View Full Version : How Much would it Cost?

05-22-2003, 10:35 AM
To have the stem replaced in a 35ft sailboat. By either a lone boatbuilder, or by a reputable yard?

Anyone want to guess? I think that the hood ends are in ok condition, but that there is some rot in the stem. Also one of the scarf joints is a bit loose. Bronze fastened, Carvel planked.


Has anyone had something similar done and paid for it? Do yards usually go by the job or by the hour?

I may have found a nice boat, but the stem looks funky to me. If the price is right, maybe I will buy it and have it fixed by a professional. I know that this is really not enough information to go on, but I'm just looking for a guess before I call up some local builders.



05-22-2003, 10:55 AM
Umm...Ya see boat carpenters, have tools will travel, in the back of WB, with a charge out of 20 an hour. Frankly, I don't know how they do it, but someone young and hungry, or with a low cost of living etc.

I think, from what you describe, 100 to 150 hrs. would be reasonable for this job, working in the open with only a rudimentary shop. A plank would likely have to come off in way of the stopwater. Add in the cost of stock, a few hundred, and what do you have? Somewhere around $2500.00 to $3000.00. Maybe a little more.

A lot depends on what actually has to be replaced. Where's it rotten? A head piece could be scarfed in for considerably less.

[ 05-22-2003, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

05-22-2003, 11:01 AM
Based on what it took my brother, a skilled woodworker with a "production" attitude to do his, I'd say 70-80 hours plus the haulout and materials. In Seattle that means about $5,000 in a yard billing at $50/hour. I'll bet it could be significantly less in the NE if you shopped around. And it depends on the shape and how far back you want to go with the new wood.

05-22-2003, 11:40 AM
Cool, those were good estimates.

The stem seems rotten right up at the top, and it seemed pretty localized in one area. Could be that it moved into the hood ends of the top 2-3 planks.

I also could see a small (1/16") gap in the scarf joint on the stem lower down. It could be fine, but it worried me a bit. I figured the whole stem would have to be replaced.

We'll see what happens. The owner is asking a fair amount for the boat, but if I can get it for the right price this would make it worth it. Otherwise no go, and I think that the boat will rot away quickly while not getting sold.

The Deck's, Motor, and Interior are all perfect. All original hardware. No rot in the ribs, or planking that I could find, but the boat needs to be pulled.

I will start negotiations on Sat, then either have it pulled and surveyed, or move on.


05-22-2003, 01:47 PM
Ask your surveyor. A good wooden boat surveyor ought to be able to give you an estimate.

Dan McCosh
05-22-2003, 02:00 PM
Having replaced a transom once, the first question is whether it is flat or curved. A flat transom is pretty easy, and the largest task would be the framiing at the edges. A curved section ends up some kind of laminating job, which is about twice the work. Size of the stern is more significant than the size of the boat. Shortest time I could estimate would about 40 hours for a flat, small stern. Maybe twice that for a more complex job.

05-22-2003, 03:13 PM
I'm sorry, but might it be prudent to assume a 100% contingency until you actually start ripping things apart and "see what else you run into"??

It's been my experience that it's rarely "just that one piece" that needs attention.