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How long does it take to restore a vintage boat?

How long does it take to restore a vintage boat?

Boat restoration is one of the most important aspects of owning a boat. If you want your boat to be in top condition and serve you well, you need to take good care of it. 

But how long does it take to restore a vintage boat? The short answer to this question would be: it depends. Here are several factors that will greatly determine the time needed to restore your boat. Let’s delve deeper.

Preparing the restoration

Restoring a vintage boat will take some money out of your pocket. There are no two ways of saying this, so be prepared to invest in your classic boat restoration project. The amount of money will depend on how much work is required (the condition of your boat).

If what you need is a complete restoration, it will definitely be costly, especially for wooden boats. In turn, minor repairs will cost much less, but then again, that’s not real restoration. Be sure not to make the mistake of not having enough money.

You can talk to fellow ship owners and discuss how much money they invested in restoration, so you have a ballpark figure.

Limits to restoration

Also, there are limits to what can be done, because of structural issues. You have to be realistic and accept the fact that there are things that cannot be repaired. If the boat structure is not solid, it will take a lot of time and money.

Also, the size of the boat is a determining factor (larger boats will take more time). In this case, the best thing would be to consult a professional surveyor or a shipbuilder for an estimate. This is especially important if you’re not very experienced in boating, or don’t know a lot about wooden boats.

A more knowledgeable boat owner will truly help you understand the overall cost of restoration, and you will be able to budget accordingly.

Internal systems and structure

Structure and internal systems (engine and electrical components) are two separate things. In many cases, they will overlap, but not always. If both require a lot of work, the restoration will last much longer.

Plus, there is “fine work”, such as painting and upholstery. All of these require utmost attention to detail and surgical precision, which is why they are time-consuming. And there is also the aspect of transportation.

Oftentimes, you will have to move your boat to another location for repair. If that is the case, you will have to calculate the time for transportation into  your restoration project.

Length of restoration

As you see, it’s really hard to determine how long it will take to restore a boat, because there are so many variables  at play. A rough estimate for a mid-sized boat (under 30ft) would be around 1,000 hours of skilled labour. And skilled is the operative word. So here’s a word of advice.

If you are planning to take part in boat restoration, make sure you have the skill for it. Remember, owning a boat, sailing a boat, and restoring a boat – are not the same things.

Unless you’re not certain you can commit to it, don’t take part. It’s better to leave it to a skilled professional. It will save you both time and money.

In conclusion, the factors that will greatly determine the length of boat restoration are:

  • Your budget
  • Boat structure 
  • Boat size
  • Fine work
  • Transportation

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