Budget boat build

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Jasonswood, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Jasonswood
    Joined: Jan 2015
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    Location: Michigan

    Jasonswood Junior Member

    I would like to know if I can go to Home Depot and buy foam boards and build a 16ft or bigger flat bottom boat and fiberglass over it. If I can what oz of fiberglass do I use. As in mat or cloth. Resins. I just need to know all I can about doing this. My main goal is to have two people in the boat using a small outboard and fishing gear. But if this can be a long term use and build I would probably build a center console with all the bells and whistles. I also want to know if I can build a all foam board boat of that size how do I go about building a floor or deck for storage and fishing off of. The area that I would be fishing is local rivers so no waves or any kind. Thank you for the knowledge.
     
  2. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    RHP Senior Member

    Wouldn't it be easier and safer to go buy a boat of eBay and repair it?
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    First off, decide if you want a plain float to fish from or all the bells and whistles. They are completely different.
     
  4. Jasonswood
    Joined: Jan 2015
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    Location: Michigan

    Jasonswood Junior Member

    A simple flat bottom boat would be good for now. But if it would work than I would later on build something by fair better
     
  5. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    I can't see why you couldn't build a very simple boat that way. You would have to use epoxy though because polyester resins would attack the foam board. The foam board sold in Home depot, Lowes and other home improvement stores is polystyrene and polyester resins melt it. Using epoxy resin would cost more but it wouldn't attack the foam and you would have a boat that would be hard to sink. You would need a couple of layers of glass to give it any resistance to punctures and cracks. Polystyrene also often soak up water so you need to keep the water out o the foam.

    Of course if you want to build something beyond a box (a barge) you will need a set of plans.

    Frankly the suggestion to just buy a used boat would probably cost about the same as a DIY boat, maybe less.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The density of the foam boards at the big box stores is way too light for structural applications, such as boat hulls. They usually range between below 2 pounds to just above 2 pounds a cubic foot, which is a minimum of 60% below general core density requirements in sandwich construction methods.

    Building a boat would cost a lot more than repairing a used boat, plus the used boat will have the details and equipment you'll have to get anyway, possibly just needing some love.
     
  7. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    What is your goal?

    Are you someone that loves projects and would like to build a boat with your own hands, or do you simply want to be on the water fishing for very little money?

    Building a boat from scratch can be time consuming and costly, finding an old ugly boat that needs a little TLC can be much easier.
     
  8. Jasonswood
    Joined: Jan 2015
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    Location: Michigan

    Jasonswood Junior Member

    I do take pride in what I do. With that being said I was going to test it out if it works well than I'll go ahead and build a flat bottom just to get started and ready for spring. But due to funds right now being low and most used boats on Craigslist are by my opinon over priced and starting at 1500 plus this is really just a temporary boat for the spring and summer and fall. If it does hold up and do what I'll like it to than I would build another but much wider with front and rear fishing decks storage live wells center console.
     
  9. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Home Depot polystyrene foam is not very good. It is very low strength and very flexible.
    Glass and epoxy is very expensive.

    At the most go get you some plywood and do a stitch and glue boat. Quick, easy, and cheap.
    A better construction would be marine plywood with the joints glassed with epoxy to hold it together - coated with glass and epoxy to make it last long.
    A cheaper, good construction would be the best outdoor plywood you can find with glass epoxy joints and painted surfaces.
    The cheapest, just get you out on the lake construction is any old plywood with epoxy/ glass joints.
    I wouldn't recommend polyester resin and glass.

    There are other methods which can get you by, but don't use home depot foam except for flotation.
     
  10. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    If you start building it today it might be done by next Christmas, and it will cost you much more than $1,500 to build it.

    You can buy a small aluminum boat tomorrow morning and be fishing in the afternoon for less money.
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I Disagree in that you couldn't build cheaply, given the right design and some serious scrounging.

    My Digger design will get you a 17' boat, using Lowe's/Depot exterior grade, this is about $250 in plywood. Skin it with 8 ounce cloth and goo, fillet and tape the seams, plus the 100' or so of solid stock and you'll have less then $500 in the completed hull. A used, maybe carboned or varnished up 20 HP outboard and controls, you can be up and scooting along for less than $1,500. I've built several of these over the years and can easily slam one together in a long weekend, but then again, it wouldn't be my first rodeo.

    This said, the average person will still be better off buying a sick, unloved used boat and tossing some care at it, then building new.
     
  12. Jasonswood
    Joined: Jan 2015
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    Jasonswood Junior Member

    Sorry everyone I should of been more clear I do own an outboard already it's just a merc 9.9 so I'm just looking for the cheapest way to build a hull
     
  13. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Your skills could possibly be graded as a little above average though.

    I had a 16' boat mold and could knock one out over a long weekend too, but to think a newbie could do it would be expecting too much.
     
  14. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    Buy it, you can probably get an aluminum boat with a trailer, life jackets and a few other goodies for $500 to $600. Might be an electric motor and a fish finder on it too.
     

  15. Mikeemc
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: South Carolina

    Mikeemc Junior Member

    If you know how to build frames , you can build for almost 200.00. Nothing fancy , but all the wood you can get for free. I get very nice wood from millwork shops that throw the long drops out for free. It's very easy to build a strip plank hull and with care it will look very professional. Look up Frosty Morn on Utube and study how he builds his hull. Just don't use red oak or white oak. Stick with fir and long pine drops. Any questions feel free to ask. BTW look on craigs list free section and type in boats and keep looking, there is sometimes nice boats there. Mater of fact there are a lot of free boats all over so keep checking.
     
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