building boats for a living???

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by dkopchak, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Thomasw
    Joined: Nov 2006
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    Thomasw Junior Member

    I agree Fred with your statement above, just hate to see someone not do something because it is difficult. For me, the more difficult a challenge is the more energy I seem to find to accomplish it. Do you think there is market for a mid priced boat with quality built in? Sure seems possible, when you consider the price jump with respect to quality. I considered building boats myself, on a very small scale, myself and maybe one other person, had to abandon the idea due to liability insurance costs. Yes, I consulted with an attorney and my accountant. My motivation was mostly due to high price of boats with very limited features and of course that quality issue.

  2. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Go for it!

    Danny, I've been in boat repair & building for 25+ years & still love it, for sure it can be tough at times, but if it was easy, every one would be into it.Maybe you can look at doing repair & service work along side the manufacture, 'cos repair is already & always there & could pay for the tooling etc of your boats, repair is a great education in whats required in manufacture. Regards from Jeff.:)
  3. Thin water
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    Thin water Senior Member

    Try the City of DeLand in central Florida Between Daytona Beach and Orlando. We have several custom builders here including the maker of some very big 100 mph plus off shore race boats, Baycraft boats (A brand name) and others. There is a big business industrial complex at the airport, labor is cheap and there is a good base of skilled to semi skilled Fiberglass workers from several other large boat companies in the area (Boston Waler is one I can remember). The city is always trying to do what it takes to get new business like this into the area. Several new large warehouse type manufactering buildings have just been built and are still vacant. Central FLorida is way cheaper than south Florida. Good luck with your business. I am selling my mold set for the 14 fishing boat I was going to make but due to a lack of money and the hassle of the Coast Guard certification process. I listed it on the marketplace on this forum. I am going to make airboat hulls for other builders instead. Post your location when you set up if you end up in central Florida. I would like to come by and check it out.

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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Do you think there is market for a "mid priced boat with quality built in"?

    An oxymoron . The Quality required is not only a sound hull but sound engineering and construction methods.

    All boats have some (sometimes damn little) "quality " built in but getting the experience to construct Quality , out of the starting box is dreaming.

    I would suggest getting a job at one of the highest quality builders , and observe the extreme dedication and expen$e required to actually create Quality . Its a labor of love , very expensive , with a looong learning curve.

    Mid priced quality means the builder has chosen to NOT do great engineering and boat building to lower the price .
    So you have to know where & how much to cut , and not end up with just another commodity priced & built Cheap boat.

    Not easy,

  5. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Other thoughts:

    The back page guest editorial in this month's Professional Boatbuilder magazine addresses this very issue, written by a person who tried to enter the production boat market and failed, and he explains the reasons why.

    On the other hand, I personally know two other people who have done very well, and they both started from scratch in the not-too-distant past just like in this instance. They are Scott Deal who started Maverick Boat Company in Florida which is fast becoming a major production boat builder. The other is Owen Maxwell who started Regulator Marine in North Carolina building a fine product. Both men and their wives are very forthcoming in their experiences and advice. Using smarts and common sense, they have built successful businesses. The watchwords are to marshall your money resources, don't over-extend yourself, build a good product at a reasonable price, and treat your employees well. Do those few things and you can be successful. You may not become rich, but you won't be poor either.

    By the way, I know that North Carolina is extremely friendly to boat builders and would-be boat builders, so you should inquire of the state resources there to help get you started.

    I hope that helps.


  6. mulletbucket
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    mulletbucket Junior Member

    Come to eastern North Carolina. The custom sportfish (wood epoxy) business is doing well here and expanding. Alot of builders of production boats started working for a custom builder. There are shops here that will take your plugs and produce hulls and parts for you to put together and sale.
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