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I am really getting a taste of what cruising is like today, I tell ya what. Patience Danison…After excitedly writing an ENTIRE blog post, which I’ll attempt to recreate below, I pressed save right before I planned to upload and got the proverbial “blue screen”, or hell’s screen better known as ain’t nobody going to wipe up those tears of defeat and nobody cares as much as you do about what was lost on that screen.

OH the anguish..so much Love, so much PASSION and so many Words written on that screen that were eaten like a sock in a dryer. Oh how I wanted to throw my computer out the window and unleash my scorn fury onto the world…but no, no, I’m almost a bonafide cruiser and I need to learn to let the unexpected and super annoying events that take place in my life roll off my back and just try to persevere so my electronics and I don’t end up at the bottom of the sea. And so I am.

Back to where I started! Tate and I both feel it’s time to call the Refit, whistle blows, so that’s the end of Phase 4 and the total cost of this cruising boat refit is:

Drum Roll Please…

Nearly 100k. I know I know that’s a hellalotta money to be spent but we had a great opportunity with a cheap DIY boatyard right down the road so we replaced damn near everything on the boat and she is a VERY comfortable liveaboard and a seaworthy ocean going boat. I do believe we could have saved a good chunk of change if we had needed, I’ll expound upon that later a bit down the page.

For those of you who are new to this refit adventure we spent $30k on the obviously neglected Sundowner in 2010 and spent around $70k and 4 years fixing her up. The FINAL cost tally is down below sorted by categories. You can find a more detailed breakdown in my cost excel spreadsheets further down sorted this go around by category and not by phase:

Categories  Totals
Anchors/Chain  $         2,077
Boat Cost  $       30,248
Boatyard  $         5,883
Canvas  $         1,174
Dinghy-Motor  $         2,650
Electrical  $         5,583
Electronics  $         3,572
Engine Room  $       15,025
Galley/Propane  $         3,233
Interior  $         1,255
Materials  $         3,786
Plumbing  $         2,676
Rigging  $       15,860
Safety Gear  $         4,128
Sails  $         1,289
Spares  $            512
Tools  $            770
Final Actual Cost 12-01-14  $       99,720

Click on the links below for our detailed excel sheets.

  1. Sept-2011 $50,885 End of Phase 1 (Initial price, engine and related systems replacement)
  2. June-2012 $61,240 End of Phase 2 (Electrical, dinghy and outboard, anchor, air head)
  3. Mar-2014 $82,298 End of Phase 3 (Rigging, Interior improvements)
  4. **Dec-2014 $99,720 End of Phase 4 FINAL REFIT COST (Windvane, Solar, Propane, Spares, Misc)

Some of the highlights and big money replacements/refits:

  1. The engine, fuel tanks, filters and a dripless shaft seal (totally worth it)
  2. The electrical, all LED lighting, electronics, batteries and solar set up
  3. The standing rigging including a new SS bowsprit, SS boomkin and tower, chainplates and tangs, mast refit,wire rigging and winches
  4. The running rigging with all new halyards and sheets
  5. The anchor setup with new chain
  6. The plumbing with the airhead and new water tanks
  7. The interior with all cabinets painted with bilgekote and other various projects
  8. The propane system with a new stove and tanks
  9. The dinghy and outboard
  10. ALL new canvas including a dodger, bimini, sail covers, hatch covers and slip covers for the cabin (my mom sewed most of this but it deserves it’s own post)
  11. A new monitor windvane
  12. An offshore 4 person liferaft with cover

I fully believe we could have spent at least $20-$30k less if we had forgone some improvements:

  1. The engine- the one we bought the boat with worked and may had been just fine after a rebuild but it had 6k hours on it and we had to remove it to get to the leaky fuel tanks so we felt it was a good time to make the jump. The PO Roger also suggested we repower if possible, and he would know what that engine had been through best.
  2. The rigging- the wooden bowsprit and boomkin could have been rehabbed for much much less but “while we were at it” we decided to go all out and get the less maintenance stainless something I do not regret ESPECIALLY the boomkin area, wow what a difference that made for the cockpit. Also we were lucky enough to have Bud Taplin with the Westsail Parts Company fabricating all of these improvements for paint by numbers installation.
  3. The anchoring setup- the boat came with two 45lb CQR’s, a Danforth and a boatload of rusted chain that could have been regalvanized. We went with a 60 lb Manson Boss and new chain to feel safer at sea.
  4. The galley system- Sundowner had a functioning Kerosene stove which could have been left. We didn’t want the smell or hassle of dealing with Kerosene so went with Propane. This is one of the things I remember most about our conversation with Roger and Molly. She said if they had kept cruising she would have definitely changed the stove and so we for sure did!
  5. The canvas- the original dodger, bimini and sail covers could have limped their way around the world but since my mom had a canvas shop 40 minutes away I took advantage and helped her redo everything.
  6. The windvane- Sundowner had a Monitor windvane already installed that may have been alright especially if bumming around the Caribbean, but we couldn’t trust it for ocean crossings with the crevice corrosion so opted for a new one.
  7. The liferaft- If we were cruising the Caribbean we probably wouldn’t have gotten one or spent so much, but this gives us piece of mind for the longer voyages.

This is the last Refit Cost post but I will start keeping a detailed account of the money we spend cruising once we start. We are budgeting roughly $1,500 a month.

Things are really in a whirlwind lately and time is slipping by faster than I can utilize it. Just next week we are going to move the boat to Southern Yacht Club so it will be close for our friends and family to tour during our Bon Voyage Party. We will head out just 2 weeks after that East through the Rigolets as soon as the weather is good after the first of the year. Currently in New Orleans it’s around 75 degrees in the daytime. Much better than the 30’s and 40’s we were getting used to.

Not sure how this post will turn out as I’m writing on my computer on the boat which I’ll transfer to my phone in order post via cell phone service over the WordPress app…God help me.

Check out our COST page for more detailed accounting of the refit and updates on actual cruising costs. See ya!