Some people buy boats with the plans to completely refit them, and that's great, but that plan didn't fit into our desired timeframe or anticipated budget. With my lack of experience sailing, I really wanted to focus on using the boat and sailing it in order to prepare to cruise. And quite frankly, I was concerned that a total refit would be a major burn out. Although there are a LOT of people out there successfully refitting boats, sometimes for years, before cruising. I like to call these people 'insane' ;)
For us there is a very distinct line between maintanence and unnecessary spending. Or, maybe we're just bigger risk-takers when push comes to shove. We're planning on heading out with the original Volvo 35hp diesel engine, which has never been repowered and does not have a way to tell how many hours are on her (::pearl clutch::) and a sail inventory consisting of original, or close to original, sails. Not to mention that we won't be sporting a windlass or all-chain rode for our anchor.
While we have, and continue to, get more familiar with the boat's systems, we don't plan to completely tear things apart or replace items that are working as they should...even if they're old. Sometimes it seems that the older something is the better it was built...sometimes. Of course if something like the electrical system were a mess of corroded wires that is still managing to work, we'd probably go ahead and change those out. Luckily, that has not been the case. We're not going to be complete idiots, just conservative ones. Afterall, what good are all the cruising plans if we spend all our money, energy and time trying to get the boat perfect? We're not perfect and we certainly don't expect HB to be either, but we do want to be safe.
We do plan to add some gear such as a chart plotter, AIS (Automatic Identification System), davits, solar power, safety gear and refridgeration, however we plan to keep things as simple as possible. We'll be reupholstering a couple interior cushions that have torn and the new ones probably won't be exactly the same as the old but they'll be covered and functional. I like functional.
|They looked alright in pictures but they were really in pretty bad shape|
|Duct tape: the perfect solution to ANY problem|
Boats are in constant need of maintanence of some sort or another so it certainly can't be expected that the work will stop once we leave. Besides, if something does need fixing while we're out, there's usually a way to do it. It might take longer, might be a little more expensive but our time is valuable and we'd rather be out enjoying cruising (and maintaining) a less than perfect boat in a beautiful setting.
|Companionway stairs need some love...badly|
|So does the cabin sole|