Fiberglass hull construction cost

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Stefano Dilena, May 23, 2021.

  1. Stefano Dilena
    Joined: May 2021
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    Stefano Dilena Junior Member

    Hello,
    I am new to this forum and I hope my questions will not sound too "newby".

    This subject might have been touched many times in different forms, but I have a more specific question: What are the material costs and man hours required to build a 40' catamaran hull, assuming that a finished mould is already available ?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. tpenfield
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    tpenfield Senior Member

    Well, you could always let us know the cost and hours when you are done :D

    Are you just figuring the bare hull(s) or are you wanting to consider outfitting the hulls? Lots of variables to consider, so maybe some more information on what you are planning would be helpful for responses.
     
  3. Stefano Dilena
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    Stefano Dilena Junior Member

    I have my own boat design and building plans free from copyright ( designed by my brother naval architect/engineer).
    I am in talks with Airtech Europe for the 3D print of a 2 piece mould ( they have a 12m x 3m x 3m 3d printer- and they have proved this is possible).
    We are now pricing the hull construction ( this is why I need this figures) .
    Once we have all figures we will launch an initial investment campaign by crowdfunding where investors will get a bare hull at close to production cost. The more interested investors will support the project, the more the cost of the mould will be absorbed by everyone, bringing the price close to production cost.
    The hull will be delivered bare, free for people to outfit themselves, but we have a partner in Europe for the outfitting for people interested in a full boat.

    I am not ready to disclose the design at this stage, but will be available publicly later this year. ( we are working on the website)
     
  4. Stefano Dilena
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    Stefano Dilena Junior Member

    I should have added that I am not planning to build the hull myself, this is why I am asking the amount of man hours required, in order to come up with cost figures :D
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What material is the mould printed in ?
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It is impossible to give you an estimate unless you publish the design. It depends on too many variables. Also, it depends on the experience and training of the labor force. Another variable is the laminate structure and whether it is hand laid, chopper gun, pre-preg, vacuum bagged, etc.
     
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  7. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    You really is a newbie to undertake such a project where even experienced production managers would find it difficult to do a cost analysis.

    Cost and manhours to do a hull layup is just a small fraction of the cost analysis. But to answer your specific question, it takes 2.5 kg to 3 kg/hour/man to layup a fiberglass hull.
     
  8. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    This all sounds incredibly optimistic (and dare I say it, somewhat naive) - do you really think that in these current times you will be able to get a bunch of people (never mind even just one person) to throw money at you to build them a bare hull?

    And how are you going to deliver a 40' x 20' hull to somebody? You cannot just put it on a trailer, and trundle off up the highway with it.

    What is so 'special' about this design, that you think it will appeal to so many?
    Does your brother have a good reputation already as a catamaran designer?
    Are the labour costs in Slovenia such that you can be very competitive against established catamaran builders elsewhere?

    Why be so secretive - are you intending to patent the design?
    You cannot expect anybody to offer opinions on any type of costs if you do not provide any details.
     
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  9. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    We used to evaluate cost of composite craft structure production by cost factor per 1kg of structure. In Thailand, it starts from about 15Euro/kg at the moment for simple polyester laminates. This figure includes cost of material, labor and some overhead. Probably, there are cheaper options.

    For catamaran structures where one us using a lot of sandwich structures and multiaxials, I would expect cost starting from 20-25Euro per 1kg of structure.
     
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  10. Stefano Dilena
    Joined: May 2021
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    Stefano Dilena Junior Member

    This does effectively answer the question.

    These are all valid questions, that will remain unanswered here. I have no time for this and busy following my dreams ;)
     
  11. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    No worries mate - but if you refuse to answer questions when people are trying to help you, then you are not getting to get very many answers to help you to solve your initial questions.
     
  12. Stefano Dilena
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    Stefano Dilena Junior Member

    You are right and I apologise.
     
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    $3500-$5500 usd per foot or $140,000 low end to $220,000 high end if you are the lead worker

    figure man hours at about 100-300 per foot, 200 is realistic

    now, boats are not typically costed per foot, but these numbers are what I have experienced for a rather slow vac bag build..my cost will come in at $5000 a foot..I did the work unpaid...my hours are not worthy of mention..I am on the high side as a semi-pro..

    But if you have exited the thread, that is sort of a reflection on you. If you don't like a single comment or two, that doesn't mean you should jump ship. I see you are still here, our posts crossed.
     
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  14. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I will add that a lot depends on fit and finish. If you plan to fair every visible surface; it adds hundreds of hours to build times, for example.

    It would be fun to compare kg estimates to my foot estimates. Let us know the kg numbers and we can see how close we get.
     

  15. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    In fact, the cost of boat is in proportion to weight, not to length. If one is using length, it should be not 'per foot' but approximately L^2.7 (i.e. proportion of displacement).
    I used to say that 10% of length is approx 30% of cost; this is not always true but it generally works.
     
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