Let the Journey Begin
I started looking for a boat about a year and a half ago and I am not an expert when it comes to boats – especial large ones. So I took my time and initially the boats that I was interested in were the Carvers. I like the way the space is used, the style – not sure exactly but I liked them.
Over the next 18 months or so I researched a lot of boats and drove 10 hours round trip for one of them. I went from a really expensive 44′ yacht that was beautiful but there were just too many issues for the price. So i got my deposit back and kept looking. Then I found a beautiful 34′ with incredible brightwork – it was smaller that I wanted (36 or better) but it was in great shape. Then the long wait for the engine to be fixed so I could do a sea trial. And I waited and waited until one day they came back with the truth – the engine needed more work that was originally proposed.
So I took back my deposit and the next week I saw this boat – a 1982 Carver 3607. It was a project boat but it is solid. The price was right and left me with plenty of money to fix it the way I want. My friend Thom – my mechanic, looked the engines over along with the rest of the boat and was impressed. The surveyor looked at me and said this boat was a “no-brainer.”
Yes I need to put money in it and do a lot of heavy lifting but it’s a solid boat. The only thing was that the boat would not pass inspection for the insurance. This means I couldn’t get insurance, which means I couldn’t get my slip, and so on. I agreed to pay the price we negotiated even though the survey came in a couple grand less but negotiated keeping at their slip and on their insurance so we could do the work needed to pass inspection.
So the work began. I opened up the wallet, made dozens of trips to West Marine, ordered parts online and drove 2 hours round trip to work on the boat a few times a week. I think the most success we had on every trip down there was the breakfast at the Waffle House. This is an older boat and a lot of relatively small items have stopped working. The engines where the biggest cost and jobs – 3 of the 4 manifolds leaked along with the original steam hoses barely hanging on. These, however were not the insurance killer but needed to be done in order to take it 6-8 hours north.
The bottom line is that this boat will be as good if not better than what was for sale in the same model. It will also be less expensive than those out there and in much better shape. After all, the work is part of the journey and in the end it will be much more appreciated when I’m out at sea or anchored in some exotic location.
I built this website for a number of reasons – one is to document the journey – taking a project boat and being able to see what we did, the parts we used, the costs involved and the quality of the finished product. I found in the first 30 days had I not keep a log of expenses and captured what was done I’d probably forget most of the little things and it’s the little things that add up to a great presentation.
The other reason is that I wanted to keep a log for the next person that might purchase the boat if I ever want to sell it. This way he or she can see the work that went into it and fully understand the attention to detail. So the value will be right there and easy to understand. It’s hard to rely on the online write-ups about the boats – you have to sift through the coded phrases that never match the picture painted when you’re reading it. This one will.