Reality check or one’s perspective in life! Buying a fixer upper or a more modern in good condition boat

In the last few months, we feel we have achieved a few successes and solved a few problems in other words we are in a good learning curve. With *V* taking more courses, and finally my hands or more accurately the right tools along with a lot of hours researching the right products! Those elements make us feel more comfortable, and closer to our goal. This allows us to perform tasks that most people take for granted, which makes me feel good.

Well, at least that was until this morning and our visit to our friends *D&B*! Sadly, their boat has been out of the water for… let’s just say longer than they had anticipated. And what was supposed to be a repower job, turned into a little larger endeavor which unfortunately delays their departure. Ie: total refit from wiring, plumbing to full paint. Comically this makes our previous achievement of installing two soap dispensers, without having to change the countertop a joke! The Gucci boat as it’s now known will be a beauty and for sure *D&B* will know their boat like the palm of their hands, the amount of knowledge they have gained is immense.

Which leads us to this: there are two categories of voyage preparedness. Starting in an empty shell and rebuilding your boat entirely or buying a new or fairly new boat adapting a few things and off you go! As I was visiting *E&M*’s lagoon few weeks back I was reminded of that first option, and that was precisely why we didn’t buy a “fixer upper”! We do not have golden hands, the vision nor the patience…. Our curiosity and desire to voyage is too strong!

So here is the lesson for those of you who are looking at purchasing a boat. Are you asking yourselves : “should we buy a cheaper boat that requires fixing up or a newer that will require just a few modifications?” It really depends on your own talents, the amount of time you are willing to commit to. A little like a house do you want a brand new one with all the modern features, or do you prefer antiques and collectibles with all the charms?  Also, are you able to do 90% of the work yourself (we are not talking changing a bulb here) and have the time to devote to it. It may be worth it, if you don’t forget about it, and are dedicated to it, otherwise you might lose your shirt sanity and time on the water.

So before buying a boat, you really need to set a budget and be realistic. If you can only afford a 32ft in a reasonable shape, why try to buy a 40ft that require a ton of work? Additionally, the refit cost can climb very quickly, we have heard so many horror stories from a few friends. It starts from quotes to bill increase of 300% or unseen cost that you only discover once you open the beast! Yes, an engine cost around $10K but once you change the fuel tank muffler mounts and everything else, you have just signed a check for closer to $15K.

For the math challenged one and for our peace of mind, we have made a few calculations for you. Please note : if you do not wish to hear the reality please stop reading, you can always dream. The following estimates are for Blue water capable boat. Let’s look at 3 scenarios. We take in consideration that you are not buying everything at *WM* full retail price, and having somebody do everything. Only, the task that required special tools or expertises (spraying gelcoat or installing an engine from starch).

For a boat in good shape with basic coastal navigation feature add 25% of the purchased value to bring it up to Blue water standards.

A boat with no equipment and a few cosmetic item (upholstery and glazed hatches ect…) to deal with add 50%

And last but not least a fixer upper (Engine at the end of its life, new rigging sail ect…) I would say 100% to 150%, but the sky is the limit really in that exercise.

We wrote it you read it, we have now peace of mind you can’t come back and tell us we didn’t tell you. Other aspects to not forget, that are not monetary and less measurable are your time and sanity and your marriage? Those are not to be under estimated they could tip the balance the wrong way quickly.

After those hard realities of life, why don’t we “relax” sorry no hide on the Macquarie Island our 105th side trip.

Macquarie Island lies in the southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica, at 54°30S, 158°57E. Politically, it has formed part of the Australian state of Tasmania since 1900 and became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978. In 1997 it became a world heritage site. It was a part of Esperance Municipality until 1993, when the municipality was merged with other municipalities to Huon Valley. Ecologically, it is part of the Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra

Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the isthmus at the northern end of the island at the foot of Wireless Hill. The population of the base, the island’s only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year.

The Australian/Briton
Frederick Hasselborough discovered the island accidentally in July 1810 when looking for new sealing grounds. He claimed Macquarie Island for Britain and annexed it to the colony of New South Wales in 1810. The island took its name after Colonel Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who explored the area for Alexander I of Russia, produced the first map of Macquarie Island. Bellingshausen landed on the island on 28 November 1820, defined its geographical position and traded his rum and food for Macquarie Island’s fauna with the sealers. Between 1810 to 1919, seals and then penguins were hunted almost to the point of extinction.

In 1890, New South Wales transferred the island to Tasmania, which leased it to Joseph Hatch (1837–1928) between 1902 and 1920 for his oil industry based on harvesting penguins.

Between 1911 and 1914, the island became a base for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition under Sir Douglas Mawson. George Ainsworth operated a meteorological station between 1911 and 1913, followed by Harold Power (1913 to 1914) and by Arthur Tulloch from 1914 until its shutdown in 1915. In 1933, the authorities declared the island a wildlife sanctuary under the Tasmanian Animals and Birds Protection Act 1928 and in 1972 it was made a State Reserve under the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Act 1970.[3] The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) established its expedition headquarters on 25 May 1948 on Macquarie Island.

On 5 December 1997, Macquarie Island was listed as a World Heritage Site mainly because of its unique geological values.