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View Full Version : How about a cost of construction article?



DavidF
01-08-2012, 11:25 AM
The article comparing maintenance costs was very useful. I would like to read an article that compared the costs of home-construction between methods (carvel, strip, ply, etc...) and the breakdown for components (hull, rig, fitting out, electronics etc...)

Similarly, an article from my favorite columnist, Richard Jagels, on the true price of different types of boat building wood, taking into account the durability/replaceability, hidden costs of African mahogany versus locally farmed lumber, would be interesting to some of us.

Thank you for asking,
David

Bruce Taylor
01-08-2012, 11:37 AM
The article comparing maintenance costs was very useful. I would like to read an article that compared the costs of home-construction between methods (carvel, strip, ply, etc...) and the breakdown for components (hull, rig, fitting out, electronics etc...)

Similarly, an article from my favorite columnist, Richard Jagels, on the true price of different types of boat building wood, taking into account the durability/replaceability, hidden costs of African mahogany versus locally farmed lumber, would be interesting to some of us.

Thank you for asking,
David

An excellent idea. I'd love to read that article.

Bert Langley
01-08-2012, 12:12 PM
Me too. We currently had a thread in the building section about building the Glpratick Puddle duck. The builder besides giving us some great shots of the build is tracking time and costs. Would be a great start to such an article.

earling2
01-09-2012, 09:36 AM
I think that one of the big differences between Woodenboat and Classic Boats in general terms is that the English version often discusses cost in plain and frank terms. Woodenboat often seems to completely dismiss money from the experience of boatbuilding, as if it's just not an issue. But, it is. It always is. It would make the magazine more relatable if, like C.B., the authors talked about work-stoppages, personal circumstances, setbacks and budgetary problems in plain English, without the veneer. Wooden boats are on the funky side, but the magazine is not.

Not that I don't buy it religiously, and appreciate the heck out of it . . .

David W Pratt
01-09-2012, 10:20 AM
I built a Gloucester Gull from Dynamite Payson's plans, cost about $400.00 including about $90.00 for the molds and strongback which could have been used again.
Probably did not include the epoxy which I had already.

MPM
01-09-2012, 10:33 AM
It would make the magazine more relatable if, like C.B., the authors talked about work-stoppages, personal circumstances, setbacks and budgetary problems in plain English, without the veneer. Wooden boats are on the funky side, but the magazine is not.

Thanks for this observation, Earling. You'll be interested to know that the next (March) issue will have an article called "Managing the Dream," which addresses construction costs of a 38' Gartside-designed cutter. The author is a self-described "man of average means," who worked the project into his life over a ten-year period. There's a frank accounting of time and money spent--as well as opportunity cost.
—Matt Murphy

jsjpd1
01-10-2012, 12:41 AM
That's great Matt, I'm looking forward to reading that. Trying to fit a bigger build into my own life is something that I have been trying to work out for a while now, and it will be nice to see how it worked out for someone else.

Jim

Zakkendrager
01-10-2012, 01:17 PM
Kept fairly accurate records of cost to build Redwing 21 pilothouse. Out of about $22K in materials, only $4900 was wood, $3700 engine and controls, $2400 for hardware and fastenings, $1800 was epoxy, $1700 electrical, $1100 for windows/ports, $730 for galley equipment, $560 for plumbing, etc. It cost more than I thought it would but it was worth it. Be willing to supply details to anyone interested. Ralph

Bob Cleek
01-10-2012, 09:59 PM
ROTFLMAO! Don't you guys know... If you have to ask "How much?," you can't afford it!

Whatever a boat costs, you can bet it will be more than you can comfortably afford. Boats expand to consume the wallet available!

BrianM
01-13-2012, 11:34 AM
I'd love a monthly "Cheapskate" section.

I know it runs against the grain of the strictly accepted version of "traditional" boatbuilding, but scrap lumber, doorskins, AC ply, Construction Adhesive, leftover epoxy, and Rustoleum can be fodder for 100's of very approachable boats for the complete novice, and as long as they are stored upside down with circulating air (in a yard or garage) will last virtually forever (or until the next design is built!).

The recent feature article about the guys who built the lighweight (pink and white) schooner in Texas, raced it, and torched it on the beach was pure FUN!

I own and maintain a dead traditional carvel planked old sailboat, and she gets pretty well only "traditional" treatment, but the creative side of me love to experiment with all kinds of hull shapes. The "Getting Started in Boats" insert is along these lines, but I only read the ones where a boat is built. I don't look to Woodenboat for lessons on Seamanship, Use of Ground Tackle, Rules of the Road, Lighting, and other exceedingly dry subject matter that I can find in any "Sailing" book on the shelf. "How-tos" are golden, and I think this is what the magazine is best utilized for.

More "Lumberyard Skiffs" and such is what I'd love to tear out and hand to my kids. They are all about "action", and if we want to cultivate the appreciation of woodenboats to the next generation, this could be a good way to encouraging them to go for it.

"Boys Life", "Young Mechanic", and the good old "Popular Science" and "Popular Mechanics" (I'm talking post war up to mid- 60's) used to almost always have a few boats published a year that father/son teams could put together in the basement or garage. My dad and I did just that which led to my interest in Sea Scouts, then woodenboats as a whole since this is all my Sea Scout unit owned and operated.

Thanks for years of entertainment.

Welding Rod
04-23-2012, 02:38 PM
I could be in there. I'm building a 44' trailerable motorsailer. Douglas Fir and ACX plywood from Lowes. About $3000 in lumber and about that in epoxy cloth and paint. Main expense has been $9000 for new engine. $400 in steel to make fuel tank. Still need shaft and prop. Total should be under $20k. Have sails, masts, winches, anchors... from my old steel boat that I scraped. It was big fat and heavy. 38'lwl 30 tons 14' beam. New boat 40' lwl 10 tons. 8'beam. Always wanted to try a long narrow boat. So I'm building cheap and fast. Not too concerned about finish, plain workboat finish. My 4x24 belt sander is my finish sander. If I like it I'll do a nice one. In the mean time I have a boat to use. AND it won't take 10 years to build.

Labrador Coaster
04-25-2012, 04:15 PM
The Paul Gartside project was indeed a great article. When I need a ''feel good moment I take his 43' motorsailor study plans down off the book shelf... Presently I am looking to build a 38-40' wooden catamaran. I live in an isolated area and was looking to mill some local ( free) lovely balsam fir, yellow spruce logs. I hope to strip plank, encapsulate with epoxy etc. I read about using western red cedar, rot resistance etc, but I then see guys using DURFLEX panels, balsa core for their builds. surely natural soft woods gotta hold up at least as well as those manufactured cored materials.

I have all the tools, boat shop ready to go but questioning how much spare time I can devote to the project, life changes, and will I still have the same enthusiasm 5 years from now? I know a lot of this depends on personal fortitude, but other builder experiences are great reality checks and thus invaluable to read.

So.. yes I am also interested in the debate of construction cost, qualities of materials related to weight/performance, resale value. I'm thinking that there are a lot of us out there, middle class fellows who cannot justify or afford 200,000$ toys. Like the felow who built SAMARA T, I can build the boat, outfit it with hand made gear, strong low tech stuff etc. But I would like to know that it is an efficient use of my time or should I just keep saving up to buy a boat, or build from scratch and buy gear, cleats, mast, tender etc.

Q's

Cost savings of build vs. buy

Choosing a popular design and it's influence on resale

Seems to be increasing popularity of multihulls ( contrary to M. Cleeks opinion...) BTW I love traditional wooden schooners . I own a wooden 43' lobster ''yacht'' but looking for a more spacious sailing retirement home

25 year subscriber to WB, love the genuine community thats attracted by wooden boats.

all the best,

Wilson

Welding Rod
04-25-2012, 04:59 PM
If you want something that is normal, I'd look at used boats they are probably getting cheaper every day.

I don't worry about the resale of a boat like mine cause I'd never try something different. I also am not concerned with finish or fit outside of the need for strength. To me that is probably most important for sea worthiness. The object is to do it fast and have it to use. By the time I get tired of using it or finish another boat, one of my kids will take it. Worse case I'll strip the gear and use it again.

purri
04-27-2012, 11:46 PM
WB did an article in the 70's. However "opportunity cost", space rental and domestic priorities should be considered as the major factors. (as should "project fatigue")

2MeterTroll
04-28-2012, 10:54 AM
I would love a cradle to floating Real cost article. not just the cost of the materials from the mill but the cost from the logging to the last bobble. I did this for traditional vs ply and my next boat will be ply with lumber only in specific places. Scrap yard boats would be cool to, Tari Tari was built almost entirely out of salvaged lumber. not real hard to do but there are some things to keep an eye on.

beernd
05-27-2012, 04:15 PM
OK I'll bite:
I am building the "Compact", a 25 ft outboard cruiser.

So far I only spent money on El Cheapo fasteners for the buiding rig about 10 euro.
All the wood use for the strongback and station moulds is scavenged.

The Larch I will buy (I need about 24 pcses of 4.5 metres 150 *50 mm) will amount to 400 euros.
For the moment I have bought 9 kgs of Epoxy that was 125 euros, 535 euros so far.

But I get the building space for free so I guess that distorts the picture quite a bit.

I will try to keep posting my expenses as I get along.

Cheers

knottyBuoyz
05-27-2012, 05:03 PM
I enjoy reading these threads on the economics of boat building. Economics and boat building in one sentence? Oxymoron you say. Well I'd tend to agrees somewhat.

I'm building a modified version of Mertens TW28, stretching it 39" to 31' 5".

This project started as a dream of a young kid sitting along the banks of the St. Lawrence river watching all the boats & ships go by. This lil' kid made himself a promise one day he'd build his own boat. Well life got in the way of that and it took 40 some years till all his planets to align and he could get started on the dream.

About 7 yrs ago I started a big list of stuff that I'd need to build a boat. We looked at a lot of different options and settled on the kit version of the TW28. From the list I started small and bought what I could use and find at reasonable prices. e-Bay has been a treasure trove of surplus boat hardware. With only a few exceptions I've paid less than 60% of retail and sometimes far less. Things like hinges and cleats and portlights etc. piled up in my basement over the next five years. We stumbled across a couple of great deals on a prime mover (Yammy 55 Turbo <300 hrs) and a CnC precut kit (retail $10,000) which we got for $5K. These cost my poor ole' wifey a few summer vacations but it was worth it. We built a bow shed two years ago and last March started on the assembly. Things have been a little slow over the winter and this spring, life gets in the way again, but we're slowly progressing.

http://she-kon.blogspot.ca/

We've kept (rough) track of all our purchases. I've set a goal of $60K for this project and so far we're on track.

http://www.editgrid.com/user/knottybuoyz/Spent_To_Date

Still a few major purchases to make, some I won't find at discounted prices so paying full retail will bring us up near our project maximum quickly. Windows, Refer, A/C, Icemaker etc.

That's my story. I compare what I'm doing to the cost of say a 28' Nordic Tug at $200K and I think if I take my time and don't frak it up too bad we'll have a nice boat for our retirement travels.

beernd
09-10-2012, 01:12 PM
Just a little bump.

My 25'outboard cruiser is beying doublecross planked.

I have 22.5 kg of epoxy and 1200 metres of planks (6x22 mm)

So far I have spent on materials: € 1051.06

And on tools: € 286.97

Grand total € 1338.03

I agree if you want to save money, you start by not building a boat ;)

The question is : "Can I do it with the money I can spend?" or "How far can I go on a shoestring budget?"

For me itis touch and go all the way from start to finish, a fun expieience to live :cool:

Cheers

wizbang 13
09-10-2012, 03:19 PM
cost of a boat has as much , or more , to do with the builder, as the plans or recipe.

Gerarddm
09-10-2012, 05:33 PM
That Gartside boat article was an eye opener. After 10 years and an estimated $185K in actual costs plus lost income, this aging sailor for one wouldn't have done it. One could have bought a same sized boat for far less and spent the better part of that 10years actually sailing. For a younger builder, perhaps that equation on the Gartside boat proves out. It didn't compute for me. A valuable article.

beernd
09-13-2012, 04:04 PM
Just a little bump.

My 25'outboard cruiser is beying doublecross planked.

I have 22.5 kg of epoxy and 1200 metres of planks (6x22 mm)

So far I have spent on materials: € 1051.06

And on tools: € 286.97

Grand total € 1338.03

I agree if you want to save money, you start by not building a boat ;)

The question is : "Can I do it with the money I can spend?" or "How far can I go on a shoestring budget?"

For me itis touch and go all the way from start to finish, a fun expieience to live :cool:

Cheers

i don't know if it's forum etiquette, quoting one self but anyhow,
before I'm done with this build the epoxy costs will have skyrocketed.
So mabe it's not a total 'goodby" to the criss cros planking method, but there will be a serious reckoning at the end of the road, OUGH :p
Anyway I'll keep you posted.