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rebuild vs buy boat ?

Old 09-13-2019, 05:33 PM
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Default rebuild vs buy boat ?

so how many of you have bought a old boat you liked and just started over with the hull ? im thinking about a 21 cape horn or similar design . in fair shape with a good trailer and just go through it.. simple rewire , repower with 4 stroke , my electronics .. could have inside re gelcoated if needed { I know someone that can spray it }… or is it not worth it ? sounds simple , but I know better . I just cant do 400 + a month payments on a new boat … hate to buy something used for 35,000 and have no warranty if something major happened id be screwed .. at least a repower has a warranty .. I can get a 150 Suzuki installed with new controls for around 14,000 and finance it for about 180 a month
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:01 PM
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I have only ever bought old power boats.

It's a great way to save money, but it can take a lot of time. If you don't enjoy the boat work, it's probably not a good deal.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:09 PM
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I look at some of the threads on THT and think “wow, I wish I could do that”.

I realize I can’t (no talent, no time & no room).

I wish I could but it is above my abilities.

You’ve got to make your own call but I’d give it some serious thought.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:05 PM
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Im all for restoring classic boat, mako, formula, Chris Craft, etc... don’t know much about the Cape Horns but if you like the boat go for it. Now be warned if working on or restoring boats happens to be your thing get ready for a lifetime of searching them out. Good luck with your decision and let us know what you decide be sure to post pictures.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:34 PM
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Iv worked on capehorns . There very simple boats that's why I like them . Just have to watch out for rotten floors and gas tanks in the old ones .. I can pick up a keylargo in decent shape for about 6k good trailer ... this will take some serious thought I can tell
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:49 PM
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I bought an ezeloader trailer for $400. However the seller told me up front that it had a derelict boat sitting on it and I would have to dispose of the boat. The boat is a 1972 Sea Ray SRV 190. The boat was in pretty sad shape inside, but the hull was sound and the engine just needed a little work to get it running. So I rebuilt the interior of the boat. Fixed the engine, had the drive checked (I don't do drives) You can see the results at Boat Building Projects | 1972 Sea Ray 190 Rebuild Cost a small fortune, far more than the boat is worth if I decided to sell it. Don't care. I have a beautiful classic Sea Ray, Just this last winter put a new to me, 1978 engine in it (more money in the hole) but it runs great.

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Old 09-13-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PeterDE View Post
I bought an ezeloader trailer for $400. However the seller told me up front that it had a derelict boat sitting on it and I would have to dispose of the boat. The boat is a 1972 Sea Ray SRV 190. The boat was in pretty sad shape inside, but the hull was sound and the engine just needed a little work to get it running. So I rebuilt the interior of the boat. Fixed the engine, had the drive checked (I don't do drives) You can see the results at Boat Building Projects | 1972 Sea Ray 190 Rebuild Cost a small fortune, far more than the boat is worth if I decided to sell it. Don't care. I have a beautiful classic Sea Ray, Just this last winter put a new to me, 1978 engine in it (more money in the hole) but it runs great.

man, that looks great .. I'm sure there's lot of hours tied up in it
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:50 PM
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The latest. A new Bimini, and teak trim.


thanks. Yes. But I'm retired so I can put as much or as little as I want. And it's an ongoing project. Much of the interior trim is covered in black vinyl which is badly deteriorated. The wood under the vinyl is teak. Can you imagine covering teak with black vinyl? Any way I have been removing the vinyl, refinishing the teak. Next up is replacing the seats. The cheap seats I bought only lasted about 5 years. So Next spring it'll get all new seats, this time they'll be good ones. Probably cost a lot more but they'll last a lot longer. Still upgrading the electrical system. Bit by bit. I have a new tach to put in. The old one jumps around a lot.

However, I like to fish and I'd rather spend my time in the summer fishing, than working on the boat. So these are all winter/spring projects.

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Old 09-13-2019, 11:59 PM
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Agree that new boat prices are crazy.

Not sure why you mentioned a 21 Cape Horn and a 150hp motor in the same post though. Those two do NOT go together. There are 21 footers that run OK with a 150 but a Cape Horn isn't one of them IMO. 225 would be my minimum but a 200 would probably work.

If money is tight, I wouldn't finance anything. Not the boat and not the repower. If that means you start looking at 1980s-90s era boats with old two strokes for 5k that need some work, fine.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamWeaver21 View Post

If money is tight, I wouldn't finance anything. Not the boat and not the repower. If that means you start looking at 1980s-90s era boats with old two strokes for 5k that need some work, fine.
This is very true. If you can't afford two of them, you can't afford one. Personally, I had fun when I took over my Dads old 12' sears gamefisher, and also when I upgraded to a 13' Whaler. And even more fun with my 15' Hobie. I have a few other boats that are a little bigger, but none are really more fun than the Hobie.
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Old 09-14-2019, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cjmac View Post
so how many of you have bought a old boat you liked and just started over with the hull ? im thinking about a 21 cape horn or similar design . in fair shape with a good trailer and just go through it.. simple rewire , repower with 4 stroke , my electronics .. could have inside re gelcoated if needed { I know someone that can spray it }… or is it not worth it ? sounds simple , but I know better . I just cant do 400 + a month payments on a new boat … hate to buy something used for 35,000 and have no warranty if something major happened id be screwed .. at least a repower has a warranty .. I can get a 150 Suzuki installed with new controls for around 14,000 and finance it for about 180 a month
It's way more money than you expect.
Everything you buy to redo an old boat is NEW,in small quantities, at astronomical prices.

Your better off buying a well cared for used boat that needs no work. You get more for your $$$, and no work.

Working on old boats is entertainment, not a cost effective way to get a good boat.

With the possible exception of some boats that have a cult-like following, you will end up with way more in it than you can ever sell it for.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:34 AM
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The above statements are true, why not save up for a few months so you don’t have to borrow any or as much. The next few months your going to see a lot more boats come on the market as the season is ending for many.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mbb View Post

Your better off buying a well cared for used boat that needs no work. You get more for your $$$, and no work.

Working on old boats is entertainment, not a cost effective way to get a good boat.

With the possible exception of some boats that have a cult-like following, you will end up with way more in it than you can ever sell it for.
This is about it, other than if you look you can find boats that were well cared for, to the extent that they have been recently repowered. Next to a good friends boat, this is the best type of boat that there is.

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Old 09-14-2019, 07:56 AM
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I too buy old/older boats almost exclusively and through mostly pure luck Ive made money on every one. Usually this would not be the case but if you enjoy the work as much as actually using the boat then it becomes palatable. There is one giant glaring caveat though - if you have to farm out the work an old boat will eat your soul and checkbook in giant painful bites.

There is also a door number 3 and my current addiction - building from scratch. This is totally about the journey and no matter how good the finished project is the residual value just isnt there - but if you're old and grumly like me (55 today) this doesn't matter

150 On a 21' CH is a big no go, it would naybe come on plane around 22 MPH and then be out of breath by 30. That hull needs a big motor turning a grown up prop.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamWeaver21 View Post
Agree that new boat prices are crazy.

Not sure why you mentioned a 21 Cape Horn and a 150hp motor in the same post though. Those two do NOT go together. There are 21 footers that run OK with a 150 but a Cape Horn isn't one of them IMO. 225 would be my minimum but a 200 would probably work.

If money is tight, I wouldn't finance anything. Not the boat and not the repower. If that means you start looking at 1980s-90s era boats with old two strokes for 5k that need some work, fine.
I agree about the power, it needs a lot more. And a newer Cape horn design that is not a wet ride like a their old 21 is still pretty expensive, and should be in good shape, hull and motor wise. The old CH19 is over 20', will run on a 150, but that hull was even wetter when I owned one.

I feel for you in this economy as everything has gone up, and hulls with two strokes are the way to save dough. Unfortunately their trade in value is very low, so I personallly would be looking for a a hull with twin 2 strokes, like the late model fitches that had the bugs worked out of them, and still get good milage that you could continue to use. I know of a 25'seacat on a trailer that is the planning model with twin 90's. This 95 hull is the planning model, will cruise at 25 with a load and get 2 mpg, and was repowered in 2008, if I remember right. You would have to come get it, but its a deal, the roads are good. If you are interested, I will hook you up with the elderly man selling it, if its not already sold. This one has been babied and is ready to fish. Not affiliated.

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Old 09-14-2019, 08:21 AM
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As inflated as new boat prices are I would buy the older boat. But if it's a major restore than I would only buy it if I had a backup boat to get on the water fishing while I work on it. Skiff, Kayak etc..
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:23 AM
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Most of the ground up restorations are big projects. Personally I have hard time understanding why not to start from brand new hull.
Thing that is often overlooked is health and environmental impact of such projects.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:31 AM
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Get an older boat in good shape, do your best to check it out, have a slushfund when things break, run the piss out of it and hope for the best is what I do. Financing a new motor is a lot more expensive than fixing one if nothing major is wrong with it.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:40 AM
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You have to decide if you like working on boats or using them. There is nothing wrong with either choice.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:42 AM
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Iv been sitting here going over a list of stuff I'd do and parts . And over time I would spend just as much with what I want to do to a older one as to find one in shape I want
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