Where does the money go?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by cthippo, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Bellingham WA

    cthippo Senior Member

    I've heard numerous times on here that the hull is one of the cheaper parts of the total cost of the build. Where, and in what proportions, does the rest of the cost go into?
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Systems, finishing and detailing for intended use. The more detailing, the higher the cost in relation to the hull build. On an open rowing skiff virtually all the cost is hull.
     
  3. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    A boat is a hole in the ocean in which you pour your money !!
    The bigger the boat the bigger the hole and the more it takes to fill the hole :D
     
  4. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    If you are talking material and labor the labor side goes way up in installation, finishing and detailing.

    If you are talking materials the big items are electrical and components that run off electricity (can easily exceed the cost of the hull), Interior lumber and funiture, plumbing, Propulsion machinery and related systems, Hydraulics and related systems, coatings and fit out and commissioning. the bigger the boat the less the cost is in the hull.

    If you are cheaping out and scrounging per se you will spend 80% of your money on the last 10% of the boat until its in the water. Many a cheap boat stops and this point and are advertised as 90% complete. That 90% is essentially used scrounged stuff and worthless .
     
  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Yepp,

    the common rule of thumb is, about 15 to 20% of the cost is in hull and deck /superstructure. Some very, very basic homebuilds can come out a tad above 20%.
     
  6. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    So it sounds like a lot of the cost is discretionary. Quality of interior fittings, amount of electronics, etc etc eat up most of the budget. If you are OK with a basically empty hull, a decent engine, and a compass to steer her by, the cost will be significantly lower than commercial. The cost spiral comes in what you put in that hull in systems, plumbing, interior finishes, etc.

    Do I have this correct?
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Absolutely correct. There are some bare minimums you need for safety (and to be legal), but if you bolt a futon from Ikea in the salon, you just saved a lot of money. Well, as long as you are not planning on selling the boat. A poorly fit out boat will not sell for much on the used market.
     
  8. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    OK, cool, that makes me feel a lot better.

    I really don't give a rat's rectum about resale value. That's not to say it will be only a futon, but there will be no wood paneling or teak decks. I plan to make what I can, get used stuff wherever it is safe to do so, and buy new when I have to. Interior furnishings are going to be a lot of painted plywood and recycled materials. I'm not going to spend $300 for a stainless sink when I can get a used cast iron one for $5, or add a drain fitting at the bottom of a stainless salad bowl. This boat is for me and when I'm done with it (if ever) I'll either get what I get for it or give it away.
     
  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Don't underestimate the following:

    *Propulsion (sail or power - both are very expensive)
    *Paint (if painting exterior)
    *Power generation (solar, wind, generator)
    *Fuel consumption or sail consumption operating costs
    *Cabin soles
    *Hatches and ports
    *Ground tackle/windlass
    *Mistakes - you're bound to make a few, we all do
     
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I have seen boats cruising around the world with a couple of hammocks to sleep in and a couple more for the food. Clothes and other stuff was in old sailbags lashed down.
     
  11. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    I'm shooting for an overall budget of $35,000 over 3-5 years.

    The hull itself should only be around $2000 for the wood. I'm planning to use cold molded cedar planking with cove and bead. The material is practically free (go pick out a tree you like) and so the cost is going to be in getting the pieces cut, milled, and dried. I'll do the final shaping myself. The bigger piece will be the fiberglassing inside and out. Depending on how costs go, I may put in a layer of PVC foam insulation inside the hull for insulation and

    My propulsion budget is $6,000, used diesel engine and CPP (IF I can find one). There are lots of used Cats, Cummins, and JDs in the $3000-$5000 price range.

    Exterior is going to be fiberglass over wood. The ablative bottom paints I've seen run up to $300 a gallon, but even then that's not going to put a huge dent in the budget.

    Power generation: 5-6.5 kW continuous rated "silent" generators are about $1500 new. Another couple of hundred for a small emergency generator. Wiring presents no mysteries to me.

    Fuel consumption is an open issue and will depend on the engine selected and the operating conditions. I suspect many of the tanks for fuel, water, and the like may have to be custom made. I'll need to get bids and compare the prices of custom fabrication vs the price of a welding class and materials.

    Cabin soles: Glass over marine plywood probably. It's a long ways off, but laminate flooring is commonly available surplus (i.e. contractor bought too much for the project) and I could see maybe putting that down in the cabins, but I'm not sure how it would fare in those conditions. Still, I've got quite a while before I have to make those decisions.

    Hatches and ports: This is an unknown for me. They are available second hand, but I've also read that these are one of the things you shouldn't get second hand because the gaskets dry out. More research is indicated.

    Ground Tackle and windless: Should be able to get the anchors used (not much to break there). Even if I have to buy new, the Supreme or Rocnas are about $500-$650. Windless is another open question. I don't think I would trust a used one, but if I have to spend $2000 on a used one, so be it.

    Mistakes: Oh hell yes. That, plus I tend to change my mind as I go. It's all well and good to stare at a drawing on paper, but when I actually get inside the hull I'll doubtless move things around.

    Things like cabinets can be bought used or made as needed. I do plan to use as much used and recycled stuff as I can, not only for cost reasons, but because when it doesn't affect function I think that's the thing to do.
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Sounds all nice and doable, but is not in line with reality. (the 2k$ wood was for a dinghy? CPP for 1k$?)

    You cannot install what you get at the scrap yard, except you buy every single item before you design the boat around that.
    Even IF it would function that way, you would end up with a brandnew second hand boat.
    All the wiring, piping, plumbing has to be done new anyway. All the paint you don´t get for pennies.
    Catbuilder mentioned the rest already.
    It is a pipe dream, that you can do it far below the average homebuilder. And you will notice that either now, which I doubt, or when you realize that you have thrown your money into a worthless junk.
    If it makes you happy, that is how the majority of homebuild projects end, because the people could not afford what they dreamed about.

    But go for it, I wish you luck.

    Richard
     
  13. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Overall, a used boat in fair condition will usually be cheaper. If you put the time into any kind of job instead of building, you will have cruising money at the end. If you want a hobby, then it is different.
     
  14. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Lets put everything in to order. You need a hull to float and carry loads ,
    you need a deck to cover the hull and give the hull support then you need to have a way of moving the hull and deck be it a motor or a mast and sails or both ,now its moving you need a way of steering it in direction you hope to go ,Now you have all those things you add to it to make it more livable and to be better in all ways you can think of .
    Do we really need all the junk we fill the hull with and the ton's of stuff that we cram into every tiny corner .With all the added weight of stuff and gadgets we slow our progress of getting from point A to point B .
    Keeping up with the Jones is one of the biggest problems we have . Wanting to be bigger and better and more junk and crap all over the boat , most of the functions of the latest electronic thingie's we never use more than once when we switch it on for the first time . the more functions the better we think it is and the more we get not to use !
    every where we look in a marine shop theres stuff begging to be bought to make our lives better !! But does it make life better ?are we really happy with what we have !
    Could go on for ever . :confused:
     

  15. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    Do not underestimate the complexity and cost of the electrical system. You are talking a couple of thousand just for running lights and a few interior lights. It ain't a house. In a house you maybe have two votages of the same type. In a boat you can have DC, 12,24 and 32 volt along with expensive batteries and voltage regulators along with an alternator. You will have a house load system and a dedicated system for the engine only. Now if you tie in solar and wind that is more things entering the system and more gagets to buy in order for those things to work in the system. Now you can have AC power as well and it's associated problems and tieing in a generator with it. This all has to work seemlessly and not interfer or bleed into the DC system or into the water which will destroy your metal parts. Now you add in the grounding system which is nothing like a house and it gets even more expensive and complicated. Now you have to route antena lines and communication lines for transducers and radios far away from the DC or AC systems and you have yourself a real expensive mess the likes of which you cannot imagine if you are used to a house or even a car. This is all true for anything other than a basic runing lights DC, interior lights system.

    I would guess the minute that you said generator that you just boosted the cost of your electrical system to more than 50% of your home built costs. Don't even think of using home grade wiring and electrical components in a boat and its even foolish to use automotive grade components. The corrosive marine air environment will have you chasing gremlins within a couple of years or worse, a fire aboard.

    Electrical systems are the most underestimated item by homebuilders. Do it shoddy and you will be totally uninsurable and unable to stay in any marina. A nice used boat is the way to go.
     
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