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Old 06-02-2013, 09:58   #1
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Steel Boat Building Price and Advise?

good day everyone.

Im planning (maybe) to built my own sailboat....

Long story short, I want to retire in something around 40 ft long....only issue, the boats I can affort are not what I need... I want to stay around 45 000$ pricerange and only need a boat to liveaboard and sail too obviously...

req -sleep only 2, maybee 2 on the table too...
-complete head and shower
-refrigeration and complete oven
-water maker
-lots of storage....

I have full access to a steel\machine shop, welding, CNC, punch press, plasma cutter, torches, overhead crane.....but not to fold\shape metal...is it possible to have a rounded look that does not look like atank or an sea container?
If yes, how much time should I expect to finish the project??? and how much total....

is it doable or should I purchace a used boat and take it apart???
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:14   #2
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pirate Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

Why rounded... ???
Chined hulls give better storage areas, sail just as well if not better and stiffer when they hit that slot...
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:22   #3
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

It will cost you $100,000++ in gear alone to build a steel 40 footer. Building or rebuilding a boat from a hull and deck is a huge task. Building hull and all is way out of the ballpark for most people.
A semi-production built 30 ft aluminum power boat used to take us roughly 3000 hours to complete in a well prepared shop.
I would figure 4000 hours. In rough terms 20,000 lb of steel will cost maybe $20k with cutting charges, losses and remnants etc. All the gear really adds up fast. I put 50k of gear on a 31 footer I built in 1980. Todays prices are probably triple that.
If you only want to sleep two with accomodation for four a ready to sail 30 footer will work fine. $15k and your sailing!

Or if you like the metal work that much, finance the boat you want and work in the metal trades. You'll still be working with metal but sailing when you want also!
If yo are intent on steel, there seem to be a few around at great prices. Great place to start and customize....
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:30   #4
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

I'm learning that fixing something is much easier and cheaper than building it. In the $40K range, you may need to look at refitting an existing boat. You can spend most of your budget on the rigging alone.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:32   #5
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

Read the post from Cheechako carefully. That is the bottom line.

When I first caught the sailing bug and had little money I thought, gee build my own boat and get in for cheap. Totally wrong. It will cost way, way more money (don't even think about the thousands of hours of your time) to build a boat than to buy used. One possible exception; if you are the worlds best scrounger, can pick up used or salvaged bits like masts, winches, anchors, rigging, all the building materials, etc, etc, etc for free or cheap AND you count your labor for nothing, then maybe you can build one for less than buying used.

Much better plan. If you can't find one just like you want, buy one that's solid and well equipped and redo the accommodations.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:01   #6
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

I have spent $ 48,000 (materials only) on a Modification/refit of my 34 footer. Started with a serviceable hull and interior.

My head is a porta poti and bucket.
My shower is a garden sprayer.
My refrigeration = ice.
I have no oven.
I have no water maker.

I estimate that buying an existing used boat that meets your specs will be 5 times less expensive than building your own.

I do encourage people to build their own stuff has it can be tremendously satisfying. Saving money however, is not a reason to build from scratch.

Also, like Boatman said, hard chine is fine.

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:09   #7
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Ok, thanks everybody....guess the project is over.. Will probably look for a Catalina 36-40 and retrofit the thing when I have money....sounds like a liveable option????
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:11   #8
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

Here is link to a 42 foot Gazelle for $30,000. Its got everything you asked for except the refrigeration. It does not look like a shipping container (to me anyway).

Steve

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:22   #9
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

I have built and sailed a steel boat.

+ 1 on all of the above.

Example: Asking Price = $19K - Sandblast, paint and go sailing. Rigging may also need update, but this is a lot less work and money than building your own.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1579&url=
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:41   #10
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

Look on Craigslist/Oregon coast. There is a 50 footer there for 15,000 dollars. You cant buy the plate to build a 40 footer for that price. The add doesnt say much about the boat ,except that It is a twin keel ( which I happen to like). Communicate with the seller and see what work they think it needs, and then quadruple that estimate and you might have a viable situation. I also, went thru the steel boat building bug back in the 80s, and had a beautiful 40 footer designed , and only then really priced out everything. I gave up and bought a 37 foot steel boat and got a couple of east coast seasons, and a season in the Caribbean out of it, and sold it without losing a dime. It would have cost me 8 or 10 times as much, and years to have built the custom boat , and I probably would have taken a beating when I sold it. There was a 38 foot steel boat for sale about 6 months ago on the San Francisco C.L. that that was stripped out and had a dead engine. The last I saw of it, they were asking $3500 and it was on the list for a while at that price. As everyone else has said, building from scratch is an economic disaster. Just another 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:05   #11
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

man ... everyone is so negative.

You should drop an email to Brent Swain at Home - Origamiboats: The Art of Frameless Steel Boatbuilding

and flick through the website.

His book is well worth purchasing and reading.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:30   #12
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jannw View Post
man ... everyone is so negative.

You should drop an email to Brent Swain at Home - Origamiboats: The Art of Frameless Steel Boatbuilding

and flick through the website.

His book is well worth purchasing and reading.
Sorry, do not see anyone being negative at all. Just pointing out the realities of what it would cost to build your own boat. I doubt Brent has some magic source to buy masts, rigging, sails and all the bits and pieces you need for next to nothing.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:37   #13
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

+1 to all of the above, unless you live in Oz where plastic boats sell for ridiculous prices. And even then it's pretty marginal.

I'll echo the sentiments above regarding buying a plastic boat. Those below 36' look to be much better priced.
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Old 06-02-2013, 13:20   #14
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

There's a lot of realism around here.

HOWEVER: if you are a fabricator, welder, millwright, etc. in steel and have access to the tools, AND you have a heated, well-lit 20 foot tall shed with a driveway and huge doors, you could conceivably purchase a half-finished project boat from a guy a lot like yourself who got old, sick or died before the interior could go in.

OK, that's a bit negative, but you can lever your experience into completing, not necessarily building, a metal boat. There are loads of half-done Roberts designs around. Maybe one in eight is worth finishing, meaning the welds and cuts are done and it isn't overbuilt by a factor of three and it was properly coated and so on.

There's a lot of variables, but you have a head start on most of us. Keep looking and learning and you might find a deal that suits your time and skill set. Some people retire and start building a metal boat. That in my view might be too late. Sad for them, but at least you can give the estate a little bag of money to keep it from going to the scrapper.
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Old 06-02-2013, 13:23   #15
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Re: Steel boat building price and advise???

Check the Gazelle recommended by Panope. As long as it surveys well, you will never find a better sea boat. I love the building process, so I do my own. Unless you are in love with the process, don't do it. OTOH it is hard to find what you want if you don't. Look to the designs of Swain and Colvin for inexpensive, hell for stout boats. and in Colvin's case, pretty slippery as well.
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