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Old 04-12-2013, 08:33   #31
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I think this is a great idea. That's how many businesses were started. The short comings would be to find others that are self supporting so they can be there to work and then to figure out a way to fairly apportion the work on each boat in the event the others are not pulling their load. The biggest difference, which is an important one, in forming a business alliance is trying to get dedication from all parties when they don't have anything substantial in the way of money at risk.
I also disagree with your math. It takes a given amount of man hours to build a boat. Not too many short cuts in labor. The only real savings in labor is in running wiring and plumbing where you would have someone in a different compartment to pull stuff through. Also in heavy lifting operations. If you are going to hand laminate, normally you will need two people anyway. Sanding takes the same total man hours per boat whether you make one boat or 100.
Building from scratch on small scale will probably cost you as almost much as buying the finished product from a manufacturer. You will save a good amount of money on the hull but that's about it. As far as wholesale discounts, building 3 boats is hardly considered buying in bulk. If you plan on buying used masts and engines you will essentially be building a used boat. Buying new will blow you away.

The time spent in building the female molds for only 3 boats will probably not save much over building 3 'one-offs'. Might even cost more time overall.

The next item: Getting a crane 3 times for 3 boats to lift them out of the molds.
Then again for the decks.

While still a good idea, there are lots of kinks to be worked out.

If your goal is to just build a catamaran for yourself, you would be better off going it alone and hiring grunt help when you need it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:26   #32
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I suppose if you have never built fiberglass parts from female molds, you would not understand how much faster it is. That is all I can think of why few just don't 'get it'.
I made a custom car front end by glassing over a foam shaped form, and it took hundreds of hours to make it, and in fact, still not perfectly smooth.
Look at knotty boyz thread and you see how much time and effort it takes to build this way.

A made a hood in about 3 days making a female mold and then making the hood from it.
And bumpers, fenders, doors, etc, etc. There is just nothing faster. And that is why all production boats are made this way.

Go look how a Fusion 40 is made.

Don't really know what else I can say, can explain till I'm blue in the face but seems not to get through.

There are definitely issues to work out when having a team project.
But when people are intent to make it work and achieve the end goal,
they find ways to work them out.
If one just wants to say it won't work any excuse will do.
Obviously a financial commitment is needed by the partners to buy materials,
so one can't just walk away.

I have no problem with used parts, and almost always build things from used parts. Everything is 'new' for only an instant, then it is 'used' its entire life.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:38   #33
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

But the thing you don't seem to get is that to make your mould, you first have to build that custom car front end, get it absolutely PERFECT, then you can take a mould from it. Except on a vastly bigger scale.

Also, building moulds the size of a boat isn't straightforward. They need a great deal of steel reinforcement to hold them in shape. They're big and heavy. Moving them around isn't easy.

And maybe you should go look at how long it actually takes to COMPLETE a Fusion 40. Assembling the moulded components is only a small part of the picture. Finishing the inside of a moulded boat is a far longer process.

If your maths worked, the boat manufacturers would be hiring thousands of workers, spitting out a new boat every 1/2 second or so, selling them for little more than the cost of materials, and still be making a profit..
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:21   #34
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

MR Nimble,
Here's a few facts:
Boats are a high end luxury good, people who buy boats usually want something way beyond their means.
Boat buyers / owners resent outlaying every dollar involved.
I agree with your logic and admire your ethic but reality is no one will be interested until you do the bulk of the work, outlay for the bulk of the tooling and then offer it to them at a firesale price to recover some costs. Sorry, human nature.
If you do get some onboard you will be constantly bickering over everything down to who's turn to buy the the coffee and biscuits. (because I wasn't there last week and you guys had more than me)
I have seen this work once.
Three business men started a company, built the tooling and 3 identical boats with professional staff. They then folded the company and claimed the tax write off.
I don't know the financial details I was a laminator.
This was in the '80's when carbon and Kevlar were new to boats and vacuum bagging was cutting edge ! Each boat was identical down to the titanium stanchions which of course they ordered as a job lot.
Good luck with it I wish you well.

I am no longer involved in boatbuilding/repairs as I just got sick of chasing owners for payment for every bit of work done.
Whilst working on boats can be rewarding work for the self satisfaction, dealing with the owners is too often thankless and soul destroying.
And I hope you owners out there take this onboard.
If you find yourself a good tradesman look after him !
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:30   #35
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

If your maths worked, the boat manufacturers would be hiring thousands of workers, spitting out a new boat every 1/2 second or so, selling them for little more than the cost of materials, and still be making a profit..[/QUOTE]

And this is exactly how new cheap labour takes over an industry, first Japan, then Korea and now China, i.e. Chinese v German solar panels.

Maybe after we've been through the Asian and African nations it will be Europe and then Americas turn again !
Old boat building saying,
"They want European quality at a Chinese price"
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Old 06-12-2013, 16:32   #36
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

My math is perfectly fine.
Let's see YOUR math.
Please give me examples to back up what YOU say.
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Old 06-12-2013, 17:08   #37
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I simply don't believe building molds will work. Talking with and having watched several cats built mold building is very costly and time consuming as 44C said.

Seems to me the least cost way for an owner builder is by going down the route of one off flat panel kits as 44C used for his impressive build or use the Kelsall KSS table technique of infusion on flat panels. If you didn't want to buy a kit you could infuse your own panels on a table to a few designs plans such as Oram, Kurt Hughes, Kelsall etc.

Some simple molds could be done for common internals etc similar to a car bonnet. However hull molds without real capital behind are just to expensive to build. Have seen several cat builders go out of business building molds.

What ever route you take - best of luck.

There is no easy, cheap option.

Cheers
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Old 06-12-2013, 17:28   #38
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
My math is perfectly fine.
Let's see YOUR math.
Please give me examples to back up what YOU say.

Your maths isn't even maths. From your site:

"What is really clear from my research is that having help makes the progress often 5x faster. I also know from my experience that doing something the first time is 10x more difficult than doing it a second time. This leads to the idea of a boat build co-op.
The herding-cat boat build co-op idea is to have 2 others that also want to build a catamaran. We work together to build all 3 of our boats. If we believe the previous 5x and 10x speed improvements, building 3 boats together should be 50x faster than building 3 boats individually."

So 3 guys could build a boat 50 times faster than one? For instance, you really think 3 guys could have built my boat in THREE WEEKS?
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Old 06-12-2013, 17:52   #39
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Do you have a design picked out you want to build yet, so we can check your math?

What you could do, is pick up the phone after you've got a design you want to build and give these guys a call: Vectorworks Marine, LLC - Production Tooling

They can lead you down the path of building a female mold, that is fair without having to build a plug. 40 foot boat... 3 guys, 6 months to get mirror fair. What sort of labor cost do you associate with saving both the materials and time... Of just starting out with the mold.

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Old 06-12-2013, 18:09   #40
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

This trimaran is using CNC cut female moulds in polystyrene (I think).
GF42 trimaran design - Page 2 - Boat Design Forums
They expect to get maybe 4 releases, this could be the way to go for a short co-op type production run.
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Old 06-12-2013, 18:54   #41
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

There seem to be some valid points made by both sides here but having been involved in a fair share of refits and builds myself I agree that there is a lot that can be done if you are committed to making it happen and willing to make the sacrifices to get there. Getting a few people to equally commit is where i see the problem mostly. I'd be happy to help by donating our hull plug to this Co-op team but thats only part of the battle.
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Old 06-12-2013, 19:48   #42
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

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Originally Posted by Maltese52 View Post
There seem to be some valid points made by both sides here but having been involved in a fair share of refits and builds myself I agree that there is a lot that can be done if you are committed to making it happen and willing to make the sacrifices to get there. Getting a few people to equally commit is where i see the problem mostly. I'd be happy to help by donating our hull plug to this Co-op team but thats only part of the battle.
Maltese52
That would be great! Since I was planning to extend one of my existing hulls to 50ft to use as a plug, the time spent doing that would be eliminated,
and I assume your plug is already smooth. Where on the west coast are you?
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Old 06-12-2013, 20:20   #43
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

The Maltese 52 was built in the Channel islands area and the plug lies there. But like I said you would have a long way to go from there. Any member on this forum who has done anything bigger than a canoe can tell you that. You can find me online with google at maltese catamarans and I'd be happy to discuss my offer. I meantime let's talk about where and how your gonna get this done. You find other interested co op members yet?
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Old 06-12-2013, 21:05   #44
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

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Originally Posted by Maltese52 View Post
The Maltese 52 was built in the Channel islands area and the plug lies there. But like I said you would have a long way to go from there. Any member on this forum who has done anything bigger than a canoe can tell you that. You can find me online with google at maltese catamarans and I'd be happy to discuss my offer. I meantime let's talk about where and how your gonna get this done. You find other interested co op members yet?
I have two others with some interest.
Full-time boat building is at least another year out, perhaps three,
so there is no particularly hurry. My current hulls and where the building will take place (unless another partner has better idea/location) is a yard in the Sac Delta next to the water.
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Old 06-12-2013, 21:59   #45
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Dear Nimblemotors, Honestly, you may want to get in touch with Multihulls direct Farrier Marine Have each person contract to what ever build stages that would work for each member.

I can't see anyone being able to finish a cat at a more reasonable cost than an outfit like that. I have no connection other than being the last private builder of the Flagship F-44SC and I was happy to see the line of boat continue.

With overseas labor and an excellent design, again, I don't think anyone could do better by bootstrapping.
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