Cost to produce hull molds?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Bullshipper, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Bullshipper
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    Bullshipper Bullshipper

    Anyone have an idea what it costs per square foot to produce
    a 31' power cat hull from plywood
    then the sq foot cost to fair and wax it
    than the cost to produce a reinforced mold from that plug?

    I could do this out of the USA, but would prefer to stay in country.

    Thanks
     
  2. Russ Kaiser
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    Russ Kaiser Exuberant Amateur

    I know about making fiberglass molds on a very small scale. The more complex the design, the more time making the mold will take.

    Material cost per square foot of hull surface won't vary much for a project your size, but if you're not providing the labor the total cost will change a good deal based on complexity.

    The phrasing of your question suggests you're looking to farm out the work. If you farm out the mold making, will you farm out the construction?

    What type of power cat; luxury cruiser, off-shore racer? Do you have a design?
     
  3. AndySGray
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    AndySGray Senior Member

  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The cost of a mold is not calculated by square foot. It depends on the complexity of the shape and the quality of the finish required.
     
  5. Bullshipper
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    Bullshipper Bullshipper

    by the sq foot is how they are quoting me in north carolina
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters is the total cost and quality of the mold. Whether they use square foot or other way of calculating their price doesn't really matter. It does seem to indicate that they may not have experience with complicated molds though.
     
  7. Bullshipper
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    Bullshipper Bullshipper

    The fellow quoting has been in the buisness for 45 years, founded and operated 2 boat companies, and subs to the US government and all the larger Yacht builders when they have a component that is too tough to handle. One of the companies still produces what is considered state of the art.

    So lets move on.
     
  8. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Without being too specific and revealing your source for privacy reasons, perhaps you could tell us what the square footage of the boat hull is, and a price range that they are quoting you. Prices are going to vary all over the country, and quality will vary accordingly. You will get what you pay for, generally. A lot depends on how well the mold is constructed, namely, whether it is a solid laminate or a cored laminate; how it is stiffened and supported; what kind of steel reinforcement is provided (most do have steel cradles and reinforcements, including wheels for rolling on the shop floor), and is it a one-piece mold or a two- or three-piece mold. Multi-part molds are a lot easier to work with, but they are also much more expensive.

    So give us some more details as above, and we can tell you if that is reasonable. Also, if you are unsure of the quote, then go to another mold maker and ask for a second quote. Try a third mold maker, and you'll soon find out who is being reasonable and who is not.

    Eric
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    It's unclear if you want a working plywood hull that can double as a plug or just a plug and mold.

    Did the fellow quoting you a price use just the above description, "a 31' power cat hull" or did he have some plans or photos to go by?
    Was it a solid price or an estimate?
    Did you want to make a few boats or hundreds?
    Do you want a showroom finish or just something that will look good enough.

    If you just want to make a few boats of a developable plywood shape, you might not even have to make a plug, but could directly make a female mold.
     
  10. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    My guess would be $2.5-5.0K PM2 but depending, as has been indicated complexity add$.
    The upfront cost of tooling can impede success.
    Jeff.
     
  11. Bullshipper
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    Bullshipper Bullshipper

    Its a 31 power cat with a 9'10 beam
    about 1500 square feet
    He is saying his rule of thumb is
    $50 to build pywood plug with fiberglass to test
    $50 per sq to fair and wax
    $50 per sq to produce reinforced mold pieces
    total $150 per sq x 1500 = $225K

    The fellow is a perfectionist that does very good work.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    So, waikikin's estimate of $2500-$5000 a square metre, versus $150 per square foot, which equates to about $1500 a square metre. On that basis, total $150 per square foot seems reasonable. Still an expensive exercise though. I would think a plug that was basically developable would be a head start.
     
  13. Bullshipper
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    Bullshipper Bullshipper

    Same thing in China is being quoted at $70K, through a middle man that I am guessing is making about 40%, placing the $225 cost down to $42 k for a cheapy using about $9K in materials.
     
  14. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If it can be made from ply, i.e., is a developable shape, it might be best to build a prototype and test it on the water, before going to the mould stage. You might find it does not perform as hoped, or if it does, you have your plug.
     

  15. Bullshipper
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    Bullshipper Bullshipper

    yes, thats the plan
     
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