Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by DennisRB, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

    Hey guys. I have been pondering the idea of building a 40-45 foot sailng cat. Just trying to figure feasibility. The main prob is where do you build it? Renting space at a yard will be cost prohibitive considering how long it takes to build.

    I own my own house and the backyard is 17 x 20 m of flat ground. Block is 607m2. Its in suburbia (Bray Park). All my neighbours are cool. I wonder if its ever feasible to attempt something like that here?

    A tent style setup would prob get me busted. I think if it was all hidden away in a shed the council wound not see it plus it could be insulated for noise. Sheds are so cheap now I can build a huge shed with slab for 15K. A shed beg enough would probably not be legal from the council? I found the rules saying I can have shed up to 80m2, but that's too small.

    I know a guy who built a large alloy power cat in his backyard no too far from me (Redcliffe) and he got halfway through before neighbours complained and he had to finish it in a boat yard $$$.

    The other option is to rent somewhere semi rural and rent my house out so the net cost would be similar. But then it will take ages for Nikki and I to get to work.

    Any opinions?
  2. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Dreams of building boats

    You have a problem ! its always a hassle trying to build where neighbours are close with noise and smells and thats just the begining how do you get it out and transport it to the water .
    House or boat thats the question ! its good to have a house and even better to have a boat so for the sake if one the other may need to go .if you keep the house the boat is a dream if you sell the house to build you boat you have to both be 110 dedicated to building finishing a getting in the water ! you could live aboard . the money from th ehouse sale will be all eaten up and what ever else you have , but for a dream how far are you willing to go . saw one couple built a big cat and lived under it once the centre part was done . took forever and they had a couple of little kids !. then it was gone !
    was next to a tidle creek so just lifted with the cranes and turned it round and into the water at high spring tide and they were away . Was a patch of land between a couple of factories so would have been classed industial land noise smell and what ever wouldnt have been a issue but youd have to live there or security becomes a major issue . Life is never easy and where theres a will there is a way . :D
    I see your in Brisbane what about some of the boat sheds along the riverside there ! have you done any sort of walk and ask to see it theres a yards with spare space ? they might even help in there ways as well .
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    If you do not live close to the boat, it will never get worked on and never finished. So you have to live next to the build. You either have to move or work out a deal with the council. you likely can build the sub assemblies, and than just need the big shed for the final assembly and fit out. So either you ask if the council will allow you a temp oversized shed, with a time limit where you agree to take it down, or you maybe just assembly one hull at a time, and than final assembly has to be done elsewhere (somewhere near the water preferably).

    it would be a bit of chore to move a 25x45' cat down suburban streets anyway. Get as far as you can with the small sheds (with the rest under heavy tarps perhaps), and than move the operation near the water for the last few months.
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'd be talking to the council ( Moreton ?) about just what is allowable. I'm not sure how your mate transgressed by building in his backyard, if it wasn't part of a business, I don't know what basis there would be for complaint, unless he was making excessive noise out-of-hours. Tunnels is right about getting it to the water, that needs thorough investigation. Perhaps you could talk to firms that transport boats for advice on the issues there. I have seen some nightmares where cranes were required to lift boats out of backyards, and unfortunately toppled through the house roof. Ouch.
  5. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Stop everything

    start reading

    in your neck of the woods there are HUNDREDS of unfinished cats around
    buy one (of the many) cheap - it will save you YEARS of work
    and even then you have got more YEARS ahead of you to finish it off.

    I absolutely love this couple - read their story - just another one of many
    the kids are all grown up and the boat is not on the water
  6. Manie B
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

  7. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    OH NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SAY IT AINT SO.....

    Another boater who sipped from the Cat Koolaid barrel.

    Perhaps you can contact past Boatdesign net contributor CATBUILDER and purchase his half finished project ?

    And STOP DRINKING THAT STUFF..... then snap out of it or Ye Shall Burn
  8. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Manie B Senior Member


    at least others are as shocked as I am

    :D :D :D
  9. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    groper Senior Member

    Mate, its all doable... your allowed to errect a temporary shed and build under it. If its deemed as "temporary" you dont have council dramas and dont need approval to errect it. I was a bit more cocky and did in my front yard where the whole street can see its ugliness...

    Bang a few star pickets in the ground and make a hoop house from 50-65mm electrical conduit. Stretch a tarp or better to get a custom sail made up at your local sailmaker to stretch over the hoops. Its not as storm proof as a proper shed, so if you get wild weather expect a bit of a mess, but its all part of the fun/stress/anecdotes of backyard boat building... This pic was courtesy of Ex-tropical cyclone Oswald and a frantic effort to get the tarp down at 4am with the wind blowing a decent 40knots...


    And this is what is was before the damage;


    Build away if you dare...
  10. Wand
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    Wand Junior Member

    Further to Manie B's list of recommended reading, I s'pose you do know about Yacht Rodney? An amazing story but not one to emulate. He has a website but tells it best in this posting on CF from back in 2007.

    Not trying to put you off your build, but it really is wisest to pick up from where someone else has left off, given up, walked away, died... They are everywhere and they are always kinda tragically cheap.
  11. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    DennisRB Senior Member

    Grouper. What are you building and where?

    Maine B. Where do I find these HUNDREDS of cats for sale half finished? I haven't found any besides one or two that I wouldn't want to own. A steel cat comes to mind here.

    What boat was mas building? The prob of buying a half finished one is, (a) you didn't build it (but if its the hull you want I would still consider it). (b) you have transport issues. But what I would really like to know is where to view these hundreds of cats. I particularly want a performance cruiser. Exactly like the Oram 44C you posted. Not a personal fan of the cabin profile on that particular example, but looks like a good boat.

    Tunnels, I do not want to sell my house for a boat. I want both. The house rent pays the cruising kitty and allows me to actually use the boat when its finished.

    Petros, I agree that you need to live near the boat or it will not be built. I would not try and build one far from my house. If houses can be moved my truck, so can a boat. Not cheap but it cant be as hard to move as a house!

    Mr Efficiency. I think the councils just have a prob about building large boats. I have been told its not allowed. But I need to find out more facts. The guy with the alloy cat tried very hard to not make noise at times which disturbed people. He even got the shift work roster of the lady 2 doors down but he was still forced to move it to a yard.
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'll second the doable comments. Building in an urban setting can be challenging, but a temporary structure, like a bow roof shed usually is all it takes, to keep folks from bitching about the monolithic monstrosity in your backyard. I've done it a few times with neighbors only a few feet away, on the other side of a 6' tall stockade fence. Lastly, keep it out of sight, from the street. The building shed can be visible, but the project should be kept under cover, until a 100 ton crane shows up in the street, to hoist the puppy over the house and drop it on a trailer. Of course do your research, starting with the HOA and local code enforcement agencies.
  13. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I would go with the renting your house out and finding something more suitable to rent, maybe a proper industrial building where you can convert the office space for living. About 35 years ago i rented space to build a boat from a guy who had rented a good size factory to build a 57ft cold molded boat for himself, he had way more space than he needed so he sub let space for others to build their own boats, all the other boats were much smaller than his so they got completed sooner so there was turnover, while i was there building a 26ft cold molded keelboat a guy was building a 30 something foot benford dory and Gary Lidgard, a name you may be familiar with was finishing up about a 30 ft keelboat for himself, i loved it there, there was good momentum and everyone finished their projects with no time lost battling the elements. The guy we rented from lived in the office space with his wife, they both had full time jobs. Another time i rented a small factory to build a 12m cat and converted the offices into a nice appartment, rented the spray booth to someone for storage, rented half of the rest of the space to another boatbuilder and rented some of the yard space back to my landlord, when the dust settled i was making $60 a month on the deal, this was about 1980. One of the nice things about going this route is that you have good power and light and dont have to waste time you should be working on the boat fighting the weather.

  14. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    groper Senior Member

    Im up in cairns dennis, its a 35ft cat of my own design...

    The tunnel house has kept the weather out of my boat very well. Obviously cyclonic type weather is a different story, the plan was to take down the cover and wrap the boat itself up when a serious storm approached, but we didnt get any warning up here for Oswald, the rest of the coast got the warning after they saw what it did to us up here... ive stopped building for the rest of the season due to excessive heat and the further chance of cyclones, the boat is now wrapped up like christmas present... i can do a few smaller jobs in the double carport in the meantime, then start assembling again once the tunnel house goes back up...

    Battling the elements and working with limited space is the most inconvenient part of building at home, this is offset by having everything right there, you can work on bits and peices at any time. If you need to get in your car and drive to a remote location, thats an even greater battle - i dont think i would attempt this as it would never get finished.

    If you can find and live in an industrial shed including an accommodation space (with your family???) then its a good way to go. Theres no way my other half would let me do this tho, we have 2 young children.

  15. Charly
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Charly Senior Member

    Hi Dennis,

    Go for it.:D

    Odds are you won't find an unfinished build that would suit your needs, that also happens to be manageable logistically. If you do, great, but otherwise building at home is a good option, as long as you keep the work out of sight and OUT OF THE HOUSE, as in contaminants and other stuff that might tend to irritate your better half. In fact, keeping the better half happy is the most important aspect of the whole build...

    Have you considered a demountable? I am building a Kurt Hughes 36 in my backyard, and was able to construct the hulls, beams and decks in my garage first, then keeping them under wraps outside, etc. Now I am putting the whole thing together to make sure it all fits, and do as much as I can before taking it to the waters edge, and bolting it together so I can tow it off the beach. You could maybe do some variation of this plan. It sure makes getting to the water easier too... all you need is a small trailer and something to pull it with.

    You might want to check with your designer, or if you havent picked a design yet check into the option.

    Good luck! And post Pics!
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