Remodeling a Boat

When we bought the boat we thought we had covered most of the bases as far as knowing what needed to be refurbished. However, this was our first boat and boy did we get an education fast. In the first three days of ownership a toilet malfunctioned, the air conditioning quit, and the domestic water system sprang a huge leak. After repairing those items we spent the next week taking 40 bags of trash off the boat… this was before we started removing old carpet, window coverings, and bedding.

Things were pretty much a mess with many many problems for the first three months. Then things started to settle down as we slowly worked our way through the various systems on the boat. We spent almost twice what we anticipated spending to remodel this old girl and we’re not finished yet.

Completing the galley had a huge impact on our mindset and the appearance of the boat. We kind of felt if we could do that we could tackle almost anything. One thing we’ve really learned about old boats… if you think it will take an hour to complete, better plan on the entire day. We like the projects but the surprises can be frustrating… and almost every project has had multiple surprises.

“No Shoes” is beginning to look pretty good and is feeling like home. On Monday we’re having her taken out of the water so we can inspect the hull, repaint everything below the waterline, install a new depth transducer, and hopefully buff and polish the hull below the rub rail.

Stay tuned for updates on what we find as she sits on dry land…

2 thoughts on “Remodeling a Boat”

  1. So interesting. I would love to follow your adventures. I’m sure you know that you are certainly following many people’s dreams. But, for many reasons, about as close as I will come is being able to go on the occasional cruise. Please let us know something about your background….what you did in a previous life that somewhat prepared you for this adventure. Not to be nosy, but how in the heck did you afford to purchase a yacht? Do you plan to make this your forever home? Do you have a land based home? How old are you? I know, lots of questions, but sorry, I find this fascinating. I retired a few years ago and can’t imagine the energy this huge project would require. Best of luck and I plan to follow.

    1. Hi Pat, my apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I will try to answer some of your questions here.
      My background is in Engineering, although I spent the last six years selling real estate after I retired from my Engineering career. I’ll be 70 in April of 2019 and Crystal will be 59 in May. Crystal has a degree in finance and spent the last nine years also selling real estate. Honestly, the real estate angle is where we made our money to be able to do this, but it’s not as expensive as you might think. We paid less than $100k for a 30 year old fixer upper which is now our home. We did most of the work ourselves which was very satisfying and saved us a ton of money. We have about $160k in her at this point. If you are careful you can get into an older trawler type boat for less than $50k. Fix it up yourself then cruise away. Expect to spend about $35K – $50k doing the remodel. Check out the Yachtworld website and don’t be afraid to offer considerably less than asking price.
      We no longer have a land based home. Most folks who do what we are doing will sell the boat after 4-6 years, then either move back to a house or an RV. I doubt we’ll ever own a house again and will most likely get a fifth wheel RV when we’re tired of boating.

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