Fiberglass Canoe and Kayak Moulds; Should I buy them?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by CuriousCanuck, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. CuriousCanuck
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Ontario, Canada

    CuriousCanuck New Member

    Hello,

    I have been dreaming of building boats (primarily canoes and rowing shells) for years now. Last night I got an opportunity to buy some fiberglass canoe and kayak moulds that are in really great shape. The gentleman selling them has been in the fiberglass industry for a while, and has some impressive accomplishments and was kind enough to spend 3 hours with me as I looked at them all and asked questions. He even provided a demo for me! Needless to say, I got a good feeling from him. His company specializies in making highe-end fiberglass components for other industries and has no desire to be in the boat business. They acquired the moulds along with some materials when the mould builder closed up shop, but has never used them himself.

    Now I went into the night thinking I would buy one 15' or 16' mould, but I came away thinking of buying 5 (I left a small deposit and reserved the 5 I liked best). The price seems right (I save $100 per mould if I buy all 5) , and they came from a manufacturer up in northern Ontario know for their skill. I even recognized canoe model names on the sides of the moulds. What do you think, should I be safe and buy just 1, or live a little and buy 5 (or more)? Keep in mind I have only ever read about building them, never tried it yet.

    Thanks for the input in advance!
     
  2. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    Dangerous word 'dreaming' in relation to boats.
    Are you wanting this as a hobby, a part time job or your sole income.
    You need to consider your competition, there seem to be several established canoe builders in Ontario.
     
  3. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    CC,
    Buy the mold for the canoe you want for your own use, then build that... see if you like doing it...
    The other builder stopped for a reason, maybe retirement- or margins dropped competing with roto-molded pop outs- health- whatever?
    If you like it the niche areas might be best like from custom fishing through to a tough boat hire/livery model, competing selling against rotomolded will be close to impossible. Canoes/kayaks are actually the best value boats to own, it's just the 70s are over so not so cool now.
    Just buy one & haggle it, once you gain some skill then you can develop your own tooling to meet the next craze.. SUP is still going but heaps of competition.. whatever is next I have no clue.

    All the best from Jeff.
     
  4. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Likes: 3, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Junior Member

    IMHO the molds are worth nothing without the rights to build the boats. Wich rights may be owned by the designer, or by the original building company, or be with their estate. Owning the molds means nothing without the building rights, they are boat shaped fiberglass flowerpots.

    To a homebuilder wishing to make one copy for himself the molds may be worth the price of a used copy of that design. Add to that the building materials price and it's probably cheaper to restore a used boat.

    If the seller was in the industry he probably already knows all this.

    I agree with waikikin, if you want to learn about boatbuilding buy a mold (at used boat price) and do a boat. But for commercial purposes the things are probably useless without the propper documentation and contracts. I would look what a used canoe of that make and model brings on the open market (craigslist) and offer half the price for the mold.
     
  5. CuriousCanuck
    Joined: Jun 2017
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Ontario, Canada

    CuriousCanuck New Member

    Thanks for all of the input! I really do appreciate it. I'll see what I can do to on price. Right now we are at $300 per mould.

    Now I just need to decide which of the ones I marked I want to buy; 15' flat bottom, 15' single keel, 15' v-bottom or 16' v-bottom. I'm thinking the 16' would be best but takes another 1' in my shop.

    All the best!
     
  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can buy a 15 foot canoe, for $500 or less. Can you compete with established brands? Have you made a cost/time estimate?
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Likes: 177, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    He dreams of selling the canoes he will build. Unless he is competitive in the market, he won't succeed.
     

  8. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 11,987
    Likes: 177, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Most retail stores buy canoes and resell them. Very few build their own.
     
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