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Thread: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

  1. #1
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    Default Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I am convinced I will build Harry Bryan's shanty boat (or something like it) at some point when I slow down. It is a great idea and well executed. But the price estimate of $75,000! Obviously a reasonable price tag from someone who is making a living at boat building. But what do you suppose it would cost to build one yourself? If I do a square-foot calculation and I use local wood I can buy the supplies for less than three grand.

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    You might be a little optimistic on your cost analysis but yeah I was taken aback some when I read the price tag. Still, even doing your own labor, I'd figure 10 to 15K to get anything near that nice. That's just one man's opinion. Everyone's got one and that's mine.

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    15K sounds right to me in so far as material is concerned. 75k seems right in so far as retail value. Is it clear that Harry was stating 75k was total cost or just material?

    FWIW, I had the privilage of viewing the Shanty Boat at the Mystic WBS and I loved it!!!
    "Please be more specific or we'll choose to order a cheaper bilge-rat to replace you."

    ~seanz

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    "Please be more specific or we'll choose to order a cheaper bilge-rat to replace you."

    ~seanz

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Keep in mind that the Bryan design had a lot of curves in it, adding to the labor hours. A more boxy houseboat like the Atkin "Retreat" is built with straight timbers for the most part.

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Misc/Retreat.html

    They aren't shantyboats as such, but there are small cottages on rafts (no motors) moored in the Annisquam and Essex Rivers near Gloucester, Mass.



    They aren't uncommon in quiet waters along the eastern seaboard. Woods Hole's Eel Pond has a number of them.

    I like them, probably because some friends built and moored a REALLY small one in a Cape Cod harbor when we were young. It did have an outboard well but was barely maneuverable.
    Last edited by rbgarr; 12-18-2011 at 11:47 AM.
    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Beautiful! ...but needs black stove pipe
    Last edited by JimD; 12-18-2011 at 02:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidF View Post
    I am convinced I will build Harry Bryan's shanty boat (or something like it) at some point when I slow down. It is a great idea and well executed. But the price estimate of $75,000! Obviously a reasonable price tag from someone who is making a living at boat building. But what do you suppose it would cost to build one yourself? If I do a square-foot calculation and I use local wood I can buy the supplies for less than three grand.
    Just looking at the two photos, and taking a guess, there is three grands worth of very nice paint on and in that shanty boat, another three grand or more in that beautiful big cast iron stove, a third three grand in the professional looking squabs and upholstery and thats the thick end of ten grand before any labour or actual boat materials enter the equation. There will be other items that add to the costs very quickly.
    The cost of a boat will depend entirely upon the standard and nature of equipment, and this one seems very nicely built, and very nicely equipped, brushed linseed oil, a sterno stove and some sackcloth over straw pallets would bring the price down a long way but I'm not sure that I'd want to live in that style.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    For another approach to shanty-boating... take a peek at Philip Thiel's various boats. For example: Escargot and Friendship --

    http://www.mission-base.com/pedal-po...ot_layout.html



    http://www.mission-base.com/pedal-po...ip_layout.html
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Thanks for that, David. Never seen this before. Very interesting:


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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Jim,

    de nada.

    If you like those... he's done several variations you can check out.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I've been building to Harry's original design over the past year using plywood for the hull. I'm confident the $75,000 is total cost of a finished boat from Harry. He has a 12' Fiddlehead open design for sale on his website for 3,400. At any rate, I think the plywood I bought for the hull was about 1300. I used df marine plywood. It's certainly not the best money can buy. I have 3/4 topsides and 2 layers of 1/2 in. on the bottom. The wood for my frames I had on hand already. I don't think that would cost you more than about 1200. Some bronze screws, epoxy and glass tape (I only glassed the seems and put 2 coats of epoxy on the hull. Rustoleum marine paint in red and voila, you have a hull that I'm hoping looks a bit like Harlan Hubbard's did.

    I've started framing out the interior and hope to start installing the studs before year's end. I don't see any reason to use anything other than construction grade spruce/fir for the studs. The point now is to keep the weight down. I THINK I will have less than 10k in her in materials before I add a stove, etc. I really have not kept track.

    Others will surely want to to use BS 1088 ply and sheath the entire hull. I understand that and would have used Hydrotek if I could have - long story.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    My experience from contracting a couple of my houses has been to estimate as accurately as possible the costs and then double that. It's the little things that add up but keeping track of every little penny you spend is almost a part-time job in itself. On the fir plywood, it sure likes to check but I built a little skiff with 3/8" fir ply back in the late 1970's and we fished out of it for like twenty-five years and when I sold it in 2006, it was still going strong. It had glass on the bottom but nowhere else and I painted it about every five years. It lived up-side-down in the yard and the dogs loved that thing.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Are Mr. Thiel's plans available for purchase and if so, where?

    Best regards, David

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Quote Originally Posted by davidrparker View Post
    Are Mr. Thiel's plans available for purchase and if so, where?

    Best regards, David
    Good question. The website seems to say to write him via snail mail, presumably at this address:

    Philip Thiel
    4720 7th Avenue NE
    Seattle WA 98105 USA

    His bio says he was born in 1920 so its possible Mr Thiel likes to do business the old fashioned way.

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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I've always thought the shanty boat lifestyle was just terrific. Before I bought Heart of Gold II,I was thinking about just such a boat to live aboard in my retirement years. There are a lot of factors involved in calculating costs. I was also somewhat surprised at the 75K figure, but then you have to add labor costs from a professional builder, as well as the profit beyond just labor.
    Still, 75k strikes me as pretty darn steep for a 20 ft boat, no motor, no wiring, no electronics, no galley, no head, etc
    " He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist".
    St. Francis of Assis (1181-1226)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I have ordered a study plan from Phillip Thiel one year ago. I have just written a letter to his adress found on his homepage and enclosed the requested money. Approx. two weeks later a got the study plans.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I understood the $75k price to include all the fittings and furniture, plus the tender (a wheelbarrow pram) with an outboard. Quite possibly the ground tackle and the trailer are included as well.

    The look of it charmed me at first, but repeated viewings made me change my mind: it's a bit twee for my taste.

    In the unlikely event I were to build a similar shantyboat, I'd use ply, keeping the curve of the sheer but not the lengthwise curve of the roof, which would be guttered to water the windowboxes and fill a rainwater tank. Flowers are nice, but I'd plant flatleaf parsley, chives, roquette, and other edibles.

    For a liveaboard, I'd also want adjustable vents, some insulation on the walls and ceiling, and other cold-weather mods.
    Last edited by Chip-skiff; 12-28-2011 at 01:05 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I've met Phil. He strikes me as one of the good guys, easy to talk to - a gentleman.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    As I recall from talking to Harry, the cost was drive away, and as you can see finished to an extraordinary standard.
    Ben Fuller
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    I'm not much of a Reuel Parker fan but his Sampan design is very appealing on many levels.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sampan36/
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Nice shantyboat...but there are so many ways to cut down on the cost and still have a nice vessel and not be sleeping on straw pallets and peeing in a bucket. My own design (I drew most of it today..) will be built with fir ply, glassed over, fir frames (although I have a bunch of gal. angle iron in a boneyard that could work..), a used outboard, settee cushions from BigK (they come on sale in the spring for outdoor furniture) ,a cast iron stove for a small cabin runs about 150 bucks new; you just have to make your own searails (does a shanty boat need searails?). The head can be composting (expensive) or a porta-potty (cheap)..the shower can be solar, the cook stove a ss propane camp stove from Kmart (34.00 last I looked). Plywood can be found at very reduced prices on craigslist. Also windows or glass, and sinks...I guess I qualify as a scrounge...

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Quote Originally Posted by MiddleAgesMan View Post
    I'm not much of a Reuel Parker fan but his Sampan design is very appealing on many levels.
    This might be a better link for the design:

    http://www.parker-marine.com/sam36page.html




  23. #23
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    36 feet may be a mansion in shanty boat parlance but Sampan is certainly not a MacMansion.
    Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:

    http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...esMan/?start=0

    and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37973275@N03/

    "All kings are not the same."

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Despite the resemblance to the redoubtable Vernon C. Bain

    http://www.tug44.org/tugboats.trawle...vernon-c-bain/

    this could well be a deal, if only for the engines:

    http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...oat_id=2428294
    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    If you compare Harry Bryan's shanty boat to a production fiberglass cruiser, you'd have to be at about 32 feet LOA to get the same volume of accommodations. Of course it would have engines, and a complex dual voltage electrical system. And it would cost twice 75K but have half the charm. I think its a fair price.

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

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Harry Bryan's shanty boat is sweet, but

    Kevin,

    Since you put it that way... I'd have to agree.

    The cruiser would be more fun on a beam reach to the Bahamas, though <G>
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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