Wooden boat-building not a good career?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by ancient kayaker, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Vulkyn, I wonder if these guys get upset if a qualified boat building were to undertake mechanical repairs, engineeering, building, design or electrical work. In Canada if anyone were to attempt these professions or trades without an appropriate licence, registration or qualifications the professionals would raise a huge fuss. Unfortunately the various licensing procedures don't always test the individuals competence, just the paperwork is acceptable. When interviewing people for jobs I soon learned to look for where they qualified as well as how well they did. Some training institutions and colleges are excellent and some with good reputations are merely paperwork mills in my line of work where being up-to-date with the latest developments was crucial. Some graduates took 2 years to catch up. Learning the job from one's parents isn't accepted here although it's probably as good as an apprenticeship. A friend of mine (formerly a tool and die maker with his own business) had to place his son in another business just to get his apprentice papers - then he had to get him to lose the bad habits he had picked up.
  2. Vulkyn
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    There is no licence or training in the sense. Still the idea of designing using your senses so to speak has long passed. Boat builders here will change the "design" as per "client" request with out thinking of the ramifications. I have been on a 12 meter boat with a fly bridge that was clearly too high for its own good. The builder added a flybridge because of a request from a client.
    This boat would tilt very dangerously while taking a tight turn.

    I have pictures of a boat builder who has drilled a plc hole 20 cm x 20 cm for waste disposal 10 cm above water line on both ends of a 25 meter wood boat.
    And guess where the boat is now ? Red sea tourist diving platform ! Drilling that big a hole and filling it a with filmsy thin pvc plastic pipe used for toilets is not a sound structure build, now i am no engineer but surely that is against all common sense !

    You surely need the hands on experience, but you also surely need some trainings as well ...
  3. austinrick
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    austinrick New Member

    It might mean you went and got a music degree (or two)!
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Likely a Liberal Arts PHd . . .
  5. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    At 69yrs old i,ve had no problem earning a living in the boat building /repair field. My secret, just have a lot of part time jobs on the side to support it. :D Messing around "in" and working "on" boats truly has to be a labour of love. It's in the blood By.
  6. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    I also love working with wooden boats and have already convinced myself that upon retirement I will dive into the field as a part time hobby. If I were to pursue it full time as a career, realizing the fickle industry that it is, I would suggest diversifying your wood work to ensure you can maintain steady work. For example, if the wooden boat business slows down, have other types of wood products you can fall back on such as custom cabinet making, furniture, bird houses, etc. At the end of the day it's all wood work and many of your skills transfer directly over to other areas. Diversifying your work load will ensure steady work & enjoyment of what you truly love.

    Cheers - Joseph
  7. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    redreuben redreuben

    I worked a long time as a laminator of industrial stuff, then went into yachts when kevlar and carbon came out, then moved to WA for the Americas Cup frenzy. As an employee I built strip cedar hulls which then went to foam sandwich, then core matt then bust.
    That was twenty six years ago, there are maybe two boatshops still open from that time. I did a short stint working for myself doing repairs and detailing but the constant battle of chasing tight arse owners for the bill broke my spirit and I too now work in the building industry.
    But through all this time the same old joke, "You can make a small fortune building boats"
    "As long as you start with a big one"

    Did you hear about the boatbuilder who won the Lottery ?
    They asked him how he would spend his winnings.
    "Oh I'll just keep working till it runs out"
  8. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    ROFL! :D

    Thanks for this one. It is not easy to look at such situation from the bright side, like you do. One more time I learn from this forum how small place is the world. Same stuff happening everywhere... :rolleyes:
  9. Jarhead10112
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Jarhead10112 New Member

    hey im new to this forum and have a few questions. first im looking for a project boat and have found one. the only problem is its been sitting on the ground for a few years with water in the engine compartment and cabin. i would like to know your opinion on what to look for as in hull integrity and how bad do these wooden fiberglass boats degrade over time. the boat is free just have to get it home if i want it so great project. The boat is around the 70's and is a 24 ft chris craft stern drive with small cabin. would appreciate your input thanks. main concern is wood rot and if a few years sitting in water would completely ruin the hull. just wondering if it would be ok after it dries out. i know this isn't something u can really answer without seeing it for yourself but would like some professional opinions. i will be inspecting the hull and taking more pictures this week. so ill have some to post on here for help. and what would u think of changing a stern driven boat into a outboard. so i can convert engine compartment into live well.
  10. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    10112, this is probably the wrong place to post your enquiry, I suggest you start a thread in one of the construction forums, there's one each for wood, metal and composite boats. Give it a title that will attract attention from the people you want to be interested, describe the boat and if you possibly can add an image or two so folk can see what you're up against. Sounds like an interesting challenge.
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Evaluating wooden hulls is a skill set that requires a lot of experience. Whole books on the topic don't to the subject justice, so buyer beware, it might just be firewood. If it's been sitting on the ground for a few years, it very probably has a lot of rot in it. This can be fixed, but you have to balance what this effort is worth to you. Even if not for resale, sitting on her most important structural element (the keel) for years, usually is a death nail, but speculation without lots of pictures, is - well, just speculation.

  12. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    You will probably get more replies if you start a new thread with your questions rather than putting it in a thread with only a tangential connection. To start a new thread go to the main page for the forums and pick the forum which is the best fit for your topic; for example "Boatbuilding". Click on your selection and the page for that forum will open. You can either start a new thread by clicking on the "new thread" button at the top of the list of current threads. Some forums such as "Boatbuilding" have sub-forums and you can go to a sub-forum such as "Wooden Boatbuilding and Restoration" and start a new thread there.
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