Best place in the world to build a 30-35 ft sailboat on a budget?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by frasco, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. frasco
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Finland

    frasco Junior Member

    I'm curious whether anyone has any recommendations regarding good countries or areas where it would make the most sense to build a boat, for as little money as possible.

    I'm looking at building something along the lines of a Bolger AS, one of Chris Morejohn's designs or (most likely) Gary Underwood's Shoestring. I.e. plywood + GRP. No fancy equipment. Outboard engine in well. Goal would be to get sailing as fast as possible. Work boat finish.

    Criteria:
    • warm climate (warm most of the year so that outdoor building would be possible)
    • affordable space/land to rent (or possibly free!)
    • good availability of [decent quality] materials (wood, plywood, epoxy, tools, whatnot)
    • for materials not available locally, low shipping costs (where I currently live shipping is quite expensive)
    • EU highly preferable but I might be open to other locations
    Any good suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    What about quality, is it important?. Low price and high quality can be difficult to reconcile, but if quality matters less (curiously you do not mention it), the third world can be very interesting.
     
  3. frasco
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    frasco Junior Member

    Yeah should've mentioned that as well. For example I'm not necessarily looking for marine grade plywood, although I would consider it if the price was right.
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The USA is a good choice because besides filling your posted requirements, registering the boat will be easy.
     
  5. frasco
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Finland

    frasco Junior Member

    1. I wouldn't count the US as a good place to build on a budget due to various issues like cost of living, healthcare (no idea how that'd even work for a foreigner), and other things. Although not sure about cost of materials, they might outweigh living costs, esp. if I were to live in a shed or something. But then again, visas...
    2. Don't want to get into politics here but I really wouldn't want to set my foot in the US.
     
  6. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Singapore

    RHP Senior Member

    Why put yourself through so much trouble? Go buy a Bavaria, they're queuing up to give them away at the moment. They really will be the cheapest option for buying a new yacht right now.
     
  7. rwatson
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

  8. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    My backyard.

    But buying used would be cheaper still.
     
  9. M&M Ovenden
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Ottawa

    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    I agree on the two answers - "your backyard" or go buy a second hand boat. Is the design something you can't buy ? Why do you want to build ?

    Mark
     
  10. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: Singapore

    RHP Senior Member

    I spent quite a bit of time in the Ukraine many years ago, don't let the distance put you off: they're the most beautiful girls in the world. And you could build a boat.
     
  11. frasco
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Finland

    frasco Junior Member

    Bavaria/Beneteau/Jeanneau... no thanks.

    I already have a "modern" (mid-80's) boat (Moody 346). My requirements for hull/rig/accommodation are quite specific and aren't really fulfilled by any existing production boats. I could go through the trouble of doing extensive modifications to my current boat but that would only take me so far towards what I want. Hence the build. I am not 100% committed yet but looking into what options I could have.

    Thanks but I'm looking for cheap, as in minimal cost, not best value. Having to pay rent for a heated shed would not be great for the wallet and "warm climate" is also specified in my requirements. That looks like a cool build though!

    If your backyard is in Victoria that would be a lovely option in terms of beautiful sailing grounds but for boat building climate would be a slight issue.

    Answered above. Thing is, I don't currently have a backyard, which is why I'm technically looking for one. Country is optional but warm and European would be preferred.

    Those a some very solid argument. :D But again, climate.

    So far I've gotten a preliminary backyard offer in the Canary Islands but haven't checked up on material availability there yet (my Spanish googling skills aren't great). If not Europe then I'm thinking perhaps Asia (potential language barriers) or South America.
     
  12. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    In the same category of boats, so maybe interesting; Yves-Marie de Tanton's: 26' Sea-Eider -- 31' Sea-Egret -- 39' Sea-Eel

    Far as I know there's only full plans available for the 39' Sea-Eel of this series, of which only one set of plans was sold, that was going to France, don't know whether the boat was ever built, or not . . ?

    Info: Tanton Yacht Design ---> 39' Sea-Eel | Tanton's Blog ---> From JR. to ELIA. (among other things about the 39' Sea-Eel)

    Thread: Looking for sharpie plans ---> 39' Sea-Eel: post #17 by Tanton ---> post #18 by Goodwill to all ---> post #23 by Tanton

    Thread: Hogfish Maximus - 44ish sailing sharpie? ---> 39' Sea-Eel: post #149 by Tanton ---> post #211 by Chris Morejohn

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    About building cheap, don't use plywood I think, but go to French Guiana¹ or Suriname², and build your boat on the yard of a sawmill, using Angélique (PDF), good but heavy, about the wood that is . . ;)

    predominant language: ¹ French | ² Dutch, but a lot of people also speak English.
    P.S.
    ¹ it's a part of France and the European Union on the north Atlantic coast of South America, it has French law and the currency is the €, center is ± 4°N 53°W.
    ² a former colony of the Netherlands, that's now a sovereign state in northeast South America, at the north Atlantic coast, center is ± 4°N 56°W.

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    Good luck !
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  13. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    RHP Senior Member

    Angel your knowledge is encyclopedic and your posts always interesting.
     
  14. RHP
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    Location: Singapore

    RHP Senior Member


  15. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Location: Florida

    jorgepease Senior Member

    I went through the same exercise but I am from the US. After all my looking around I decided building in my country USA would be easiest mainly because it's my country and I eliminate a lot of risk. EU, try Bulgaria. I am currently looking for some acreage on the coast in Texas or North Carolina. The plan is to build a home with large shop, build the boat and then at least I can sell home and recoup my money. Otherwise I would throw away 100K for rent. I checked South America, labor is cheap but finding a secure location is not easy and if it is secure, it's not cheap.

    34823288_249197449183702_2519602934535159808_o.jpg
     
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