So, what is an affordable boat?
While the prevailing wisdom appears to be that a boat should cost everything you have and more I’ll suggest a somewhat different formula…
If you can’t pay cash for it and the required needful work, it’s too frelling expensive.
Fairly simplistic is it not?
For those who don’t quite get the concept of cash I’ll just say that credit cards and future earning are not at all what I’m talking about. If that CAL 34 for $1,500. that needs $7K of material and work to put it right you’ll need at least $8.5K in cash money in hand to even consider buying the boat. Better yet, let’s round up that number to an even $10K because you always miss something and it’s prudent to have a buffer.
In going back over my list I’ve realized a couple of things that, in hindsight, I appear to have missed. The first being that I’d really prefer a boat with a transom hung rudder. They’re simple, easy to fix, and by adding a simple trim tab to the rudder you have an excellent and inexpensive self-steering gear that will make your life a happier thing.
Lastly, the most important point that should have been on the list was that whatever boat you buy or build is one that you should either like or love. Your relationship with your boat is a very tangible thing and if you don’t have a positive bond it’s going to end in tears or worse.