I get a lot of email pointing out that, as far as some are concerned, a good cheap boat is nearly impossible to find. So, let’s look at a good cheap boat…
The boat in question is the first boat that caught my interest in the PNW Tempest search of Craig’s List for sailboats. Three things stood out.
It’s a San Juan 7.7 designed by Don Clark and a boat I’m familiar with. It also happens to be located close to a relative which could have a lot of advantages. The price at $750 is cheap and it appears to be in decent shape.
One of the nice things about a sailboat that is only 25-feet is that there is very little to be wonky that needs fixing and whatever does is not going to cost silly money to sort out.
The boat is engineless but all it needs is a 5-HP outboard and a used two-stroke shouldn’t cost more than $250 which brings the cost to an even $1000.
A couple of weeks of full-time labor would be all that’s really needed to upgrade the interior and sort out any needful issues it might have. Say another $250-$350 in materials.
Of course, that’s doing the work yourself and being able to devote 100% of your work to doing the needful jobs at hand. An important factor as fixing up a boat in a part time situation increase the time it takes by a factor of 10.
Obviously there are quite a few things I’d add to the mix (such as a pair of beaching legs) but they can all be done later as they are luxuries rather than priorities and can be done at leisure as time allows.
I’ll underline that that was just the first boat that came to my attention in an area that always seems to have several good cheap boats listed.