Building My Boat : Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by WecBoat, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. WecBoat
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    WecBoat Navy Blue

    Hello everybody,

    I have seen that many peoples come on Boat Desing. net to ask for a plan for the dream boat they want to build.

    It is hart breaking to tell them not to do so. Sometime you HAVE to build. Others times, it is better to get a boat ticket.

    You have build boats ? Maybe your know-how will serve here.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I am a shipwright and have nothing against people building their own boat. However, when they do it with the illusion of saving money, I will advise them to be realistic about time and materials. Also, the cost of storage makes most projects more expensive than a production boat. The decision depends on whether the person wants a boat or a several years duration hobby.
     
  3. rustybarge
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

    The single most important decision is the material. I built a 60' steel barge from 12' by 6' sheets, the steel came to £5,500, the engine was a converted 2.5 diesel transit van engine, the paint commercial 2 pack bridge paint, the interior domestic wood flooring and cheap plywood: total floating and mobile about £15k.

    ...but you must fabricate everything yourself, from the windows to the cleats.

    Bear in mind some materials are very expensive and very slow to assemble, and resins and fibreglass need a controlled environment; you can bash together steel outside, anywhere there is a space large enough to get the crane into.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    What's your labor worth? That is what most amateurs fail to add on the cost. If you were working at your regular job, and added 15,000 to your wages it may be possible to pay for a professionally built boat.
     
  5. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Yep, & then there's the emotional cost of building a boat. It's a LOT of labor, & unless you've done such things before, it can be very draining... on you, your other half & family - friends, social life etc, etc.
    It DEFINITELY pays to have help/work on it with others. For the support, plus the synergy makes the build go Far faster.
     
  6. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    do not build to save money, it does not. build only if you like the creative act of making something with your hands. consider it a costly hobby, with a reward of having a custom boat at the end of a long building period. Only build if you can not find what you want, and the cost is a secondary consideration.

    Cheapest way to get a boat is to buy a good used one. Even the "free" boats that "just needs some TLC", can cost you more than a nice ready to use used boat.
     
  7. WecBoat
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    WecBoat Navy Blue

    You will learn if you build. But, you will learn more if you go.
     
  8. rustybarge
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

    As I am now older and wiser, I realise that the sentiments expressed so far are very wise; it does take an enormous amount of effort to build a boat. If I was starting to build again I would take the easy compromise: get the hull and superstructure built by a boat yard.

    Here in Europe you can get a steel boat fabricated for £1k/ ft, which is superb value. The home builder can then fit the easy bits, like the engine, interior and other very expensive bits like the windows and hatches and doors ( all home made) to save money

    When you come to sell you then have a proper commercially built hull which will give you a good chance of reclaiming some of your money.

    In the UK there as several boat manufacturers who will supply GRP Hull moulding ready for fit out, so it makes good sense to cut out thousands of hours work and you still have the fun of a home built project that can be tailored to your personal preferences.
     
  9. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kerosene Senior Member

    Rustybarge - you are probably right but you have already built a big one. I think most amateurs (myself included) mostly think of the hull. Creating those sexy lines and seeing the volume appear is appealing. Thinking of wiring or plumbing or bulkheads is far less romantic.
    Around here i know of several steel hulls pretty much finished (sailboats/motorsailors) yet far froom water and will stay tyat way. The builder has had enough juice to build the hull but since then it has veen left sitting unfinished for decades.
     
  10. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think some of the best advice is by Bruce Roberts. He includes the plans for the dinghy with the one for the boat. He says to build the dinghy first and when you are frustrated or discouraged from building the boat, take the dinghy out for a ride. Most people spend all their free time and energy building the dream boat and years go by without any sailing or fishing.
     
  11. rustybarge
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    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

    I would totally agree with you, by the time the hull is complete most home builders are burnt out; my argument was that if you get a ready moulded hull/superstructure then you can go for a nearly immediate launch once the engine been dropped in, which should only take a couple of days, and finish off all the interior work while afloat.

    So you'll be camping on a floating unfinished bomb site, but who cares! You can still cruise around, wash yourself in a plastic kitchen basin, do your business in a porta potty camping toilet and empty into the nearest convenience, cook on a camping gas single ring.......

    The mistake people make is taking years to totally complete the interior fit out before they launch the boat.
     
  12. WecBoat
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    WecBoat Navy Blue

    The problem, right now, is that there is more boats on the sea then there is captains.

    So, why build a boat when so many are give it away.

    Many times I have seen captains coming at the dock for the last time after encountering reality.
     
  13. rustybarge
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

    The problem is that ' give it away boats' cost more to do up that good second hand ones; rebuild the engines and it will cost more than the value of the whole boat, and when you come to sell an old refurbished boat you will lose a packet.

    At least with a brand new hull you have some hope of reclaiming some of your outlay.......
     
  14. WecBoat
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    WecBoat Navy Blue

    Yes, a good survey, by a very good surveyor on the use boat and the mechanic is primordial. You can always loose money and time buying the wrong boat even a brand brand new.

    I build boats (35 years in fiber, carbon, wood, steel ) and I love it ( I am masochist ;).
    I have buy and sell use boats for 20 years.
    My hart is divide when I see all the results.

    Thanks for all your good advice.
     

  15. rustybarge
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

    Maybe this is a good summary:

    Which would you rather have: An old 1980's boat hull with new engines, or a new 2014 boat hull moulding with old 1980's reconditioned engines? :p
     
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