Finding Used Hulls

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by MacFhearguis, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. MacFhearguis
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Austin, Tx, USA

    MacFhearguis New Member

    I am toying with the Idea of building my own Sailboat.
    I do not feel that I have the experience or know how to build the hull.
    Does anyone have an Idea of where I can find used Sailboat hulls?
    (of various lengths and design/ 50'+)

    I feel very confident that I can build the boat from the hull up.
    This will give me autonomy for cabin design and the like.
    This is very appealing to me.

    So any info about websites, locations, or dealers of used hulls
    would be greatly appreciated.
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Hi Mac,

    Outside of the many ads I've seen over the years for uncompleted boats, there are also the many smaller manufacturers who will provide you with a bare hull at a fraction of the cost of a completed boat.
    Your best bet would be a start-up that never got completed, possibly by a known professional builder. If you find a home-built hull, have it surveyed by a surveyor who specializes in that type of hull material. It shouldn't be expensive if all is out in the open, far easier than a completed boat.

  3. Gramp34
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: Ontario, Canada

    Gramp34 Junior Member

    Given that you don't know where to find used sailboats, it sounds like you don't have much experience with sailing.

    50+ feet is not a small project.

    Have you spent much time sailing a boat this big? Will you have a crew available every time you want to take it out?

    Bruce Roberts sells a kit for his VOYAGER 495 -- $85K for steel or $130K for aluminum -- and that just gets you precut parts for the hull and deck. (

    Roberts claims 530 man hours to build this hull, but do a reality check with people who've attempted it. For instance, gives a day by day account of two people building a Roberts 43. There's a lot of work involved.

    Work (and cost) building a boat is proportional to the displacement, which increases with the third power of the length. A 50 foot boat will be about 50% more work than that 43.

    And then there's the cost of parts. You can look up different parts in catalogs such as Have a look at what manual primary winches cost for a 50' boat, let alone electric. Call a spar maker and ask what mast, boom and standing rigging will cost. You're in a size range where there is very little used equipment available, so you'll be stuck with buying a lot of it new.

    Your best bet is to find people who've attempted such a project and either given up or died. Incomplete project boats sell for considerably less than the cost of the raw materials in them.

    Add up the cost of everything you'll put into the boat, then check what used production boats this size sell for. Don't forget to consider what you'll be able to sell your boat for when you're done with it. Here's two just finished auctions on eBay for homebuilt boats:

    Roberts 47 without rigging for $25K

    Roberts 40 mostly complete for $35K

    So, if you're thinking about building such a boat to save money, it probably isn't going to work. On the other hand if you want to build a boat because you want to build a boat, go for it. Just make sure to spend some time understanding what you're getting into.

    Good luck!

  4. Gilbert
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Gilbert Senior Member

    To finish off a 50' sailboat could take one man eight years or so. Maybe more maybe less.
  5. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    what allen said,,this is what I did,I purchased a north pacific (kit ) that was 40% done ,,fortunatly allmost all componants,were included,,ie rudder hardware stays exc,,even got marine ply ,all from 1967 era,,,barn kept ,even though ,,I still spend alott of time scrounging around and getting things ,for example,,I know I will need winches ,,got on ebay and got some ,,not too time consuming,but just another thing to do ,,it may behove you to look into the used ,,or damaged boat market,,,I got about 10,000 of my own dollars in this and another 20,000 of the previous owners money in it ,,i have some advantages,,but I think I could have been sailing 2 years ago instead of next year,,,,,,but on the other hand ,you couldnt pry this boat away from my cold dead fingers ,,,,longliner
  6. Ramona
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Australia

    Ramona Senior Member

    Check out Ebay. Especially in the USA there are terrific buys to be had with older well known boats. Building boats is expensive and will always cost more than you can imagine.

    There was a 30 foot Halverson yacht sold on the Australian Ebay a couple of weeks ago for just over $250. Fibreglass hull with a timber deck that needed a lot of work. Nice looking boat and I wish I had room for it. Probably 4 ton all up weight and with a ballast ratio of probably 50%, about $3000 worth of lead in the keel all for $250.
  7. Kaptin-Jer
    Joined: Mar 2004
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    Location: South Florida

    Kaptin-Jer Semi-Pro

    I have done it both ways. (don't laugh) I built 3 boats from the ground up, and I am on my 2nd "restore". Re-storing a damaged or older hull is the way to go. You always end up gutting everything down to bare hull anyway, no matter what your original intentions were (Like "I will be able to reuse the wiring" - Ha!) To build a 50' hull - well it took me 3 years working on the weekends just to build the mold for a one-off 78' sloop. You need to shop US, ebay and just wait for another hurricane to come through, but from my experience it will save you about 2 years of work. Of course a 50' re-store will still take you at least 4 years. Long liner and Ramona are both right. and by the way I started with a small 27' boat and learned what to do. That took 3 years to finish. Now I'm working on a 38' sailboat, into my 3rd year and I am still looking at 2 more in front of me.
  8. Ron Mintle
    Joined: Feb 2016
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    Location: Fallbrook, California

    Ron Mintle New Member

    Yorktown 39

    I have a Yorktown 39 that is partially completed that I would like to sell. It has an engine and a lot of the interior is roughed in. Interested parties should e-mail me at

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum Ron.

    You may note this thread is about 9 years old and though you may have some luck, given it's age, I wouldn't hold my breath.
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