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Old 07-02-2013, 16:34   #1
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Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Hey guys. I have been pondering the idea of building a 40-45 foot cat. Just trying to figure feasibility. The main prob is where do you build it? Renting space at a yard will be cost prohibitive considering how long it takes to build.

I own my own house and the backyard is 17 x 20 m of flat ground. Block is 607m2. Its in suburbia (Bray Park). All my neighbours are cool. I wonder if its ever feasible to attempt something like that here?

A tent style setup would prob get me busted. I think if it was all hidden away in a shed the council wound not see it plus it could be insulated for noise. Sheds are so cheap now I can build a huge shed with slab for 15K. A shed beg enough would probably not be legal from the council? I found the rules saying I can have shed up to 80m2, but that's too small.

I know a guy who built a large alloy power cat in his backyard no too far from me (Redcliffe) and he got halfway through before neighbours complained and he had to finish it in a boat yard $$$.

The other option is to rent somewhere semi rural and rent my house out so the net cost would be similar. But then it will take ages for Nikki and I to get to work.

Any opinions?
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Old 08-02-2013, 13:11   #2
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Building a boat is going to be noisy at times. And noisy for long periods. Sanders, routers and thicknessers are noisy machines. Then there's dust. And paint spray....

Your neighbours might be good now, but a year of near constant noise could change that.

I think I had a near ideal situation. Small acreage, so the neighbours weren't too close, near the water for cheap launching, and the designer lived 5 minutes away.

IMO there wouldn't be much point in building a $15k shed, if it's going to be illegal. It just takes one neighbour to get pissed off, and you'll be tearing it down. Might as well just put up a polytunnel type on the dirt floor, and call it temporary. (Council are unlikely to believe a 15 x 10m slab of concrete is temporary)

I think the best bet would be to either look for shed space you can rent cheaply, or as you say, rent a house on a bigger block and build a temporary shed. That way the rent from your house will offset the cost.
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Old 08-02-2013, 14:02   #3
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

I seriously looked at building a boat from scratch (Easycat 37 looked good) but it all looked too expensive.

One of my major regrets was that warehouses in industrial estates were selling for reasonable amounts at the time. If I'd brought one I could have built a boat in it and sold it later to pay for everything. Entry looked a little narrow for a big cat but otherwise...

The other method I looked at was to do all the preparation and then line up a building team in the Philippines. 12 good men could have knocked one out is less than a year. With wages in Cebu/Negros running at P4,000-P10,000 a month the total labour cost looked likely to come out under $40k. Needed a very friendly experienced import agent in Manilla though.

Other than council, neighbour and access problems you're (and I don't care what all the other cat builders say) looking at 10,000 hours or more. That's why the Philippines became my preferred option.

In the end I brought Boracay as a "temporary" project to keep me going and to sell later.
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Old 08-02-2013, 14:06   #4
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Aren't you out in the Pacific right now sailing towards Oz?
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:00   #5
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Jimbo, I am back in AU now see here. Life afloat on a 40 foot boat.

44c. Yeah I would not spend significant amounts of money on something like a shed if it was not legal. Could end in disaster. I guess you are right about the noise etc. Its going to piss people off eventually.

Boracy, prob with international building team is that I would have to quit my job to oversee the work. I would want to live onsite for the duration of the build. I have heard many stories of theft and corruption unless you have a good manager. Was your plan to be the manager and do the whole thing on your own without using a boat yard?
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:24   #6
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

You also need to consider how to get it out of the yard and into the water. I've seen big cats transported that even needed road signs removed (usually to get around corners) along with the guys with poles pushing up the overhead wires. They're like trying to move a house. There was a story of a bloke that built a big ferro in Sydney one time that took so long he started off building it surrounded by paddocks but when finished it was in the middle of suburbia and he had to cut it in two (along the water line) to get it out and to a boatyard for reassembly.
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:27   #7
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

My plan was to retire, go to the Phils., live onsite and check everything. Start with one or two good workers and then to employ more as needed and they became available.

The preferred site was Nigel's yard in Port Bonbonon. Nice resorts and good food with an easy drive to Dumaguete. The yard in Carmen was my second choice.

Dumaguete looks have everything a boatbuilder might want outside of specialised materials. Mast and rigging would be tricky. I figured either a wood or carbon mast or to leave it and motor the boat to where a mast was available.

My recent experience suggests that there is no problem with anything that'll fit in a Balikbayan Box - we used 600x600x600 or the associated container but that bigger items could be tricky.

I didn't get as far as negotiations so I'm not sure what might have eventuated.

However compared with trying to build a boat in Oz and to hold down a full time job it would have been easy.
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:44   #8
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

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You also need to consider how to get it out of the yard and into the water. I've seen big cats transported that even needed road signs removed (usually to get around corners) along with the guys with poles pushing up the overhead wires. They're like trying to move a house. There was a story of a bloke that built a big ferro in Sydney one time that took so long he started off building it surrounded by paddocks but when finished it was in the middle of suburbia and he had to cut it in two (along the water line) to get it out and to a boatyard for reassembly.
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:54   #9
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Dennisail, I am a big fan of backyard building, sheds and so forth but each year there are more and more restrictions on what we can do in our own "castles".

Even if it is feasible right now, it may not be 2 or 3 years hence plus good neighbours have this annoying habit of moving and are replaced with neighbours from hell.

Have you considered building your own commercial building in an industrial park or similar. Put up 4 or 5 industrial units, rent them out but keep one for your use.

My mate did that in Brissy (somewhere on the south side), the rents received covered his interest and rates etc and he got a "free" industrial shed.

Need to do the figures of course but it worked or him .
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Old 08-02-2013, 18:58   #10
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

Hi Dennis,

i built a 10m Schionning power cat,took me 4.5 years every weekend 2-3 nights week and all my holidays (also used some labour for quite a few months) #-4000 hours was the quoted time to build, it actually nearly took 6500 and this is only half a 45 ft cat. i had a shed on an acreage about 10 mins from home and that was a bit of a pain, but at least no dust at home, this is a large undertaking and frm Bray park you will need to talk to mainRoads and council to find out what road works are expected on your propose launching route (mine got changed as a new road was built with a bridge that i had to go under, in the end i put mine into a nearby creek at a very high tide and floated it out to the sea that way.

time to build varies a lot depending on the boat design and whether you use kits etc just remember you need a lot of room around a boat to paint and work on it allow for an area to construct items, i had a shed double the area of my boat and that was tight. also the shed needs to be high enough inside so you can work on the top of your boat.

i built mine and worked full time, wife did all the mowing etc at home, and ran meals etc to me most days so i could spend as much time on the boat as possible, it also took a lot of time getting materials ,windows hatches etc etc etc, boat shows are good but you need to do a lot of legwork, also think about getting a surveyor to look at your boat at different intervals so that on completion it is easy to insure or more importantly a future buyer can confidently purchase an owner built boat and know it is built correctly

Good luck with you venture whichever way you decide, it is a big task but doable. Cost me around 30% more than i though mainly on extra labour to help and stuff i didn't hnow about before i started.
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Old 08-02-2013, 19:46   #11
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Re: Building boat in suburbia? QLD Au

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Yeah that's guy. Hope he's still with us somewhere. His posts just kind of stopped.
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