Why Restore In The First Place?

A few days ago a friend asked me why I bothered to restore boats…why not simply buy a new one?  It’s a fair question.  Here’s why I restore:

  • I need to work in the winter.  That’s not saying that I need income over the winter.  I live a very simple and frugal life in a remote area of the world.  Spring, summer, and fall keep me busy.  I enjoy the work I do at that time.  And that’s really the only criteria I have for that at which I work.  But during winter I turn my attention indoors.  I have enough projects to last me several lifetimes.
  • Working on boats is fun, which is really the bottom line.
  • A boat for me is a tool, nothing more and nothing less.  I want to modify it with impunity to meet my needs.
  • Just like one rod and reel does not work for fishing for both freshwater perch and ocean salmon, so it is with boats.  More than one is needed to do all that I need.
  • I am not impressed with the quality of metal boats produced today.  This 1970 Aluminum Boats and Canoes Inc. row boat is very well built…over-built with regard to its hull material and riveting.  That’s what I am most interested in.  I like the robustness of this boat.
  • The price of new boats today is way too high.  This two-seat jon boat lists for $2K.  I’d rather have the $200 flat-bottomed rowing skiff with a V bow that I bought.  It will offer more freeboard and be better in rough water than a higher priced, new jon boat, and yet will still slide through shallows.
  • It’s disposable.  If something happens to it, then I’m really not out that much.

For $600 I can have a boat that will meet my specific needs.  Why work at a salaried job you don’t like when you can do the work you do like, be your own boss, have fun, and get what you truly want in the end?