Many people look at us like we have 3 heads when we tell them we're doing a total rebuild on a custom ketch. Get a lot of "good luck with that" comments, blank stares, and the like. The truth is, there is something completely gratifying in restoring something that had been neglected for so long, especially when it was extremely well built in the first place!
There are so many boats out there that are in desperate need of TLC, that are simply abandoned in marinas, rotting away until they are eventually cut up and sold for scrap or hauled to the nearest landfill.
Call it "green living," "trying to reduce the carbon footprint," salvage, or whatever, but restoring rather than adding to the world's vast scrap heaps can be a worthy cause. This is particularly true of boats built in the 70s, before they really knew how strong fiberglass was and "ridiculously" overbuilt hulls by today's boat building standards.
Don't get me wrong -- not every boat is rebuild worthy. Depending on the degree of damage and neglect, they may be well beyond the point of no return. The key is to try to envision the amount of time, money and effort needed to get the boat to where you want it to be, then triple it! Because that's pretty much what it will take to complete the task at hand!
Many attempt to take on project boats and quit in short order. Whether they simply chose the wrong "project," lacked the required skills (or weren't willing to learn them), grew tired of the time commitment, or just plain burned out, it's a very personal decision that is different for each individual.
Is it hard work, absolutely! Is it sometimes easier to build rather than rebuild, you bet! Can it be frustrating? Silly question. But the knowledge, experience, personal growth and satisfaction you gain as you take nothing and turn it into something is worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears you shed in the process.
Every day is a challenge, but I'm thankful to have such a wonderful and talented partner to share the load and stoke the flames that keep us going.