did a lot of the work myself and began to learn to source parts from a variety of places - not just boat stores or mfgs. We continued to move on and I found things that I just was not skilled enough to do and again would get quotes but by now I had experience on costs and work quality - we insist on the highest quality work we can get. What we find is Jeanneau is sometimes more expensive than other places but sometimes Jeanneau is the only place we can get what we need.

Now I am getting a bit longer in the tooth and a few injuries make things like doing the bottom not a few day job but a week or more - my shoulders can take only so much - screws in both. And crawling into tight spaces I can still do but sometimes it is easier to have some young guy do it. I can still go up the mast but this past year I lost an anchor light but needed to have the rigging checked so had a pro do it and check everything up there from the light to the radar reflector to the rigging.

A lot of the cost depends on where you are and the availability of parts, taxes on parts, ect. One of the things we do is if we have to replace something and it is very very reasonably priced we get 2 or sometimes 3 and store them for future use.

After 12 years underway we know what it costs so when we ask for quotes we go over them with a fine tooth comb to see what they are going to do and for what. As some know we publish our costs yearly and about 25% of everything we spend goes to the boat but then again we use her hard and we need her in first class condition. Our costs are here 10 years of cost of cruising data - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
 

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1968 Columbia 50
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This is one of the things that kills me on my yard bills too. They often charge for the quarts of solvent, or pack of rags, or whatever, when I'm sure they weren't all used. I don't get the excess, because they don't disclose there was any. It just stands to reason the entire quantities weren't used. No doubt they're either taken by the guys for their own use, or just resold to the next guy.
This is true, but then again, they probably started your job(s) with some solvent, rags etc. that were left over from the last job that someone else had paid for. You were one in a chain of many, who kept the yard in stock...I see this pretty often.
 

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I've been doing most of the work on other people's boats and my own since I was about 12. Somewhere around 65, I'd had enough of bottom jobs and now have all the prep and painting done by the yard. And you know what? I really don't give a sh*t what it costs because I'm not ever going to do another bottom job. However, I do supply the paint.
Another gift we give ourselves is to have all our laundry professionally done. By the time you count the supplies and our time, it just isn't that much more than doing it ourselves.
On the other hand, we won't let a refer guy within 100 feet of our boat, as I haven't encountered a competent one in many decades.
 
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