Boat Refit: One year in two minutes

We undertook a complete refit of SY Esper in 2014. We were told it would take three months, BUT…

…we knew it would probably be six months. Pretty soon nine months seemed optimistic, then as we kept adding new jobs we reached a year! In February 2015 we left PSS Shipyard with what was almost a brand new boat.

People continue to comment and ask questions about the experience, and tell us how useful the videos have been, so we put together this fun round-up to remind new subscribers that there is more to our YouTube channel than the sailing logs.

We filmed all of this as a personal record of what we undertook long before we heard of Patreon. If the series has been useful to you, and you would like to show your appreciation for the hours and days of filming and editing we put into each video, please consider supporting us on Patreon. The link’s in the video, or you can click here.

We have grouped together all the videos from that period–from arriving at the yard to sailing away–in our Esper Refit playlist.

Mast removal PSS Satun Thailand

As well as the technical aspects of the refit, we have documented what it’s like to live in rural Thailand. Things happen. Not always good. People get married, babies are born, a military coup forces a curfew, boats burn, we re-mortgage our flat to pay for the work, fall off scooters, go squid fishing and play foster parents to several families of kittens. Millie picks up a life-threatening parasite. But she beat it. What an adventure!

If you have already watched the playlist, thanks! If it’s new to you, please enjoy our work and let us know what you think.

And if you are waiting for a breakdown of the cost of the refit, we will remind you one more time: we promised Sailing Today first dibs at the refit details AND the costs. ST is serialising our story and is available online. Alternatively if you become a Patreon you’ll get access to the 45 minute Patreon-only special in which we give a complete breakdown of work undertaken and the cost of the refit. Becoming a Patreon is cheaper than a magazine subscription 😉

If you want to know about costs because you are thinking of getting work done in Thailand, check out the PSS website where they list the cost of haul-out, hard-standing and labour rates. This will help you budget for your own work. You can email them with specific questions. Remember that most equipment in Thailand is the same price as overseas, and if you import items remember to add Thai taxes which can be high.





2 Comments on “Boat Refit: One year in two minutes”

  1. Hi Liz and Jamie,

    I would just like to say how much we like following you on your sailing channels and Patreon, in fact we like it so much we have decided to follow our dream of becoming live aboard’s and see the world by water.
    I must admit I do have a few reservations regarding the live aboard life so I would like to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind regarding my reservations and hopefully your answers might put my mind at rest.
    I would like your opinion on the age limit of living and sailing the world on a sail boat, I understand fitness and health is a huge factor but there must be some limit that a person could keep doing what you are doing.
    Do you have a cut off of when you will become a landlubber again or do you take it day by day??
    I could and would live on a boat for the rest of my life but unfortunately we all get old so I’am concerned that if I need to return home for old age where would my wife and I live for retirement.
    I would like to keep hold of the family home and do what you are doing and lease it out for income but boats are not cheap as you very well know. If we sold the house to purchase the boat we like and later when age creeps up on you, your boat has devalued and housing has increased in value what do you do
    1. live on a boat (you might be unable to due to age)
    2. Rent a house until your day is up if you have enough money left over from the sale of your boat.
    3. Buy a smaller boat that you are not completely happy with so you can keep the family home.
    that is my dilemma.
    What are your plans for the future when age is starting to creep up??

    I am 50 years old and fit and healthy as far as I know so believe I have a few good years yet. We have another investment property in Melbourne which we rent out but are unsure if the rent we receive from it would cover our live aboard life with zero income.
    My question is – What would it cost per month to live on a sail boat in Thailand, I understand it would vary a lot but there must be a minimum you would require??
    Also what are the associated cost for berthing a boat in Thailand for short stays??

    I hope you don’t mind answering the questions, for me the best person to get advise from are the people who are doing just what you want to do.

    Keep up the great work and happy sailing.

    Brad and Rae O’Brien

    1. Hi Brad, Jamie here. Thanks for the message and thank you so much for your support on Patreon, we really appreciate it. These are the kind of questions we like to reply to for our Patreons as we know some of you are looking to do the same as us. We don’t have a cut-off time for quitting sailing; we’ll keep going until we find it too difficult to manage. It’s difficult to give an absolute figure on what you’d need each month but $1,000 is plenty if you avoid those marina fees. Costs of marinas vary so your best bet is to get in touch with each marina to get their rates. You pay less daily rates if you stay longer. I will forward on your questions to Liz who will be able to send you a private reply about our financial situation. More importantly, we hope to bump into you on the high seas once you’ve made that leap! Fair winds to you and keep enjoying the Patreon vids.

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