Who do you recommend for a major 900K USD build?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by SailorScience, Mar 13, 2023.

  1. SailorScience
    Joined: Mar 2023
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: London

    SailorScience New Member

    Hi, I hope I have the right forum, I've been struggling. I'm in my 40s, experienced, and in a past life I acquired 25 years of IT industry knowledge.

    I am however in a bit of a pickle.

    Here's the problem. I wish to live at sea. I have the experience, the training, but I don't know much about the boat building industry, which puts me at risk to get fleeced.

    Here's what I do NOT need but everyone is trying to sell me:
    - Luxury accommodations, laminated oak panels and marble countertops.
    - Charter capability with 4 cabins (I plan to sail solo or with another skipper)
    - Basically the cats or boats I trained on

    Here's what I actually need:
    - A lot of power (PV panels galore, inverters, all accessible and easy to access as I have the knowledge to fix them).
    - Autonomous water supply
    - Plenty of space, meaning removing all the cabins and replacing them with storage space
    - Some type of climate control for my computers and on board scientific equipment.

    Now, you'd think with almost a million bucks, it would be easy. WRONG.

    I contacted a lot of builders, including Bali, who recommended me to Nautitech (because the 44 has a 'smart room').

    Everyone I contact tells me "They can't remove the beds, because the factory won't allow for that". Yet youtube is filled with videos of people building custom cats, and the largest manufacturers can't .. take out a few beds and replace them with food storages? Or accommodate an extra antenna for my HAM/SDR antenna array? In the age of starlink? REALLY?

    I feel like I'm going in circles, that basically the boutiques hear 'million dollar' and are trying to fleece me.

    So I come to you, humble, and ask for help.

    Who can you recommend to build something like this? Why is it so hard to get batteries and PV when there are Singaporean companies building solar cats for less than half a mill? But more importantly, who is the builder, out there, who will help me make my work come true by letting me have a cat that has ONE cabin, and the rest as space for autonomous living over many years?

    I know it's unusual. I know most people want to sip pina coladas on their deck or charter. But surely what i want to do is possible, right?

    I see you build boats for a living, and I was hoping someone could send me in the right direction.

    Thank you!
  2. oldmulti
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 2,116
    Likes: 1,283, Points: 113
    Location: australia

    oldmulti Senior Member

    SailorScience. Your requirements are not unique but you need to get a bit more detail. EG lookup a boat "Earthling Stealth E-40". It is a 40 foot cat designed to be power by PV's, battery and generators. If you can access the Boating NZ article it gives a lot of detail. The jpegs are below. The article is at: E-40 Powercat ~ Boating NZ https://boatingnz.co.nz/boat-reviews/e-40-powercat/

    But the real conflict you have is how much space and weight carrying capability you want. Electric power cats are being built light to get range and some speed. The heavier the payload you put on the cat the bigger the engines, batteries and solar array have to be, this cycle causes problems and increases costs. There have been heavier weight electric powered boats but they are slow and have to be handled very carefully if you are in big winds and seaways. Translation if your boat can only do 5 knots and you need to get somewhere into a 30 knot wind and a big sea you are at real risk.

    Look at second hand boats that may be close to your requirements of space, they will be cheaper. Add the solar, battery and generators that you need. Going to new boat manufactures or boat sellers will frustrate you as this is a the current "trend" and they want you to pay for fashion.

    Finally, smaller boats cost less. If you can live in a smaller space you will save money but if you want to store 3000 lbs of stuff you will need to a slightly bigger boat etc. Also look up Herley 34 power cats at: Herley Boats - Electric Hybrid Power Catamaran - Powercat 3400 https://herleyboats.com/catamaran-powercat-3400/

    Good luck

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2023
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 16,416
    Likes: 1,458, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Your budget is low for luxury accommodations. However, I don't understand why you specify four cabins and then state you want to remove all the cabins for extra space.
  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,202
    Likes: 1,267, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Sailor S.

    I get the impression (same as OldMulti) that you are talking about a power catamaran, as you do not make any mention of sails - or could a sailing cat be an option here?

    I think that you should revisit your Statement of Requirements (SOR) and try to narrow down some aspects.
    Re what you actually need :
    How much is ' a lot' of power from solar panels?
    Re your autonomous water supply, what is the minimum tank capacity that you will need? I presume that you will have a water maker (or two even) - what daily capacity must they be capable of?
    Re 'plenty of space', how much space will you actually need for storage of all your equipment, if it is stowed logically and sensibly, perhaps in custom built shelves and cabinets as required?
    Re climate control, this is fairly easy to arrange on a boat - depending on the size of the vessel, you might need 2 or 3 (or more?) air conditioning units. Will you require heating as well, for cold climates / high latitudes?

    What is the minimum desired cruising speed (either under power or sail, if sails are a possibility)?
    I presume that you want to be completely independent of internal combustion engines for propulsion, but it would still be useful to have a generator (with a reasonable fuel supply) - or two even - for emergency use, especially if you don't have sails.
    Assuming unlimited range under power or sail, then it comes down to endurance of the crew, and the quantity of supplies / provisions required - unless you live exclusively on freeze dried foods like the Round the World racers, then the weight of conventional provisions will add up quickly.
    How many crew will you have to feed, and what might be your longest anticipated offshore voyage?
    Maybe an Atlantic crossing (say 3,000 miles) or even across the Pacific (perhaps allowing for 4,000 miles)?

    If you can define quantities re the above questions, then these will all help to develop your SOR, and hopefully lead to what minimum size vessel you will require.
  5. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 1,599
    Likes: 908, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    You're putting the cart before the horse. The builder is someone who builds the object as drawn, not someone qualified to significantly modify the object according to your desires. They can change the finish and offer you formica instead of marble and gelcoat instead of oak, but they can't remove the counter and put a shower in its place. If you're asking why, it's because the furniture is most likely structural and probably made from a moulding.

    What you need is a NA/designer that either draws a full custom boat from scratch, or can modify one of his existing designs to accommodate you. Then you take your plans to the builder and ask "how much to build this?". The builder can be someone recommended by the NA based on their previous relations, or whoever you choose based on price and availability.

    With your budget the only question is whom do you hire to design it. If you like an existing boat find out who designed it and contact them. For example the Nautitech 44 is a Marc Lombard boat, the Bali has several names attached, etc.

    I'm afraid a cat without any bulkheads or ringframes would prove either impossible or be extremely heavy, but one with only two in each hull should present no problems for any qualified NA.
  6. willy13
    Joined: Jan 2022
    Posts: 49
    Likes: 13, Points: 8
    Location: Canandaigua NY

    willy13 Junior Member

    Have you talked to any aluminum boat builders? I feel that an Aluminum boat builder might be who you should contact because they may be more open to making the changes and adjustments you need. My first google search for your area came up the following builder; No idea if good or bad people....
    bajansailor likes this.

  7. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 3,202
    Likes: 1,267, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I will second Willy's suggestion above for an aluminium boat builder in the form of Aluminium Marine Consultants.

    You could also try contacting Wight Shipyard - https://www.wightshipyard.com/
    BlueBell likes this.
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.