Monday, October 07, 2013


Boat purchase and ownership doesn't have to be expensive. While the Bristol well maintained boats at deep discount prices for the most part disappeared several years ago, there are still thousands of older handyman specials out there that can be had for very little money and can be brought back to good working condition with a little elbow grease and initiative. These boats have to be do it yourself projects for those that are mechanically inclined ... because the economics simply won’t likely work if you have to pay a yard to bring an old boat back to life at marina rates.

I understand your own time is not free, but if you take the time and treat it like a hobby you can restore an older boat for very little money and it can be the envy of the marina. The trick is to pick a boat with good bones and a power plant that is still serviceable. Look around for boats that were well built in their day with classic lines like Bertram, Chris Craft etc. There are lots around, and in this buyers market the laws of supply and demand dictate that you pay only a fraction of the real value for older boats that need some loving care.

Pick up an old 60’s 25’ or 31’ Bertram by example and fully restore it and you can be looking at a 1000% profit ... plus your enjoyment of restoring and using the boat for a season or two. These boats are retro and once restored fully are an easy sale properly marketed. The smaller classic runabouts under 40’ are especially sought after by upscale cottagers looking for a little nostalgia and the status of owning a restored classic. Of course there are less expensive solutions to boating like this guy improvising with a table.

Posted by at 2:38 PM