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Old 02-23-2016, 07:31 AM   #1
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How much is too much?

Greetings,
As a result of discussions regarding this link: Curtis Stokes Yacht Brokerage- 47 Marine Trader/D'Antonio Motor Yacht Sun Drum
Questions were generated in my own mind WRT repairs/upgrades etc. which may seem to be excessive.

Several threads have discussed re-powering for example. Is it worth someone's outlay to completely change out engines in an older boat in which one may never recoup the costs when a rebuild may suffice? The same question applies to other "bigger ticket" items.

A wide variety of repair/mods have been chronicled in these pages with costs ranging from small to large (all relative) $$ outlays. Window/port replacement, deck rebuilds, bottom jobs, generators replaced with larger battery banks and visa-versa and cabin mods just to name a few.

As well, several threads have dealt with "bargain" boats which have suffered neglect (I love it when a boat listing describes "needs a bit of TLC). Some newbies wishing to get out on the water may be attracted to these bargains so any insights you contribute may assist their plans.

I fully realize a LOT depends on one's disposable income and skill levels, hence the threads title..."How much is too much?"

Comments?
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:16 AM   #2
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"Is it worth someone's outlay to completely change out engines in an older boat in which one may never recoup the costs when a rebuild may suffice?"

Only on a "cult boat".

A Bertram Moppie will go up in value with a new set of marinized car diesels .

A TT will not as there are far too many with operating engines on sale.

The usual concept is a boat will require 10% of its value in maint over the years.

Most of that is for simple maint . The fixer upper that looks like crap and only needs paint and varnish and an interior is fine if the PURCHASER can do 100% of the work.

A new hobby for a year or two.

Hire a yard to do the work, you loosed big time.

The nightmare is a boat where one or more of the PO have attacked the electrical system , usually a non cruising "live aboard" with make do budget.

Lots of time and understanding is required .

Best if its a US boat Bertram , Hat , Post where an electrical schematic can be had from the mfg. Not a usual TT item.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:49 AM   #3
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RT.... stand by for all over the map answers as boats range from a "tool" to some all the way to a "love affair" to others. So.......here goes.


For me I bought an medium older TT as a liveaboard I guessed to be for 20 years till rocking chair time.


Because it is a "full time home" certain creature comforts were added or repaired/replaced no matter the cost...as it would be in selecting a house or apartment.


I figured that after 20 years if I plan things right...the boat will sell for enough to cover happy hours till they bury me and then cover that cost. If not, hopefully I will have enough for those things and a front end loader to crush her up so my kids don't have to deal with her if she doesn't sell quickly....even for pennies.


I can live with less than yacht finish and automated to the max systems....I can navigate from a laptop and don't need a $50,000 nav suite. Warm, dry....reliable for annual trips. I figure in the next 10 years a new but much smaller genny and at 500 engine hours a year...I might need a new/rebuilt main.


It's only those two items that if I replace that will be too good to toss after only 10 years of service. But no matter what happens to the hull...as working take outs they may cover some ultimate expenses of the boat when no longer being used.


So you see my plan....throw something together that is nice enough to live on and as I age and it slowly becomes as used up as me....there will be just enough left to give away or scrap (engine/genset only a guess).


So my cut on a $800,000 dollar upgrade to my boat would completely insane unless I had tens of millions...and at that point.... unless I won them overnight in a lottery...what the heck am I doing with a boat that NEEDS that much work?


The total bill for my boat over 20 years (less fuel), even with a new engine and genset should be less than $150,000 including initial purchase price and 50,000 miles of cruising maintenance.


Sure I did all the work...and certainly not to fine yard standards (but many marinas maybe better)...but even if I paid the labor....no way would it have been another $700,000 all at once...plus the hull I bought would have deserved that.


As others have said, sell and buy another....... but I guess that's the difference between seeing a boat as an object and a love affair....reason is not part of the equation.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:56 AM   #4
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If you're not prepared and able to spend too much, don't start. They don't come in on budget. If you're expecting to recoup you're investment, don't buy a boat.

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Old 02-23-2016, 09:11 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. I was not looking for response/comments specific to the link I posted (I think most can decide on their own as to the value of $$ spent on THAT project) but more of a general "Is it worth it to me to do this?" or "Can I get some $$ back on resale". I appreciate your reasons for doing what you did and also your conclusion that, in some cases, reason has nothing to do with it.

Considering overall $$ investment I suppose one also has to consider spares as well. Will a spare injection pump for example add to one's enjoyment of boating by adding a sense of security to the same extent as replacing ports/windows?

Last year I bought an air compressor to keep on board. Was it necessary? No, and now I have to find a place to put it (NO! I'm NOT getting a bigger boat!) but I rationalized it by the potential uses I could put it to. Air tools, blowing out lines, cleaning apparatus etc. Not an ungodly sum (~$120) but I am fast approaching room to store "stuff". So, too much? That sort of situation.

Mr. OC. Just saw your post and agree, a boat is NOT an investment in the $$ sense but in the enjoyment sense. Still, if one discounts re-sale...
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:29 AM   #6
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My thought is if you see a boat that has had allot of money put into it, you buy that boat as it represents a value for your hard earned dollar.

The boat RT mentioned is probably perfect, a dream boat.

I saw an article in passagemaker I believe about a Malhide in Anacortes that the owner professionally refitted. The boat was listed for $425K I think. That boat represented a value, and the selling p[rice was well below the refit cost.

Wether its worth it from a owner standpoint, who knows. I went through a refit/repower and will never recoup the cost. But I have my boat exactly how I want it. I wouldn't do it again though. I'd get the free money by buying somebody elses already re-fitted boat.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:39 AM   #7
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RT...I just erased pages of stuff....you and most probably already know it but came out so easily as I said...well known stuff....

I have to go with there are potentially so many variables...each addition to a boat, whose boat ($pockets), what boat, expected use and length of ownership, is the addition DIY or full cost, etc....tough question to answer.

But I am available for consulting ...on the cheap...
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by o c diver View Post
if you're not prepared and able to spend too much, don't start. They don't come in on budget. If you're expecting to recoup you're investment, don't buy a boat.

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Old 03-05-2016, 10:23 PM   #9
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Remember S/Y Legacy aground in Key West after hurricane Wilma? That guy spent over $27 Million to save a $16 Million (at best) boat. Emotion can be a powerful motivator.
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:52 PM   #10
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Excluding maintenance and minor upgrades (I would consider RT's compressor as a minor upgrade), I think the only way major refits make sense is if you have the skills, time, and interest to do a major part of it yourself. Otherwise, at labor rates of $75-$100/hr, the only person who will come out ahead is the yard doing the work. In all other cases, I suspect you would be better off selling the boat and getting another one that was in better condition or better meets your needs.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:30 PM   #11
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I do all my own work but one thing that always raises my hackles is when the boat for sale is advertized as just having had a gazzillion dollar refit and the asking price is half that or less. Are people really that stupid ???
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:11 PM   #12
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I do all my own work but one thing that always raises my hackles is when the boat for sale is advertized as just having had a gazzillion dollar refit and the asking price is half that or less. Are people really that stupid ???
No, they are not stupid. They never planned on selling the boat while they were doing the refit.

Doing is refit is both expensive and time consuming even if you are having all the work done for you. Wives can get jealous, and pissed.

Then you get the same things that happen with non refit boat purchases. A guy has a dream. Maybe he is a middle aged guy in a midlife crisis. Maybe he seeing his teenage kids drifting away into adulthood, and him and his wife growing apart. Maybe he thinks a boat will solve all that.

Then reality strikes. He is a guy that works his ass of so he can afford a high dollar boat, and has no time for it because he is stuck in that office, earning the money to pay for the big house and the Lexus, and the big yacht.

So he sells it.

I would never think a guy that can cough up a few hundred thousand dollars for a refit is stupid. We're talking about a highly successful person, who's dreams did not come true. I feel sorry for them if anything.
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:52 PM   #13
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Money is a tool.

Minds should be a tool

Emotions are not to be utilized with tools

Smart boat buying = Successful emotional stances/feelings during and after a boat's life with the owner.

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Old 03-07-2016, 07:25 AM   #14
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I understand it from an owners side, its easy to spend to much money on a boat. I just see to many boats for sale that have had way more money spent on the refit than the asking price. My question was more toward potential buyers and the possibility that "refit" is just another broker ploy.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:08 AM   #15
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I understand it from an owners side, its easy to spend to much money on a boat. I just see to many boats for sale that have had way more money spent on the refit than the asking price. My question was more toward potential buyers and the possibility that "refit" is just another broker ploy.
It could be a sales ploy, or it could actually be a good opportunity. If some starry-eyed person sinks way too much money into a boat, that's all to the benefit of the next guy who comes along, assuming it's a sound boat.

The other possibility of course is that after sinking a ton of money into the boat it was discovered that another ton and a half will be required to finish the job, so now a sale with a sales ploy....
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #16
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Not sure if a refit is really ever a ploy to someone who has the basics of boating.

New equipment, paint jobs, barrier coats, etc...are what they are. If documented and done right....you should be paying more for that boat than a sistership with older equipment or lack the upgrades.

My question is when is it just runaway upgrades and putting lipstick on a pig? Good examples can be found on the bridge of a boat. Some feel comfy with a chart book and a handheld....probably not going to turn many on...but on the otherhand, I would never pay extra for $50,000 in electronics on a $75,000 trawler thats biggest navigational challenge is the loop or finding the Bahamas. On a $1.5 million boat...sure, chump change.

So there are a breadth of examples of what is a good or bad refit, and many might be a good choice.....but we all have seen or read tabout the over the top ones too.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:37 AM   #17
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Not sure if a refit is really ever a ploy to someone who has the basics of boating.

New equipment, paint jobs, barrier coats, etc...are what they are. If documented and done right....you should be paying more for that boat than a sistership with older equipment or lack the upgrades.

My question is when is it just runaway upgrades and putting lipstick on a pig? Good examples can be found on the bridge of a boat. Some feel comfy with a chart book and a handheld....probably not going to turn many on...but on the otherhand, I would never pay extra for $50,000 in electronics on a $75,000 trawler thats biggest navigational challenge is the loop or finding the Bahamas. On a $1.5 million boat...sure, chump change.

So there are a breadth of examples of what is a good or bad refit, and many might be a good choice.....but we all have seen or read tabout the over the top ones too.
Agreed. For a savvy buyer, an expensive refit can be a good value. For a novice buyer, it can be a big distraction away from other problems, or make other problems more palatable since you are getting so much value in the refit work that was done..... An aggressive salesman will do everything they can to draw attention away from a boat's problems. Some buyers will be tricked, and others will not.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:54 AM   #18
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Used boats I will most likely entertain for purchase:

Those that have been owned by person/family or company that kept really good maintenance with records and where money and/or time was plentifully available.

Boat owned by a person/family or company that has been recently refurbished in a get-it-done timespan (one to three years) to 90% or better like new condition.

I do place need on any boat I purchase for the "price" to be "right" in regard to what I feel the boat is "truly" worth on the market. This price level can sometimes be arrived at via several means between the seller - them and the buyer - me... and sometimes not!

Tollycraft we currently own had been completely gone through and restored for two years by a respected shipwright and marine mechanic. She was pretty much turn key. Albeit the two heads' toilet systems had not yet been correctly addressed. That feature was amply taken into price discount as we negotiated. Reason for selling was that he had purchased for a family boat but wife decided to leave him before the heads were completed. Price was quite reasonable... he was glad to see it gone out of his hands, as bad feelings were in his mind. He and I had been acquaintances for years before and got even closer after the sale. We still run into each other occasionally. He's remarried and happy again. He is also super pleased to see that we are still smiling about purchasing the Tolly. Purchased in 8/2008.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:36 AM   #19
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I guess it depends on why the upgrade/refit was done. When I bought my boat my main reason for the purchase was that I wanted to do the refit/rebuild. In other words I bought the boat for the project. I have now spent nearly 6 times what the boat initially cost, but I enjoyed the work and the results. I never expected to recover the cost of the rebuild. When I decide to sell the boat I will do one of two things.

1) Sell the boat for a reasonable price to someone who wants to continue to maintain it.

2) If the boat doesn't sell, I will remove the expensive gadgets I put into it (diesel engine, webasto heater, top end head, top end water heater, anchor, chain and windlass, electronics, refrigeration, fuel tanks, etc. and either sell those items individually or install them on my other boat. I will then cut the boat up.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:00 AM   #20
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Our new to us boat is now over a year old now. We bought it as a refit boat that was scarcely used for the next 7 years. So all new in 2007/08. The things that last like all new upholstery woodwork carpet were done so well. The electronics were brand new at the time raymarine e120s so all fine there. The motors were rebuilt cummins 855.

After a year we have not upgraded anything but everything works perfectly well. Some things were replaced like freshwater pumps and i did lots of work on motors like injectors fuel pumps aftercoolers oil coolers etc. We spent what i expected to spend. Gensets got some new glow plugs now start in a turn or two.

Radar was rebuilt and now also all fine.

The previous owner lost a lot of money but he has plenty and split with wife so just liquidated his toys.

I agree trying to find a refit boat if you can. All depends on what work was done and where and what you plan to maintain yourself. The refit cost 700k so we are happy not to pay this ourselves...
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