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Thread: Building two boats to get one free?

  1. #1
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    Default Building two boats to get one free?

    I'm getting ready to build a Peregrine 18 rowboat. As anyone who has built a boat will know, a lot of work gets done before you ever start cutting the expensive stuff. Once my boat is done, I'll have a complete set of molds, strongback, patterns, etc. It suddenly dawned on me that I could build two of them, paying the appropriate royalties to John Brooks, and sell one. It should bring more than enough to pay for the materials of the other one, thereby giving me a 'free' boat. Bear in mind that I an retired, and enjoy building boats at least as much, if not more than I do using them. Anyone done this? Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    It's a good theory. Be prepared to hold onto the second boat for a while. Wood boats and homebuilt boats are hard to sell.

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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    I've built enough boats over the years to know what's involved. Here's a thought- build the first boat, list it for sale, and use it (gently) while waiting for a buyer. When (if) it sells, then build the second one. The prices I see on traditional craft are insane. Of course, there's a difference between askin' and gettin'. I would list the boat at a more reasonable price.

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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    molds, strongback, patterns....it ain't really a lotta work in the scheme of the whole boat....ten percent?
    yer plan has a big hole innit....world is fulla free boats
    bruce

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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Brooks' Peregrine is a really nice design so ought to be appealing in the marketplace. Assuming you do a good job of it, of course. In the fall of 2020 boats were selling like hotcakes so I polished up and put a Merry Wherry II I had up for sale on CL. It sold right away which surprised me a little. I got my costs back out of the it, but no more. But that didn't really bother me. Like myself, I suspect you will make back materials and no more.

    I like to build boats and have no intention of stopping the habit. But unless it was for someone special to me, building more than one of a particular design would seem like a job. And, I don't want a job.

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    molds, strongback, patterns....it ain't really a lotta work in the scheme of the whole boat....ten percent?
    yer plan has a big hole innit....world is fulla free boats
    bruce

    When you find a new classic pulling boat for free, let me know.

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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Unlikely that it will work. As above, if you get your material costs back, then OK, but you might just as well put your time into something else that interests you?
    Friend here is building another boat (as one does) he will then sell his current one... He reckons he has 12K euro in it, not counting his time. If he gets 4K, i think he will be lucky.
    Same for me, my 15yr old Oughtred faering is in excellant condition, except I might have only 1.5K in it, as I made everything, inc the sails and trailer. It goes on the local market in a couple of months, to make way for my new build mini cruiser. If I get 3.5K, then OK.
    The rest of my time goes in decorative and structural steel work, where I actually make some money.

    Making money on boats is best done by working on other peoples. Your own are entertainment stroke money pits.
    Last edited by Andrew2; 03-19-2022 at 01:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    I'm not trying to make money, just break even. I'll have less than $1000 in materials. If I can't get $2K, I'd get more entertainment out of burning it. I suppose that these boats I see north of $10K are just pipe dreams.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    in SC it can be a problem with DNR to get title and registration for a home build that you sell to a third party without a USGS plaque. title and registration is necessary if you want to insure the boat. finding a cash buyer that doesn’t care about this works, until it doesn’t. May not be worth the hassle

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    I've built enough boats over the years to know what's involved. Here's a thought- build the first boat, list it for sale, and use it (gently) while waiting for a buyer. When (if) it sells, then build the second one. The prices I see on traditional craft are insane. Of course, there's a difference between askin' and gettin'. I would list the boat at a more reasonable price.
    There’s a plus to this plan. In building the second boat, you can avoid the mistakes of the first boat.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    There’s a plus to this plan. In building the second boat, you can avoid the mistakes of the first boat.
    My dad always said, "build the second house first...."
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    I considered building kayaks to sell after building ours. A quick study of market realities quashed that. The wooden boat market, which includes stitch and glue, is quite fickle and definitely not a good speculation investment.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    There’s a plus to this plan. In building the second boat, you can avoid the mistakes of the first boat.
    eggsactly... build one, put it up for sale, if it sells, build another for yourself
    if it doesn’t you have your boat.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    I've built 5 strip plank kayaks, and 7 skin and frame.
    Never made more than materials on any of them, gave most away free.

    That's in texas, not a hot spot.

    Just build your boat, burn the tooling for entertainment.
    OR, try to sell the tooling for 1/2, when you get tired of answering inane questions and offers, then burn the tooling.

    Row boats are not in a great deal of demand. IMO

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Yeah, what everyone else has said. You'd be building a boat on blind spec and the chances of finding a buyer who wants this exact boat and is willing to pony up some serious cash is highly unlikely. You don't have a brand or a reputation never mind a warranty policy. Those are the things that sell boats. Expecting someone to take a chance on unknown boatbuilder skills is unrealistic, especially when the same amount of cash will get a product that is a known quantity and possibly with a company behind it.
    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post

    Just build your boat, burn the tooling for entertainment.
    OR, try to sell the tooling for 1/2, when you get tired of answering inane questions and offers, then burn the tooling.
    That's one option, another is to give it away here for free and get some good karma in return.
    Last edited by Dusty Yevsky; 03-19-2022 at 09:34 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    When you find a new classic pulling boat for free, let me know.
    After the second is done, the first will be the free boat .
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...Woodenboatless
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 03-20-2022 at 08:46 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    A major reason that it’s hard to get a fair price for home built wood boats is that, for most kinds of boats, there are lots of boats on the market for low prices. Two major reasons. First, boat manufacturers work hard at minimizing costs, by developing efficient manufacturing process, buying cheaper materials in volume through low-cost distribution channels, and minimizing high-skill labor. Second, most fiberglass boats have long lives. One of our boats will be sixty years old this year, with no end in sight. The result is that the the market is glutted with older boats at low prices. I’ll bet that any local Craigslist has a ratty fiberglass canoe on offer asking $150.
    Disposal of older boats is not as well developed as for cars, so they linger in the market. And, for larger boats, as with cars, some components are still usable, particularly if the boat has had a short life.

    Which brings up recycling.

    Fiberglass boat construction has evolved a lot in the last seventy years. It has involved experimentation in reducing cost, weight and/or environmental problems. Not all of the experiments were immediately successful. The use of balsa core has reduced costs and weight and sometimes the life of the boat. If water gets into balsa core, the balsa rots quickly and the boat that was once light, stiff and valuable gets heavy, limp and near worthless.
    That’s why you can buy a waterlogged J/24 sailboat for next to nothing.

    And a home-builder like me can use its parts in building a boat like this without spending thousands for keel or spars.
    9211280B-9CBE-418B-823E-DD1BFA48DC34.jpg
    8298AA8B-A6AA-4CF7-8C1B-7DAF8D6A2B28.jpg

    The boat is loosely based on Joel White’s Fox Island daysailer (plans from WB), and used the keel and spars of a J/24 that had come to its end. Its design and construction are a subject for another day.

    My point here is that recycling greatly reduced the cost of building it and, were I to sell the boat, I have a better chance at recovering more than materials costs.
    Last edited by JimConlin; 03-21-2022 at 12:49 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    This Peregrine on John Brooks' web page been listed for sale for quite a while. You may want to contact the owner to get his opinion about your idea: http://www.brooksboatsdesigns.com/pe...neforsale.html
    "Be curious, not judgmental." - (Misattributed to Walt Whitman as recalled by) Ted Lasso

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    ...and he's asking $14,500! That's a LOT of money for a rowboat.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    He only has to sell one !


    (old joke about a $50,000 tomatoe)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    You will not get paid for "Stuff", only for the problems you solve, the fear you can alleviate, the desire you fill or a combination of the three.

    The chances of doing that in pleasure craft are slim.
    Better try house building or commercial boats.
    Last edited by Sven Heesterman; 03-21-2022 at 06:28 AM.
    Sven

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    When you find a new classic pulling boat for free, let me know.
    Buyers for such a boat are as scarce as such a boat itself.


    Most people looking for a rowboat are not wooden boat nuts. Anything that floats and can be made to cross the creek or pond will serve. Old aluminum jon boats, fiberglass dinghies and small sailboats without the rig or hardware, are commonly available for very short money. Try telling, " John Q Public," that you want $800 or $1000 for a rowboat and they will look at you funny, smile and then walk away.

    Kevin

    ETA: You could always advertise the boat for sale while building the first one.See what kind of response you get. Who knows, maybe you'll even get a deposit and can work then with other people's money.
    Last edited by Breakaway; 03-21-2022 at 09:43 AM.
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building two boats to get one free?

    The feasibility of the OP's plan has a lot to do with the availability of places in which to row. In some places, boating is virtually unheard of. While in others, recreational boating is common. Puget Sound is a different place than the Mojave Desert.

    Jeff

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