Build new or buy used?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by couchcaptain, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. couchcaptain
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: California

    couchcaptain Junior Member

    I am considering building an Elco 26 from a Weston Farmer plan. I have cabinet making skills but have never built a boat before. I can see my first problem will be coming up with a structure to build in. Beyond that, I am sold on cold molded hulls for strength, weight and durability features and would want to incorporate this into the boat. My problem is the 3-5 years I imagine it would take to finish the project. This is where my question lies: Is it practical to buy a used boat and convert the hull to a cold molded variety, or if I had it done at a shop, would it cost well beyond the value of the boat when it was finished? If I did get a used boat(Under 30') I feel I could easily repair or redo the topside, motor, etc.. but the facilities needed to do the hull would put it out of reach for a home job. Thanks in advance
  2. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer


    Sheathing existing boats with a new cold-molded skin has been done a fair bit. See WoodenBoat for various articles on how folks have done this. Is it practical? Maybe, but don't expect to get your investment back, and don't expect all the work and expense will make the boat more valuable in the marketplace.

    A cold-molded boat is seen by the vast majority of potential boat buyers as worthless. Really well built, high-quality cold-molded boats are very hard to sell. In the current market every boat is being sold at a loss. Potential buyers (mostly newbs) have been told (by fiberglass boat sellers) that wood means maintenance and rot, and is therefore bad news. It also means that the educated buyer can get a good (repairable) wooden boat for a song.
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The first question is What is your Hobby?

    If boat building is your first love , build away.

    IF going boating is gona be the choice , PURCHASE Fiberglass ,GRP boat .

    Your first choice will be , fine as a first choice , but as your skills and knowledge advance , you will be looking at the "next boat" in a bit of time.

    The cost of boating is the "round trip" boat cost vs boat sold price.

    A fairly popular boat ,kept up well, and perhaps with improved cosmetics will sell for close to its purchase price.

    Not much deprecation on a 25 year old boat, and for resale "Paint sells the Boat" has been the rule since log rafts.

    A wooden boat , homebuilt or not , will be at the lowest price range of all.

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