View Poll Results: Rebuild, Convert, or Turnkey?
Refit, or rebuild from scratch 6 20.00%
Convert a commercial vessel 2 6.67%
Find a turnkey boat 26 86.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mattkab's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma
Country: USA
Vessel Name: C:\[ESC]
Vessel Model: 2002 Bayliner 4788
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 238
Send a message via Skype™ to mattkab
Rebuild or Turnkey?

We are not shopping for a boat at this time.

In fact, I have quite a few projects on my own boat that need my time, attention, and money. But that doesn't mean during lunch at my desk I don't open up a web browser and look around at boats for sale.

One group of boats that keep showing up in my searches, that continue to be intriguing, are boats that are in need of a refit (or even a rebuils) but that are being basically given away. I tried to search the archives for similar threads, but they were difficult to come by.

So, for this particular thought experiment, assume you had a purchase budget of approximately $150k. And you were looking for a 40-50' boat for relatively near-shore, but moderate length cruising (examples: inside passage from Seattle to Alaska, Harbor hopping SF to Mexico, ICW, Bahamas). Two stateroom accommodations. In each case, the same $150k would be spent when the boat is launched. I did a quick search and found some sample boats that fit the parameters.

Would you be at all interested in buying a boat that you then put on the hard, spent a year completely gutting and refurbishing specifically to your tastes and desires?
1994 Bruce Roberts Wave Runner 45 Trawler Power Boat For Sale -

Or maybe taking a commercial boat at converting it to a cruiser?
1927 Kishi Bros Converted Seiner Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Or would you simply spend the time boat shopping until you found the right turnkey boat?
1986 San Pedro Boat Works Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
2004 Mainship 400 Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

I'm not purchasing or offering anything so you can't hurt my feelings on this one, so please be honest.
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Thanks,
Matt B.
http://mvcesc.wordpress.com/
mattkab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:15 PM   #2
Guru
 
Mule's Avatar
 
City: Fort Pierce
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Florita Ann
Vessel Model: 1982 Present
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,784
Well I lost my fist try so I will send one at a time. On your coast, you would have $100k to play with, or more. Get a load of this...1964 George Sutton and Jay Stoddard Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
__________________

Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
Guru
 
Mule's Avatar
 
City: Fort Pierce
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Florita Ann
Vessel Model: 1982 Present
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,784
Now for turnkey...1985 Lowland 471 Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com. Wrong coast.
Still have around 50k for updating.
To answer your question, turnkey is the way to go especially if you can buy a boat some other fool has done the heavy lifting...like me with my 34 Mainship. The first boat could really be a special little ship though. As for your WOOD 1927 boat....Really?????
Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mattkab's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma
Country: USA
Vessel Name: C:\[ESC]
Vessel Model: 2002 Bayliner 4788
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 238
Send a message via Skype™ to mattkab
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule View Post
As for your WOOD 1927 boat....Really?????
No, not at all.

But I've seen even 80' commercial boats occasionally show up for less than $20k. Most are steel, and that's too big for my use. But if I wanted to liveaboard?
__________________
Thanks,
Matt B.
http://mvcesc.wordpress.com/
mattkab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:50 PM   #5
Guru
 
swampu's Avatar


 
City: Biloxi, MS
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cajun Rose
Vessel Model: Biloxi Lugger
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,144
I've been building for years now. Can ever seem to get a good push. This was they year and then life got me a little. Turn key and use it now is the best approach. IMHO
swampu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:51 PM   #6
Guru
 
Mule's Avatar
 
City: Fort Pierce
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Florita Ann
Vessel Model: 1982 Present
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,784
I like the Lowland but either the Sutton or Lowland would work. Lots of new pix since I saw the Lowland, the problems are being shown somewhat. The Lowland was a featured boat in Passagemaker Mag. That boat at 100k with 50k to fix would be really special, as would be the Sutton.. Trouble is with the Sutton it may be a bottomless pit. The lowland needs no teak decks exposed to sun, a little here, a little there and you r done, as with every "turnkey" boat.
Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 08:32 PM   #7
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,813
When boats were selling for premium $$$ 8+ years ago, major rebuild / refit was a very viable option. Now, the used market is still pretty over stocked and boats are still selling way below what they are worth (buyers market). Hard to see the value in spending 50%+ of your total investment in fixing up a junker. Now if you are short on $ and can do all the work yourself, that's another argument.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Billyfeet's Avatar
 
City: Jupiter, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: JOHN D. MACDONALD
Vessel Model: FAIRCHILD SCOUT 30
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 179
That Lowland looks neglected but was quite a vessel at one time. If I had not just gotten my Pilgeim I would be making an offer on it tomorrow.
Billyfeet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 09:16 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
SaltyDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 249
I have been working on our vessel since we acquired her in 1998.

What I have learned is that working on a boat that can be used and enjoyed is fine with me.

We are Great Lakes boaters and are limited by seasons.

The recent brightwork, hull and house painting is very rewarding in some ways, but it was too long of a project. Very glad I did it, but it involved the loss of a boating season. For full disclosure it must be mentioned that personal and business real life events were as much a factor as anything, but missing an entire season was a very high price to me.

Things I would suggest one consider are the following:

What will it cost to store? This could range enough to make the decision for you.

What is the time missed boating worth to you?

If one has the time to get away and cruise then turnkey makes more sense to me.

On Lake Michigan ones time and the weather need to align in order to cruise. I found that Plan A - cruise and Plan B - upgrade/maintain to work well. For the first 15 years I never missed a chance to go boating due to boat maintenance. The part of not being able to enjoy the weather, time, and feeling somewhat of a boat slave to be a once in a lifetime is enough, type of thing for me.

That I already knew and loved the boat was invaluable. I couldn't imagine that one would like to spend the time on a boat that did not connect the emotional dots.

Time or money is not tough. Time and money with good weather.........is a scarce blessing.
SaltyDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 06:20 AM   #10
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,524
There is no such thing as Turnkey , as so many choices are very individual.

If you will just be cruising there is still a set of choices.

The Marina to Marina folks will want bow and stern thrusters , onboard dink storage,
the anchor out folks will be far more interested in endurance, silently on the hook.

Even if the boat is 90% just what you want it will still be big bucks and time to obtain the other 10%

Remember the 90/90 rule,

90% of the work takes 90% of the time,

the remaining work ALSO takes 90% of the time.

If boat building is your hobby , get a fixer up and be happy for 5-10 years.

IF cruising is the goal , get the boat , get underway and in a year decide what isnt working for you.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 07:02 AM   #11
TF Site Team
 
Pack Mule's Avatar
 
City: Paris,TN
Country: USA
Vessel Name: William
Vessel Model: Outer reef 32
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,501
If you are ready to use the boat and go cruising I would go for as much turnkey as you can afford . We bought our boat 2 years ago . we were not in a covered slip at that time so we rebuilt all the interior and used the boat that summer.Then moved the boat and to a covered slip and took on a big project last winter replacing all exterior teak and building new doors . It was a push to get finished by summer so we could use the boat,but we did and the summer has been great . We only worked on what we had to over the summer so we could use the boat .We have decided to stay in covered slip and take on another project this winter .
Our idea was to buy a boat that !st:we liked ,2nd: we could afford,3rdne that we could do the majority of the projects ourselves .
I'm still working so we couldn't go cruising just yet. If I was retired I would rather be cruising than taking on any big projects. The things you have to do will always be there and that's ok. I have a shop at home and we are only 20 minutes from the boat so a big part of the work was done at home.Everyone's situation is different .Our plan just kinda made more sense to us.We may not ever get to go cruising but we are enjoying the boat when we can and working on it when we want .
Pack Mule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 07:20 AM   #12
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
There is no such thing as Turnkey , as so many choices are very individual.

If you will just be cruising there is still a set of choices.

The Marina to Marina folks will want bow and stern thrusters , onboard dink storage,
the anchor out folks will be far more interested in endurance, silently on the hook.

Even if the boat is 90% just what you want it will still be big bucks and time to obtain the other 10%

Remember the 90/90 rule,

90% of the work takes 90% of the time,

the remaining work ALSO takes 90% of the time.

If boat building is your hobby , get a fixer up and be happy for 5-10 years.

IF cruising is the goal , get the boat , get underway and in a year decide what isnt working for you.
Brilliant!

Most people seeing our 1987 DF 44 would describe it as turnkey . . . and it certainly was immediately usable. But there are always some things--from out-dated electronics to anchor preferences to neglected items or things nearing the end of their useful lives--that a new owner will want to change or fix. Best approach for us was to buy a well-maintained, fundamentally sound boat, use it now and enjoy fixing the 10% (along with the routine maintenance that even new boats need).
angus99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 07:51 AM   #13
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
It boils down this question: Do you want to go boating or do you just like to work on boats?

My choice is to go boating. I don't mind working on boats up to a point and I have spent significant time improving mine, but my primary focus is being able to hop on the boat and go somewhere.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 09:19 AM   #14
Veteran Member
 
jdud133's Avatar
 
City: Jefferson Ma.
Country: us
Vessel Name: Anegada da Vida
Vessel Model: 1979 Mainship 34 mk1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 61
If "turnkey" means that you can safely use the boat right away then what do you think are the "must haves" on the boat and what can wait to be fixed or upgraded while you are using the boat?
jdud133 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
City: Anacortes
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 301
The premise here is flawed. We all know that you don't get your money back from a project boat, you take a loss. Yet, the examples immediately fall into the same ole trap of assuming that the turnkey budget or project budget is 150k. The example does not simulate reality.

The correct mental exercise is that you either spend 150k on turnkey, or you can spend 300k+ on a project to get the same outcome.

The project advantage is that you will get exactly what you want and it may go further.
ghost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 09:58 AM   #16
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdud133 View Post
If "turnkey" means that you can safely use the boat right away then what do you think are the "must haves" on the boat and what can wait to be fixed or upgraded while you are using the boat?
My boat had no navigation electronics when I bought it so I used the GPS from my former boat until I sold it, then installed a full Garmin networked system. It came with a manual windlass which I replaced after just a few uses.

Other than that, the boat was in great shape and needed nothing to be safe or usable.

Off the top of my head, this is what I've done to it since buying it:

Add TV set and replace antenna
Replace carpet with teak and holly simulated flooring
Replace canvas helm cover
Construct spice cabinet over stove
Install a permanent inverter and upgrade microwave
Buy a custom foam mattress to replace the stiff one in the V berth
Plus lots of minor things
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 10:17 AM   #17
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,884
Too many "project" boats end up unfinished, with years and money wasted. Something in human nature allows even smart folks to grossly underestimate project scope. Once deep in, reality hits and the whole project becomes depressing. That can screw up one's life even outside of the project.

When building my boat, I was leasing space in a warehouse that had several "project" boats inside. The owners would come in now and then and poke and scratch for a while then leave. Nothing much got done.

Half way through my build, the scope of what was ahead became overwhelming. Running through my mind repeatedly was "I'll never finish this". Not good...

I figured out a little mental trick: Don't ever worry about finishing. Just walk in the shed, pick a task, work as long as you can, as efficiently as you can, and when tired, clean up and leave. Ignore how many other tasks exist. Next day repeat. Keep a punch list on the bench. When a task is done, scratch it off.

After a few months, a big portion of the punchlist was gone. Light at the end of the tunnel... Start to launch 20 months.

8yrs later the boat is on the dock, running well, 2000hrs on engine. Several of the project boats are still in the shed, looking abandoned.

The point of all this is DO NOT underestimate the scope of a project boat. Be it a new build or restore. In fact, I think a new build is way easier, nothing is rotted, scope of project does not grow during build, everything is new, etc.

Buy something fully operational and seaworthy. A list of fixits and upgrades, all will have that. But boat needs to pass sea trials and survey before you purchase.
Ski in NC is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 10:35 AM   #18
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Most any boatyard that allows DIY work will have several unfinished boats blocked up where the owners have died or given up and stopped paying the storage fees and leaving the yard owner with a worthless pile of junk that he must pay to get rid of.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Billyfeet's Avatar
 
City: Jupiter, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: JOHN D. MACDONALD
Vessel Model: FAIRCHILD SCOUT 30
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 179
Lots of good points about the merits of either path. The subject really is a complex question with too many variables not covered by the original question. "Turn Key" is actually a pretty broad category of boat. There are many used vessels that pass a survey without any faults. And after 6 months most of those will have had multiple minor or major gear failures. It is the nature of the beast. Even new boat under manufacturer's warranty usually have some down time because of equipment failure or installation glitches. Looking at a "budget" of $150,000 it is important to know the level of "do it yourself" ability and desire the owner has. And what the owner desires from boat ownership. If it is turn the key and spend 1 year aboard with the A/C running, ice cream frozen, windlass humming, watermaker providing endless hot water showers and 1,000 hours of diesels dieseling you better buy a brand new boat with warranty with $150,000 as a down payment and the $850,000 loan on auto pay from your Bond Interest account.....
Billyfeet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 01:00 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
mattkab's Avatar
 
City: Tacoma
Country: USA
Vessel Name: C:\[ESC]
Vessel Model: 2002 Bayliner 4788
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 238
Send a message via Skype™ to mattkab
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost View Post
The premise here is flawed. We all know that you don't get your money back from a project boat, you take a loss. Yet, the examples immediately fall into the same ole trap of assuming that the turnkey budget or project budget is 150k. The example does not simulate reality.

The correct mental exercise is that you either spend 150k on turnkey, or you can spend 300k+ on a project to get the same outcome.

The project advantage is that you will get exactly what you want and it may go further.
Honest, and naive question.

Is this the case? I haven't done a full cost breakdown, but even assuming a complete repower and a deck core project, done by a yard, there should still be money left from the initial $100k. No?
__________________

__________________
Thanks,
Matt B.
http://mvcesc.wordpress.com/
mattkab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012