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Old 12-04-2011, 19:45   #1
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Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Hey all, I am looking for companies that I can order a fiberglass hull, deck, rudder and cabin top from. Any suggestions? I am looking for one in the 32' to 34' range with a full keel. Do any boatyards have moulds of this type?

Also, what about a steel boat of the same design? Any good boatyards that come to mind?
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Old 14-04-2011, 19:06   #2
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Used boats in this size range, rigged, with engines and systems installed and ready to go, are probably available for less than what it would cost for you to buy the parts you've listed. You'd get a known quantity in terms of build quality and sailing abilities. You'd be able to go out sailing this season instead of having to wait perhaps a year to get your parts, and then another one or two to put everything together. Saying where you are would help people direct you to local builders who will tell you this themselves.
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Old 14-04-2011, 19:20   #3
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Why not just buy a fixer-up of good quality builder, strip it out and go from there. Fiberglass hulls, if done right, last a looong time. And a used hull will be a lot less then a newly built one at todays costs for materials, which are increasing daily, I might add.

The only advantage to a new build is it would have a fresh gelcoat. But if your going to finish a boat, that gelcoat will most likely get damaged. There is an old Choy Lee sitting next to me that could use some TLC. I bet it would sell cheep too, as an example.


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Old 15-04-2011, 04:31   #4
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

The main problem with old fibreglass boats is teh cored decks are inevitably compromised in places, fixing them properly is a big job

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Old 15-04-2011, 05:48   #5
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Cape George Cutters.

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Old 08-08-2013, 00:23   #6
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Hello, I was also looking into getting a bare hull or fixer upper.
I am currently located in Annapolis on my 30 ft S2 but I want something to eventually sail back over to Europe - looking into something in the 40-50 ft area. And I would also like to either outfit myself or at least do lots of the interior myself. If a rig is up there already it would be great, engine wise I have my own ideas, so even without engine would be fine for me...
Any suggestions where something like that could be found? I already tried the usual suspects eBay and Craiglist but without succes...
Thanks for any advice!
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Old 08-08-2013, 00:56   #7
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

We built a Westsail 32 from a bare hull and deck. Had more money in it after 3 months of construction than I could have bought a finished boat for from the factory. Sad thing was it was still basically an empty fiber glass bath tub 9 months away from launch and 18 months away from sailing. If your goal is to save money, buy a used boat cheap and fix it up. If you want the experience and satisfaction of building your own boat have at it. The two thi gs are mutually exclusive.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:21   #8
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

I am well aware of the fact it is not a cheap undertaking. And a used boat that needs fixing up would work for me as well.
I do however apreciate the work and can do 90 percent of it myself and the main reason for that would be, that I can outfit a boat in the exact way I want it...
But still, anybody an idea where to start looking for a boat that needs a good bit of TLC?
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:55   #9
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Sounds similar to what I did with Boracay.

After realising that the available "serviceable" yachts (This is in Oz!) were beyond any reasonable budget, and that even spending more than I could afford I would still need to do extensive upgrades.

I brought Boracay as essentially a steel hull and deck with good looking mast and rigging. There was no interior and the engine had covered the interior of the boat with a good thick layer of oil.

First I would suggest that a fibreglass hull may well be beyond your means. I found that anything even remotely usable in glass was going for lunatic prices. A quick look on Yachtworld in a reasonable price range only showed boats that were mostly over 30 years old and upgrading them to cruising condition may have been a very lengthy and expensive proposition.

That said this is not 2006, we have had the GFC and I have seen boats go for something like what they may have been worth.

You don't mention your budget, cruising skills or why you want such a large boat but my opinion is that ex charter yachts are currently the best value, being priced well below the cost of buying a fixer upper and fixing 'er up.

So my suggestion is to find sufficient cash to buy an ex charter boat, acquire the skills to accurately assess boat condition and (if you don't have them already) get the sailing skills to get the boat to where you want it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:24   #10
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Bluewater Cruising Yachts In Newcastle, Australia who built my boat to completion have supplied many hull & decks for owner fit out although not recently to my knowledge. My boat was paid for in installments and the hull, deck,integral lead keel & integral water tanks was one of the installments and it was not expensive at all. The big bucks go into all the bits and pieces and the fit out.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:40   #11
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Thanks for all the answers!
The reason why I want to go that size (I know it is big...) is that I would like to have a couple of people on board most of the time, transits would mostly be two people but the idea is to do diving/marine biology classes on board so space is needed...
And I understand that a used boat is always cheaper - and I'm not saying that is not a option, but I need to fit the interior out in a specific way which will not be an off the shelf yacht...
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:50   #12
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by RW Sailor View Post
Thanks for all the answers!
The reason why I want to go that size (I know it is big...) is that I would like to have a couple of people on board most of the time, transits would mostly be two people but the idea is to do diving/marine biology classes on board so space is needed...
And I understand that a used boat is always cheaper - and I'm not saying that is not a option, but I need to fit the interior out in a specific way which will not be an off the shelf yacht...
in my extensive "from scratch boat building" experince there are lots of half finished projects out there!

mainly people like yourself with great ideas who rush into something they know little or nothing about!

they then proceed to spend shedloads of money on materials,boat parts etc,or some get to maybe the 5th bulkhead before realising the enourmity of the task ahead,and how much more time,money and effort needed.

these dead seagulls you will find in most boat yards around the world!
generally with the owners still paying the yard fees,as they have too much money invested in the failed project to get 10cents on the dollar if they sell!

look on ebay,and at yard/chandler noticeboards these half finished projects dot the planet like flotsam after a storm,or a divorce!
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:54   #13
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

In the UK long ago (in the 1970's!) Colvic were the largest (?) supplier of bare GRP hulls to both home builders and to Yards (some of which did very good results).......there were also a few yards building own hulls and finished boats small scale who would sell bare hulls (or Hull and deck) for DIY Completion...........but they all long since gone........I suspect because folks like Beneteau killed the DIY market by selling boats which were both cheaper than DIY and nicer! (for most), and with easy credit not having cash on hand became no problem (DIY building was as much about owner financing).

I only mention all that because I suspect that USA the same (the market for DIY builds long gone, if it existed at all) and that therefore will be needing a custom build, or to approach a yard about taking a bare hull for a current production boat (albeit some would likely not want to risk a DIY build tainting their brand).......although not a great fan of steel boats (albeit I can see there attractions - just can't be bothered with the downsides, mainly from laziness!) for a one off build (by self or a proffessional) I think worth a close look, especially in the 40/50 foot range.

But likely the best value (for your needs) is in buying a project on the basis that it will be completely gutted - and paying accordingly. But still need to be sure about the hull (and decks, if keeping).
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:12   #14
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

Cape George is the only boat I can think of like what you want that might still supply bare hulls. They are located somewhere in the Pacific NW. Might be better to move out there and build it out then truck and empty hull cross country.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:36   #15
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Re: Ordering a Bare Fiberglass Hull

It's harder to find boats on the bottom end of the spectrum that would be suitable for stripping and refurbing, usually no one wants to spend money even to get rid of them. You may find one or two in Craigslist but you would be more likely to find them abandoned in boatyards. Most boatyards with a number of abandoned boats that need to go will hold an auction from time to time to get them off their lots and open the space for paying storage customers. This usually takes place in the end of the sailing season when they are trying to make room to fit in winter storage boats.
It doesn't hurt to cruise the marina/storage facilities and ask the yard manager if they have any boats going up for auction or any that are owned by distressed individuals, you are most likely to find a bargain this way. If your looking for a boat to strip and refurbish you will open a wider field of possibilities. Many boats go for little or nothing at these auctions if the interior is compromised, usually by standing water inside due to neglect, it scares many buyers away. I've been stunned by how cheap some perfectly good boats have gone for when they didn't fit the needs of those at the auction. Then again, I've seen some real junk go for too much when a couple bidders got into a pissing match, the trick is to walk away when the price exceeds the value of the boat. The value of an auction boat is in the eye of the beholder, it's best to do a thorough inspection prior to the auction, major structural or rot issues, structural grid damage, etc, is a show stopper. Look very closely before bidding.
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