Has anyone here started a boat building business from scratch?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by aqualoco, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. aqualoco
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    aqualoco Junior Member

    I would like to get as much input on the anatomy of a startup boat business as I can. I am in the process of starting a boat business and I figured the best way to obtain knowledge is to get it from those that have been there and done that and lived to tell about it. I would like an outline in a step by step process. I already have the molds to produce the boat and have a fair amount of knowledge in boat fiberglass restoration to aid in the process, although I still have alot to learn, my main concern is not that of the actual making of the boat, as is, the making of the company.

    To get the ball rolling, the first thing that comes to mind, is what are the liabalities of a boatbuilder? Does it require a special insurance policy?

    Does the boat have to pass a certian US Coast Guard inspection for safety, capacity and horsepower limitations?

    Who appoints and what determines the hull ID numbers used in a new boat's construction?

    Are there any specific license needed to be a boat builder?

    This may give you an Idea of some of the things I am looking for.

    Pics of the boat to be made are attached. Its a 9' mini boat, a fast and extermely safe boat, with handeling characteristics that rival any PWC on the market. The only difference is that you sit in it instead of on it.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    Aqualoco
     

    Attached Files:

  2. aqualoco
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    aqualoco Junior Member

    Pics of the molds for this boat.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Yes, there are liabilities for being a boatbuilder. You should consult an attorney for complete advice. If you market boats, you have to guarantee that they are safe and can be used for the purpose for which they are intended--safely. You must get corporate product liability insurance to cover you for manufacturing your product. This is common with all manufacturing companies.

    You boat looks to be under 20' LOA. Therefore, you will have to comply with all the provisions of Federal Laws as contained in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (commonly known as 33 CFR). You can get a copy from the US Coast Guard at the Marine Safety Office in Washington, DC. The USCG will also issue you your company's Hull Identification Number (HIN), which is a serial number that you have to permanently mold into each and every boat.

    It is also advisable to comply with the boat construction standards of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) in Edgewater, MD (www.abycinc.org) which publishes voluntary construction and equipment standards. Generally, if you comply with all of the ABYC standards, you will comply with the Federal Standards. Become a member of ABYC--it will help your credibility as a boat builder. They will also supply you with the complete standards booklet and give you annual updates. ABYC is also coordinating their standards with the upcoming International Standards (ISO) as well as the European Community (EC) standards. If you want to export your boats to Europe, then you have to comply with ISO and EC standards.

    Subscribe to Professional Boatbuilder magazine (www.proboat.com). It is free, and is the best boatbuilding magazine going. They also put on the International Boatbuilders Conference and Exhibition (IBEX) every October in Miami. This conference produces a wealth of technical information, and all the equipment suppliers show their wares there. I am a regular speaker at IBEX, and it is a great show.

    You do not need a license of any type merely for the fact that you are a boatbuilder. You will need other licenses that may be required by your state for the fact that you are a manufacturing entity. Again, your attorney can advise you.

    Good luck, and I am sure all of us contributing to BoatDesign.net wish you well.

    Eric
     
  4. aqualoco
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    aqualoco Junior Member

    Mr. Sponberg, thank you for taking the time in reply to my questions. Your information and suggestions are very much apperciated.
     
  5. Stephen Gray
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    Stephen Gray Junior Member

    boating and law

    Mr Sponberg, Have you written any books?
    Best regards
    Steve Gray
     
  6. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Stephen,

    No, I have not written any books--my wife is the novelist. See her book "The Kingsley House" (St. Martin's Press, 2000, and still available at Amazon.com). Her second novel is with her agent making the rounds of publishers, and the next novel is in the works.

    I might like to write a book sometime later, after I retire, called "I want to build a boat but I don't have any money." It would be about all the really crazy ideas and stories that come across my desk from people who would like to build the neatest green sailing machine, but just can't afford it. I think it would be a hoot! Maybe later. Thanks for asking.

    Eric
     
  7. Eisa Hasan
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    Eisa Hasan Junior Member

    hi aqualoco

    u might need a certificate from environmental organization in addition to what Mr Eric mentioned, im not sure but we need this certificate here in United Arab Emirates. i just start my own boat

    Good luck
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That boat design has been tried through the years by several major manufacturers. It was never succesful. I think that if you want to start building boats, studying your market is very important. Building is the easy part. Selling, taking care of warranty claims and customer service is more difficult and time consuming.
     
  9. Eisa Hasan
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    Eisa Hasan Junior Member

    hi Gonzo

    thanks for the advice , u r 100% right

    i have studied the market for 3 yrs and make some kind of survey on more the 200 boat owners and listen to their complain on each type of boat.

    most of the boats here (in United Arab Emirates) are locally manufactured, they have a very limited designs and it will cost them alot of maney to buy a design

    They bring a very educated engineer from overseas whose salary is more than $12,000 a month.

    they pay at least $70,000 annually for rent the land for the bussiness

    we have about 5 boat bussiness in UAE ( which can be recognized)
    For me i dont pay all this maney, i have the land for free ( government gave me the land)
    im a a naval archetict and my partner is a captine

    we will start small bussiness hoping that it become big

    but offcourse we will pay alot of money for marketing

    thanks
     
  10. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    In North America there is a lot of competition. The market is quite large too. I think the UAE is just starting in boating. We dealt with a few customers over there that couldn't get parts locally. For example, we shipped rebuilt outdrives. An important aspect of market research is to study past failures. Some designs didn't sell because of poor image. Others, who were of lesser quality, did well.
     
  11. RealityBoatCo
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    RealityBoatCo Junior Member

    Didn't I see those molds on ebay? Good luck with the new enterprise. Drop me a line and maybe we can both get our boat companies off to a good start. :D
     
  12. RealityBoatCo
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    Location: Bucyrus OH

    RealityBoatCo Junior Member

  13. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    Just got a dandy package from the CG along with my MIC. 3 ring binder 4 inches thick. Lots of good info., and addresses all the questions you had Aqualoco. No liscense required, just compliance with the codes and regs already mentioned here. Good luck with your biz, and let us know how it goes! :D
     
  14. RealityBoatCo
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    RealityBoatCo Junior Member

    Thanks corpus. Called cg and got my 3ring binder on its way. All they sent me back in the 90's was a little book. :)
     

  15. Matthew
    Joined: Apr 2002
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    Matthew Junior Member

    Isn't "progress" wonderful?!
    Just think of all the lives that have been saved since the legislators made boating so safe!
     
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