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Old 06-01-2013, 20:04   #1
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Building for a living??

Hey all! Been here reading for some time as we look into getting a boat and sailing off into the sunset. The more I read, the more questions I have. I eventually stumbled upon home build kits which end to this question.

Can one make a decent living building boats and selling them? I'm talking about models maybe like the Fusion or Schionning models.
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Old 06-01-2013, 21:21   #2
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Re: Building for a living??

When I cruised in Australia, I met a guy who built aluminum catamarans in Australia and then sailed them unfinished up to Thailand where the interior was put in the boat.

He did this every couple of years. It worked for him, but it didn't look like a way to get rich.
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Old 06-01-2013, 21:37   #3
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Re: Building for a living??

When I was kid, I built two 8 foot prams with the intent to sell at a profit. I worked pretty hard for about 6 months. I did succeed and sold the boats for more that the cost of materials - 50 bucks more.

Just my experience. Maybe you can build boats faster and better than me.

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Old 06-01-2013, 23:38   #4
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Re: Building for a living??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Efam6 View Post
Can one make a decent living building boats and selling them? I'm talking about models maybe like the Fusion or Schionning models.
LOL, good way to go broke at the moment IMHO.

Mind you, if you take a similar pile of materials and make it into something like this, and then find some bunnies to brainwash that this is what is needed for river cruising at 12 knots, then you can squeeze millions out of them.



Boat Details - 50' Palm Beach 50 for Sale | Boat for Sale | Rowell Marine
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Old 06-01-2013, 23:55   #5
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Re: Building for a living??

Hmm... well there you go.

while looking I thought about building instead but that would take too long and we don't have the space for it. Some noted they were able to build a decent one for under $200k. I saw the kits ran anywhere from $75k - $150k. Some new ones were listed upwards of $500k. I thought there might be room to build something decent, make it more affordable and pull it off that way. I guess I'll have to find something else to do once the sailing is done.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:12   #6
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Re: Building for a living??

Have a look at Stallion marine in Australia. They are building finished boats for sale built from Schionning / Spirited 380 kits.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:15   #7
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Re: Building for a living??

If you have the skills to build something that will sell for more than the cost of materials then there are a lot of owners who'll pay very good money for you to fix their boats.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:32   #8
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Re: Building for a living??

You'd want to get the build time as low as possible and gain many efficiencies. With 2000-3000 hours for a basic Spirited build you'd want to build it quickly if you were considering wanting to make a living out of it.

Good post above - people will pay good money for repairs. Just like some house builders, they prefer doing renos versus new builds.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:53   #9
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Re: Building for a living??

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Originally Posted by ausaviator View Post
You'd want to get the build time as low as possible and gain many efficiencies. With 2000-3000 hours for a basic Spirited build you'd want to build it quickly if you were considering wanting to make a living out of it.

Good post above - people will pay good money for repairs. Just like some house builders, they prefer doing renos versus new builds.
This has been my experience.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:12   #10
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As the saying goes. How to make a small fortune in boatbuilding , start with a large one.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:15   #11
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Re: Building for a living??

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Efam6.

Boatbuilding might, generally, be considered a great way to turn a large fortune into a small fortune.

Oops. Dave beat me to it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:11   #12
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Re: Building for a living??

I am of the opinion that it all comes down to perspective, some home built cats for instance can sell for a hell of a lot more than the cost of materials. I have seen easy-(Snell designs) sell for well over 200k, Holiday design that cost 100k to build and sold for over 200k. If you have to be paid as you go or you are building with borrowed money then you are most likely doomed, but if the build process is something that you love to do and have excellent workmanship, and you have an income to keep the wolves away then you just have to be realistic about what your labour of love is worth (this being what you can get for it). If you can keep it real and finance it off your own back, build a design that you are in love with,then regardless how long this takes the worst thing that you end up with is a boat finished to a very high standard, that you know back to front and OWN!
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:29   #13
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Re: Building for a living??

I remember reading an article years ago, about a guy who built fine sailboats handcrafted entirely out of salvaged driftwood. He lived on the Gulf Islands near Vancouver, and had no trouble selling these boats, but I have heard nothing about him or his boats for 20 years or so.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:30   #14
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Re: Building for a living??

Probably find that with a known design / kit that some boatyards already do offer to build one for you (in full or in part) - and that many would if you wanted them to (and paid them!).

The question is then whether you could offer the same ability or make more money by financing the build yourself and selling the end product. My bet is that as a kit boat won't have the same brand name as more maintstream production models and would still have the aura of being a DIY build / Kit boat that selling at the premium needed (for taking all the risk yourself) would be a struggle.....my main clue would be whether anyone else is already doing that - I suspect not, as a lot of capital to tie up. Many boatyards for low volume builds need the buyer to part finance from at least stage payments - and those are not simply about making sure the buyer does not back out!, it's cashflow and capital.

Of course not to say impossible..........
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:56   #15
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Re: Building for a living??

Just from my own experience building a wharram tiki 26 for my self, I would not dream of doing this for a living on a small scale unless as has been said before you are filthy rich.
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