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Thread: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

  1. #1
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    Default USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Full story on page 10 of Boating Safety Circular #89

    http://uscgboating.org/library/boati...pring-2016.pdf


    Although buying from a backyard
    boat builder may be appealing because
    you could save a lot of money and get a
    really great deal but you should heed the
    advice from this article and avoid both
    the perils and problems that you may
    incur by purchasing such a boat.


    Kevin

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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Noted
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    I bet the author isn't a forum member.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Full story on page 10 of Boating Safety Circular #89

    http://uscgboating.org/library/boati...pring-2016.pdf


    Although buying from a backyard
    boat builder may be appealing because
    you could save a lot of money and get a
    really great deal but you should heed the
    advice from this article and avoid both
    the perils and problems that you may
    incur by purchasing such a boat.


    Kevin

    Which is directly followed by three pages of known defects in various production boats.

    Cheerful bunch.
    -Jim

    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.

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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    TL;DR

    "Boats are dangerous. Whatever you do, don't buy one. Otherwise you might find yourself spending every waking moment thinking about them, working on them, sailing, rowing and cruising them..." Perilous indeed.
    - Chris

    https://fvpetrel.wordpress.com

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Beware of anybody seen in the harbor carrying a clipboard!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Which is directly followed by three pages of known defects in various production boats.

    Cheerful bunch.
    Ironic, right?

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Owning a boat is definite recipe for personal heartache and disaster. Why I myself have only recently managed to knock my fleet down to a mere half-dozen or so--none of which are conveniently to hand, even--and yet I still spend time pensively pondering about them when I could have been doing something far more productive with my time and money. No, the Coast Guard is right, even a cheap and crappy backyard boat is a dangerous and addictive drug. The only way to keep yourself safe is to never even start.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Lot of misinformation there. Reads as if it was written by a fiberglass boat industry flack, then published by Homeland Security without review or verification. <shakes head>
    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)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    This article appears to be written by a high school student who has very little idea about boat construction and manufacturing. The fact that the list of defects following the article pertains solely to production boats goes completely against the argument the author appears to be trying to make. In short, what a load of bovine flatulence.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Rules is rules I guess. Darn it. Now I'll never be able to unload Emily Ruth to some unsuspecting sucker. Shoot. I'll just have to keep the varnish eating, paint sucking line tangler. Doggone it anyway. And I was looking forward to making a little money as a BBB. Rats!

    Jeff

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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    I am very unlikely to ever purchase a "backyard built boat". But sell one, or more, you bet. That makes space for me to build more of them.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Judging by the number of questions here from folks without knowledge of naval architecture or USCG regs, I'm quite sure that some backyard boats are patently unsafe. I think that the warning has some merit.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    We have a number of threads on this topic, filled both good and half baked and utterly unbaked notions. Here are two.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-homemade-boat

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...made-boat-quot

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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    Judging by the number of questions here from folks without knowledge of naval architecture or USCG regs, I'm quite sure that some backyard boats are patently unsafe. I think that the warning has some merit.
    Safer to stick to plastic kayaks from walmart. Engineered, manufactured, and sold by professionals.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    That article's a keeper for me. When the wife suggests I sell a boat or two, I can prove that it's illegal.
    -Dave

  17. #17
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    It's not by any means the anyone here is against people building their own boats. Rather, it's that no real sailor or builder wants greedy builders of dubious quality and too lazy or ignorant to build to professional standards to play professional by selling a boat to a naif.

    So build your dream, by all means. Just take the responsibility of either making that a lifetime commitment or by documenting that the job was done right so that the boat is 'street legal'.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    I have been sailing a home built Oughtred designed decked sailing canoe for 15 years. Definitely an unsafe boat in anything but light airs. Difficult to recover, verging on the impossible. I have given away the rig recently as I could not sell or give it away as a sailing craft to anyone other than a competent sailor. Even at shows where she has been available for all other sailors to have a go it has never been taken up.
    As a paddle canoe however she is fine.
    It's not the build that is the problem, it's her definition as a sailing boat.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    It looks like I came across this article 20 years too late.

    There's a reason it's called a boat - break out another thousand.
    Will

  20. #20
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    I'm not worried; the potential buyer for any of my home-built boats is either:

    1) knowledgeable about boats and can recognize the quality of construction and accepts the boat for what it is, or
    2) doesn't know anything about boats and has never seen a "Boating Safety Circular"; let alone this particular article.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    That article's a keeper for me. When the wife suggests I sell a boat or two, I can prove that it's illegal.
    Very good advice that I will be following!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    The silliest thing about that article is the criticism that backyard boats may not follow recognized safety standards when a couple pages up they explain that Coast Guard certified manufacturers aren't actually certified or inspected and that manufacturers are basically on the honor system. Irony indeed.

    Now they just need a blurb at the end on the newsletter that says, "Do you build boats in your backyard? Would you like to sell them? Please register as a manufacturer, we promise to push your product too."
    -Jim

    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.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Backyard boat builders? You mean people who work for $1.50 per hour building boats for other people in their ramshackle garages? I don't think really there is such a thing.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    One thing to watch for is being on the rules radar. Give them a year or two and they will use this article as proof of a problem and make rules against home boat building. That's how mega bureaucracies roll.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    From USCG "Boatbuilders Handbook" 'Applicability'... http://www.uscgboating.org/regulatio.../FLOTATION.pdf About floatation.
    " Sailboats, canoes, kayaks, inflatable boats, submersibles, surface effect vessels, amphibious
    vessels, multi-hull boats and race-boats need not comply."

  26. #26
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Thanks for posting the link Kevin. I don't remember seeing the circular online.
    The article was interesting, the rest of the newsletter too.
    I was neither offended nor worried by the article. I have seen awful things offered for sale, but I have also bought and sold good home-built boats. The two in my garage right now are excellent. (I bought them, not built them)
    I thought the whole thing translated to: Buyer Beware

  27. #27
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by capefox View Post
    Backyard boat builders? You mean people who work for $1.50 per hour building boats for other people in their ramshackle garages? I don't think really there is such a thing.

    Dollar-fifty and hour, eh? Depends a lot on getting things right first time around...still, something to shoot for.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    Judging by the number of questions here from folks without knowledge of naval architecture or USCG regs, I'm quite sure that some backyard boats are patently unsafe. I think that the warning has some merit.
    Common sense in a buyer of anything more complex than a (fill in the blank) is the best insurance. I was going to say (popcorn) but you actually need common sense for that too. This article has zero merit unless the reader is led to do some research. Just another piece by an inexperienced hack to fill some space at the request of the boss. Lots of backyard boats are certainly junk but most of those actually look like junk. Many commercial boats look great but are worse than junk because they mislead the unwashed. Read some material on boat reviews and failure forensics by marine surveyor David Pascoe about some of your favorite commercial boats. Just google the name.
    Tom L

  29. #29
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    So here's an annoying twist on this:

    We all know that the first three letters of a boat's HIN are the manufacturer's code. Bucephalus was built by Ralph Stanley, so her HIN starts "RWL". The next five are the serial number, then two digits for the date of manufacture, then the model year.

    The problem is that the format has changed over the years, with the date of manufacture changing from two numbers to a letter and a number.

    Washington State has just decided that all boats need to have new HINs if they don't have the most modern format. And if the manufacturer isn't in the *state* database, they assign you a new HIN starting "WNZ": home built.

    And smaller boatbuilders, like Ralph, apparently didn't make it into the state datbase, even if they're in the USCG database. So Bucephalus is now WNZ, and my insurance company is *most* displeased.

    So I'll be in to the state auditor's office Monday raising hell.

    Alex

  30. #30
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Three thoughts:

    1. Now we're right back to the "what happened to the large projects" thread.

    B. Suppose a surveyor was looking at a boat "of unknown providence". That is, he is judging what he sees based on condition and quality of construction. If well built to established standards, what's the difference?

    III. To Alex's point: HINs were issued/required by USCG Regulations/Federal Law (i.e. CFRs). How can a State change the CFR requirements?

    The article specifically says that if the builder does not have a MIC, the state issues the VIN. So if the builder does have a MIC, how can the State say they do not?

    Want to really have fun? Remind the state dude that removing/replacing an HIN is a violation of Federal Law. Use the word "Felony". I mean, if I took your 1988 Swan 36 and replaced the HIN as a homebuilt, how long would I spend in jail?


    Looking back at the article, there are some serious errors in fact. Perhaps they were edited out to make the article fit, but still...
    Last edited by Don Z.; 04-14-2017 at 11:29 AM.
    Heute ist so ein schöne Tag...

  31. #31
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Professionals built the Titanic,
    an amateur built the Arc.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    Fans, I need a "like" button for that one.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  33. #33
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    To Alex's point: HINs were issued/required by USCG Regulations/Federal Law (i.e. CFRs). How can a State change the CFR requirements?
    From speaking with them again today, to try and get things sorted out, this was something the state came up with a couple weeks ago and the poor devils "down in the trenches" at the Auditor's Office are at their wits' ends. I saw a lot of empty asprin bottles lying around...

    As near as I can tell, WA is trying to get everybody with every boat to all have HINs that match the current USCG format. Which is not an unreasonable goal, given that the USCG format has gone through a couple different variations since it first came into use. The problem with executing that goal comes in two parts:

    1) They're still trying to bring a new computer system on line to replace the one that has been in use since the mid-80s, so they're going mad chasing silicon gremlins anyway.

    2) For some reason they didn't import the *entire* USCG database of manufacturer's ID codes into the state database, only (it seems) the big companies, so small custom builders like Ralph Stanley, who didn't build all that many boats, get kicked into the state-issued "WNZ" prefixed HIN. The lovely woman trying to help me was on the phone with a higher-up, on her screen looking at the USCG site, where she had found the correct MIC for my boat, trying (with clenched teeth) to get the guy to understand that my HIN was already correct except for one digit that could be changed. The higher-up wasn't buying it.

    So it's a gawdawful mess right now, unless you have something mass produced and the MIC managed to make it into the WA database. The guy two windows down was about to throttle someone because the new, state-issued WNZ prefix on *his* new HIN was about to cut the value of his custom boat by 90%. The state of Washington issues its annual tags in June, and most people wait until the last minute to pay their fees, so I figure the state has about a month before the fireworks *really* go off.

    Alex

  34. #34
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    Default Re: USCG:" Don't Buy "Backyard Built" Boats

    I'll put my homemade wooden boat up against these homemade (?) plastic boats.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5zLpobPhNY OMG, this is terrifying.
    Last edited by Mark O.; 04-20-2017 at 01:37 AM.

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