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Old 22-06-2017, 04:26   #16
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

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Hi there! Quick question for those in the area and who built their cats. Trying to work all of the logistics before proceeding to a long journey, but can't find any info on ......................................... done it let me know, I'd like to do my homework.
Cheers, Yev
Hello Yev

I build a 50' catamaran in Johannesburg and then transported it 1600 kilometers by truck to Cape Town, South Africa - S Glass, Carbon, Super Lite balsa, epoxy vacuum construction. It took 3 years of building to finally get it to it's destination. To make the build possible, we sold a townhouse (condo), moved to a small holding, build our new house, then build a small factory for the yacht - fitted out with all the plant, tools and machines one can desire.

Having done exactly what you are about to do, I am going to give you advice based on my experience;

1. We knew nothing about yachts or how to build them - it was a steep, lengthy and costly learning curve.

2. We over engineered many things on the yacht which added expenses and extra weight.

3. It brought strains and several hectic arguments to the marriage - fortunately we are still together and now enjoying the yacht.

4. It was massively more expensive than planned - in fact, with the money we spend on our yacht, we could have bought at least two production yachts of similar spec. We bought all the equipment at retail price where boat builders buy at trade prices. We spend far too much money on labour who knew even less than what we did.

5. Unless you want something very different and not available anywhere else, besides many other negatives, from a pure financial viewpoint, I strongly advice you not to build your own yacht - rather buy one or order one from a reputable boatyard.

6. Having said all of the above, despite far too many negatives to mention here, there were positives building our own yacht. We have a sense of achievement, it gave us purpose, proving that ordinary folk with no experience can build a large quality yacht. In addition, we build a custom yacht taking care of most of our requirements.

But all of this came at one hell of a price - money, determination, set backs, mistakes, frustration, months and months of slogging away. Honestly, if I had to do it all over again, I will search for a near perfect yacht (of which there are many), sit down with the boatyard with our specific requirements and let them build it. But be aware, that this can also become another nightmare for a variety of reasons - but that is another discussion.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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Old 22-06-2017, 04:38   #17
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

I paid retail for very few items. Always tried to deal with wholesalers, and explained that I was building a boat. Most companies treated me as an OEM boatbuilder.

I don't think you could buy any new production cruising cat for what ours cost. Certainly nothing over 35 feet. Probably not a mono either, come to think of it.
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Old 22-06-2017, 08:40   #18
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

A boat builder friend a few years back had a co-worker, also boat builder, who was shuttling back and forth between VA and MA. Back in VA this guy had orders for 2 or 3 under 40' cats and they were under construction on the waterfront land which he bought for the very purpose. As far as I recall this was in the boonies in VA on some navigable creek or river but not too far from the blue water. To make a long story short this ended in bankruptcy as this was 2008 or 2009 and the guy's orders dried out. But I take it that it's doable just have to get over the local hurdles such as permits, zoning, etc.
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Old 22-06-2017, 09:21   #19
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

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After 4 years building you only cruised for 7 hours?
No .....61320 hours !

If any other mistake , feel free ....
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Old 22-06-2017, 13:08   #20
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

Revelations: Ohh my what a story and journey you had! There are bunch of roadblocks already weighting on me as you can see. I've had that in mind to have someone to build it to my specs, even contacted boat builder in South Africa who quoted me with the price of close to $1 mill USD for their Schionning 1500 Cruise version called Major tom I believe. Now there is no way I'm paying 1 mil for a boat, for a house maybe even then I don't need that big and expansive of a house and sit in it and work for it till I die . My rough estimate for the boat I want as far structure and some items came out at around $350K USD give or take (am I way off?). If your cost was close to a mill that you could spend for an already built boat then I have to reconsider and maybe look for a better deal as far as boat building company somewhere in Thailand or South America then sail it to my destination and back home, what an adventure would that be! So the plan is to take my time as I'm still in my early 40s and realistically can only allocate month and a half of vacation during a year (should be good for any trip down south). Building is definitely a major part of the fun and challenge I'm willing to face, just have to be smart and cautious about it since I still raise two little kids. Project wont be full time, it'll be after work evenings and weekends.
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Old 22-06-2017, 13:40   #21
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

Island Time O25: That's the plan to get the water front land and build shed near water with main door facing beach so after completion I could launch it from there. If some retractable rails with electric winch could be used to pull it out of the water for storage or service then might as well keep the shed in place and use it as boat garage avoiding all of the expenses from marinas. 2008 was a rough time after market crash, some of my friends lost hundreds of thousands because of that. So shopping around and researching on how feasible this whole crazy idea is. This Sunday I'm heading out to Annapolis to look around and feel atmosphere in there and if some marinas open will talk to them as well. Decision decision decisions.
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Old 22-06-2017, 15:27   #22
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

You can buy a truck chassis from a wrecker and weld on a frame to make a launch/retrieval trolley.

Tow it with a 4 wd or tractor.

It's how we launched ours.
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Old 22-06-2017, 20:39   #23
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

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You can buy a truck chassis from a wrecker and weld on a frame to make a launch/retrieval trolley.

Tow it with a 4 wd or tractor.

It's how we launched ours.
Great idea as well! Thanks for the tip.
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Old 23-06-2017, 05:12   #24
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

So, buildable waterfront land around Annapolis is pretty rare. Rarer still is land that slopes down to the water. And the two together will easily be $1 million per acre!

You will want something that already has a shed or house on it, since you're building in the critical area.

You may find something for half that on the eastern shore, or maybe even 1/3 that on the lower eastern shore. Northern neck VA is also a possibility, but you're still looking at like a 2.5 hour drive....
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Old 25-06-2017, 06:52   #25
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

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Hi there! Quick question for those in the area and who built their cats... Plan is to build Grainger's 48 raku cat. Please if you know anything or someone who's done it let me know, I'd like to do my homework. Cheers, Yev
Hi! Just for people as curious as I am:
https://www.graingerdesigns.net/cats/raku-48/
I guess you choose the 4 cabins layout with all the family working on it ???

Cheers
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Old 25-06-2017, 07:17   #26
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

talk to Ralph Hall owner of Georgetown Yacht basin, they haul big cats and allows DYS, I'm sure you can work out a deal for space at the yard and there are rentals around town
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Old 25-06-2017, 12:57   #27
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

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Revelations: Ohh my what a story and journey you had! There are bunch of roadblocks already weighting on me as you can see. I've had that in mind ........................... I still raise two little kids. Project wont be full time, it'll be after work evenings and weekends.
Hello Yev
The main reason why we opted to build our yacht instead of buying it was money. We did not have enough money to go and simply buy a yacht. At the time, our chances of saving until we had enough money also seemed unlikely as there were for ever other important things jumping the queue - cars, a better house, holidays, this story, that story, etc. We did not trust ourselves that we would diligently save until we had enough money to buy a yacht - the need and temptation to get distracted and buy other things was an ever present issue.

Instead of that, we opted to build as this allowed us to save smaller chunks of money which we would immediately spend buying components, materials and equipment. In this step by step manner, we made progress towards our dreams and eventually, we made it to the finishing line.

We used the male plug construction method which proved to be costly, time consuming and wasteful. In addition, the hull had to be faired and then spray painted. Much of these expenses could have been avoided had we used a female mold construction method with a gelcoat. Then we also opted for Superlite Balsa (not available anymore), S Glass, carbon materials - we could have saved a lot of money here by going for more conventional materials. However, the hull deck and bulkheads only represent a fraction of the complete yacht costs.

Some trades, for example your electrician, will work for months on the project and needs to be paid weekly/monthly. We made mistakes by appointing these trades on a "do the work and invoice me monthly". Unfortunately, this lead to many of them simply clocking the hours and actual work performance was painfully slow - yet we had to pay monthly invoices. We later changed this to; "Give me a quote for XYZ work." - do the job and on completion, I will pay you.

You need to work out a progress payment system with milestones which will prevent the project running over budget - yet allow your workers to earn weekly/monthly. We lost a pile of money with the electrician and the person appointed to do the finishing of the yacht. In our situation, we were 1600 kilometers away and were not there on a daily basis. Although we visited the yacht on a monthly basis, we later found out they also work on other yachts, did not turn up for work if it rained yet were paid, had endless time consuming chats with other people in the marina, arrived late for work and leave early - all at our expense. We also lost money redoing some projects, this was mainly due to a lack of knowledge not knowing before hand what works and what does not.

Unfortunately, despite best intentions, the above and many other pitfalls will most certainly head your way during your project. If anything, do not expect for things to work exactly as planned or budgeted. This is why I recommend that you buy a yacht opposed to building one.

On a positive note, the Grainger Raku 48 is a stunning yacht!
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Old 25-06-2017, 15:36   #28
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

Alternately you can do it yourself. The only tradesman who worked on my boat was the gasfitter, because the system had to be certified.

Even then, I installed all the gas piping and appliances, all that needed doing were the connections, maybe 2 hours work.

That's really the key to saving money, do it yourself. And really, none of it is rocket science. It's a huge volume of work, but not overly difficult or complex.

Build your shed too, saves thousands.
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Old 25-06-2017, 15:57   #29
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

You don't need a 26 ft wide travel lift or rail to launch, you can always get a crane with cross bars to put it in wherever it can reach water, they lift big Lagoons like that in the Med. Just Google "catamaran crane" images. This will open up traffic route options.
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Old 18-07-2017, 09:24   #30
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Re: Building catamaran in Maryland

Revelations: That's exactly why I'm building it my self as I know those other expenses tend to pile up and sway you away from things that we should do. I've started to trim up my expenses for cable that we don't watch anymore as well as accumulated toys that don't make me happy. Cars is one of them in about a year I'll break even as far as value since I've bought it new and it's damn not a cheap ride same for my wife but I'll leave her ride alone . It's totally doable in small chunks already getting quotes for material and found CNC cutting place near my house to make things little easier. Still waiting for Raku 48 build in QLD to get close to completion, you can youtube Schionning Arrow 1360 video and see it in the first half of a clip being build on the other side of the shop. She looks amazing and seem to straight forward with lots of flat panels being used.

paxfish: You are right as I'm going through the market at the moment prices are out of their mind. Other option is to get a place with some land near one of the marinas that can launch it for me and keep it as a summer house near the boat Even try Edgewater MD.

ALAIN97133: it could be 3 beds layout sort of owners version with one of the master H&S being upfront and the other in the middle accessible from both guests cabins. Or just have all 4 with two H&S in the middle of hulls. Need to talk to designer and explore best option as I'm trying to keep the weight down.

MIRELOS: Will do, thanks for the info. Anything helps now.

44'cruisingcat: That's the plan, there will be some learning curve but nothing that I can't do since I've already built house with my dad and worked on bunch of cars and motorcycles including machining chassis and rewiring electronics.

Bean Counter: If the lot will have water front then that's the fastest way to launch and most likely will be used.
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