One-off Sailboat build

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by jovar6, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. jovar6
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Orlando,Fl

    jovar6 New Member

    Has anyone built a one-off fiberglass cruising sailboat? I am contemplating a 36' center cockpit by Glen-L. Any input will be appreciated. Tnx.
  2. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    Why would you build a boat? There are thousands available at giveaway prices.......
  3. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Because he can?

    It may not be rational, or defensive from a strictly cost-analysis perspective, but I've always had the most fun floating around in things I've built myself.
  4. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    Order the plans, examine your budget, work space, labor/time and marital requirements (ha!). Depending on the complexity of the design it may/may not suit you. You might also track down other owners to get their feedback on construction methods (cold mold vs. plywood)


    Bill of material:

    The plywood boats do seem easiest to build. They offer an option for fiberblass or plywood. Unless you're a fiberglass expert I would go with the plywood hull.

    FYI I don't see any pics on the net for completed "Glen-L 36" boats with any of the noted names for the aft & center cockpit versions. I would have the plans reviewed by a 3rd party to make sure you know what you're getting into. The plans & kit prices seem a bit expensive too. You may be better off buying a good, used ~36ft center cockpit ketch.
  5. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    That is a heck of a mouthful to chew and swallow!

    Before you consider building anything that big and expensive, build yourself a dinghy first. That way you learn some boat building skills, find out if you've got the stamina to cross the sanding/fairing desert on 5% of the boat and if you are having any fun.

    Now if you are building from a dinghy kit like Woodenboat's Catspaw, Shellback or similar, you've spent a few months and $3-5000 to get a good, safe reliable dinghy on the water with sails and oars. You can buy a good used starting cruising boat for only two to three times what you've spent on your dinghy in the 21-30' range if you look hard.

    Once you find out what you are getting into, then you'll be able to appreciate a two-three year plus (at 15-20+ hours/week) project on the 36 foot length. Don't just look at the money to buy materials, look at the time cost, space cost and lack of attention to family/spouse/kids/TV/Internet/P0rn.

    Most of the people here love the build as much as the use of a boat, so you don't have to explain the desire to build one. If you are married, show this post to your wife and see if she's in. If she doesn't think you are making sense, that is a serious red flag. You'll be spending anywhere from $25-40,000 to get a 36' boat self-built complete and on the water, not counting anything for your time.

    Chew, chew, chew.

  6. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Cut once. You are dreaming man. I worked up a cost estimate for a 38' cruiser of rather spartan design and it came to $185,000 for materials. And that price was five years ago. That included basic instruments and a DC and AC electrical system, but no electronics. It's not uncommon to spent 25K on electronics. A decent auxiliary will run nearly 25K. Mast, sails, rigging, and deck hardware will push 20K with all manual winches. Figure about 10k in rental space for the build, and you will want a shelter and power and tools. You can't build one of these in your garage. If you want a generator, AC, watermaker, radar, plotters, or electric winches, you can add these in as well. I couldn't replace the deck hardware on my Catalina 38 for 25K. Might have trouble doing it for 40K if I wanted a competitive setup.

    I did manage to bring my dinghy in for $800 in materials and three days of my time.
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are ways to save money in a build of this scale, but typically it requires an experienced builder. I built a 37'er in an abandoned warehouse. The property hadn't been used in years and I approached the owner with a deal, that I would care for a portion of the property and get utilities started up, for a very nominal monthly fee. In return his property was partly serviceable again and the fee he got helped pay down the annual tax bill.

    The same would also apply to material and equipment purchases, but again, you have to know where to look and be creative about procurement. Of course I've never seen a project of this size completed by a novice or first time builder, but there could always be a first.

    I'm a half hour outside Orlando Jovar6, maybe you can call.

  8. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: Hobart

    pdwiley Senior Member

    Totally disagree.

    The hull on my 12m Colvin design has come in at less than $15K using all new materials.

    The rig and deck gear is going to be substantially less than $10K. Anchoring setup, maybe $5K tops, depends on how much the chain costs as I've 2 20kg anchors so far and paid less than $150 for both. Windlass cost me $100 so I've a lot of fat left in my $5K budget.

    I bought a new Bukh engine, $17.5K. Prop, $200. Shaft, $50. I can machine my own fittings.

    Internal fitout, I have all the timber & ply on hand, the stove, the wiring for a 12V system, an inverter. Got to buy a 12V refrigerator (but this is not essential, merely a highly desirable luxury) light fittings & batteries, a head, cushions, bunk mattresses etc but I can make a lot of that stuff too. Got fuel & water tanks, deck fittings etc, none of it ran to much.

    Electronics is a variable/optional expense. I can get by with minimal to none, you might need all the bells & whistles.

    I'm going to come in at less than $70K in the water.

    Of course I can buy something approx the same size in the USA for less than $20K so there's no reason to build if saving money is the object (in my case, it wasn't - I wanted to build a boat).

    My point is, it might cost *you* $185K to build something, but that's not necessarily representative of what it costs to build a 12m sailboat. It can be done a lot cheaper.

    Even if I included the amount of money I've spent on all my tooling for both wood and metalwork, I still wouldn't get to $185K - and I have a *lot* of tooling. Hell, I could throw in the capital cost of my 16m x 13m shop with 3 phase power and *still* be under that figure.

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