Planning a Refit—It’s a Lot About You

It's amazing how often I sit down to write an article with a clear idea of what it's going to be about and then come out at the end with something completely different.

This just happened big time as I was working on the first article of a series on budgeting a refit.

As you would expect, I started off defining the boat but, as I was doing that, I kept veering off into thinking about the owners taking on a refit and how to use my own experience to increase the chances of good outcomes for them.

And the more I wrote, the more I realized that really understanding ourselves is the first, and most important, step to a successful project. 

But first, let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Is There A Better Way?

Is there any way at all that you can structure your life to come up with US$250,000 to $350,000 to spend on a newer, good quality, offshore cruising boat, even if it takes a few years of waiting, working, and saving? If you can, the whole thing will be much easier and probably a lot more fun.

Seriously, think about this right now, before you go any further down this road. If you have a good job it may be smarter to wait a bit and save, while you sail with others, have a good time, and hone your skills.

Back To The Original Plan

That said, how many people, particularly younger people, have a quarter of a million bucks and more to spend on a boat? Not many. I totally get that.

And if you live on the boat for a few years prior to going cruising while still working at a good job, and thereby save rent or mortgage payments while still earning, refitting an older boat can be downright affordable.

So let's get back to looking at the kind of person who has a good chance of successfully completing a refit, within a sensible budget, in a reasonable period of time.

This could be you if:

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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