110 Cookson Lane | Whitefield, ME  04353 | 207-232-7600 |  tim@lackeysailing.com

Nimble Nomad Project | Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This project began, in a sense, during the long, cold winter just past.  During the early months of 2015, with the decision already made to sell my Fisher 30 project, I got thinking about ways to get on the water in a simple, easy manner, without major financial pressure, without the self-imposed guilt of an under-used boat, and without a feeling of obligation.  Most of our free time was now spent elsewhere, but we still thought that some time cruising on the water, when possible, was worthwhile.

I looked seriously into building a Dipper 19' power cruiser designed by Sam Devlin.  The idea of building from scratch appealed, and the boat offered a lot for her size.  However, when I started pricing out what the job would cost--even keeping the boat simple and no-frills--I was shocked by the result, as even without anything unnecessary the cost for materials was quickly climbing above $30,000.  Plywood, epoxy, outboard engines, windows, hardwood, trailer...these things added up in an eye-opening way. 

To boot, while building intrigued me, I was unwilling to force myself to commit too much time to a new project.  I wanted something to do, but didn't want to have to live and breathe it.  So after a couple months of enthusiastic number-crunching, mockup-building, and general excitement over the idea, practical reality took control and I backed off the idea.

The point of this story is that it led indirectly to my acquisition of a 1991 Nimble Nomad.  A friend who often trolled Craig's List found the listing and sent it to me, totally out of the blue.  I wasn't familiar with Nomads, and my first gut reaction was that the boat was so ugly it was cute.  This particular example was priced at the very low end, and was advertised as needing work:  it had an original 1991 outboard (reportedly running),and very faded original gelcoat on the hull.  It was an interesting design, but I doubt this would have progressed at all had not the boat been located right in town--what were the chances?  Given the proximity, I thought I would have a look.  Some online research on "The Google" revealed a virtual cult status for this boat, with surprising values and asking prices.  This boat was well below the average range of prices I could find online.

The pictures below are from my first viewing. As expected, the boat needed a cosmetic facelift on the outside.  Inside, she was OK--just OK, but there was plenty of opportunity for improvement.  I was impressed, however, with the boat's spacious layout, and the forward cockpit was a really neat idea that opened up the whole boat and made the small size, with its walkthrough design, amazingly unclaustrophobic.  She was small, trailerable, and simple.  I liked the boat.










After a night's reflection and discussion, I decided to make an offer on the boat--lower than the asking price, and without contingency.  I thought given the design's cult status that the seller wouldn't take my offer, and I was ready to (expecting to) walk away.  To my amazement (and disconcert), he accepted my offer, so just like that, I had another project.  I was both excited and sort of angry at myself.  But my wife loved the boat, and I thought that I could make the boat pretty nice without spending a fortune--or without spending a huge amount of time. 

We completed the sale and brought the boat home the few miles the next day.

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