Building to Survey - Welding

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Cryptonomicon, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Cryptonomicon
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    Cryptonomicon New Member

    Am toying around with the idea of commercial fishing using something like a Bruce Roberts Coast Worker 30 .

    The problem is that boats used commercially need to get past Australia's survey requirements which by the time you go from "The AMSA Construction Standard" to the welding standards pretty well boil down to you must use an experienced welder and that the welds have to be checked by an experienced welder.

    Is it possible for an amateur to construct a welded boat that would pass maritime survey requirements.
     
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Yes - but you will need someone to certify the quality.
    "5.3.3 Welding operators
    Welding operators shall be proficient in the type of welding on which they are engaged.
    The responsibility for selection, training and testing of welding operators rests with the builder. The builder shall test welding operators to a suitable recognised standard. The builder shall keep records of tests and qualifications."

    Whoever you get to oversee construction for the purpose of Survey will need to be convinced that the work is of good enough quality - so make friends with a qualified welder, and start practicing. Many Tafe's will run a qualifiying course where you can get to practice and use consumables much cheaper than b uying them yourself.

    Most people can learn to do a reasonable job on flat surfaces. The bit that needs mastering is overhead and awkward angle locations.

    But, if you can afford to fit out a commercial fishing boat, the cost of employing a qualified welder is a small percentage of the overall expense, and usually not worth the trouble. Paint and Engines are at least 10 times the material cost of the bare welded hull.

    There are a million half welded rusting projects aropund the world that will never see the water, and most of those just ran out of money.
     
  3. Cryptonomicon
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    Cryptonomicon New Member

    I think that you may have a different image in mind to me on price.

    I am thinking something along the lines of a west coaster - essentially a 10 meter hull with a Cat 3208 dropped in it and some tanks for ice and fish add depth sounder and radio and stick a Licensed Fishing Boat number on it and add a bucket to piss in.

    Absolute raw minimum to handle seas out 14nm and get past survey.

    A Cat 3208 refurbished long block is about $10k add another $10k guesstimate by the time you get it powering a prop.

    Electronics - fish finder bottom scanners etc amazingly cheap in this day and age. Even saw a full 3D bottom scan sonar for $1500 the other day - call it less than $5k.

    Guesstimate of aluminium plate for a 30 footer $20k lets add $10k for cutting $30k

    So all up without welding we are looking at around $50k and we have a pile of metal on a workshop floor.

    The alternative is a second hand boat probably of 1980s - 1990s vintage - which still has to be bought into survey lets say $90k + unknown costs to fix.

    The difference between the new pile of metal with a refurbished motor and a second hand old boat of dubious provenance is about $40k

    So that leaves the number of hours to weld x cost of a welder per hour - lets say $100 per hour - vs do it your self.

    So I am seeing the welding as being the big cost.

    Paint on these things - luxury.

    But then I have absolutely no idea what I am doing - and could be missing the obvious.
     
  4. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Hi Crypto,
    I think you may be missing a few items although with alu there is a saving on paint. I think you will need to make a list of everything fitted to your boat and put a real(quoted) price against it including undercover premises to fabricate and weld out the boat in.
    I see the reference to Coastworker, quite a nice style of boat but don't buy into the BR "build for less" BS, that boat will cost very much like any similar length commercialy available boat of similar size less the discount on secondhand engine and some of your time if used effectively

    All the best with it from Jeff
     
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    oh, and I read too fast and assumed steel from your first post. With aluminum, you need many,many months of practice to become proficient, where a few months could probably get you proficient in steel.

    Jeffs comments about location is very pertinent.
     
  6. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    You need a professional naval architect or consulting engineer. How do you know that Roberts design will meet survey as designed?

    Also there are a *ton* of gotchas to meet survey - I'm no expert but a friend of mine is and my 12m steel sailboat couldn't pass even though it's very well built. There are lots of things recreational boats can do that boats under survey can't and I'll bet money Roberts hasn't a clue either.

    Trust me, the welding is the *cheap* part regardless of steel or aluminium.

    PDW
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you hire a welder as an employee and pay hourly, it has to be much cheaper than $100 and hour.
     
  8. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Not necessarily here in Australia. I'm not a pro welder but I won't get out of bed on a paying job for less than $75/hour.

    PDW
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member


  10. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Most tradespeople in Aus are on 50-80K PA, some make executive salaries only by doing plenty of OT, some oil & mining jobs do better but general trade offs in lifestyle etc.
    If employed casually say on a job like the OP mentioned a loading of 15% applies to cover holidays/sick not included. I live in Sydney so housing is exxy & rates a little better.
    PD's rate would be low to mid for the self employed, here the worker generally needs to carry a range of insurances to cover public liability, sickness/accident or workers compensation, ship repairers liability and be fully equipped to carry out the work- a different scenario as "in business", rates will be from 50-120+ depending on specialty(painters & gyprock/drywall at bottom with electrical & Fridge/engineering towards the top, workers that sub contract to same builders will do at a discount for continuity.
    To attract a suitable candidate for the OP's job would probably take 40+ on wages or start around PD's price as self employed, some "cowboys" will work for low rates but are generally not carrying insurances etc... very typically termites that will bore in at what looks like a good deal/rate but mooch off unwitting owners without much forward progress.
    Jeff.
    Jeff.
     
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