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Building a Boat or Die Trying

Sep 15, 2016
615
Catalina 22 Minnesota
I was perusing Craigs list today and came upon a rather heartbreaking add. Apparently this man spent most of his life building his dream sailboat. Now that he has passed his kids are selling it for less than the cost of the hardware alone. Its sad but I also had me wondering (not that I am interested) what would it take in Money and time to really finish this boat off and put her in the water? Is it even cost effective for the average person to finish something like this?

https://desmoines.craigslist.org/boa/d/west-des-moines-38-roberts-offshore/6805888628.html

 
Jan 5, 2017
2,170
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
There is more than the asking price in winches alone. The craftsmanship looks great in the video. Would be a great deal if it was close to home.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,938
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
:wow3:
If the workmanship is good, that is a deal. The engine alone...
Needs rigging, bottom paint and a trip to the water.
With the trailer, not as good a deal, but still.
If you lost your mast today, would you buy new rigging or scrap the boat and look for another one?
Just a guess off the top of my empty head, I'd say you would have yourself a new, decent bluewater sailer for a total of something like $25,000. Unless you bought the trailer too, but why do that for a 38' boat?

-Will (Dragonfly)
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,250
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Just a guess off the top of my empty head, I'd say you would have yourself a new, decent bluewater sailer for a total of something like $25,000
I was thinking more like $50k to finish it considering sails and rigging. Most of the rest seems to be there but there are some questionable design choices. Or buy it and part it out; you could probably make a few thousand after paying to send the hull to landfill. Really, if someone was going to build a boat from scratch, this would be a VERY cheap way of getting all the deck hardware and engine.
Very sad to see so much effort put into something that the builder never got to use. Then again, maybe he just enjoyed building so maybe he did get what he wanted out of it. I worked with a guy that built a Roberts in steel. Took him about 8 years and it was finished just before he retired. It turned out to be a very nice home build and he is actually sailing it :)
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,306
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
If that is the boat I think it is, run.
Why do you say that? 4 k? parts alone are worth at least 4 times that.
I think someone could finisher her up nicely and have a sweet lil cruiser.
 
Feb 3, 2015
296
Marlow Hunter 37 Reefpoint Marina Racine, WI
Why do you say that? 4 k? parts alone are worth at least 4 times that.
I think someone could finisher her up nicely and have a sweet lil cruiser.
As I say, IF that is the boat I think it is, it is actually rather old and unfortunately very neglected. It was pretty much abandoned for quite some time. After quite some time, some tried to float her but the wood wouldn’t take water to swell. They even buried her hull in an attempt to swell the wood and didn’t take. Eventually moved to a other marina to sit. I’d think real hard and certainly take a close, in person look at her. Given her age and neglect, I’m not sure the shape her hardware is in.
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
4,306
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
As I say, IF that is the boat I think it is, it is actually rather old and unfortunately very neglected. It was pretty much abandoned for quite some time. After quite some time, some tried to float her but the wood wouldn’t take water to swell. They even buried her hull in an attempt to swell the wood and didn’t take. Eventually moved to a other marina to sit. I’d think real hard and certainly take a close, in person look at her. Given her age and neglect, I’m not sure the shape her hardware is in.
Looks like double diagonal planking covered by glass, so there should be no problem w/swelling wood. Of course, it is possible the video is years old and she has been outside since it was shot, which would be a real shame.
Not my idea of a comfortable layout below, but from the video the only thing that really stood out was the hatches do not open fore and aft, which really made me doubt the builder's knowledge.
But truly, @ 4k you couldn't go wrong if all the gear that's in the video was actually there., IMO. I'd sure love a few of those self-tailers.
 
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dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,827
Belliure 41 Now on the Chesapeake
Here is a pic of a/the? Boat I took in 2016. She was a beauty in her day.
If you watch the video, definitely not the same boat. Very different keel, rudder and prop set-up.

dj
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,182
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
I was thinking more like $50k to finish it considering sails and rigging. Most of the rest seems to be there but there are some questionable design choices. Or buy it and part it out; you could probably make a few thousand after paying to send the hull to landfill. Really, if someone was going to build a boat from scratch, this would be a VERY cheap way of getting all the deck hardware and engine.
Very sad to see so much effort put into something that the builder never got to use. Then again, maybe he just enjoyed building so maybe he did get what he wanted out of it. I worked with a guy that built a Roberts in steel. Took him about 8 years and it was finished just before he retired. It turned out to be a very nice home build and he is actually sailing it :)
When I built my Cross 35 Ketch in 1979- I spent over 35 K on stuff above the deck- masts, booms, rigging, sails. It ain't cheap
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,938
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Don't put a mast on her and you have a nice motorboat you can live aboard or cruise around in until you come across another amazing deal in used, but good spars. With time and your own labor, this is a pretty cheap way to get into an ocean cruiser.

Is the Des Moines River navigable to the Mississippi?

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,077
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
It is not a boat for me or for many of the posters here but it may ignite a dream for someone with skills, time and some money. Is it worth it? For that person - sure! $50,000 wouldn't be a scary number. We all know that a well built 38' blue water cruiser with a pedigree would cost several hundred thousand dollars. But never mind that. For the right person it isn't about money.
 
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TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,660
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
I was perusing Craigs list today and came upon a rather heartbreaking add. Apparently this man spent most of his life building his dream sailboat. Now that he has passed his kids are selling it for less than the cost of the hardware alone. Its sad but I also had me wondering (not that I am interested) what would it take in Money and time to really finish this boat off and put her in the water? Is it even cost effective for the average person to finish something like this?

https://desmoines.craigslist.org/boa/d/west-des-moines-38-roberts-offshore/6805888628.html

Major project boats, including new amateur builds, often don't end well.

Looking briefly at that vid - the investments made in $$$, my guess is the building may have satisfied the dream for the builder.

The project made little financial sense in it's day and makes less $$$ sense to finish, today.

For the $$$ investment needed alone, the used boat market is full of better built, better finished, better designed and ready to sail sailboats, in better condition(the Youtube boat is old now).

I fear it will end it's days with another dreamer,...or two, to 'finish' it.