Contemplating Building a Trawler

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Jeff Fasbender, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The intended method of construction, fibreglass, difficult as a one-off in this size range, a female mould is impractical, as you are building 3 "boats" before getting there. A male mould also presents a range of difficulties, that are best avoided.
  2. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I'm afraid 100k will not get you far on a boat this size. Any boat this size will take years to build and the rent alone for heated space will consume a good portion of your budget. As a boatbuilder i do understand the desire to build your own boat and in a more temperate climate where you may not need heated building space, it may be more reasonable but in Minnesota heat is essential or you will only be able to work for maybe 4 months a year. On the other hand, as others have suggested, 100k will buy you a reasonable used boat.

  3. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    a 40'-45' trawler for US$ 100k ?????. I suggest you really examine this. If your final objective is to go boating you might be better off to buy a used boat. Check out boats around 10-20 years old. If you can't afford that, I doubt you can build one of similar quality for less.
    rwatson likes this.
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The budget is quite low. Upholstery for a boat that size, kept to a minimum, will run at least $20K. A Yanmar 110HP with gears is about $15,000. A shaft and propeller about $1,500. A rudder, steering system and hardware about $2,000 without autopilot. Make a list of everything that goes into the build, including tools and disposables like grinding wheels and paint brushes, add it all up and then that is your budget. If you can't afford it, the next step is to either build a smaller boat, buy a used one or give up the project.
  5. Jeff Fasbender
    Joined: Oct 2018
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    Location: Rochester, MN

    Jeff Fasbender Junior Member

    Thanks for your feedback Sparky, but it appears that my plans are substantially different that what you have done. I will not be purchasing any completed assemblies, and will not be paying any labor (other than in beers) for my build. In addition, I will consider fitting used parts if needed to stay on budget. There are many options for low hour diesel power plants available well under $5k. I have budgeted 10% of my overall cost to build for power and running gear and feel confident that I can accomplish that.
  6. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    JSL Senior Member

    At 54' this is larger than being discussed.
    The owner was very resourceful and saved a tremendous amount of money. Unfortunately he passed away but his wife got C$75,000 (US$ 53000) in the estate sale. The buyers (never got a survey) contacted me to review and assist completion. I politely declined.
    - a professionally molded hull
    - little or no hull framing.
    -panel stitch'n'glue superstructure
    -internal bulkheads of MDF
    -teak decking - ran athwartships
    - power - 8V-53 from a school bus
    -propeller - don't ask!
    - 2 fuel tanks (school bus')
    -steering- from a school bus
    - house wiring (single strand!)
    - windows ; some school bus but complemented with recycled plate glass. (classic look achieved with extensive cracking)

    Attached Files:

  7. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    The widow was very lucky to have some hapless schmuck give her that much for that mess.
  8. Sparky568
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    Sparky568 Junior Member

    Okay maybe you can find a used truck engine on Craig’s list and do a proper marinization. The problem is it will most likely be illegal. If you plan on a state registration or even documentation it will need to meet EPA tier standards. Although I have not heard a lot of folks in the boating world getting busted for non-complaint engines in the trucking world it ranges anywhere from 2 to 5 grand.

    And since you are seeking professional design services this will be another short fall. There are professional designers and architects on this forum who can chime in and give you better numbers, but from what I’ve read design costs can range from 3 to 5 percent. Now that number is based on a convention custom build which in your size would run into 1.5 to 2.5 million. Once an architect knows the size vessel you are contemplating and your budget you will be hard pressed to get anybody to even return your phone calls. And as far as I know they don’t work for beer.

    Speaking of which as you probably have a few devoted friends with the appropriate skill set willing to make a five year commitment to some one else’s dream let’s do some math. Two cases of beer a weekend is let’s say 36 bucks. Figure 52 weekends for five years is $9,300.00. There are no free lunches especially in boat building.

    By the way, up here in the northeast anyway, people including professional fisherman seeking new vessels typically do what’s called a kit boat (hull, top and partial completion) because it is more cost effective and time efficient than to build from scratch. The builder I used is “semi retired” has a couple of full time employees and a few part time guys that are in some sort of boat school building program. Builds maybe 2 to 3 boats a year instead a full shop which he could do 15 to 20. He’s an honest guy who absolutely loves what he does. He doesn’t even mark up the materials he charges for. His cost is your cost. Given the time he’s spent putting together my “kit” the labor was somewhere in the 15 to 17k range.

    Again I hate to dash someone’s dream but I would rather you be pissed off at mine or anyone else’s comments before devoting a significant portion of your money to something that will only cost more to dispose of.
  9. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    And re the cost of a custom design, I read an article sometime ago by Eric Sponberg - Home where he mentioned that he would charge a minimum design fee of US$1,000 per foot of boat length.
    I don't think that you will find anybody else willing to do a custom design for you for less than this.
    (Eric is now retired, and sailing around the world on one of his early designs - his wife has a Blog here - The Old Woman and the Sea – Arliss Ryan - it is a fascinating read. They are now in the South Pacific)

  10. kapnD
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    This is a game changer, you can build half the boat, or double the budget, but the best advice came early, from James G 123.
    Your power, controls and drivetrain could easily eat up $100,000.
    Sorry, didn’t notice the date on this thread, but inflation since then only backs up more strongly my recommendation.
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