Costing a Build (approximately)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by mattnedgus, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. mattnedgus
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    mattnedgus Junior Member

    Hi Guys,

    Does anyone have any rough costing ideas for a given size and quality of boat from either past or present experience or anyone they know?

    For example one might say: a 37' length 10.6' beam, built on a 'budget' (i.e. cheapest parts that will do the job without being 'tacky' and so cheap they break after a day) of either planked wood or plywood costing let's say £8000 - (and others might say you don't have a chance - but it's all rough of course :) )

    I only want to be able to get a rough idea - we're talking just ballpark figures - so I can decide whether a 37' or 50' would be more appropriate to aim towards. Or to decide whether or not I'll only be able to something in the 20' range.

    It doesn't have to include the costs of wherever the boat is built (i.e. warehouse rental).

    Ohhh and currency isn't too important - I'll just convert it and then double it for the cost it would likely be in the UK ;-)

    I'd be very grateful (again)

    Matt
     
  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Depends on Location. In Miami Florida, costs are much higher than Thailand.
    May be UK is higher than here.
    Also type of boat matters - Sailboat, power, trawler, canoe, river boat
    Also materials and finish wanted.

    But consider this, whatever you come up with - double it, and double time. You are not a production boat builder... Stuff happens, prices go up and life goes on.

    Build the dingy first, then the boat...
     
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  3. mattnedgus
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    mattnedgus Junior Member

    Thanks for your reply mydauphin,

    I forgot to say I am looking at a sailing yacht - probably one of George Buehler's stock designs.

    I wrote another post a bit back with regards to locations and places to build - it was mentioned that Thailand would be quite cheap.

    For the moment though, I'm trying to 'feel' my way around the pricing - then I can determine whether a 37', 43' or 50' might better suit my needs for what I can afford.

    I'm aiming to do the build full time - at least for a few months - after I have finished my PhD so the time it will take me to build could vary wildly - but money and space are my main concerns at the moment :)
     
  4. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Build the smallest boat you can live with. I have built many 15-30-40 foot boats.
    Recently, I am working on 70 footer. BIG mistake. It is 10 times bigger than 35 footer. I didn't realize the size difference until I had to sand it, paint it and get it in water.

    It doesn't look like much but a 50 boat is twice the size of a 37 footer.
    Twice the materials, engines, costs, dockage.... four times as long to build...etc...
    Twice as hard to handle...
     
  5. northerncat
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    northerncat Senior Member

  6. mattnedgus
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    mattnedgus Junior Member

    mydauphin;

    yeah, that's true - I hadn't quite thought of it that way!

    northerncat;

    thanks for that link - those costs do look very expensive, even taking the exchange rate (at about 1AUD = 0.43GBP) into account. I looked at James Wharram catamarans and his costings looked very expensive too. I'm hoping that that is just catamarans as a whole though, rather than being similar for Monohulls (with only the 1 hull and reduced materials that would otherwise be needed to brace 2 hulls).

    I'm hoping to build for between £8,000 and £15,000 all inclusive - maybe I'm being slightly optimistic, but I've been reading those George Buehler books!

    In fact, I just ordered one about sailing on a low income - so I'm hoping that has some kind of information or tips in that'll help out too.


    Thanks once again!
     
  7. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

  8. Gilbert
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    Gilbert Senior Member

    I would say if you want to build a boat on a budget anywhere near what you are talking about do not even think of a design that is over 30 feet. In fact 25 feet would be better.
    If you choose an easy to build 25 footer you might be able to build it in 6 months of full time work. If you choose a 30 footer it will take a year. And probably more money than you have mentioned so far. Probably a lot more.
    A 37 footer will take at least two years, maybe three. And we won't even talk about the cost.
    I would recommend hunting down plans for an easy to build mid twenties boat and have at it.
    If you haven't read Claude Worth's famous book ( the title escapes me at the moment) I would recommend reading that. Then you might come to your senses and just find a used boat and go sailing. But don't spend all your money on the boat if you do, you will always need incidentals.
    I think this will be an interesting thread to follow, at least to me it is.
     
  9. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I'd start by asking the designer. It's likely that a number of the boats you've been looking at have been built before, so he should have a pretty good idea.
     
  10. joz
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    joz Senior Member

    On top of what Will has said I would suggest that you do research on the type of vessels that you are looking at in place that on a database including the prices brand new from boat builders to give you some indication of what you are about to spend.

    Also if you have plans of such a vessel on hand make a list of what you need and do a search on the net of your local suppliers to find out what the products cost.
     
  11. mattnedgus
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    mattnedgus Junior Member

    I agree - it seems there isn't such a thing as a 'ball park' figure for yachting - the costs for each vary so wildly that you could almost say a given length and beam could cost between £5,000 and £50,000, all depending on location, materials costs and so on - as well as how much the builder is willing to spend.

    George Buehlers costings (in his book) looked very favourable but I believe they tend to refer to older costings - obviously having less relevance today - and then given the exchange rate of GBP to USD, any US price looks even more intriguing.

    I am considering building the dingy first as mydauphin suggested - it would be required later on anyway, and would allow me to get my hands dirty without having to be as involved (finding space etc) as I would with a full build - it would also give me some idea of costing.

    I agree with you Gilbert in that it would take considerably longer to build a larger yacht, but do you really think the costs would be so much more? Surely there'd just be more raw materials to buy? The value would be added to the yacht by the labouring time invested? Maybe I'm being slightly naive...
     
  12. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    From your upper budget limit, looking already built, you can find something between a cheap 20 footer, brand new, to a used 30 footer, 35 to 40 year old, sold as is.

    So I guess homebuilding you can go 22-24 feet, with reasonable success. Or 25-27 feet, choosing a design rather inexpensive to build, and taking great care buying and accepting much longer building time. Ie, for the lower size, you will buy what you need, when you need it, at the lowest cost actually available. Bigger size, you will have to wait for bargains or clearance, and buy what is available, not what you need. So longer buying process, and longer job to fit the part you could find. This in addition to the longer job merely due to the bigger size.

    For instance, The HAKA 80 ( http://www.lerouge-yachts.com/mono_8.htm , third in the page) or Dingo ( http://asso.abv.free.fr/bateaux/p06dingo.htm ) are above your higher budget limit when built by french homebuilders.

    Also note there is some relation between initial cost and recurring maintenance costs. Brand new sails or engine are not likely to fail or need expensive repairs soon. Used sails or engine bought from a wreck may need significant repairs within short time. I am not speaking of the costs induced by their failure.

    Some G Buehler boats prices are here : http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1624290/0 and http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1175275/0
    Prices are for boats built in china.
     
  13. mattnedgus
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    mattnedgus Junior Member

    Thanks fcfc,

    Are those first two more of a kit? They look quite heavily tailored towards fibreglass - and the first mentions the Lerouge Twin keel System which seems to support them being more of a kit?

    My hopes were to obtain the raw materials such as wood etc and then build a yacht (either plywood or planked) entirely from scratch.

    I would even consider making my own sails, instead of buying anything manufactured at retail prices.

    If I make everything, and buy the engine, cooker etc (the things I can't make) second hand maybe, then surely I could cut the costs down quite a lot?
     
  14. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    None are kit. Both are from scratch.

    Lerouge design is from epoxy / foam core to keep weigth down to allow trailerability.
    Villenave design is mahogany plywood on mahogany / iroko framing. It has a proven reputation for strength and longevity. Changing to okoume plywood does not cut cost significantly and reduce strength. Plywood price is about 10% to 20% of the overall price of the boat.

    I am not a sail man, but I suggest you consider the price you will get for raw sail cloth, and the price of sails made for instance by http://www.hksailmakers.com or http://www.leesails.com
    Making sails yourself will NOT cut costs, neither machining blocks or winches.

    Also, for mast and rig, you will have very hard time to find a used mast. Typical sailboats keep their mast while it stands up and change it only when it breaks (or will break very soon) ...

    Same for the engine. Why would people change an engine on a sailboat ? It is very rare to remove a normally working engine.
     

  15. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    More reality :

    http://www.bateau.com/studyplans/VG26_study.htm?prod=VG26#BOM

    This boat looks like Dingo.

    Just plywood prices ( http://www.marineply.com/prices.htm ) and resine prices ( http://www.epoxy-resins.co.uk/Shop/resin.html ) from the BOM are over 4000£. Excluded taxes and delivery ( 500 lbs of resin and around 1200 lbs of plywood )
    I do not speak of fiberglass. The ballpark is another 1000 £. (785 yds of biaxial tape).


    Adding all (including taxes and delivery, and some disposable tools brushes, mixing pump, etc ...), you are over 7000 £. And you have something you cannot put outside, even less in the water. Need finishing and paint, need closing (hatches, portlights and windows) , need ballast.


    I suggest you check prices for casting and delivery for a 2500 lbs iron ballast. If you intend to cast yourself from lead, check lead prices and availability before. The days of free scrap lead are gone.
     
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