Monday, December 23, 2013

Bring Out Another Thousand

B.O.A. T -bring out another thousand. Once bitten by the boat building bug, there's no cure for it. I was talking to my dad's neighbor the other day. He had his little fishing boat behind his house, doing some work on it. It drew me like a moth to a flame. The old guy pointed out that no matter what you start out to do with a boat, before long you've spent another thousand dollars. That's pretty much it.

Never mind what a boat repair or even a cheap plywood dinghy is supposed to cost, plan on at least a thousand dollars. There's a sort of mission creep going on. Materials get upgraded, projects expand, and before you know, there goes the money. My dad's neighbor says he thinks he's got about nine boats. Sounds about right to me. Currently he's building a lapstrake double ended rowing canoe. My guess is that he's building it just because it's pretty.

The more boats I look at, the more I want to build one exactly for the way I travel. Some sort of shallow draft sailboat with a rig that can easily be lowered to pass under bridges. After days requesting bridge openings it sure would be nice to just scoot under them.

I've been following Dave Z's latest thoughts on boat building. He's doing the skull sweat for his next boat and it's an interesting process to follow. Now his needs are not exactly the same as mine, but there is significant overlap.

Of course, I've a boat half built sitting in my driveway back home. That project awaits my arrival in the spring. When you've got the boat building disease, it's only normal to think a couple projects ahead.

The sensible thing would be to find a decent used boat that satisfies 85 – 90 percent of my needs and call it good enough. As much as building boats is fun, I'd much rather use them than build them. Waiting to build the perfect boat can keep a person from ever actually leaving. There's much to be said for good enough. Of course, good enough will still cost the occasional thousand dollars. Oh well, I'd rather a boat in the water than money in the bank.



  1. Someone once told me that if you ever start thinking you want to get a boat, just drive through town and stop and throw money in every other sidewalk drain you come across.
    Sounds a lot like British car ownership. ;)

    1. Buddy of mine had a British sports car -the boat is cheaper. Good thing my buddy loved to repair cars.

  2. From watching a friend's experience with English autos, I'd say Phil is right on THAT subject, and he's probably right on the other. lol

  3. My experience is that wooden boats only become a money pit when they haven't been well cared for. Again, just my experience.

    I wouldn't trade my little 16' plywood fishing boat for anything! And yes, I too have been bitten by the boat building bug! :-)

    1. You have amazing discipline. Not tempted to pimp out the boat?

  4. British car ownership? There is no such thing anymore! They're all made somewhere else, or the plants belong to the Germans, the Chinese or the Japanese ;) Boats: a hole in the water into which you throw your money! I am short on money to throw down the hole at the moment, so enforced rest..bluh...I am thinking of the next boat too...

    1. Take a break and enjoy the holidays. Good luck on the project!

  5. car;
    same story, different means of transport.
    deb h.