LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Most of us prefer to leave things better than we found them. In my experience, all boats are ongoing projects. Being “done” is elusive—a comical thought, really. There comes a time in every older trawler’s life when her owner is consumed by the desire to spit on his palms, hoist the black flag and consider a major refit.
Walking the docks, I frequently see old boats that I imagine could be extraordinary. But as many of us have learned the hard way, a quick, easy and thrifty rebuild is about as far-fetched as the notion of marrying your first crush and living happily ever after. I’m not saying it can’t happen; I’m saying it rarely does.
Few among us have the time, skill, will or wallet to see such a major endeavor through. Taking on a substantial refit can change an owner in many ways. Most who complete such an undertaking look back on it with a sense of gratification—and relief. Those who don’t cross the finish line (or worse, have a refit go wrong) can be left with psychological divots and financial dents.
But in the right boatyard, with competent professionals, you can end up with something better than you ever dreamed, be it a small project or a major overhaul. My friend George is the proud owner of Tala, a 35-year-old Grand Banks 36 he purchased last year. With less than 500 hours on her engines, stored in a heated shed, and having barely touched a drop of salt water, Tala looked like a steal.
As with any used boat, some work was needed, but when a boat guy gets his hands on a project like that, things can quickly swirl out of control. In George’s case, the experience proved to be a great thing. Eighty grand and a complete makeover later, he couldn’t be happier. You can read about his "accidental" refit HERE.
Do you have a personal story about a refit that exceeded (or defeated) your expectations? We’d love to hear about it. Send some words and a few high-resolution pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org