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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    East Coast


    Quote Originally Posted by she31 View Post
    Sheesh...not a bad list so far!
    Got any before, during, and after pics you can post up?
    I'm taking some after photos of the electrics this weekend I'll post them online then.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by she31 View Post

    Or is it worth it just to pay the extra at the beginning for a refurbished boat....
    If we were talking classic cars or bikes or even cottages I would have no doubt that it would be better financially to buy something already "done up". I suspect it will be with boats too, but I dont know for sure. The reason is simple - people fancy a project and pay over the odds for something tatty to work on, and they underestimate the cost of the work.

    Dont forget it isnt just the hull and sails that age. Masts dont last for ever and certainly engines and rigging and winches and other deck hardware have a finite life. And they are the major part of the cost of a new boat - the equipment not the hull.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Paris, France


    I am in this exact situation right now.

    I purchased a Halcyon 27 back in 2008 when I moved from the US to Europe which was very much in sail-able condition although with the original SABB engine. It was my idea to upgrade her over a couple years and then go for some extended cruising and possibly a transat back home.

    As it worked out, the engine didn't last as long as I had hoped, only made it from Essex to Boulogne sur Mer, so I replaced that, first with an outboard and then a Yanmar 15hp back in winter 2009/2010.

    I have found that in reality I prefer sailing her more than working on upgrades in port so I have made due with a boat that is functionable but not always the most convenient as far as creature comforts for the time being.

    I have managed to save a bit of cash over the past couple years so I am cuurently looking for a decent boatyard to get some of the more critical essentials - rigging, sails, ground tackle, replacement fuel tank etc - taken care of before an extended cruise starting spring of next year. Of course the upgrades I pay for to have done versus the upgrades I tackle myself when I have a bit more time will depend significantly on the cost estimates of each item.

    Could I justify this method with anyone with financial sense? Absolutely not, I will probably have put into the boat 2-3 times the amount that I could ever imagine getting out. Sometimes I consider selling her and combining that with my "upgrade fund" to buy something bigger/newer/nicer/better prepared etc etc. But then I figure there would still be some expensive items to be added/changed/replaced in order to be cruising ready and I wouldnt know the boat as well as do my current boat. So I stick with my classic plastic - she's slow, she's not always confortable, she's not very spacious...doesn't do much of anything better or faster than newer boats (well, maybe heave-to) but she fits my needs quite nicely and I'm pretty happy with that.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    I was lucky. I bought this: from some friends for 16k.

    She was berthed where I wanted her, sensitively restored with all the bits and pieces which may warmer climate living aboard for two just right.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2001
    'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings


    Quote Originally Posted by she31 View Post

    You want to probably re-do the rig
    New running and standing rigging 1000
    & sails,
    New sails 2000
    re-do the portlights and hatches and any other areas that can let water into the boat
    Materials 100 if you can DIY and if hatches and ports are salvable
    and perhaps re-tab the bulkheads and any support areas around the mast if she is deck stepped.
    Materials 200 if you can DIY
    Perhaps her ground tackle needs uprgrading too if you are planning extended cruising.
    New generation anchor 300, chain 50m 400, warp 50m 150, windlass 400 + electrics 100? and DIY labour
    Might want to add modern nav electronix 1500 or so
    Might need new engine 4000 or so

    So approx 7000-10000 plus your own time. More if you need to pay engineers and shipwrights.

    Of course you might also need/want new upholstery and headlining, sprayhood or cockpit enclosure, fuel, water and holding tanks, tender and outboard, topsides respray, new spars, coloured sails, bottom blasted and epoxied, fenders and lines, etc
    Last edited by Twister_Ken; 20-04-12 at 10:24.
    Next time, it'll all be different.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by she31 View Post
    Lets look at a few boats like Halcyon 26, Contessa 26, Pioneer 9, etc.

    Say you purchase one for around 5K-7K - so at that price she is sailable but a "bit rough".

    You want to probably re-do the rig & sails, re-do the portlights and hatches and any other areas that can let water into the boat, and perhaps re-tab the bulkheads and any support areas around the mast if she is deck stepped.

    Perhaps her ground tackle needs uprgrading too if you are planning extended cruising.

    What are we looking at here as guestimates? Perhaps as much as you paid for the boat again, or even more if you have to get specialist labour in.

    Anyone around here been through this with a "good old boat"?

    Or is it worth it just to pay the extra at the beginning for a refurbished boat....

    This post came about in my mind because I see a plethora or these classic plastics for sale at what seems to be really good prices....but is the amount you are going to have to spend on these boats as much as I think it probably will be?
    Boats are available in virtually any condition from brand new to complete wreck. The trick is to find one you like in a condition that doesn't allow it to command a high price but which can be be refitted with moderate DIY skills and to a reasonable budget. Boats clean up amazingly well so don't be put off by the aesthetics, just make sure the structure is sound.

    I've owned 7 boats and only one was new. My favourite boat was Adriana, a 32' Pearson designed by Phil Rhodes, in many ways not unlike a Nich 32. She was built in 1967, one of the earliest fibreglass production boats. She already had a new Yanmar 3GM30F and an electric windlass and good ground tackle.
    She had no structural issues - this is very important.
    We refitted the interior, added a fridge, bought a new main, painted the hull and mast, redid some of the electrics.

    I paid $25,000 for her, spent about $10,000, and she provided the basis for a three year full time cruise. Had I needed to put more money into the boat I couldn't have spent three years in that life changing, hedonistic pursuit!
    If you don't get too ambitious the way to go sailing 'now', instead of 'when we can afford the right boat' is to do up a good old boat, no doubt in my mind.

    I repeated the exercise a few years later with a 41' ketch and took another 3 years out - same deal, I couldn't have made it happen if I'd had to spend a huge sum on the boat.

    Most recently I bought a Compac 19 for a song and it's provided loads of mini-adventures on Lake Windermere and the canal system (with rig removed and bigger motor added).

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    IMO it depends on whether you want to spend your time and money doing DIY or going sailing!

    One thing to be said for the DIY route is that you get a refurbed boat set up how you want it. The problem with that is that you will not really know how you want it till you have been out living with the boat for a couple of years.

    I lived with a 'small' (23ft) boat for 16 years all the time dreaming and planning what I would like when I could afford it, so when I changed I new exactly what I was looking for. Obviously you would be more than lucky to find a boat that you could afford that ticked all the boxes, but I found one that ticked about 85%, so over the first couple of years of ownership I added the electronics that were missing then in the last 10 years changed and added other bits. All this additional cost was manageable as it has been spread over 12 years and in that time I've had 12 years of good sailing.
    Which takes me back to my opening sentence

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    South East UK/Greece


    I bought my Vega for 10k, a bit over the odds in the current climate but she had a newish Beta engine, 8 sails, self-tailing winches, headsail furling, folding prop. I have spent in the region of 2.5k so far, on:

    Navik windvane steering 400
    Chart Plotter 500
    VHF DSC 100
    Tillerpilot 400
    AIS 150
    HH VHF 100
    Partial rewire 150
    Reinforce mast support beam 100
    PLB 200
    Tender/o/b 300

    I think for what I've spent compared to what I have now in terms of what the boat is capable of is fantastic. If I was thinking of doing serious ocean crossing I would do the standing rigging, that would be another 500 and think about the windows (only a rubber seal holding them in). I think if you choose carefully a decent boat capable of serious work with at least a replacement engine and a decent set of sails can be had for significantly less than 10k, spend another couple of grand and you should have a boat fit for pretty much anything...
    Last edited by V1701; 20-04-12 at 19:05.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    One end of the A1


    I have an old 26fter, an Invicta. She was a bit rough when I bought her five years ago but she managed to get me from Cardiff to the West Coast of Scotland.

    She was a bit less rough, new standing and running rigging the next year when she got me from the West Coast to Edinburgh.

    Less rough again the next year, a bit of internal decoration, a new stove, and she carried me to Norway and back.

    And the next year, more sailing, a few more improvements and so on.

    The windows still leak a bit but thats not the end of the world.

    If the boat is basically sea worthy then that's enough to start with. There's an awful lot of stuff that people put on boats these days that you really do not need...............refridgeration Britain?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Boat - North West Scotland. Me - coastless West Yorkshire.


    I think Fascadale has nailed it. 'If the boat's seaworthy ...'

    After that it's preference and personal priority. I've been upgrading my boat for a cruise to Shetland this summer - a lot of the expense has been to give my partner peace of mind, as I'll mostly be singlehanded. So I've bought a liferaft, and upgraded my electrics - fitted an inverter and invested in a towed/wind generator. The towed bit is so I can run the autohelm (rather than investing in a windvane), the wind bit is so I can keep the battery topped up at anchor to run the inverter to charge the phone so I can call home ....

    But then I've had her 20 years, so have done the standing rigging, the running rigging (some of it more than once), replaced the log, the scratched to the point of unreadable compass, and the stove, installed a cabin heater - attended to the sailing necessities and then the comforts required by increasing age. Just start with the seaworthy.
    Last edited by Sidedrum; 20-04-12 at 22:17.

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