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Old 09-12-2012, 07:46   #46
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The cheapest way to build your own boat is to let someone else build it for you, and fail. Then you buy the finished hull for pennies on the dollar and finish what was started.

The hull is the cheapest and fastest part. Fitting out the interior of a boat takes twice as long.

Think;

Cabling, plumbing, insulation, interior skin, and mostly building interior cabinetry where half of the cabinets are not based on straight lines and scribing and fitting takes time!

Then finish trim, systems integration, engine installation, and on and on and on.

The hull build is like eating desert before dinner. It is fun, easy and quick and also the reason why a vast majority of self builds fail. They think once the hull and deck are on that it is downhill from there. It is the opposite, it is like skiing down into a valley with no lift out. The skiing is the fun part and no you have to hike back out.

No reason not to do it, but plan for 2 years if you are working full time.

Also, adding labor only helps so much as regardless of how any people are involved you can only go so quickly.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:52   #47
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First if you can weld good enough to build a steel boat you can learn to weld aluminum. The importance of the weight isn't just in final boat weight. Handling steel plates without proper equipment and HELP will be all but impossible. Much of the cost difference will be ate up in sanding, priming and keeping rust a bay. I suggest buying an engineered boat with all the parts pre-cut and delivered on a skid or two, so all you do is weld. You might hire that also, so you would just finish the boat...that is the hard part.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:52   #48
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

very good points.
especially on the labor front.
i could hire 100 people and it would not be done in 13 hours.
i have played with the idea of hiring someone as a full time worker to just work on the boat 40 hours a week.
my plan will look like this:
hull:
build pontoons in the back yard (7 acres)
move all cut parts and finished pontoons to the port
finish the structure
install windows, prop shafts, props and pulleys (boat will be electric driven)
paint.
then it will be floated.
then i can wire the boat, plum, and do the flooring.
at this point i would move onto the boat.
then me and the wife can start on the finish work over the next however many years it takes.
so in 3 years the goal is to be to the float point. not completed.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:54   #49
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggegner View Post
First if you can weld good enough to build a steel boat you can learn to weld aluminum. The importance of the weight isn't just in final boat weight. Handling steel plates without proper equipment and HELP will be all but impossible. Much of the cost difference will be ate up in sanding, priming and keeping rust a bay. I suggest buying an engineered boat with all the parts pre-cut and delivered on a skid or two, so all you do is weld. You might hire that also, so you would just finish the boat...that is the hard part.

i can get the pre-cut, pre-painted kit for 96,000 euros delivered
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:00   #50
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Remember the fit out takes much longer than the hull build. You would be better served keeping the finished hull next to the workshop that you will be using to build the interior. If you are living on the boat and in a marina you will dramatically slow down your process, dramatically!
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:01   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobert View Post

i can get the pre-cut, pre-painted kit for 96,000 euros delivered
No you are talking....have a good welder put the hull together...the designer should be able to estimate the number of hours of welding that will be required. Find a good welder that wants to do the job...emphasize you want a good hull that is not bent to make if fit. Welders can draw plates into shape if needed. You want a hull that "snaps" together nicely so the hull will sail nicely, more importantly minimal stresses will be captured in the hull. Keep us informed. I wish I could do a project like this.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:53   #52
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

It sounds like no matter what people tell you, that you will do it your way anyways. I have not seen one post here encouraging you that you are on the right path. So maybe you need this experience for yourself. Even where you live is not the best place to build. No one likes working in the cold.
Personally, I think you should learn to do more with less...42-48ft. cat. Buy used fiber-glass and listen to people that have built their own. But that's just me. i wish you the best...but I have seen projects like this tear families apart.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:03   #53
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We all need to learn the hard way, at least I did. If people listened to advice from people that made the mistakes they are about to make then what fun would that be?

I actually enjoyed my mistakes, my favourite way of learning.

Wish mistakes in boats weren't so bloody expensive though!
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:09   #54
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
We all need to learn the hard way, at least I did. If people listened to advice from people that made the mistakes they are about to make then what fun would that be?

I actually enjoyed my mistakes, my favourite way of learning.

Wish mistakes in boats weren't so bloody expensive though!
Unfortunately true. But not all mistakes are fun and few are cheap. Plus, I was a slow learner. Not to mention the physical scares from miles of cutting and welding steel. Then there was the time that was taken away from family time.
I think if there are any do it yourself boatyards in the OP's area, he should take a stroll through a few and see all the forgotten dreams that sit there.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:19   #55
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

Aluminum is so much easier to work with You can cut it with wood working tools, easier to form into place and with a good mig welded not really that hard to weld Remember you woiill be living with this boat a long time, do you really want to be chasing rust for that long?
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:07   #56
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
We all need to learn the hard way, at least I did. If people listened to advice from people that made the mistakes they are about to make then what fun would that be?

I actually enjoyed my mistakes, my favourite way of learning.

Wish mistakes in boats weren't so bloody expensive though!
mistakes can be a great learning tool.
i will be making my final decision in the spring.
i am very tempted by the aluminum trawler i found.
needs a TON of work, including hard parts, but could be had very cheap.
i cannot help but contemplate every avenue before making my final choice.
i could get the trawler and make it semi solar. meaning to move the boat would require diesel, but it would be supplemented by 15-20,000 watts of solar. OR i can get a battery bank capable of pushing the boat a limited distance. by my calculations, a $12,000 battery system could push the boat 12 miles every 3rd day, and i would not need a generator. i know from learning the past 4 years a 58' trawler would be fine for passages as well.

so i need time to think. but a metal boat is the best bet either way. built or bought. i hope i have learned a few things here, including that costs may outstrip my income. thank you

please feel free to correct me if i am wrong on any of that.
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:08   #57
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

Good Grief!
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:22   #58
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

Is your goal to build a boat, or to cruise? Sounds like the experimental electric drive, and build time equal many, many years. That is if it actually works.
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:27   #59
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

the drive is not experimental. its being used right now.
cannot undock for 5 years.
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Old 09-12-2012, 17:51   #60
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Re: Steel or Aluminum

you realize most large ships today are diesel electric?
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