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Old 07-10-2014, 22:48   #1
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Fiberglass boat building

I am thinking taking on a project that it could be way to much to handle for me. So I thought this is the best place to start a conversation.
The first question would be did any of you build a Bruce Roberts 53 sailboat or does anyone has a rough idea how much it would cost to finish? Hull it is ready and is being given to me.

Second question would be is this a normal for a fiberglass hull? In the photos provided you could see through the light (Hull it is out on the sun) although it still needs the gell coat.
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Old 08-10-2014, 00:33   #2
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

Being able to see tru the hull even with gelcoat is normal

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Old 08-10-2014, 01:55   #3
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

Yes it's normal.

But--this project will cost you a lot more than you're probably expecting. There's a whole deck, rig, [and all the running rigging, and the winches, windlass, anchor] and interior fitout to do. You will need the plans, and the knowledge to check whether the hull was reinforced where it needs to be to accept the rig loads. It's a huge project, and will take $$$$$ all the way along.

Not knowing how much of a DIYer you are, I won't recommend against it as a building and fulfilling project, but it ain't gonna be cheap. You will probably spend more than buying an already built 50 ft. production boat, but what you would have might last longer, and depending on your skill level (be honest with yourself here) possibly be prettier.

As an additional caveat, I'll add that not everybody who builds a boat likes to sail them.

You might be better off to buy a trailer sailer or a pocket cruiser and go sailing!

Beware of your own dreams, they can lead you far astray.

Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:41   #4
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
You will probably spend more than buying an already built 50 ft. production boat...
This is the main thing to be aware of. If you think this is going to be a cheap way to get into a boat like this, think again. It is going to take you years of time, and gobs and GOBS of money, to finish this.

If you want a project, great. This is a project. If what you really want, however, is to go sailing, then this is (as my grandma used to say) takin' the long way 'round the barn.

The reason that you see so many half-finished project boats out there for sale (or someone trying to give them away) is because too many people who really just want to go sailing instead get themselves a project. They work on it for a while, realize how much time and money it is eating up, get discouraged, and quit.

Again, if you want a project, buy a project. If you want to go sailing, buy a sailboat.

Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:35   #5
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

First thank you all for the kind and honest replies. I was expecting around 100K to spend on the project and doing 90% of the job myself with the help of some friends. However I have read a lot of stories that say the same thing. Don't get a project boat if you like sailing. I love sailing so I should not get into this project boat.

I still get tempted to work on a boat...but definitely a much smaller one with less work to do.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:52   #6
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

If you use quality materials I would estimate the cost at 150-200K. That's the cheap component. Your time would be between 7000-10,000 hours. I have done it, you have love doing the work.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:00   #7
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

I built my Roberts 434 and strechedot so it's about 46. Took almost 20,000 hours. That's the issue not so much the money.
Can give ya details email me

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Old 08-10-2014, 08:40   #8
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

As a rule of thumb, the hull and deck represent less than 10% of the cost of building the completed yacht. Like an iceberg, you'r only seeing the tip of it.
1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:46   #9
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Re: Fiberglass boat building

If you enjoy working with your hands, buy a boat and build a dinghy for it.
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