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Refitting/rebuilding v just go sailing. Your stories....


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I just posted this on someone's YouTube sailing channel which is really a rebuild channel.
I must have made some good coffee this morning as I think I articulated where I am at reasonably well.
I'll post it below, but I thought it might be a good discussion topic for CrewDotOrgers on their perspectives, even giving some of your own stories if you are comfortable doing that.  Anyway, here is my take on it:
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"Over the past 10 years I have refitted a 23 footer, a 26 footer (Contessa 26 - quite a famous design) and now a Twister 28 (semi-famous English design by Kim Holman, the forerunner of Rustler 36's you see in the GGR). I have been able to do this only due to the fact  I have no wife, kids, and little regard for money - not always financially the smartest trait to have for sure.
I am pretty sure I am onto my last boat, the one that will finally be my live-aboard / potential offshore capable boat.  When I look back I ask myself why I don't just buy a boat a go sailing and accept what comes, and be happy with that.  I have come to the conclusion it just is not in my mental make up.  I simply "must" put my own stamp on the boat, my own ideas, my own improvements - otherwise I would be miserable.  However - there has to be an 'end' point - just as with the happy-go-luckies that just buy any boat, put self-steering on the back and hope for the best (ala Sam Holmes).  Both approaches have their pluses and minuses - both are a compromise.  But, as I say, there has to be a limit - their will eventually be a tragic end to those that just buying any old four knot sh*t box and go cross the Atlantic and roll the dice, likewise the guy that never stops working on his boat will never actually go sailing.  Find your happy place, but find your limit when it gets ridiculous at both ends of the spectrum.  See you guys on the water - one day"

If you are interested in the fella's channel I made the comment on - here is the link:  https://youtu.be/cwNe8NPCMtk

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I was told many years ago... If you want to build a boat then build a boat, If you want to go sailing then buy a boat and go sailing, do not waste all that sailing time building a boat.... and I guess that advice also applies to buying a doer upper, avoid unless it is safe sound and can be enjoyed while you renovate.

I have had a few boats and have many years in the marine industry... so when the boat I wanted came along, I bought it... in the first year I tackled maintenance items that needed doing, but went cruising in between. That still happens now, but there has been a shift from mostly maintenance to mostly sailing... I am happy with the balance.

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35 minutes ago, LBD said:

I was told many years ago... If you want to build a boat then build a boat, If you want to go sailing then buy a boat and go sailing, do not waste all that sailing time building a boat.... and I guess that advice also applies to buying a doer upper, avoid unless it is safe sound and can be enjoyed while you renovate.

I have had a few boats and have many years in the marine industry... so when the boat I wanted came along, I bought it... in the first year I tackled maintenance items that needed doing, but went cruising in between. That still happens now, but there has been a shift from mostly maintenance to mostly sailing... I am happy with the balance.

Thanks for your wee story there LBD.

Do you think though, with the collapse of the NZ boatbuilding industry as far as GRP stock designs go in about the mid 70's, that for those of us with little interest in modern lightweight flyers, and no capital means to purchase or have built a new boat - that we have little option but to by 40 or 50 year old GRP classics that mostly do require to varying degrees of 'do up' ?

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3 hours ago, Zozza said:

Thanks for your wee story there LBD.

Do you think though, with the collapse of the NZ boatbuilding industry as far as GRP stock designs go in about the mid 70's, that for those of us with little interest in modern lightweight flyers, and no capital means to purchase or have built a new boat - that we have little option but to by 40 or 50 year old GRP classics that mostly do require to varying degrees of 'do up' ?

If we were all rational followers of logic we would all be in share boat partnerships or would hire what we needed when we need it.  Or both.

This makes the capital issue null and void, and frees us of most if not all the maintenance drudge.

But yachts are, for many, primarily dreams.  While you are building fixing painting maintaining etc, you can express and extend the dream.

Sailing is reality.  It often doesn't match the dream, so all that working time delays the disappointment!

 

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13 hours ago, Zozza said:

Thanks for your wee story there LBD.

Do you think though, with the collapse of the NZ boatbuilding industry as far as GRP stock designs go in about the mid 70's, that for those of us with little interest in modern lightweight flyers, and no capital means to purchase or have built a new boat - that we have little option but to by 40 or 50 year old GRP classics that mostly do require to varying degrees of 'do up' ?

On the opposite side of the planet there was a lot of GRP boat mass production in the 70's and 80's. The owners of those boats are getting old and there are very few buyers as those boats are deemed too small (mostly 6 to 9 m LOA) and primitive by today's standards. Hence, they are dirt cheap and many times very sound in hulls if not in engine and sails. Heavy, low-tech for sure but you can get a working sailing boat for less money than a new mainsail cost these days. Some elbow grease and some additional money may bring it from just working to being reasonably nice. If this is your cup of tea or not is up to you.

To a friend of a friend, a retired airline pilot, the journey from purchase to perfection was what mattered. Once the boat was updated to his liking he lost interest in it and sold it to find a new project. This took a few years and he (and his dog) did go sailing during the project.

/Martin

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14 hours ago, aardvarkash10 said:

If we were all rational followers of logic we would all be in share boat partnerships or would hire what we needed when we need it.  Or both.

This makes the capital issue null and void, and frees us of most if not all the maintenance drudge.

But yachts are, for many, primarily dreams.  While you are building fixing painting maintaining etc, you can express and extend the dream.

Sailing is reality.  It often doesn't match the dream, so all that working time delays the disappointment!

 

My friend was nattering to me one day onboard- he just blurted out "Most people with yachts don't like sailing.  That's why you see so many yachts in the marina on a sunny weekend, and why you see those that do sail will only do it between 10-15 knots, otherwise the engine is on as there is either too much wind or too little for the way they "sail".

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I've done the "just go sailing" vs the "refit" recently-ish....

We bought CT in what could be described as bloody tired but not yet dead condition. It was the biggest boat we could afford at the time (family of 5) that was structurally sound and had a good few of the expensive parts replaced. She was bloody ugly thou... but we had a boat that we could take the kids away on and make family memories. Our first trip away was 11 days over Christmas/New Year up to the BOI's and included an overnight at the Hen & Chick's where the snorkeling/ diving was epic. It may not sound like much of a trip to most, but bare in mind it was/is our first boat and my wife and kids had never sailed, or overnighted on any sort of boat before. 

The following year we pulled CT out and chucked her in a shed for a refit. IMO the time and expense was so worthwhile to me, as a new inexperienced boat owner. I got to know the boat intimately, and learned a sh!tlo@d during the process. And at the end of it (there's never an end...) had something I was really proud of. We've now done 2 full cruising seasons and a winter race season since the refit and I still get upset when the paint gets scratched 😅 

Would I do it again?

Not a chance 😂 I'll buy something nice and just go sailing! (Told you I learned something🤔😅)

In all seriousness though, you're always going to be working on a boat if you own one. Like LBD says above, once you get the major stuff out of the way and ahead of the curve it just becomes general maintenance which everyone's should be doing no matter what. 

 

 

 

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