Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Build it or buy it?

Building boats is fun. My lovely wife tolerates my obsession. There are other places where our limited funds could go, but she doesn't seem to mind me working on boat projects. Maybe she figures it's a cheap form of mental health care? Just guessing.

However, my lovely wife has set a 16 foot limit on the size boats I can build. Beyond that length, it's usually cheaper to buy a second hand boat than build one. While the length limit is somewhat arbitrary it's a reasonable cutting off point.

I must admit I'm tempted to build something bigger to get exactly what I want. However, I'm not a kid anymore. The bigger the boat build, the longer it takes. Do I want to spend my years building or sailing? As much as I enjoy building a boat, I enjoy using one more.

Of course, any boat that I can afford is definitely going to need work. There's a balancing point when used boat shopping. The price is just the starting point. A cheap boat that needs too much work is no bargain. However, there are cheap boats that look bad but have good bones. Much depends on what work you can do yourself and what needs to be hired out. Ideally, nothing gets hired out.

There are good books and Youtube videos on what to look for in a used boat. At my price point I wouldn't normally pay for a professional boat survey. Because I'm cheap, knowing the basics about how to do a survey is essential. However, if for some reason I was buying a more expensive boat, I would be more likely to pay for a survey. It doesn't make sense for low end fixer-uppers.

So why am I thinking about this at the start of the winter? Soon we'll be heading south to warmer temperatures. While we aren't specifically looking for a boat while down there, we just might bump into one that catches our attention.



  1. When you do "bump" into one be careful. Remember Irma. Otherwise, good luck.

  2. Sometimes when you're not looking the best of surprises come knocking. Just saying ...

  3. CD 28 on eBay that looks well-finished, beautifully lined for 3,500 buy it now.