Where does the money go?

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

  1. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    exactly...its a labour of love...
  2. Pierre R
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 461
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    Location: ohio, USA

    Pierre R Senior Member

    The average first time boat builder thinks the project will go something like this as far as cost and time.

    Hull and tanks 35%
    Interior 25%
    Propulsion/steering 20%
    Finishing and paint 10%
    Plumbing 5%
    Electrical 5%

    Total 100%:p

    For the professional it might go something like this

    Hull and tanks 15%
    Interior 15%
    Electrical and related appliances 30%
    Finish and painting 20%
    Propulsion and steering 15%
    Plumbing 5%
    Owner cost induced overuns 20%
    Stupid *** owner cost overuns difficult to recover (owner on site)5%

    Total 125% of original estimate:)

    The reality for the average first time boat builder

    Hull and tanks 35%
    Interior 50%
    Electrical and related systems 100%
    Propulsion and steering 30%
    Plumbing 20%
    Finishing and paint 65%
    Stupid *** mistakes and changing your mind 200%

    Total 500%:rolleyes:

    Disclaimer:Your results may vary.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    To be honest this is exacally the reason I so heavily try to dissuade most people from building their own boat. ertainly there are those who really like the process of building, or find that they have such unique demands that a custom job is the only option. But in this case I look at a budget of 35K, plus 5K hours of labor and keep thinking at $10/hour working this is a $85,000 boat. Not that 85K is a huge amount for a boat, but that would easily put you into a reasonably appointed, finished hull, with working systems, and only the typical maintenance list of things to do.

    Compare that to a long build time, uncertain results, minimal resale value, and possibly escalating costs if something goes wrong.

    I know this is a builders forum, but I think most people drastically underestimate the time, expense, and skill necessary to build a boat like this from scratch. As well as overestimate the savings that come from doing it yourself.
  4. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Bellingham WA

    cthippo Senior Member

    I very much see where you're coming from, Stumble.

    There are two mitigating factors on buying and modifying an existing boat.

    The first of course is availability. As Boston has discovered, finding the right one is a long a tedious process. I have an SOR and an idea of the shape I want, but haven't seen anything yet that is "just right". The closest I've seen is on commercial fishing boats and so that's the used market I'm looking at.

    The other issue is cost. With building I can buy parts when I have money and work on it over time. Buying requires the cost up front and I'm not willing to go into debt (i.e. a loan) for this. I would rather spend the next 3-5 years building a boat than saving money to buy one.

    The other factor is the labor cost. My labor may have a theoretical value of $50,000, but that doesn't translate in the real world. I don't have a way to convert that $50,000 into real money I can spend on a boat.

    All that said, if the right opportunity came up, I would strongly consider buying an existing boat and modifying it. There are of course issues around trying to make a boat into something it was never intended to be vs designing for that purpose, but as you point out these issues are balanced by other concerns.

    The other question of course is if I did buy a complete used boat, how much would I have to spend converting it to what i need it to be? All factors under consideration.

    Of course, if the perfect boat landed in my lap tomorrow, I would still want to build one sooner or later :)

    If I had $85,000 I'd be tempted to get this little gem:
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  5. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    All the above is true. After having had dozens of boats, including some I built, I decide to build the big one. I bought a hull, fuel tank, engines, etc... Still underestimated cost by 200% at least and got 10% more to go. In the five years, the economy, my economy, my business, got sick for six months, and personal life went to hell. But I am still building and actually living on boat. Next time I will buy a boat. Remember on a long build your life changes also, the shorter the build time the better. Oh, remember most of the time your paying rent in your build location.
  6. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Bellingham WA

    cthippo Senior Member

    That is one advantage I have over many others.

    Mom has 4.2 acres and likes boats. Plenty of room to put up a shelter and build rent free. I'd really like to do one like knotty has.

    EDIT: Do you have pics or a thread on this project, Dauphin?
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    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,

    Teak in parkay can be found , glued down for a marine look , and the usual better wet service life and no skid ability of bare teak.

    Although I agree a used boat would save years , and be far far cheaper.

  8. lumberjack_jeff
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Washington State

    lumberjack_jeff Sawdust sweeper

    I think building boats is one of the most fulfilling activities one can do. But don't rationalize it as a money printing activity.

    My advice: saw up one of those trees into lumber. With red cedar, maybe the sawyer will work for shares (you'll still have plenty of lumber for your purposes). While it's drying, build something smaller - say, a Devlin Dipper 19.

    You can build it in a year, It'll give you most of the experience you'll need before tackling the bigger boat, (if for no other reason than you'll have the receipts to show how much epoxy and stainless screws actually cost) and if done well, can be resold profitably.

    For the Dipper 19, I'd budget $15,000 and 800 hours.

  9. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    I know you havenĀ“t heard much, that is the reason why you still ask silly questions!
    Others here build their boats following my advice, but they are willing to listen and to learn.
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