cost of building

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by wayne nicol, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. wayne nicol
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    wayne nicol Senior Member

    i know this is a very generalized question, but some experienced insight would go a long way here. thanks.
    i will be building a 32' x 10' motor sailer in the very near future.
    1.glass over foam core
    2.alum masts, carbon booms and spars
    3. glass decks

    trying to get an idea on material costs alone- no labour!
    will make my own sails, out board power, make my own carbon spars etc.

    hope thats enough info to get an idea
    many thanks
    wayne
     
  2. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Wayne, It is difficult to answer your question precisely because it is very hard to make generalizations, particularly with your mix of materials. Presumably, you have the plans for the boat, and these are detailed enough to show you the precise lay-ups and construction of stuff--hull, deck, keel, mast and boom, internal outfit with engines, thanks, etc. You have to go through a process called "material take off", which means that you have to calculate from the plans the totals of all the materials and on-board equipmen that you will need. Calculate the total area of glass for all the layers and types of fabrics that you need, including the resin and the core, determine the total weights of all those pieces, and then price out all those pieces, parts, and materials from their various sources. You'll buy an engine from an outside source, and probably the fuel and water tanks (to pick another example), plus you have to figure out all the electrical wiring and components, all the plumbing fittings and components, the whole shootin' match. It is a tedious task, but every successful builder goes through this process. That is the only way that you are going to get an accurate answer.

    One cannot generalize this sort of estimate because the prices of materials vary all over the country and the world. Also, you frequently have to order minimum amounts of materials, or amounts in discrete units, which necessarily causes you to have to buy more materials than you will actually use, so that overage, or wastage, has to be taken into account in your budget.

    There are also the costs related to the stuff that you have to buy that do not necessarily find their way into the boat, such as the building frame on which the boat is made. There are the tools that you will need--clamps, you can never have too many clamps!--plus the space rental if it's not your own space, or the utilities that you have to pay for if it is your own space--there are all sorts of hidden costs that are usually forgotten or ignored in the effort of DIY boat building. But I digress.

    The best and most accurate answer is that you have to do your own material take-off from the plans. The more time you spend determining the detail and sourcing out the materials and equipment, the more accurate you will be on the bottom line. Leave yourself some buffer room, say a 25% to 50% excess in case something goes wrong or gets delayed. You'll need it.

    I hope that helps.

    Eric
     
  3. wayne nicol
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    wayne nicol Senior Member

    thanks Eric.
    the plans are currently being drawn up, and are going to take some time- so will be a little while away from having an accurate materials list.
    just trying to get some kind of ball park figure from folks who might have built a similar sized boat before.
    32 x 10 glass boat with some wood trim etc- outboard power. 2x 70hp motors.
    some kind of an idea , roughly X amount of $ per foot of boat- kind of deal.
    i know its a tough question, thats why i asked it on this forum- i trust the knowledge base here!! :)
     
  4. nimblemotors
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    What I've found searching is that a rough price-per-pound is anywhere from $3 to $30.
    So a 10,000 lb boat would cost anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000.

    This doesn't really help much, except to know it is hard to get less than $3/lb.

    But that seems the best way to get a rough estimate, is to determine the cost-per-pound of the materials, and then how much your boat will weigh.
    The engines, equipment, electronics, etc, can usually be priced a bit better (not by pound!)

    Eric has it right though, if you have an actual build plan, then you get more precise.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Whoever is drawing the plans is the best person to give you an estimate. Also, the hull and deck will be between 10-20% of the total cost. It seems like a really odd choice to make the hull foam cored and the deck solid glass.
     
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    When I build my own boats I usually do a detailed costing, then use my worst possible estimate, then double it and I'll be in the ball park. Boats are never cheaper than you estimate

    But if you are really in the Haida Gwaii then availability and shipping costs will be major deals (I have built three boats in the Gulf Islands, which are relatively accessible, so appreciate your problems). You may prefer to pay more for a "sort of" local supplier. Having said that I know many Canadian builders who have gone to the US to buy materials and then paid duties at the border. Much cheaper there and a bigger choice of suppliers

    You just missed this event, but worth a call anyway

    http://www.fiberlay.com/emailblast/TrainingClasses-3-22-14.jpg

    Richard Woods
     
  7. wayne nicol
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    wayne nicol Senior Member

    thanks guys
    the designer is nowhere near the material listing stage- and i was just trying to get a feel, and knowing the type of finish i will be going for- i have a sort of an idea now.
    Gonzo- the thoughts at this stage are to build the foam shape on a set of station molds and strongback- and to glass over it, then glass inside.
    the deck will be built from a female mold.
    reason being, the amt of work that would go into a deck, would justify a mould.
    and the hull could be duplicated quite accurately with a good set of station molds.
    we plan to possibly build about 4 or 5 of these boats over the next while.
    does this plan sound feasible?
     
  8. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Yes, that sounds feasible, although the cost of the deck mold will be expensive if you want good quality finish. Amortizing the cost of the mold over 4 or 5 units is not a lot. You'll have to include the cost of the mold (materials and labor) as part of the cost of each deck. The molds are priced out the same as the hull and deck parts--ply by ply, area by area. Plus you'll have to have the mold bracing structure added into the mix, along with mold handling equipment--all that adds to cost.

    I think what Gonzo is getting at is that it is very common to have at least the walking areas of the deck be cored because you want them strong and stiff under your feet--easy to do with cored construction. It is much harder to do with glass-only because then to make the walking areas stiff enough, you need a lot of internal frames and bracing which can be tedious (high labor cost) to build. Otherwise, the glass skins have to be very thick, and that makes them heavy, and in general, heavy decks are not good because that is weight up high, and that detracts from stability. The designer should be aware of this and be advising you accordingly. Hopefully, he is designing to some recognizable standard which will govern how the parts are built--core or no core.

    Eric
     
  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Thats an important concern where in this case,as I understand it, public liability and coast guard survey considerations will be a priority ( letter in the 'post' wayne :) )
     
  10. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    A bit off topic, perhaps, but the idea of using twin 70 OBs on a 32' motorsailer sounds like trouble. It is very difficult to get OBs to work off a transom on a boat that size (catamarans can do it). For the price of twin 70's and all the kit, I think you could nearly fit a single diesel and be miles ahead in terms of security and operating costs. And the propulsion system would actually work when not on a mill pond. Fuel consumption would likely be halved. If you lowered the hp to about 30 in the diesel, you should go hull speed, so I don't know what all the extra power is for. A 32'er is about a 6+ knot boat.

    The usual motivation for a motorsailer is to reduce operating cost and still be able to operate on something approaching a predictable schedule over a wide spectrum of conditions. The specs you listed seem to be all about lowest initial cost, so I was wondering why bother with a sailing rig at all? The sail rig won't make a dent in the fuel figures of 140 hp boat unless it increases the drag and makes the fuel consumption worse.

    I'd happily call a 32'er with a Beta 16 a motorsailer, but no way would I call a boat with transom OBs a motorsailer.
     
  11. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Traditionally the break even point when it's worth making a set of moulds is four releases. Unless you and your designer are very confident I would think it worth building a one off first, get the bugs sorted and then build a mould

    I wouldn't use a solid glass deck either, unless it is very cambered it will flex badly, even though it will be plenty strong. Customers won't like it and the chances of stress cracking are high. Never mind horrific condensation problems, especially in the PNW

    Richard Woods
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    philSweet is right about the outboards, imo, very hard if not impossible to get it to work properly on a displacement hull, and especially when the conditions are adverse, the time when you need them trouble-free.
     
  13. wayne nicol
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    wayne nicol Senior Member

    excellent points about the foam core on the deck.
    points well taken. and i am sure the designer is aware of that kind of stuff... i certinally hope so!!
    the designer and i are only at the early stages of the process right now- i sent him some concept drawings- and we are moving from there.
    my thought process was steered towards the foam being used as a "wood strip" type construction for the hull, and i neglected its real properties for insulation and creating very weight efficient thickness/stiffness profiles.
    it does make perfect sense , thanks.

    as for the the deck mold- i will certinally be treating the first build as a protype, before i make a mold. but i am hoping to build at least 3 to 5 of these boats for my personal use...;)
    i have a liscence to run tours in a pretty unique marine/land based park up here in the pacific north west.
    we will be running guided, small, exclusive, custom itenerary tours.

    now heres the cruncher thats going to chase everybody away..the can-o-worms!
    these are planing hull motor sailers.
    they are ideally suited to this operation, and we have tested the concept for the last season, and are very happy with the results.
    i know these boats are contraversial. but they work very well in this situation.
    not really planning on selling any boats.

    if i could buy this type of boat, i would not be building them.
     

  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

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