50ft strip plank sailer

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by TOALL, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. TOALL
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    Location: uk

    TOALL Junior Member

    I had a friendly discussion with a boat builder to day and he managed to scare me quite badly!

    I am about to start building a 50 ft sailing boat, Wide beam, semi displacement hull. Sheathed internal and external over strip plank.
    I'm a joiner, I have a 4000 square feet workshop with modern machinery including a cnc center and multi head planer.
    I have built a 60x 20ft building shed, fully insulated and heated/cooled by air con next to the workshop.
    I have full plans. It will have all the goodies
    I've built many curved and sweeping staircase so there's nothing really that worries me with the boat construction.

    During our conversation he said that he had built a similar boat. It took him and two other professional builders 5 years to complete, no rigging or mast.(cost the owner 2mill )


    I had estimated that I could complete my project in 5 years. Doing all the work except the sheathing. (a local company are doing this)
    I can manage 3 days a week on the project

    Three of them took 5 years. Will it really take me 15.

    could anyone give me a idea how long it will take to build a 50ft strip plank/sheathed boat. Including all the internals to a high standard. Have you built one and where could you have saved time.
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Strip planking is easy, though tedious. The simple method is to count the number of strips it takes to go fully up the hull at the midship section. Figure a day, maybe two to do a full course of strip (position, glue, fasten, etc.). So assuming typical 50' sailboat dimensions it'll take a few months to fully strip out the hull shell, but (unfortunately) this only accounts for about 10% of the total build effort on a 50' sailor. Fitout (cabinetry, trim, electrical, plumbing, engine, hardware, etc.) takes about 40% of the build. Surface finishing and fairing take a huge bite too (maybe 30%), then there's the spars, rigging (20%). Simply put, there's nothing small about 50' yachts, in regard to cost, labor and though materials and equipment can be in manageable sizes, there's lots of it. Wide 50' yachts cost more (more materials, more labor) too. Have you priced new and used 50' sailors?
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    With the equipment you have, the interior can be built outside in modules, which saves a lot of time.
     
  4. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    you can write down a list of the thousands of things you have to source, make, fit, fasten, then how many hours each one will take min to max hours, then how many hours you have to change blades, sandpaper, etc, buy tools, sort electrics, water, fuel, lubricants, maintainence, deal with customers, rubberneckers, timewasters, people who bring you up or down, accidents, unseen drawbacks,
     
  5. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Maybe not 15 years, but unless you contract out a lot of the work, I'm willing to bet that you can't get it done in 5.

    Friends of mine built a 40' carvel planked double ender. 2 of them working full time with another man to help do the planking. It took them 6 years and they didn't do the wiring & electronics either.

    50' boat, probably more than 2X the displacement of their 40' boat, I don't think 15 years is unrealistic.

    PDW
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Gawd, do you think the novelty might wear off before the job is done ?
     
  7. TOALL
    Joined: Jun 2016
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    TOALL Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply posts.

    PAR is saying that to strip the hull, sheath and paint amounts to 40% of the build time. If this part of the build is some how fastracked to say 30% it would mean 70% would be for fitting out.
    If I was to consider a buying a project boat it seems that I will still be looking at the same 70% to refit her.
    Although I'm not sure that's right. A project boat would need to be hauled to my workshop (cost) stripped out, the hull may need repair or certainly painting, the interior would need stripping etc,etc. So in real terms it may be more.

    I'm trying to convince myself that building from scratch really wont take much longer than re fitting a project.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A complete refit could easily take longer. Also, you would not have a new boat. I think you can strip plank faster than 1-2 days per course. The fit doesn't have to be perfect, since the glue will fill a lot of the gap. You have the equipment to make bead and cove on the edge of the planks. That speeds up the building because the planks self-align. Another time saver is a nail gun to edge fasten the planks.
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Having done many restorations and repairs over the decades, I can assure you that a rehab on a previously loved boat, is way cheaper than a new build. Often the work is more demanding, as you work around things. Because you have to remove previous coatings, before new ones can go on, remove equipment, repair/restore/replace it, etc., but still considerably cheaper. Lastly, is the selection of the project, which is key, if you don't want to make a career out if it. Starting with a worthy candidate is key and this takes some skill to determine. All to often folks buy what seems a good deal, just to find they're purchased a hornet's nest of trouble. Sorting out which project can be justified takes experience.

    Gonzo, you need to try plastic brads and staples the next time you do a strip plank. You'll never go back to metal edge fastening.
     
  10. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    It may not, but so what? The problem is still the same. Big project.

    It's going to take you probably 10 years to build *or* completely refit a 50' boat if you do it part time. I know where there are 2 boats for sale, cheap, with the hulls done and some other work completed, both for less than the cost of the materials in them.

    Unfortunately, IMO they both still represent negative value because you can buy a nice floating boat for less than the dollar (ignoring time) cost of completing these.

    You're betting that your desires, finances and life circumstances won't change over that period of time. It's a bad bet.

    FWIW I built a 12m steel sailboat and it's close to launch. It's way over my worst time estimates and way over budget (which wasn't a surprise at all). I treated the build as a hobby so haven't gotten too stressed about the time it's taken - mostly. But I like building stuff.

    PDW
     
  11. TOALL
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    TOALL Junior Member

    Thanks PDW

    I guess I'm looking at it from the same kind of view. I've built things for other people all my life, never for myself. I'm 50 and have reached my skill peek in my chosen career. (woodworking). I am planning for my retirement to a certain degree and a cruising sailing boat fits my plans. I was sure building a new boat was ideal, modern design (like the new generation Hanse). budgeted about £80000 to build. fully equipped with all the toys.

    If it takes 15 years I`ll be 65. Not a great age but perhaps 10 years of use.
    15 years to build, 10 years use!!!!!

    Having and using a boat the I have actually built would give me enormous pleasure. I've been looking forward to the actual process, not just the woodwork but the technology to be fitted inside.

    I've realised as a part time project its a no go. To build it ready for trials in 5 years will mean bringing in labour. Fairing and painting the hull is a case in point. I can do this but will have to be prepared to increase the budget.

    if I look at a partly completed project I'm sure I will have difficulty finding one that has a wide beam and 50ft is long. I've done a internet search and nothing shows. If you know of such a project please direct me to it.
     
  12. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    I don't know of any in timber, at least not modern strip planked/epoxy. There are a few in steel and one in ferro close to me. I don't recommend any of them FWIW, I'd rather build from new or buy something that just needs some paint & updating then go sailing.

    See if you can find a copy of Glenn Ashmore's building blog - I think it was rutuonline.com. He built a 45' strip plank boat. Check out how long it took him.

    Before you get too deep into planning the build, do you actually have a design in mind? Or going one step further back, a statement of requirements? That is, what do you plan on doing with the boat assuming you ever build it?

    I can say with great assurance that high tech is going to blow your budget clean out of the water. 2 people I know have successfully built boats, one a 50' round bilge aluminium hull and the other a 40' round bilge carvel planked timber hull. Both liked electronics, high aspect rigs and big winches. Both spent more than *your entire budget* on their rig, including sails, winches et al, and electronics.

    PDW
     
  13. nzboy
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    nzboy Senior Member

    I can remember when I was a boy staying with 2 boat building families .They built 50ft fishing trawlers double diagonal planked 2 brothers built 1 a year so about 4000 hours but they were not high standard fit out.
    A 300m2 house takes about 6 months to build with about 6000 hours . So being a joiner and having a shed is half the problem solved. You need to study production boats to see where time is saved .eg many of the walls ceilings are vinyl over ply etc furniture is modular .Things like wiring and plumbing need to be contracted out . Second hand big boats can be an even bigger trap than a new build if they are in poor condition
     
  14. tane
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    tane Junior Member

    I think the proportion the hull is of the whole project depends very much on what type of boat it's going to be:
    a stripped-out racingmachine with pipecots & a bucket-toilet or a comfortable rtw-cruiser with all the mod-cons that are going to fit into such a big boat
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The brief description of this boat discountes a racer, so the fit out of a cruiser assumption is fairly reasonable.
     
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