Having just completed “most” of a very MAJOR refit, from auction derelict to better than new I can tell you my thoughts on everything I did. Who knows if it was right or wrong. Your individual experience will more than likely vary quite a bit. To preface let me give you my stats; I am a Merchant Mariner working two months on/two months off and my “belief” was that I couldn’t afford to buy a “completed” boat but that I had six months a year to work on one and six months a year to pay for it all. I’m not sure I did it right, but I did it my way and it’s working, more or less. I paid under 10k for the boat, a 1978 S2 9.2c. The boat had been neglected for a while and had been vandalized but the hull and decks were solid and the engine (Yanmar 1 lung 12hp raw water) ran and the sails were good and I really liked the cabin layout. Those were all the pluses. The negatives, or opportunities as we like to call them were actually pretty vast. Structurally, the floor frame under the compression post had rotted due to bad chain plate beddings, which had rotted the chain plate bulkheads also. The “running” engine quit doing that very well and was woefully under powered. Upon hauling, prior to peeling the bottom, I ground out 330 blisters. Those were the biggies. So, what did it all cost? Well, eleven months on the hard, bottom peal, new bottom, barrier coat, bottom paint; about 15k. New Yanmar 3gm30, new prop, cutlass and everything else to make the engine room acceptable; about 9k. New dodger and enclosure; about 3k, new paint; about $700, new head, lectra-san, holding tank and stuff to complete head; about 2k. New standing rigging 3k (and I got ripped off). New running rigging (most of this I got at work). ground tackle; about 1k… I could go on but I just realized it wouldn’t stop. I hope I didn’t turn you off to the cause or anything. In the end, it takes all of my money and I don’t care.
I read your inspection tips thread; it was very good in telling what to look for, and I absolutely believe you in saying that a boat needing a refit will cost exponentially more than a boat that has already been refitted by another. I am in a pickle though, and I suspect that there are many others in my shoes as well. Being a college student, I can't afford to buy a boat that is ready to go; the only ones that are even on the same horizon as my budget are going to be the ones that need to be brought back to life. Now, Having had a reputable (and very picky) surveyor look at a boat, he found many of the points mentioned in your thread.
The hoses are single clamped and are vinyl reinforced, as opposed to metal.
The electrical was probably compliant to 1970's European standards, but not compliant with ABYC (though the boat has yet to spontaneously combust).
The rudder steering cables need to be replaced.
I would not feel comfortable sailing the vessel without pulling the chain plates and replacing them.
The sails are ugly, but have some life left in them.
I have never had a furling headsail, but this boat has a Profurl... I have heard that it's a good brand.
The engine mounts will probably need to be replaced.
The list will undoubtedly continue far below what is known, and take the shape of a precariously floating ice berg... intent on sinking my already foundering bank account.
Now... If the boat is a Contest 31', with not a wet spot to be found by a knowledgeable surveyor in the deck, do all of these factors add up to a deal breaker? In my situation, I could save close to the price of the boat just by buying the damn thing and moving aboard for a year and not paying for my rent and utilities. That way, I could begin crossing minor details off the list slowly but surely, and at the end.. I'd have a boat to sail off in after I graduate, instead of flushing cash down the drain every month to apt. rent!
Now, as good as this sounds... I need to have info to do a cost/benefit analysis and determine if this is really feasible. My goal in starting this thread was to hopefully have some people who have been there, done that to share a break down of how much various upgrades cost. For example,
"I spent 5000000,000000000 refitting my 1917 Catalina 22, 1000 of which was spent on standing rigging"
Hindsight is always 20/20...This winter, I am really not doing much work except:
- now in process of rebuilding rudder (which didn't need it, but I didn't know that, before I opened it up to see the inside....)
When you're miles from help and something breaks...this may very well save your life.WHAT I HAVE LEARNED... I really should have continued to sail the much less expensive 23'er for a few more years, and put up with being a bit cramped. It was self launching, stepped the mast with no crane, and kept at a mooring. It now cost me about $2000 more / year to maintain the 30'er (dock rental, launch in/out, meat step/ unstep, etc)
But, I do not regret the purchase of the larger boat now. ( I would have to jump off a bridge, if I did regret it). I know the boat inside and out, and it's major components are all very solid. It is even starting to look better!!
Also, it'll give you a good idea of what you're looking for in a boat, before you buy one—making it far more likely that you'll buy a boat you love.I would advise new sailors / potential buyers to enjoy racing / sailing on other people's boats, while you save your money - cause yo uare going to need it!!!!
Yup... this is very, very good advice. The cost of restoring/refitting/repairing a boat is generally far more than the cost difference of getting the same exact boat in much better shape to begin with.You are far better off paying for a more expensive, and well maintained boat, than looking for a real bargain (fixer-upper), especially in todays market.http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&catid=member&imageuser=10458