We were on an almost year long journey to purchase a small sailboat. We were looking for the largest trailer-sailor that my Chevy pickup could safely tow and we were on a budget. We found a real nice Watkins 25 Seawolf that was being sailed regularly but had a few known needed projects.
Getting It Home
We found a very nice Watkins 25 Seawolf in the water, but had no trailer. We built a trailer, learned a valuable lesson about boatyard quotes and boatyard pricing. When we finally got our boat home, we found that the boatyard broke the mast step and didn’t tell us.
Repair & Refit
Our plan was to make a few small repairs to get the boat safe and go sailing. Each project spawned another. The rational…we went this far, it would be ashamed not to do this project too. So now we are 1 year into a full refit.
- Buy a Small Sailboat
- Complete a Few Known Boat Projects
- Learn to Sail
- Sail the Gulf Coast and Learn What We Want in a Live-Aboard
- Buy a Bigger Boat, Retire, and Live-The-Dream
Our Plan Modified
Things Didn’t Go According to Plan
My wife and I are approximately 12 years away from retirement and wanting a change; something different. When we got married and were just starting out, we joked about living aboard a boat. Together, we’ve owned several, the largest being a 25 foot Tiara Vacationeer cuddy cabin. We’ve never sailed and that seemed fun…being self sufficient and able to travel almost anywhere without spending a lot to get there.
We wanted to start small…small boat, small budget, small boat projects. Then later, sell and buy a larger boat, with a larger budget, with its own larger projects.
The plan for this boat was to start small and with something that needed a little work. The plan was never to rebuild the entire boat. It was a good sturdy boat, that required a few known important projects. These projects lead to others and they lead to yet even more…not projects that were entirely needed, but since we went thus far, why not go a little farther and refinish this too. Our entire boat is now under reconstruction.
What we learned is that the most expensive boat you will ever buy is a project boat. And the cheapest one will be a boat in the best shape that you can afford…preferably, someone else’s project. I’m glad we started small.
This is our story.