That old question, new guy wants to build boat, what's it cost, really?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Beer Womb, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    "The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth ..."

    I must disagree with Arthur Ransome, in my case the disease took hold well after retirement, presumably due to impaired immunological function in my old age. In my case, for a long time I have been comforting myself with the thought that the next boat will be the perfect boat, and this time it will ...
  2. terhohalme
    Joined: Jun 2003
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    terhohalme BEng Boat Technology

    Fanie, gather a big gang (more fun too) to build her or just make a smaller, lighter one... Richard's (Woods) wise words are: build the smallest boat you can cope with, or something similar. Who really needs a big boat? Wanting one is a different and expensive story.

    Wasn't my note a straight aswer to an honest guestion? "That old question, new guy wants to build boat, what's it cost, really?".
  3. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Fanie Fanie

    Yeah right. I don't have friends, I just know people wo wants to go fish with me :D

    The boat I'd like to build doesn't fit in the yard :D I'm already compromising... so. Cannot go smaller than 10m good grief.

    Depends, yes, always. Anything worth while would be.

    I have routed, drilled and tapped the hull windows today. Next the frames, made a jig for it too tonight. If I have to go buy everything I won't be able to afford it.

    When you're as poor as me you either stay without it or do (make) it yourself. It's mostly a matter of too lazy to think :D
  4. mobjack68
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    mobjack68 Junior Member

    Go to click the picture for Ceili, the boat in the bottom right corner of the page. Photos of the construction process are great!! Makes me almost believe that maybe possibly even I could build a nice boat. Not knowing where you are? You might want to invest in a poly covered greenhouse to make your shop out of... (Greenhouse???, FREE heat!!) great shots of a cradle to roll the whole thing over as well!! Novel!

    my .02
  5. mike Bonwill
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    mike Bonwill Junior Member

    Fast Fred, are you the Fast Fred Bus Nut. Just wondering its been a while since I owned my last 4106. Mike Bonwill
  6. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    ecflyer Junior Member

    beer womb,
    I just read your post in the archives, so I don't know for sure if you will receive this responce since it's 4 months old. I can offer much advice because like you I had never been on a sailboat in my life and decided to build my own 47 footer. I have been working on it 2.5 years and I do it because I love building things, learning new things and the sense of pride and accomplishment you get when one creates. The building process is my hobby and enjoyment. I did not have the bug to go sailing when I started this project, but I must confess that now as it is taking shape I am anxious to get it done. If you decide to go ahead and want advice e-mail me at
  7. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Hi EC,

    And the rewards you will see.
    It's going to be one hell of a thrill kick under the butt experience the wirst time you're going to dunk it on water...

    Afer that you're going to start thinking about the next one :D
  8. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    It's very personal.

    I'm on my 15th car, 10th computer, 5th bow, 4th wife, and third boat. It's all about how much they cost to replace. I can't think of any I didn't want to replace within the first year ...

    In all of these cases, I think a restoration is as satisfying as a build ;)

    It's a process, and there is no end to it short of death. We do it because we're mortal -- there's only so much time, we've got to try and get it right. If you don't obsess on boats, you're going to obsess on something else, so you might as well just go for it. Take your age into consideration when you make the decision, and pull the trigger.
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    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The OLD reason for wanting to build a custom design and build was that the market did not offer a similar design , and your Desirements were very unique.

    To recreate an existing design , "your way", is an exercise in spending cash to duplicate a cookie.

    In todays market if you wish to go BOATING a used boat can be bought for perhaps 1/4 of a newbuild , even a backyard build.

    IF working on boats is THE HOBBY , by all means go build a bunch , but don't expect to sell them , as the competition is a very mature product with a brand name.

    Try building a sailing dink , to see how you construction , which could later be a tender for the "real" boat.

  10. cor
    Joined: May 2008
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    cor Senior Member

    What about the cost? Not too many answers about the money involved. The prices range from $5 per pound to $25 per kg, that is a big variation. Is that reasonable for a wooden boat. Does that include outfitting, sails, winches, galley sink? How much of that is in the sailing rig, what if it's a power boat?

  11. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    You C A N build for $5 per lb, if it´s a simple design and cheap material / installations etc. More likely you´ll end up at $5 per kg (still simple and cheap stuff). Going for Al Al, wood / Epoxy for the hull and superstructure increases just that part to some $12 to $25 kg! Then you do´nt like to install the Wal Mart crap in your precious hull and increase the value further. And so on.
    So, at 25$ per kg you are at the upper end, but still not at the peak!
    As a matter of fact, or just a rule of thumb?, you can reckon, that your homebuilt boat will be NOT cheaper than a OTS of the same finish and quality!
    And the real world of yachting shows us that there are yachts from $15 per lb to $180 per kg ex yard.
    All prices mentioned incl. equipment.
    There are no price differences between sail - and motoryachts.
  12. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    In this I have to disagree a bit. Wood/epoxy can be propably the most cost effficient building method bcs you can use cheaper timber qualities just by sawing it yourself and picking up all the good strips and use the "bad" for secondary purposes. Of course if you buy everything premanufactured and premium quality it's a different story.
    Building a traditional wood hull on you need first class timber and it's a lot harder to find anywhere even if you were ready to pay the price..
  13. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Every single dime you possibly can get, loan, borrow, spare and peg :p And when you get your boat wet and start sailing beyond the horizon it really starts cost you real money and thats the truth...
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  14. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Teddy, a bit is always ok! And naturally the classic way in wood would be one of the most expensive. But the cheapest method is wood Ep never, even if you steel the wood! Our cost comparison on a recent 70ft project made very clear, that the cost for steel versus wood Epoxy, had a little advantage for the was cheaper than the resin (and related stuff) only!

    And I agree totally with your statement, that you learn the meaning of cost in deep, when you set sail for cruising!


  15. fng
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    fng Junior Member

    something else to think about is how long it will take you. To give you an example I am a boatbuilder and have spec built boats in my spare time. What I have found is that while still doing the day job I was able to average 750 hours per year on my projects or an average of 15hours per week.
    In your case there have been suggestions of 6000 hours for you to build your dream ( which would be a good yard stick for you ) .
    so if you think you could average 15 hours per week you are in for a 8 year build. My last project I averaged 25 hours but I was single again then.
    Now how many stories have you heard of marrage break ups or half built boats going for a song.
    Try starting with a kit dinghy and see how long it takes you compared to the advertised build times.
    Also this will let you know if you are epoxy tollerant
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