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Wednesday September 23, 2015

September 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

Wooden boating on a Beer budget?
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Is wooden boat ownership really possible on a somewhat tight budget? In June, 2014, Rob A. brought back an 18 ft, 1963 Thompson runabout from Michigan to Muskoka, Ontario. The sale price of the boat was $1500. (USD) (It seemed too good a deal to pass up). Wouldn’t the trailer alone would be worth almost that much?????)
A close inspection under the glued and stapled, wall-to-wall carpeting (ugh!) revealed major problems. The restorative work required included fifteen new sistered ribs, three new bottom planks and an interior keel. The engine had to be removed, and later reinstalled with a somewhat newer outdrive with hydraulic lift. Fortunately, the engine itself required no major overhaul. Incidental costs included a new battery, and bilge pump.
The trailer itself required new tires,rims and bearings, an electric trailer winch and repairs to the frame and fenders, as well as new guide bars.
Approximate total:
Initial purchase (boat and trailer): $1500 USD (not including 13% tax)
wood restoration costs: approx $2800 (with assistance from Rob)
engine removal, parts and outdrive update approx. $1800
Additional expenses: (paint, varnish incidentals) $ 400
Anticipated total trailer repair costs $ 750
Approximate total costs to date: $7250
For that investment, which also included over 150 hours of personal labour, Rob now has a “character” boat, (not a show boat), that is fully functional and will seat 6 or 7(in a pinch) passengers for cruising. Although the $1500 “deal” was no great bargain in the end, Rob has a serviceable vessel that should provide a number of years of reasonably trouble free boating. (More cosmetic upgrades will continue next year.)
Considering the cost of a new fibreglass boat, it doesn’t seem too horrendous a price to pay! Enjoy the video below.

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