A person’s first boat usually is a family heirloom. Passed from parent to children, the boats have a high sentimental value for the families. If this was an activity they enjoyed together, the boat will be full with memories of simpler times. Sadly, boats also get old and the problems are every day more obvious.

When a son or daughter inherits the family boat they will have to make a decision. Fix it or let it go? Both decision have advantages and disadvantages. It is necessary to have all the facts at hand before committing to anything.

Ask for help

Cracks in the walls, outdated decoration and other aesthetic issues are obvious to the untrained eye. Only a professional will be able to detect the real problems on the boat. An experienced surveyor may be able to help you determine the real condition of the boat. Their focus should be the structural condition and then other problematic areas.

A mechanic can evaluate the engine and the electric system. They are qualified professionals that will discover problems that may not be noticeable while sailing. Once you have the complete evaluations at hand, you will make an educated decision.

Plan Ahead

Whether you decide to fix or sell the boat, you must elaborate a plan of action.

Reparations take money and time. Start by writing down all the issues and prioritize. Structural problems should be at the top of the list followed by electric problems. Once those are fixed, then it is time to think about the engine. Most of this procedures will require money upfront. If your financial situation allows it, then go ahead but if you can’t afford it, the reparations will take longer.

Selling a boat also takes money and time. Some basic fixing is necessary, at least on the surface it must look good. List the boat on at least three different sites and don’t neglect the publications. Talk to friends and acquaintances about it, they might know of a potential buyer. It is important to be honest with the potential buyers and talk openly about the problems. Sailing with a failing electric system could lead to a fatal accident.

Honest Conclusion

Fixing the family boat could be a good project but be realistic about it. Ask yourself, is it possible to fix it? If the answer is yes, do you have the patience and budget to do it? Financially speaking, the best decision could be to sell the boat. Replacing an engine is not a cheap procedure, you will also need to make structural changes to support the new engine.

Think about your own family, is the boat big enough to fit all of them? If your plan is to share this activity with your children, evaluate the situation. What are your goals with this project? Do you have time to sail frequently? Be honest with your answer and make the final decision.