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Old 23-01-2012, 14:33   #1
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Rules and Regulations for Building a Sailboat

Hello, Im planning on building a 36 foot sailboat, that will be used as a liveaboard. I was wondering if anyone knows the rules and regulations that I need to follow, to get insurance and whatever ever else I need to get.

Thank you, Jake
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Old 23-01-2012, 14:48   #2
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

What is law are what are found in the Code of Federal Regulations. There are laws for commercial builders found in the CFR's. Some of these laws are what the Coast Guard enforces for all vessels operating on navigable waters, such as having bilge blower for boats with engines.

What is advisory but not law are the ABYC standards. They are definitely a good thing to follow.

Insurance companies can have all kinds of requirements. Their requirements are not consistent between themselves.

With the market for used boats being so soft, I would consider purchasing a used boat that needs some work.

You will end up spending less on a basic hull and rigging by buying used than if you build from scratch. The labor you put into this will also be far far less by buying a used boat.
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Old 23-01-2012, 14:59   #3
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Hi Jake,

It also might depend on where you are. Different countries have different restrictions. Since this is a world wide forum you should indicate at least what country you are in to get pertinent information.
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Old 23-01-2012, 15:19   #4
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Thanks for the info so far! I am in the Chesapeake Bay, Eat Coast USA
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Old 23-01-2012, 15:28   #5
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

make sure it floats
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Old 23-01-2012, 15:41   #6
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Why build when boat prices are the lowest they have been in decades. You can buy a boat for less then the cost of the materials.
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Old 23-01-2012, 15:45   #7
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

That is very true but think about it as buying a new boat it will be cheaper to build it yourself for this size range. I know I could easily buy a used sail boat for next to nothing but it wouldnt quite be the same.
If you build your own, you know how to fix it and you will also no that there is no hidden rot you cant see yet. Also since im building it as a live aboard I can build both the cabin and deck in a way that will suite my needs best. Also it will just be fun
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Old 23-01-2012, 16:01   #8
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakegator View Post
it will just be fun
And nothing else (in my humble opinion)...
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Old 23-01-2012, 17:20   #9
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

I suggest you look at plans from known good designers. They take many of those rules into consideration and are happy to adapt your special desires. They can also offer some real life experience with what might sound like a good idea at first. I bought a custom boat mostly by accident and have spent 4 years addapting it to my needs. I do not know how much time you want to spend on the project but it always seems to be more than you expect. There are also many unfinished projects out there. Good luck the dream makes it all worth while. you can check out mine www.sailperseverance.net
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Old 23-01-2012, 18:29   #10
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Check out Wooden Boat. They have great write-ups on plans and kits. They also have links to all of thier vendors. If anything, it'll give you an idea of what is really involved in building your own boat.
WoodenBoat Publications, WoodenBoat Magazine, Professional BoatBuilder Magazine, Small Boats Magazine and Getting Started in Boats.
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Old 23-01-2012, 20:07   #11
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Take a look at my web site. It will explain the USCG regulations and some of the ABYC standards (there are far too many ABYC standards to cover them all). For a sailboat the important ones to are electrical systems and fuel systems. Although the site is aimed a boat builders getting into the business it holds good info for the amateur builder too. See New Boatbuilders Home Page
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Old 23-01-2012, 20:21   #12
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Re: rules and regualtions for building a sailboat

Please keep in mind that you will be on the earth for only so many days and no one knows how many. As a rule, the bare hull will be about 10% of the total cost of the boat. The big ticket items will be the propultion system, electrical system and the spars, sails & rigging. There will be also as much or as little as you care to spend on the interior fit out.

Please read Howard Chappells book, Boat Building. If you try to build a hull yourself you must have the skills to building a Hepplewhite hutch that floats. And no matter how good your craftsmanship is your boat will forever be a home built boat and as such will have a much lower market value. As has been posted before, there are lots of older boats available in the $25k - $35k range. Look at the ebay postings just today. I would advise you to put your money and your limited number of days living into one of those.
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Old 31-01-2012, 15:22   #13
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Re: Rules and Regulations for Building a Sailboat

Checked the user profile: a 20 yr old (!) college student (!) who claims to be an experienced small boat builder ...

but here rejects sage advice to buy, not build, thinks building a 35 foot boat is going to be for "fun," and hasn't bothered to browse the web for the rules and regulations that apply is:
(a) lazy;
(b) rude;
(c) intellectually impoverished;
(d) unrealistic, and
(e) abusive of the good will of the old salts on this forum.
If he needs such basic information, someone should introduce him to Google.

If he is unwilling to consider good advice, he shouldn't ask for it.

If he aspires to be a boat builder, he should plan to work at it, not expect others to do it for him.

If he's an experienced small boat builder, as his user profie indicates, why doesn't he already know a good deal about these things? Who has his small boats? Are they legal?

I, for one, have no more time for this thread.
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Old 31-01-2012, 16:27   #14
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Re: Rules and Regulations for Building a Sailboat

LH44 Anne, I have no intention to start an argument but if you can post your opinions then I feel I can post a response.
I have made no claim of being an experienced boat builder. My profile says the following, "...who has built some small boats in my free time, and currently one large sail boat that I intend to live aboard." This does not imply anything other than I have built some small boats. These boats were for personal use as well for family and friends and simple fishing boats. I'm not sure how you see that I was being rude, but if I was I apologize, as I said I understand their point but for my own reasons wish to build it my self simply a personal choice. Being unrealistic is dependent on the persons view, I prefer to challenge my self and have indeed, planned everything out and found that it is a very realistic goal, in my opinion. If it is not realistic for you then that is your opinion, and of course i respect that. I have accepted much advice from this forum and have certainly not "abused" their good will on this or any other thread. As far as asking on here rather than google, its alot easier have specific questions answered here, as I have tried google.
That being said you have your right to your opinions, and I thank you for them. Have a good day!

-Jake
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:23   #15
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Re: Rules and Regulations for Building a Sailboat

A very gracious response, Jake, to what I think was a bit of an over-reaction by Jim.

In terms of your original question, there are very few specific rules about building a boat. You can build whatever you want, as long as it meets the minimum USCG requirements. Getting it insured is a whole different matter.

I would check on some of the home-builder forums and ask there about insuring a home-built boat. My guess is that you'll find few insurance companies that are willing to take the risk, and those that do will charge handsomely for it. Nonetheless, good luck to you.
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