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Old 01-08-2010, 19:39   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bellingham WA
Boat: 17' faering Ironblood, building 34' schooner Javelin
Posts: 305
I have built about twenty boats, from an 8' pram to a 35' gaff schooner. I hired the welding done on the schooner hull. The others I did myself. My only long distance sailing has been Puget Sound - California - Mexico - Hawaii and back, so I am not as experienced as many on this website. I retired and decided to live aboard. I looked at dozens of plastic boats, all cheaply priced. I came to the conclusion that I could not live happlily aboard a plastic boat. I know that most people do, and that is fine for them. I am currently building a 32' double ended gaff rigged cutter. The cost depends on what you want in your boat. If you are only comfortable with a boat that has a big motor, it will cost you double to build it. My 32' DE cutter will go into the water at approx ten thousand dollars in materials. No motor. Labor will be about 1 and 1/2 yrs, full time, including making the sails. There is an incredible feeling going to sea in a boat you built with your own hands, which cannot be matched by much of anything else. It is absolutely true that if your goal is to be afloat as cheaply as possible, then building your own is madness. But if you love the creative process, if you love being afloat in your own construction, then building your own is THE way to go. Designing is another matter entirely. If you have built several large boats on your own, then it is maybe okay to alter an existing design. If you have not, don't do it. If you alter the design, be sure to do it with the designer's approval. If you have never built your own anything, then begin with a small pram, then build a 20 footer, then a 25 or so, and then consider your final project. The time invested is huge. And there will always be nay sayers who will tell you that you cannot do this or that. Pay attention to those with lots of experience, like the people on this website, and ignore the dock sailors who will always be around. For many of us, it is the going and the sailing. For a few of us, it is more. Do not ignore the fact that most of the boats of 30 plus feet that are begun are never finished. Be sure you KNOW who you are before you begin. It is a huge task. Above thirty feet, you chances of completion diminish drastically. But if it is in your heart and soul, go for it. Life is for living.

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Old 01-08-2010, 20:10   #17
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Asia
Boat: Swan 56
Posts: 891
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Well put MichaelC.

I went quite far down the way to building a boat before I pulled the plug. It just didn't add up financially. I couldn't justify the cost of the 'things that are important to me' over and above the price of a production boat.

But it is something that I'd love to do.....perhaps when I have more time and more money

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