Best approach to build Bertram-like boat

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by RichMcG, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. RichMcG
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    RichMcG Junior Member

    Hi all,
    I'm in the process of building a 19' center console fishing boat using stitch-and-glue technique. I purchased the plans and cnc-cut kit from bateau and am having a lot of fun with the project.

    If you can believe it, I don't even have this first boat in the water and I am already dreaming up the next project. I'd like the next project to support fishing off shore, 'cruising' (though I hate that term), and perhaps a bit of entertaining. Basically, I want a yacht... Who doesn't, right?

    After reading this forum it's obvious to me you guys know a ton more than I have been able to gather from reading every book on amazon... So, can you let me know what building techniques could be used to build a 40' yacht as a one off boat? And, better yet, what techniques 'should' be used!

    The example I'm thinking of is a Bertram 410 (http://www.bertram.com/brochure-photos.aspx?modelid=143747)

    I suspect stitch and glue has it's limits, but many books claim it can be used to build craft of 'any size'.

    Also, do you know any designers that have plans for such a vessel for sale?

    I have seen plans for trawlers of this size, but that's not what aim looking for.

    Thanks!
    Rich
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A cold molded version of that hull form would be a much better method, compared to taped seam. Plans for this scale craft aren't plentiful, but they are available. Most will be plank over frames (solid or plywood), molding and possably stripped, though hard chine hulls like this don't lend themselves well to strip planking. Before getting your hopes up, preform a budget assessment, as this scope of project isn't cheap, nor is any of the hardware that goes with it. $20,000 engine installations are normal.
     
  3. RichMcG
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    RichMcG Junior Member

    Thanks par,

    I hear you loud and clear on costs and budgeting. That aspect along with estimating the time requirements are why I'm trying to learn as much as I can while I have my hands full with my first project. I'm sure it won't be inexpensive, but hopefully less than buying one if I consider my labor free!

    Cold molding (vs stitch and glue) seems to address the shape of hull curves. And presumably with the correct number of layers it would be strong enough.

    How difficult is this style of boat building? Are there any good threads on the board you can point me to?

    I love how easy the taped seems are, but the technique is limited in the shapes it can produce as far as I understand it.

    Any chance you can recommend a good source for similar designs?

    Thanks!
    Rich
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can cold mold just about any design for carvel or strip planking. If you don't change any of the scantling, there will be no changes in Center of Gravity, displacement, etc.
     
  5. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Offshore fishermen in this size are mostly custom design and builds. Most are built in coldmolded plywood over frames these days with some still being done in strip planking or a combination of the two. None that I know of are being built S&G for the reason that a single skin boat of over 43' in S&G offers no construction advantages and still has the no compound surfaces limitations of the S&G method. The cost of building one of these allows paying the designer his due with little or no penalty. It also gets you the continuing consultation of the designer which is no small thing.
     
  6. RichMcG
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    RichMcG Junior Member

    That's a fair point about the cost of a custom design compared to total cost for a boat like this becoming less significant as the boat cost goes up.

    Do you know (ball park) how much a custom design costs, how long it takes to design, etc? I have no concept for the expense of a design project like this...

    Rich
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  8. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I was going to suggest that Max Carter design that was in the current issue of wooden boat but Par beat me to it. Actually New Zealand is the place to look for stock plans of this type, Pelin plans should have a good selection, i dont know if Jim Young is still selling plans. I was suprised to see Max Carter still active, he was designing and building boats,both power and sail in the 1950s.
    Steve.
     
  9. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Yes Max is still alive and kicking but only softly these days . :D will be like loosing a whole great big library sized chunk of the boating industry when Max goes as there will be no one else to take his place any more . Oh sure we have a bunch of smart ***'d button pushes ,but dosent take much brain power to think about push a button .
     
  10. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Rich,

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for the price of the engines alone you could buy a reasonably well maintained mid-age Bertram. Rarely is building a boat any cheaper than a used boat, heck building is rarely cheaper than a new bistro buy. And these battlewagons have as much as 50% of their value in the engines alone. But a home-build will never retain the same resale price as a well know boat.

    It maybe you don't care, but the financial loss on this one is pretty daunting to me
     
  11. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Stumble is right of course, a couple of years ago a friend of mine was hired to cut up and dispose of a beutiful 40ft wooden Post sportfisher.The owner had been trying to sell it for a few years and got an offer on the engines without the boat,it was not a pos either. However some of us just get a lot of pleasure out of the build.
    Steve.
     
  12. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Steve,

    I have a reputation to uphold. I am usually the one on here recommending against building. The issue as I see it is that many people think that by building a boat they will save money, while the reverse is usually true. Particularly as the boats get bigger, and the systems more complexed the cost is so close to even for a new build vs a new buy that it is often a push.

    That being said there are some great reasons to either build your own, or commission a custom boat that have nothing to do with cost. And if what you love to do is build your own, then go for it. Few of us make money by being on the water, so as long as you can afford it, why not.
     
  13. RichMcG
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    RichMcG Junior Member

    All great advice. Thank you! Sounds like budget compared to used purchase may be critical decision point for me. Does anyone have a bom for a similar build?

    Regarding max... The email address bounced back and I don't see him listed on the website for the design company. Perhaps he officially retired? Any other ideas for reaching out to him?

    When i budgeted the 19' cc I am building now I was comparing to purchasing either a new or used whaler. It was quite a bit less expensive to build my own similar version on a percentage basis. Does this savings math not play out in larger vessels?
     
  14. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Rich,

    Just as an example I pulled this http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1985/Bertram---42-Convertible-2288025/St.-Augustine/FL/United-States from YachtWorld today. The asking price on the boat is 118.000. Figure the negotiated price then would be around 100k. It is a used boat, but has been reasonably maintained, and has 500 hours since the last rebuild on the engines about 6 years ago. So you have another 2500 hours until the next rebuild is due or at the current rate, something like 30 years.

    Compare this to the 80,000 to buy these engines new, add in another 10k for installed electronics, maybe another 10k for fishing equipment, and before even building the boat, just in major systems and parts you have spent more than a good used boat would cost you. Now for a project of this magnitude you will likely need to rent a spot at a yard, at 5k a year, for even a fast build of 2 years... The list just goes on and on.

    For me at least these numbers just add up to a major sink of money and time to build what you could have bought for less.

    On the time line side of things, I would estimate a handy builder can build about 5lbs per hour of work. Commercial yards do about 10 lbs per man hour, but you have to build all the tooling, shop the parts, ect, without the support of the supply chain they have. Not the Bertrum weights in at 39,000 lbs so we can estimate you will need about 7-8,000 man hours to complete this project. Even dedicating yourself full time to the build that is 200 weeks at 40 houTrs per week, or about 4 years. If you work part time and on weekends....

    In short from a numbers perspective it to me doesn't make sence either financially or time wise to build a boat of this complexity. Assuming you have the resources to afford to insure, slip, and operate the boat you probably could just go to your day job, work over time, and pay for it long before you would be done building it.


    That being said, there are some good reasons to build in no particular order
    1. You get exactly what you want
    2. You know the quality of the finished product
    3. You love to build boats
    4. you get the design and layout you want
    5. You get to watch the boat from the ground up to completion
    6. You love to build boats....

    Honestly to me all except the love of the build itself is available through commissioning a custom boat, and probably at around the same price.


    I should add I have no interest in the linked boat or brokerage. It was simply an example pulled at random
     

  15. RichMcG
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    RichMcG Junior Member

    Hey stumble,
    Great post. Thanks for taking the time to illustrate it out for me. I think the disconnect for me was the number of hours this type of build requires. I didn't realize that it would be nearly 10k hours. Forget budget, I don't have anything close to that much time available to me ouside my day job.

    Now I'm wondering if I should seek out a used boat with a solid hull and focus on updating the interior. Seems like I could avoid the time required to build the structures and focus on the asthetics, electronics, etc.

    Do you recommend working with a broker to find an appropriate vessel at a fair price? I'm always skeptical of people that make more money when the purchase price goes up, but I feel like I need an advocate on my side when buying something that could quickly turn into a big money loss with the wrong boat.
     
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