First Build Ideas

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by astevens, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. astevens
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: arroyo grande

    astevens Junior Member

    Hi my name is adam and I'd like some design recommendations for a first sailboat. I have some experience with glassing (just shy of 60 surfboards) and some experience with woodwork(cabinets, desks, tables, and other furniture). I want to figure out what design to build exactly... I live on the central coast of california and would probably be taking this up and down the coast so not super far. I will probably only be on it 3 days and nights at the maximum but mostly day trips... i would like to store it in my yard so it needs to be trailerable. I would like to be able to sail it alone too. I'm thinking between 18 and 27 feet long with a good amount of cabin space. I will probably just be building on the weekends so it might take a few years. I have been looking on glen l's site and researching different designs and have seen mixed opinions on some designs which is why I am here. I'd like to get some ideas and feedback from you all and find a respectable design to build. I'd prefer to keep costs under 8000 USD if possible so some info on costs would be much appreciated. I'm just brainstorming at the moment though. thanks in advance
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    Given your budget, you'll be at the low end of this range.

    You would be best advised to buy a used sailboat and toss some refurbishment/restyling/modifications into her. In your state there are a glut of used sailboats, many for the cheap with little work.

    I know of many 26' - 35' yachts ranging from a couple of grand to 8k. There's a nice 28' Newport for $7,000 in San Diego, maybe a 30' MKII Islander for $8k in Long Beach. Both of these are in good shape and ready to use. Of course they'll need upgrades, repairs, modifications etc., but this is something you can do on a continual basis. If you want a bigger project, I know of many for just 2 - 4 grand that with some help (and funds) will be nice little yachts.

    Building with that budget means a 18' - 20' trailer sailor, maybe a no frills 22', with a little cabin, enough for a berth and maybe a small cook stove.

    Start here (> http://www.sailboatlistings.com/location/California <) and work around the length range you desire.
     
  3. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    You would be best advised to buy a used sailboat and toss some refurbishment/restyling/modifications into her....excellent advise mate, and with sooooo many to choose from, you would have to be NUTZ to build new, when you can have so much for so little currently.

    Go for it and do a real nice restoration, it is in fact harder to restore than it is to build new, so you will have lots to play with....all the best, John
     
  4. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A friend on mine just bought an old Carter 42 . Nice boat, fiberglass, needs a bit of work.

    He paid 5 thousand dollars for it
     
  5. astevens
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: arroyo grande

    astevens Junior Member

    thanks everyone. A restoration sounds like a good plan then. maybe fix her up and sail and then sell later. I definately wanna build one from scratch but should probably try as many boats as possible before a commit to a design to build. have any of you fixed one up and sold for a profit? just thinking I could sell the fixerupper a couple years down the road when I get a better idea of what I wanna build. maybe I could put that money into materials someday?? I'll definately be around for more advice soon when purchasing the boat!
     
  6. astevens
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: arroyo grande

    astevens Junior Member

  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Selecting good candidates for restoration or just to flip is very tricky, for the novice. Even pros take "baths" every so often and it takes quite a bit of experience to understand what you're getting it, with labor, materials and other costs. For this reason, you're best advised to pick healthy subjects first, unless you have an unlimited cash supply. Buy something you'll enjoy, fix it up, use it for a while then move on to the next project, maybe slight more ambitious. After you've rolled over a few boats, you'll have a much better idea of how painful this can be, arming you for the next project.
     
  8. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The problem with a custom build is money. The hull and structure are doable on a budget , but all the equipment like masts, winches, hatches, powerplant..has to be purchased retail.
    If you need to custom build because you like it then choose a very small boat.

    When refitting an old boat choose a pedigree design. Good cantidates are ex racing sailboats. When the design becomes uncompetive on the race course they end up in the shipyard burning in the sun for years until someone comes to the rescue. Many of these boats were designed by the finest Naval architects and built by quality shipyards.
    Keep an eye out for boats like this http://www.buy-a-boat.com/peterson34.htm
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I disagree in that ex-racing boats are good candidates. They are ex-racing boats for a reason and potential buyers will know this, so the market is limited initially. Also, racers are a very limited market in the first place, further reducing the folks that might be interested. Lastly a race boat usually has lots of expensive gear, that might need to be replaced, which gets costly.

    I do agree with Michael in that a boat with a reasonable pedigree is the best choice. Select a year/model that retains it's resale value and is praised by owners. You might find a Columbia 30 for 1/4 the price of a Catalina 30, but you'll quickly sell a clean, fresh Catalina 30, while waiting years to sell the Columbia. This is where the experience comes to play, as you have to know what sells, what is worth fixing and what the prospective buyer might be looking for.
     

  10. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    astevens,

    building your own boat has it own rewards, if your interest is just getting a boat to sail than buying used is the cheapest way to go. But there is a certain amount of sanctification that comes from building it yourself as well. You build your own boat because you like building, not because it saves you money (because it will not). I have built some 20 small boats, sea kayaks and sailing dingys, mostly because I enjoy the building. I usually use salvaged building materials, which takes some time to gather, but I have very little cost into the boats. Once I figured how many hours I have it each, and it would have be cheaper and faster to get an extra job flipping hamburgers and just buy a boat. But I decided I liked building with my hands rather than flipping burgers, it is just an enjoyable hobby that results in a fun toy to go play with, or sell or even give away as a gift.

    you might consider building a 10 to 14 ft dingy first, and learn how to sail in it. Everything you need to know about boat and sail handling you will learn in small sail boat, it will give you skills you will use on a larger boat later. And a boat that small you can keep at home, build for about $1000 if you shop carefully, and will not take too long. the building skills you develop will translate into skills you will want for a much larger boat to either restore or build later. If you end up with a large sailing yacht you can always use your dingy as a tender.

    As far as getting a boat to restore, shop carefuly. as noted above, costs can run out of control real fast. Find one that is sound but just has been neglected and needs refinishing (paint and finish is relatively cheap compared to replacing sails, rigging or hardware). Boats under about 26 ft are able to to be store at home saving you a lot of the cost of ownership, and restoration and maintenance is also much lower on a smaller pocket cruiser as well. I would not count of making money on restoring a boat, but it will be possible to sell a nice restored boat, count yourself lucky if you get your costs out of it. It is usually better to buy the boat some other poor soul just finished restoring and now has to sell it because of unemployment, declining health, divorce, etc.

    Good luck.
     
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