The $tingy Sailor is a blog about restoring and improving small sailboats — trailer sailors, pocket cruisers, hobbit yachts, whatever you want to call them. It’s not only about fixing up sailboats, it’s about doing it economically. That doesn’t necessarily mean doing it the cheapest way. In some cases, quality pays. The $tingy Sailor is about knowing when to pay more and when not to.
The $tingy Sailor is also my story about restoring a 1981 Catalina 22 swing keel sailboat named Summer Dance. All of the projects on this blog were done to Summer Dance. There might be other sailboats added to this blog in the future but for now, there’s just one project boat. The $tingy Sailor is part journal, part soap box, part self expression. Writing is my profession and it’s also a hobby.
But mostly, the $tingy Sailor is about empowering others to do these improvements. It’s about giving you, the reader, the information you need to do these projects yourself. It’s about becoming a smart kind of stingy, not a miser or a cheapskate. Anybody can throw money at a boat like it’s only a hole in the water. The $tingy Sailor is about helping you to become a stingy sailor too. This blog is a testament to and a celebration of the industrious, clever, hard working, honest, get it done people that make sailing a great sport and recreation.
Most of the projects that you’ll find on this blog are applicable to any sailboat, not just a C-22. You should be able to use or adapt these ideas if you own a small Compac, Hunter, J-Boat, MacGregor, O’Day, Precision, Ranger, Rhodes, San Juan, or similar sailboat.
At the bottom of many posts is a summary of the cost of the project compared to the equivalent suggested price and the resulting savings. Suggested prices are taken from popular retailers like Catalina Direct and West Marine. Many of the projects use materials, supplies, and tools that I already had on hand from unrelated home maintenance or woodworking projects and those costs are not included in the cost summary. Neither do the savings reflect the added value of many of the improvement and solution projects that are here. By applying the stingy sailor principles you can read about here, I’ve documented average savings of 72% or around $11,000 doing these projects myself. That’s over $15,000 worth of upgrades and restoration for a little over $4,000 out of my pocket. Depending on your resources and skills, your mileage may vary, as they say.
I hope you will find this blog to be both useful and entertaining. If you do, please leave comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Sail hard, sail well, sail safe!