Where does the money go?

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

  1. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    The bold items are the most common cause of huge cost over runs and dooming a homebuilt boat while making it totally worthless. Get what you want on paper first and don't change midstream without damned good reason and planning. Double you costs right now.

    This is also what really runs up the cost on custom built boats by professional yards as well.
  2. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Landlubber Senior Member


    What sort of boat and what length are you talking about. Sail/motor/combo, all have differering costs and advantages/disadvantages.

    I once had a 28 footer sail boat with no engine and the minimalist of goodies...it still cost over 50k to build new in 1981......
  3. KnottyBuoyz
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    I'm trying to keep track of "where the money goes" on our project. We haven't put one piece together with the other yet but I think we'll be pretty close to $50-$60K for a 31' diesel trawler.


    I've come across some incredible deals and that takes time and patience and being in the right place at the right time with cash in hand. The CnC kit w/rudder etc. I got for about 1/3 of what its worth ($5k). The engine/transmission isn't new but only has 300 hrs on it ($3K). E-Bay and Craigslist are common sites on my computer as I search for deals.

    Now how it turns out is another thing. You can't account your time in the cost of a home build (approx. 5-6K hrs) and the fit and finish will depend on your skills mostly. I plan to take my time and get it right. I have only two used/reconditioned pieces of equipment, the engine and the rebuilt electric head. Everything else is brand new and bought at deeply discounted prices.

    So I guess the answer to your question isn't as simple as just the hull, electrics, plumbing, etc. A well thought out plan (7 yrs in the planning for us) will help you control costs. Frillies & gadgets can easily eat up plenty of boat building units (BBU's 1BBU = $1K). ;)
  4. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    Absolutely, and not only costs but time. That even if you do it yourself.

    Buy a used boat, and remodel. You get a professionally designed hull for under the replacement cost of materials. Buy new or slightly used engines, install new electrical, specially wiring and your done. You can finish interior will boat is running. Oh, don't underestimate rent, since project will take alot longer than you think.

    I wish I would have listened to my own advice my times.
  5. fcfc
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    fcfc Senior Member

    I would say for an ordinary liveable sailboat :

    20% for hull deck structural items
    20% for keel ballast rudder
    20% for engine and basic ancilliaries.
    20% for rig.
    20% for deck hardware.

    No sails, no interior except structural , bare finish.

    Your mileage may vary.

    And as Apex have said, it is extremely costly in time and money to adapt what you have found as bargain to what you really needed for your boat.
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    What kind of boat is this you are talking about? The numbers you give will only make sense to everyone if you can tell us the type of hull and if it's power or sail or both.

    All in all, it sounds like this might be possible, depending on the type of boat you are building.... which is????
    Also, everyone who said you can buy a boat for less than you can build one is 100% correct. If you can find a used boat that has a sound hull, but is a basket case otherwise, that's the cheapest way you can get out of this. It'll come with many thousands of dollars of usable stuff and will just need a fixing up. Could take you 6 months to a year to fix up, but it'll cost way less than building.

  7. The Loftsman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    The Loftsman The Loftsman

    A boat is just a big black hole that you shovel cash into, thats why you need to get it right first time.
    The way to do this is to make sure it all fits together before you get to the expence of cutting any material ie Lofting.
  8. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Thanks all.

    The boat is my 34' kayak tender. It's a wood hull, aft cabin design from a commercial plan and will be powered by a 105-120 hp diesel engine.

    I have been keeping my eye open for a used fishing boat that would work, but nothing has come along so far. A friend of mine whose opinions on boats I trust told me about a 36 or 37' FG hull in good condition I can have for free. I haven't taken a look at it yet, but will soon.

    @ Catbuilder: Out at my mom's place there are a number of 200'+ tall 6-8' diameter cedar trees. I'm not sure quite how many board feet I need, but I think one of those should be good for at least a couple of boats. There are a number of "Sawmill on a truck" outfits that will come out to your site and cut whatever you need on a hourly basis. On something that size they might be willing to do the milling for free just to have the rest of the tree to sell. If you know the right people around here you can get an entire log truck load delivered and unloaded for $1000. I know a number of people who do this for their firewood.
  9. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Good sides of living in a timberland I know ;)
    For cedar I'd air dry it a few years before the actual building starts..
  10. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    The two happiest days of a yacht owners life- the day he buys it and the day he sells it!!

    The total hull costs are generally agreed(by the so called experts ive read up on) to be around 1/3 the cost of the vessel. however, this figure is misleading- since a vessel like David Lewis' Ice bird- was probably almost the full cost of the boat as he had nothing but a mattress in it and a telephone pole for a mast.

    tugboat yachts that ive seen are almost all hulls and little work for esthetics. purely functional(in case you havent guessed what type i love)... probably are in the realm of 1/2 the cost of the comleted vessel- the rest being engines. nav equipment etc. or they could be as low as 1/5 the cost if extravagant fittings and joinery-woods etc are used fo the finishing out of the yacht..
  11. sorenfdk
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    sorenfdk Yacht Designer

    And then add 20% for extras and another 20% for unforeseen stuff.

    Yes - I know this adds up to 140% ;)
    1 person likes this.
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    You should have listened better, when the experts talk.

    1/3 it is never. And none of the professionals has ever posted such figure.

    Between 15% and 20% of the total cost is in the hull and deck. Not more.


    you are still a bit optimistic...;)

    Because the other rule says:
    when you have finished hull, deck, superstructure, have installed wiring piping and propulsion, you have done 90% of the work.

    Then the other 90% start!

  13. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    you need to reread my post...you didnt get it..
  14. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    truly i say unto you...the build never really ends...

  15. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Why thank you, Richard. I think that's the nicest thing I've yet heard you say!

    Truly, it's about the journey, not the destination.


    That's a cool spreadsheet, and helpful too.
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