How long did your cheap build last?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by jbo_c, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. jbo_c
    Joined: Jul 2017
    Posts: 64
    Likes: 11, Points: 8
    Location: Gainesville, GA

    jbo_c Junior Member

    I’m planning my next boat build and waffling over building cheap or not. My goal is for the boat to last 10 years. Obviously longer is a plus, but if it has a life of ten years, I’ll be OK with that. A home built boat has little, if any resale value, and I have another build planned for then anyway(retirement).

    Hence, the question, how long did your cheap build last? Not whether or not you think a cheap build is equitable. Any details on material, build, storage, use and upkeep are a plus.

    Here’s mine:

    My son and I built our first boat, a canoe/pirogue out of big box luaun 15 years ago. Epoxy and glass all sides, rustoleum enamel paint. Heavy use 5 years, intermittent 5 years, last 5 years outside under a tree. Has some blisters in the ply that showed up early on, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same condition it was in 14 years ago.

    How about yours?

    hoytedow likes this.
  2. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 2,844
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Cheap F/G drift boat almost 30 years ago, it's the boat I use the most right now, it's pulled up on the beach in front of my house right now, where it sits year round .

    I was building drift boats and decided to extensively modify one. I built a light skin in the mold, pulled it out, then cut it up and reshaped a new design out of it.

    My plan was see if the new design worked, then build a permanent better built model. This one worked very well and I never got around to building a better finished version.

    It's why I like F/G, you can neglect it for decades and it still functions as it should.
  3. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 2,120
    Likes: 653, Points: 113
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . . .

    Long enough.

    But the costly builds lasted much longer.
  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
    Posts: 2,607
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    In 2008 built a 12 foot rowboat from a set of plans I bought from Used mostly exterior grade plywood. Glassed only the joints but used a really good epoxy . Didn't skrimp on paint either . Built it mainly as a learning experience. I had never done a stitch and glue before. Boat is still going strong. I usually do a touch up every year and after 2 or 3 years a full paint job. But I use marine polyurethane which seems to last a long long time. Boat Building Projects | Building the FL12 | Page 1

    Several years later built an 8 foot sailing dink. Didn't go cheap on anything. Good Okuome BS1088 plywood. Good solid african mohogany (out of an antique bed). everything first class. Costs about the same as the 12 footer. maybe a little more. It's still going strong too. Boat Building Projects | Building a Sailing Pram | Page 1
    bajansailor likes this.

  5. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I built a little 7' 6" pram type dinghy 22 years ago - this was a 'test run', and I used relatively cheap interior grade plywood, but I coated it inside and out with epoxy (and I epoxy taped the seams).
    It lasted a few years - during this time we took a mould off it, and built a few fibreglass versions.
    It's downfall was not the fact that it was made from cheap interior grade plywood; rather, termites got into it and literally demolished it.
    I fitted pine gunwhales on the first fibreglass version and the termites have since then savaged these as well.
    hoytedow likes this.
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