The more I read into this the more interested I am...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by advobwhite, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. advobwhite
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Pensacola

    advobwhite Junior Member

    Hello all. The more I read about boat designs the more interested I am. I want to start off w/ a freighter style canoe over the next year or so for hunting the rivers, but have read the stories of the people building their boats over 10 years or so. I've always wanted a convertible sportfisher but have found limited plans(bruceroberts.com) has the best source of plans that I'm interested that I've found. I had planned on retiring and buying one but I am wondering if I build one over the course of 10 years or so, it would be affordable.

    I'm just wondering is there another source of plans(40-60 ft sportfishing boat) online or is bruceroberts pretty much it?
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,936
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1593
    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    it is a false savings to build a boat, you do it because you like developing your own ideas AND you like working with your hands to produce something you can enjoy and be proud of owning.

    It is far cheaper to buy it, ready to go, used or new. Or best bargain, and a little of both, find one that is neglected but is otherwise sound and complete, and than restore it (the important part here is that all it needs is paint and TLC, not requiring lots of parts and a major overhaul). But building from scratch is not only time consuming, but costly to do well. So you only do that if building is your main enjoyment, and not using it. Consider that if you buy a nice condition used boat, you can use it from day one, save money, and all those many hours over the ten years you would be building, you could be enjoying the boat instead.

    I say this as someone that has built over 20 small boats (kayaks, canoes and small sailboats), mostly of my own design. I enjoy the creative process, many of my experiments were a waste of time and I had to rebuild it, but that is part of the process. I do not justify it, I just like the design/build process. With a small boat I can build it fast enough that I know I will not lose interest in it. I would never start a project that I knew would take ten years to build, because I know I would likely not finish it. There are many that can and do, but I know it is not me.

    If you are determined to build your own, there are lots of stock plans out there, others can point them out. But if you are going so build a 40 to 60 ft boat, you can also have custom plans drawn to your specifications by a design professional since it would be a very small part of the cost, and it will get you exactly what you want. I would advise against building a 60 ft boat you designed yourself without professional guidance. I am a design professional, a licensed engineer that has been building small boats as a hobby for 46 years, and I do not think I would want to design anything that large by my self, not that I could not, but there are many areas of boat design (on larger boats) that I know very little about and do not have the time nor the inclination to learn about them. My time is better spent elsewhere.

    Good luck. Start looking for used boats of the type you like, or even better bargain, is someone else's project that they abandoned. You would save many thousands in material costs alone.

    good luck.
     
  3. advobwhite
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Pensacola

    advobwhite Junior Member

    Thank you for the heads up and warnings above. I will be wary whenever I am ready to start. My main reason for not buying used/new is I don't want to take a loan out. We are trying to get our debt that we have paid off other than house. It might cost more to build from scratch vs buy, but unless you have the cash to put down you would also have to consider cost associated with purchasing on credit as well for a fair comparison. Also, another benefit(in my view) of building vs buying on credit from a financial perspective is obligation to pay. If something happens to my job, and I don't repay then I lose the boat that I've paid on. If something happens to my job and I build, I just hold off on the build project until times get better financially. Storage is not an issue as we have plenty of land and will be putting a shed up to keep it out of the elements.

    You did bring something to my attention however: My initial post does make it seem like this is strictly a financial decision. If that were the case I'd be avoiding a boat altogether as any boat will be a money pit(even new will be a money pit, especially after the steep depreciation). I want something that my son and I can build through his childhood(by the time I start to take this on full bore, he'll be around 3 yrs old or so) and spend time doing together, but also enjoy working with my hands as well so it would also be a nice hobby.

    Lastly, I didn't realize there were a good source of builders who design on a more freelance basis as the only searches I've come up with are the "stock" designers. I have no desire to design a boat as I want it to be seaworthy enough to make the trip from FL panhandle to Bahamas and various other trips comfortably. What are some well known and well respected designers that I can talk to about this?
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,680
    Likes: 265, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What boats have you had before now, avobwhite ? This does sound awfully ambitious.
     
  5. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,936
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1593
    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    you might buy some plans for an 8 or 10 ft dingy or motor boat, using the construction method you want to use, and build it for practice. That will give you the feel for building boats, and you will learn on something small and fairly fast to complete, and will give you the skills and knowledge you will use on the larger boat you want to build. It will give you something to play with too, and you can use it as a tender on your dream boat.

    Look for listings for Navel Architects in your area, there should be quite a few of them nearby. Talk to and visit them, interview them to make sure you get along with them and comfortable with what you want to do (some might make you uncomfortable, some will get into your project and want to help you make it a success). They might have something about the size you want they have done for another customer, and he can make revisions to it to you suit you, and save a lot of design costs from designing a new boat.
     
  6. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,041
    Likes: 60, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 358
    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    I second this. Its smarter to build 1st a 8' pram, then a 15-18' skiff, then 25' cabin cruiser AND then the 40-60' sport fishing boat.

    The last boat is so massive and expensive to build that it will likely be cheaper to build them all than to start with the big one (because of not repeating the mistakes in big scale and generally having much better project management perspective at that point). And it will give you honorable and financially sensible points of exit if you realize its not your thing.

    You don't start a hiking career by climbing a big mountain. Or sailing career by circumnavigation.

    Its important not only because of less resources are needed but because you need to test if its something you truly like. Using the circumnavigation analogy: it would kind of suck if after 4 days you realize that you bloody hate being alone in a boat that never stops swaying and you are rather miserable. People commit to grandiose dreams without understanding that unless the activity towards the grand goal is what you love there is absolutely no point at all.

    Do not start with a 40' boat because you want to save money. That is plain nuts. Seriously. There are so many unfinished boat projects in this world to prove my point. Start small and test yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking using the boat more than sanding in a cold (or hot) shed - all your free time.

    And I would also question if 40-60 ft boat is really what is needed. I don't know the waters there etc. but I think much less can give plenty of joy with far less $$ and if big is desired rent one every 2 years. Cost of up keep on ~50ft boat must be insane.

    And financing it by putting money away little by little is significantly cheaper than financing it by buying expoxy, screws, glass little by little. +you will have time to do other things.
    Self made boats also have quite low resale value.
     
  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,680
    Likes: 265, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I wonder what the Minister of Finance thinks of this project. aka, the wife !
     
  8. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,041
    Likes: 60, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 358
    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    on bruceroberts.com the

    50' sportfisher page has this:

    "This beautiful example of the Cabo 50 was built in California and is available for sale for us$698,000 so if you are interested we can put you in touch with the seller"

    So unless you are prepared to spend ~70k a year and all of your free time for 10 yrs, please reconsider. Stopping 70% there is going to hurt.

    I don't mean to be a negative nancy - and for the record I have not built much anything (boats). But I have considered a lot of things and might be somewhat right here.
     
  9. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,680
    Likes: 265, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    In other words, only affordable for free-spending millionaires.
     
  10. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,817
    Likes: 153, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    A slip will cost a minimum $250-300 per month. Now. Who knows what, if anything, will be available in 10 years, it could be you'll have to buy a 2 million $ condo to get any docking privileges.

    Pensacola to the Bahamas is maybe 1600 miles round trip. Say you get 1/2 mile per gallon of fuel, that's 3200 gallons. It wasn't too long ago fuel was almost $4 a gallon. In 10 years, you might have to sell some of your family to pay for fuel to get there and back.

    Maintenance and upkeep are a major item. It almost seems like the less you use a boat the more maintenance it requires. You'll have to haul it out every year or so, scrape the stuff off and repaint, that will cost roughly 1 to 2 thousand $. If you find other problems, the sky is the limit on cost of repairs.

    If you ever have trouble paying the yard bill, boom, there is a lien on your boat and it is not available for your use until the bill is paid, which bill also keeps adding up every day for storage of the hulk.

    I generally found that my kids weren't all that interested in my dreams. Working on something that I enjoyed working on was generally considered punishment to them. They whine a lot and can be quite negative. They always had much more interesting stuff to do with bicycles and ramps, duct tape, or, we found out years later, going to the local quarry after hours and driving all the heavy equipment around.
     
  11. advobwhite
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Pensacola

    advobwhite Junior Member

    Thanks a lot for the valuable info. I'll scratch my plans as a pipe dream if I ever win the lottery or inherit a trust fund from an unkown billionaire relative and just buy a boat. I was planning on building a freighter canoe in the next couple years to start, but after reading these, I might start w/ a smaller microskiff, then freighter canoe, then go from there and just build a few smaller boats rather than one big one so I don't have to worry about a boat slip, etc so I also get to use the boats I build. Gulf stream crossing isn't too bad at it's closest point so might be better off building(or buying/refurbishing) a trailerable CC, drive from p'cola to KW then make the run rather than boating from P'COLA to bahamas.
     
  12. advobwhite
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Pensacola

    advobwhite Junior Member

    Oh and I have a 14 ft skiff currently, but have to re'glass part of the deck and rebuild the casting deck/transom, as well as rebuild the fuel pump/vapor separator on the motor.
     
  13. JR-Shine
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 341
    Likes: 4, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 54
    Location: Vero Beach, FL

    JR-Shine SHINE

    Exactly right! Build a larger CC. With the money difference between a large CC and a small sportfish you could pay for a new tow truck, all the fuel you could ever burn, and rentals at any island you want to stay at ! Pus you will finish it years faster = more time to fish!

    Plus, you can actually fish with just yourself or one other person on a big CC. With a SF you need a crew - hard to get put together when you want to go.
     
  14. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 1,121
    Likes: 70, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 158

    Barry Senior Member

    It would be extremely cost effective to visit several marinas or websites, Boats for Sale, and find a 30 foot trailerable fibreglass hull that has sat around neglected. Prices on these can be one twentieth of a new hull. You would want something in a solid fibreglass so there will not be any structural deterioration, though some wood boats can last a long time with a LOT of maintenance.

    Strip everything out of the inside that needs work.

    With a you-build boat, you are going to do the mechanical, electrical, interior, plumbing anyway but by having the hull already complete, you will probably have shafts, struts, windows, doors, toilet etc etc that can be refurbished with some cash and a bunch of labor.
    To buy shafts, struts, props couplings and the rest of the boat hardware NEW can be PAINFULLY expensive

    Perhaps the engine, transmission, possibly not the fuel tank can be just rebuilt with huge savings

    Why trailerable? Storage costs disappear and maintenance can be done at your place of residence when you want to do it.

    Most everyone has friends who can help with mechanical, electrical etc but building a hull from scratch is a different skill set and a major undertaking if you have not done it yourself

    If the gel coat is bad, consider repainting it

    For a small fee, you can get a surveyor to check out any rot issues if the fibreglass boat has encapsulated wood in stringers etc

    This way you will have the satisfaction of creating something yourself but having a proven hull for pennies on a dollar of buying new and perhaps half of the cost of building from scratch, not to mentioned the time saved
     

  15. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,041
    Likes: 60, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 358
    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    cuddy cabin? what is CC?
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.