“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Upgrades & Repairs over the first two years


So tomorrow will be the two-year anniversary of us buying Smitty. It has been a great time and we are very happy with her. In the coming months and years we will be posting details on different upgrades and repairs that we will be doing. But as a recap, here are the items we have already done.

  • Cutless Baring Replacement [survey item] – $250
  • Rebedding of chain plates [survey item] – $75
  • Misc. Electrical Connection Replacements [survey item] – $10
  • Replace hoses on engine [survey item] – $100
  • Replace hose clamps on stuffing box – $15
  • New name – $250
  • One coat of Hydrocoat water-based, copper-based bottom paint – $125
  • 2011 Spring Tune Up [oil, oil filter, transmission fluid, impeller, primary fuel filter, HE zinc] – $150
  • Battery charger [replaced OEM with Xantrex TrueCharge 2 40 Amp, 2 Bank Smart Charger] – $450
  • Build new wet exhaust elbow from black iron pipe and repair old one for spare – $150
  • K&N Air Filter – $40
  • New 800 GPH electric bilge pump – $40
  • 2011 Fall Tune Up  [oil, oil filter, transmission fluid, impeller, RACOR, primary & secondary fuel filter, HE zinc, thermostat] – $300
  • Strip Bottom Paint to gelcoat, 2 coats of Interlux InterProtect 2000E barrier coat, 2 coats of Interlux Pacifica Plus non-copper bottom paint – $800
  • New lower drum and barring assembly for Schafer Roller Furler – $140
  • Tube Style Radar Reflectors (2) – $70
  • Converted to Oberdorfer Water Pump [custom fabrication needed but did it myself and saved $] – $300
  • 35 lbs Manson Supreme Anchor, 30 ft of chain & 200 ft of rhode – $400
  • Cam cleat block for roller furler line – $95
  • Stuffing Box Repacking – $25
  • Replaced one of the  Interstate deep cycle SRM-4D [only around 200 Ah, wouldn’t get these again, but I have a friend that runs a marine supply store and he gave me a great price] – $85
  • New Marine Head [Johnson, floor model discount] – $110
  • HD TV antenna – $25
  • 2012 Fall Tune Up  [oil, oil filter, transmission fluid, impeller, primary fuel filter, HE zinc] – $150

So that’s a total of $4,155.  I would guess another $500 is small misc. stuff that I forgot.  Add to that approximately $1,000 in safety gear, galley items, etc. and we are at $5,655. Thanks to sites like Sailboat Owners and the great people who post there, especially Mainesail and his “how to” page, I was able to do everything but the cutlass bearing myself.

For this year I am estimating $3,800 in upgrades and repairs [significant dodger work needed this year is the big-ticket item in the estimate at $2,500] and $650 in additional safety equipment and other items.

For my longterm cruising upgrades I am currently budgeting another $29,000 over the next two years.  This includes a 12v diesel heater [the plan is to live aboard in the Boston area for 2 winters], new sails, a new hard bottom inflatable and outboard, a below deck autopilot, solar panels and generator and a water maker as some of the big-ticket items.

We purchased the boat for $63,500.  I feel we got a really fair price and based on Yachtworld, she is still worth about that much.

That puts the total cost for the boat, outfitting and upgrading at $102,605.  I am sure I will be looking for opportunities to reduce this total along the way.  But we are not planning to live a “camping” life style and the boat when completed will be safe, comfortable and will have enough spares to last around 5 years.  I plan to be able to sit securely on the hook and have a cold cocktail with ice as I watch the sun set on the ocean each night.

I will continue to post updates on the upgrades done, costs and where I find good savings.

2 thoughts on “Upgrades & Repairs over the first two years

  1. Just came across your site and found it interesting since we also have a Catalina … a 1987 30 footer. We love ours and plan on taking her cruising as well starting next year! We’ll be adding much more to our boat once our house sells (hopefully soon). Good luck and we’ll be following along! We like to see what others are doing to their Catalinas.

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