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Thread: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    St. Augustine, FL

    Default Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    As I scoured the internet, searching for the perfect boat design to build, I stumbled onto the Outer Banks 20 from B&B Yachts. What a beauty. I fell in love. I don't know why. Maybe it's her efficiency. Maybe it's all that wood. Maybe its seeing so many straight-lined designs and then seeing all her curves. I don't know, but I wanted to know more about her so I started searching forums. I couldn't find someone who'd built her, but I did find a poster who thought she'd be twenty thousand to build. Heart broken. It's not going to happen, I thought, not on these shallow pockets. And it put me in mind of a question- what's it all cost? Really cost? So I propose a thread where you show your boat with a real idea of the cost to build the whole kit and caboodle. If it's a power boat, then include the cost of the motor; a sail boat, the rigging and sails; a row boat, the oars. The categories could be under $200, under $500, under $1000, under $2,500, under $5,000, under $10,000, under $15,000, under $20,000. It might be interesting for newer, prospective builders to see the best you can do for a given budget. So how about it, what's your best build and what'd she really cost?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    northern new jersey, usa

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    What a great idea for a thread! I notice that even in the best planned projects, I tend to go over budget. It seems, at least for me, that one should figure out a budget, then plan for it to actually cost about %50 more than originally planned.

    My cartopper wound up costing around $1300.00 total, counting my re-do of the rig and of the interior arrangement. That is starting completely from scratch with mostly big box fittings and a home made sail. Dog not included, haha that would have doubled the price with all the vet bills I've paid over the years! I might be able to do it cheaper now, with more building experience.

    “The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    My last boat was built nearly 30 years ago...sold a few years ago, 44 feet long. Hull decks, spars and all interior finish cost me $ sails by Tasker, standing rigging, engine and all the goodies inside probably another 50K. Every 5 years until 2 years before I sold it, I took it to the same yard where she was built, and over a 2-3 month period stripped to the bare bottom and refinished. I sold it for substantially more than I had in it. Today you can't buy the basic materials for what the entire boat cost me.
    My 31 tri, 1969 cost me about 10k complete...
    My 27 footer, a sorta hybrid Thunderbird, cost me about 3k in 1961.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Fort Collins, Co

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    That dog keeps showing up in front of my boats too!

    best boat under $50

    One sheet skiff. see avatar.

    interested in seeing what comes up for best under $500. Good thread.

    A summer breeze comes in at under $500 with sails and hardware but I think there is better out there.

    Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
    TOM ROBBINS, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Great thread, except I tend to be in denial about costs so I can't even look at the bills nevermind totalling them up. Them sundries getcha every time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Padanaram, MA USA

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Here's a tired but restorable Pearson Triton for $2900

    Getting it right might get you to $10K invested.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Charlottesville, Virginia - USA

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Fast 18' wherry, 45lbs - $142 to build.


    Children's kayak (and Aleutian paddle!): $63 to build
    Last edited by DGentry; 01-13-2011 at 02:35 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Beautiful wherry. What is the skin made out of?

    I haven't build it yet just mailed out a check for plans yesterday. I will defiently be watching this thread. Great idea.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    St. Charles, IL

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000


    I'm in the middle of my Tamanu build, but a seriously light pair of kayaks to replace my heavy Guillemot Expedition seems like a great next project--especially with their speed of build. I think I'm going to have to pick your brain about which design to use.

    PS, your mailbox is full

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Bigfork, Montana

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    I love the idea of this thread!

    I am building a Mark Smaalders North Sea 29 (2 yrs thid month) and although I don,t have the exact amount spent to date (I am sure the wife does) suffice it to say that the total is probably about the same as what it would cost for a daily 1/5 of Cuervo Gold! Easier for me to relate to than "boat bucks"

    Will get some pictures up when I have the time to figure out the process. In the meantime here is a link to the blog the wife has been working so diligently on.
    Last edited by richbeck; 01-13-2011 at 09:29 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Dallas and points north

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    I guess boat, motor, trailer, and all hardware and materials... approx $18K.... over three years.

    A 18 foot flats skiff custom rigged for fly fishing.

    Richbeck.... lets see some pics of the NorthSea 29.... Please......


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Juneau, Alaska

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Quote Originally Posted by DGentry View Post
    Fast 18' wherry, 45lb - $142 to build.
    Mine cost $146 to build, but it took a while to collect the drift wood the frame was made from. Interesting how much difference there is in cost from place to place.

    Caledonia Yawl, to the best of my recollection it took $8000 to get this far.

    But we've been adding doodads ever since, so who knows what we're up to now.


    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    8'x 46" D4 Pram

    plans-free download
    plywood-$85, had to buy extra to cover mistakes
    Epoxy fiberglass-tape kit-$160
    Cleats and trim wood-salvaged from the scap pile or the woods behind my house
    Pintle and gudgeons-hand made ~ $10 for welding gasses and stainless bolts
    Sail-33 sq. ft by Mack-$205 Today an Opti practice sail would do at only $90
    Oars and hardware-$70 the pair
    8' mast-2, 2 x 4s plus epoxy-$10
    Sprit-free, scrap redwood

    TOTAL $540

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Croton-on-Hudson,NY, USA

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Chebacco designed by Phil Bolger, launched 3 years ago. With a new trailer, Sailrite sails, homemade blocks, bronze fittings and a used motor she cost $14K. At the point when I flipped the basic hull I'd spent only $2000. Paint alone cost $600. But she took 4 years to build, so the yearly outlay was $3,500. Later sewed a Sunbrella cover for her, another $600. I drysail her, launching at the town ramp ($180 a year).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    northern new jersey, usa

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    Just a plug for SOF's, I built Dave's Chickanut 15 on the cheap, out of all big box materials. Put a small sail in it too, though the winter has paused my finishing touches on the boat and further sailing trials with it:

    $30 for a sheet of 1/2 in ABX ply for frames
    $45 for big box pine for stringers/gunwhales/seat slats
    $20 for brass screws (should have just used drywall screws)
    $40 for 8oz polyester skin (george dyson)
    $60 for Cory's Goop coating for the skin (
    $10 for stirring cups, brushes
    $20 for 1.5in diameter clear fir closet pole for paddles, mast
    $5 for silicone to seal up rubwhale, coaming
    $0 for a few pieces of 1/4 in scrap I had laying around, to make coaming and paddles
    $0 for homemade triangular sail made of scrap painter's tarp
    $0 for about 1/2 gallon epoxy I had laying around, to coat frame, and filled with sawdust to glue the joints

    All up weight: ~35 lbs, could have been maybe 5 or more lbs less if I had used WRC and not epoxy-coated

    Cost of a new, "cheap" ~15' GRP tandem kayak? ~$1000, weight ~65lbs or more
    Even used in good condition it would be at least $400-$500 by me, although you could get lucky on craigslist...

    So, while building your own boat is almost never cheaper than buying used, building an SOF boat is so cheap that I have to say you are actually better off, and get a better product in the end, building your own.

    (what I didn't mention in costs before is my pennywise pound foolish mistake of using cotton canvas skin coated in rustoleum... effective, but I put a tear in it every time I loaded it onto the car! No problems at all now that I re-skinned in polyester with poly "goop"...)
    “The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    East Quogue,NY

    Default Re: Your best for under $500, $1,000, $10,000

    I built a Summerbreeze 12 Sharpie Skiff.

    Plans: free
    2 sheets Lloyds Certified 6MM Okoume Ply: $130/sheet
    I 16' CVG Doug Fir 2 x 10: $200
    (for rails, chines, spars, step)
    Scrap pine, teak for knees/breasthook: free scrap
    Quart-plus of Epoxy Resin: $70
    Biaxial Cloth for chines: Free from a friend
    SB Screws/ Nails (just a few) $9
    Bronze Oarlocks/Sockets $50
    Gallon Kirby Paint: $75
    Total: $675

    That is for the rowing version. I am currently using a set of garage sale oars that are too short. And I haven;t built/bought sails, or sailing bits yet, so those costs need to be added. Admittedly, for a cheap, free-plan skiff, I went overboard in materials and finish, putting this boat in the "under $1000 category, rather than under $500.

    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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