View Full Version : budgeting for renovation
Forgive me if this isn't nuts and bolts enough, but before I start removing damaged planks or repowering I could use some real world numbers as to what a renovation could entail.
The boat is a 50's CC power cruiser. There are a few planks to replace, more to refasten, and a lot of caulk and deck work. Doing the work myself and with friends what can I expect to have to spend on different aspects of the renovation?
I know thats a loaded question without seeing the boat but any available help would be greatly appreciated.
09-28-2001, 08:01 AM
if you got kids...take firstborn and tell him he must go away...put him on auction block....put other kids in reserve position, convince wife she must make more......sell house, move into tent. Train family to live on rice and beans, draw water from well, try not to use too much sawdust from pile for cooking fuel as you will need it for heat during winter.......
I hope you have REALLY good friends......
Seriously, there's no real way to tell without a LOT of info here and a very good survey, plus knowledge of you and friends abilities, estimate time, beer, materials and the quadruple the result.
09-28-2001, 08:21 AM
-- A project that is within your budget and makes fiscal sense is called a business.
-- A project that taxes your time and finances and makes no fiscal sense is called a hobby.
-- Wooden boats are an example of an "extreme hobby".
-- Don't let that deter you!
/// Frank ///
John R Smith
09-28-2001, 09:59 AM
my friend, if you have to ask, you can't afford it http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
Well I must be in trouble already because I only have the firstborn as of now, no more kids for reserve. The friends are indeed very good; skilled woodworkers, and supportive of the project, er hobby,(NOT financially though).
The survey tells me what need repair,but thats all. The varnished transom will have to be replaced. A good deal of refastening was done by a marina a couple of years ago. Apparently, they epoxied the transom planks together. The boat was not returned to the water this summer and the shrinkage caused the planks to crack instead of pulling away from one another. Other than that I want to replace the false stem, portions of several planks, and lots of cosmetics.
John, The question wasn't "could I afford it?", but more like, If I'm going to drop 15-20K lets get going, if I'm going to drop 60K then maybe I'd rather buy something else.
Witt, it is really difficult to give general figures for repair/restoration costs without detailed information. Even armed with that info, there is always the expensive surprise hidden under that plank you are about to remove. As a friend who restores old houses has told me, "an accurate estimation method is to identify everything that you can see that needs repair, estimate the materials and labour to fix it, double that figure and add 50%". A possible way out of your conundrum is to pay the local quality boatyard manager for his time to do a detailed estimate of what he would charge to do the repairs that you see as necessary. Assume that his figure is 25% materials, 75% labour if he doesn't give you a breakdown. Some food for thought: a good professional planking crew (3-4 guys) can hang maybe four strakes per side per day on a new construction 40-footer; an experienced caulker & helper will take about a week to do the same boat, installing a bunged screw in new construction from start to finish takes about 7 minutes per screw.
09-28-2001, 11:48 AM
Look also at your reasons for doing it. Do you love the boat, and see her in your mind's eye gleaming at the slip, or motoring handsomely across the bay?
Or do you see her as an investment, being concerned that you will put more money into her than she'll bring in return?
If it's the latter, put her up for sale and go buy one that's done. If it's the former, get to work! And make sure you keep the "boat repair" fund well stocked.
Having the yard do an estimate is probably a good idea, even if you have to pay them to do it. You could also pay a surveyor, or get on a ChrisCraft website and see if you can find someone who has done a boat similar to yours.
09-28-2001, 01:12 PM
You also mentioned repowering. That's a serious chunk of time and money.
My brother bought a fiberglass sailboat last year and now that it needs repairs to the deck (which his original survey revealed), has lost some momentum with getting the work done. I think it looks a bit much to him to have to spend time to either do the repairs himself, or pay to have it done (which he could afford, if he chose). In the meantime, he didn't get the boat in the water this summer so didn't enjoy using her, which keeps most people going. He too has asked for help in estimating repair time /costs for himself or a yard, but it's a tough thing to do.
I tried to persuade him to buy a boat that was already in good shape, but he chose another route. I wonder if he will end up spending more money on this boat than he'd ever recover. There are numerous cases of people putting a lot of money into refurbishing boats that no one wants to pay for. A prime example is the CHRISTMAS, a beautiful 45' cutter restored meticulously that's been for sale for years.
Take a look at Yachtworld.com and do a search for 1950's CC cruisers and talk to brokers about how long they stay on the market and what kind of prices they bring.
Thanks for all the feedback so far, which I have found to be good comments and questions to ponder. One thing I have omitted is that for a number of year I built custom bicycles professionally.While I have stopped building bicycle frames for the most part, I have not stopped enjoying building fine things. My thoughts with the cruiser were to 1)find something that would be an outlet for the craftsman side of me and 2)find something that my growing family could enjoy together. Because training (for bicycle races)15-20 hours a week is NOT a family activity.
Witt, your profile states that you live in Washington. I assume that is Washington state? Where abouts is this Chris located? Who did the survey? I'ld gladly take a look at it with you and give you an objective opinion regarding the scope of repairs and the related costs. Can you be reached off line? Have you looked in British Columbia for a boat yet?
09-28-2001, 10:39 PM
Make a good faith estimate. Double it. Move on to the next highest order of magnitude. That should cover it. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
RGM,I'm in Eastern Washington on the Columbia. I can be reached at the email shown on my profile. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
09-29-2001, 11:39 AM
I am in the midst of a major remodel / rebuild myself. I started with an estimate which in this forum would be considered outragous. So far I have spent 213% more than the original estimate and have at least the original estimate to go. Help from friends and relatives will disappear in less time than it took to read this responce and that is a guarantee. In the end it all boils down to what you want to do. Don't let others decide for you or you will never get anything you want. LOL
10-01-2001, 10:05 AM
Maybe I missed this, but 1950's CC cruiser is a broad term.
Is it a 25 bullnose commander? Or, a 45' Corsair. Or, a 63 foot Constellation? etc., etc.
That would definitely make a big impact on how I would answer!
I'm going through it with a 35' 1964 and would be happy to lend any advice or "expertise" that I can.
One thing I can tell you- It is not an investment ... other than emotional. You will never come out ahead.
10-01-2001, 12:16 PM
Witt, I just noted the bit about bicycles. Who'd you build for? What did you use for tubing? What time frame?
The boat is a 1950 CC commander 34' bullnose. I built under my own name, Witt, steel, aluminum,and ti; road or mountain.
10-01-2001, 04:20 PM
Witt,I'm in kallispel Mt.right now seeing the grandkids.
We will be leaving on the 5th.and traveling through eastern wash.Spokane(sp)to 395,to biggs OR.Will that be anywhere near where you are?Wouldn't mind a bit going another way for the chance to enjoy this maddness with another forumite.
I have spent some time on this model chris.and can give you some "experienced amature input."
Bottom line though is,survey by a well experienced wood boat surveyor,then post the results to get some educated guesses about budget.
[This message has been edited by dasboat (edited 10-01-2001).]
Alan D. Hyde
10-01-2001, 04:41 PM
My cousin, who I see once-in-a-great-while off and on, is bike-racer Jim "Alabama Cannonball" Montgomery, originally from Seattle.
Well Dasboat, that would be a welcome visit indeed. I would always welcome a comrade to share tales of woe over this affliction called wooden boats.
Alan, while he wouldn't remember it I shared a couple of rides with Jim when he was in my old N. Carolina stomping grounds visiting a mutual friend, Tom Craven. Small world.
10-01-2001, 06:36 PM
<what can I expect to have to spend on different aspects of the renovation?>
Double the highest estimate you receive on this forum or any other place!
10-01-2001, 09:44 PM
Witt, in my prior life I was in the bike trade for over ten years. A no account as a competitor, but I worked with Gerald O'Donovan of Raleigh's bike specials program. One of my tasks at one time was to hacksaw REynolds 753 frames (during the development process) to cut out joints that had cracked. Tough stuff, it used to rip the teeth right off the blade.
10-02-2001, 10:13 AM
Get some experience first before tackling that monster of a project.
Since your into powerboats. Get and old power launch. You can pick up smaller boats for FREE. Then you'll have a good idea of what your running into before you take out that second morgage on the house.
10-02-2001, 12:13 PM
Witt,you can post a message saying how to touch base with you,or e mail me at my earthlink address.If I can swing it I'll drop by for a few hours to take a look.
PS.email@example.com is where I will be untill the 4th.
[This message has been edited by dasboat (edited 10-02-2001).]
10-06-2001, 11:24 PM
Dadgummitanyhow,the best laid plans and all that stuff.
Sorry for not touching base as planned Witt.
Thought we would leave about 7am on the 4th.Weeeeelll, we left at about 1pm.
Got to Kennewick(sp)very late,and promptly got headed in the wrong direction.
Somehow,we ended up heading back toward Yakima.By the time we realized our navigational ineptitude,it was too late to call.
I really wanted to say hello and talk about that old Chris bullnose.
How about posting some pictures?
If you don't have a photopoint acct.I will be glad to post them for you .Send them to my E Mail address.
10-07-2001, 07:33 AM
I don't think this is as hard a question as some people think. It sounds as if you'll be doing all of your own work. That means no labor costs. In boat work, labor costs are everything.
I would guess you'll want some professional help for the repowering. That could eat up a lot of the $30k you mentioned. The other stuff, some wood, glue, fasteners, caulk, new tools, finishing supplies will probably eat up most of what's left of your $30k.
Also, the faster you work, the less you'll spend.
I think you could do it for $30k if your description is right. I also think you could spend a lot more if you were so inclined, or if you got careless about your budget.
Dasboat, no worries. Funny though how they call Yakima the Palm Springs of WA. Its OK, but...Hope you maintained the correct heading and got home safe and sound. It would have been nice to say hello, some other time. I owe RGB a visit the next time I'm on the other side of the Cascades where everyone has moss behind their ears from all the rain and lack of sunshine. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif(If we say it enough RGB, maybe they'll believe it, and the Sound can be all yours.)
We'll get some photos up in the future sometime. Thanks to all who have chimed in.
[This message has been edited by Witt (edited 10-07-2001).]
10-13-2001, 09:49 PM
Hello,havent heard anything lately about that chris.
What have you found out about cost etc.?
Looking forward to a progress report when ya aint buildin a bike. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
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