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Old 03-09-2020, 09:46   #1
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DIY options on production boats?

Hello all,

I'm fairly certain this might have been asked before (apologies in advance if it has been) but is there a thread or discussion about what options are doable by the average new owner of a production boat? For example, things that are not that hard to do yourself vs. things that are best left to the factory. The markup for some items seem to be quite steep.

There's a wealth of knowledge from the "DIY" threads but I was just curious if there was a more generalized thread.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:42   #2
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

all depends on your time (to read, ask around, learn, fix, repair, fix again...) and technical capabilities, learning curve etc. - the more you have, the better.

In principle, anything can be DIY but based on limitations with the above, you will need to consider hiring trades.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:50   #3
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Similar to answer above. Without knowing your technical aptitude, (and ability to grasp and learn technical concepts) the question is unanswerable.

How are you with Electrical (particularly DC)?

How are you with plumbing?

Electronics?

What specifically are you considering installing yourself?
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:24   #4
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Are you considering asking a factory to build you a partially finished boat? I don't know of any yards that do this. If so, I would think it would be much cheaper to buy a good used boat.
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:25   #5
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

If you are talking about buying a basic model boat and adding the extras yourself then yes you can save a lot of money, provided you have the skills and time to do it. Some things will be cheaper factory fitted, but many not. E.g. solar charging, lithium batteries. It's a case by case analysis of costs, time and risks. One thing, if you do it yourself, you will know how it worksand how to fix it. Most of the bigger manufacturers use a third party company for many of their options anyway.
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:33   #6
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

To give an example, we explored buying a FP Helia, base boat 380k euro, factory extras would have pushed it to 500k euro. Because the extras were in packs eg Ocean, Comfort etc you probably could have saved 50% of the additional cost by not having those items you did not want and saving cost by DIY on the wanted items
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Old 05-09-2020, 15:55   #7
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Following on to the OP's question, when there are new technologies, does it make sense to DIY it, or move to a mfctr that supports? for instance, few manufacturers have electric motors as a production technology yet, but it seems like it'd be a lot better to factory build that in than to retrofit. better to ask for a boat with no motor at all?
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Old 08-09-2020, 18:55   #8
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
all depends on your time (to read, ask around, learn, fix, repair, fix again...) and technical capabilities, learning curve etc. - the more you have, the better.

In principle, anything can be DIY but based on limitations with the above, you will need to consider hiring trades.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Similar to answer above. Without knowing your technical aptitude, (and ability to grasp and learn technical concepts) the question is unanswerable.

How are you with Electrical (particularly DC)?

How are you with plumbing?

Electronics?

What specifically are you considering installing yourself?

Indeed. Reading the past threads on different installs (or fixes) was enlightening.



I'm comfortable with electrical and DC electronics. I have more experience with circuit boards but simple home electrical fixes were not too bad.

I've done basic plumbing (sinks/showers/toilets/old pipes) repairs along with a few waters heater but most of that was just following directions.

Similarly, with auto repair, I'd be comfortable with basic maintenance (belts/fluids/seals) or replacing parts but I would not be comfortable with a complete tear-down of an engine, for example. I'm wary of tackling more involved suspension issues.

I do not have experience in dealing with fiberglass structures.

In regards to specific installs, I'm not quite sure. I was looking at the options list and the prices to have certain options might be much higher with some manufacturers than others. It's similar to RVs with markups for some options.

It might be too hard to DIY a production boat that's picked up straight from the yard but I like the idea of doing some of the work myself. Hypothetically, I might ask for A/C vents/wiring to be installed so I could add it at a later date. Installing something simple like window blinds might not be too bad.
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Old 08-09-2020, 19:09   #9
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
Are you considering asking a factory to build you a partially finished boat? I don't know of any yards that do this. If so, I would think it would be much cheaper to buy a good used boat.
Used is a good option as well. I was pricing out finished boats but I was researching the feasibility of adding options. The prices for installation seem to vary quite a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapanui View Post
If you are talking about buying a basic model boat and adding the extras yourself then yes you can save a lot of money, provided you have the skills and time to do it. Some things will be cheaper factory fitted, but many not. E.g. solar charging, lithium batteries. It's a case by case analysis of costs, time and risks. One thing, if you do it yourself, you will know how it worksand how to fix it. Most of the bigger manufacturers use a third party company for many of their options anyway.
Very true!
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Old 08-09-2020, 19:14   #10
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Wilkes View Post
Following on to the OP's question, when there are new technologies, does it make sense to DIY it, or move to a mfctr that supports? for instance, few manufacturers have electric motors as a production technology yet, but it seems like it'd be a lot better to factory build that in than to retrofit. better to ask for a boat with no motor at all?
Support from the manufacturer is another important factor. Were you looking at hybrid setups with saildrives or shafts? Oceanvolt's saildrive seems like a fairly easy install.
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Old 08-09-2020, 19:22   #11
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

I think a lot of people go with the factory options because they can be financed over 15 years. if you add them yourself they will be much cheaper but you have to pay for them when you add them. I also think owner installed option are often better installed than factory installed options.
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Old 08-09-2020, 19:26   #12
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubberducky View Post
Indeed. Reading the past threads on different installs (or fixes) was enlightening.



I'm comfortable with electrical and DC electronics. I have more experience with circuit boards but simple home electrical fixes were not too bad.

I've done basic plumbing (sinks/showers/toilets/old pipes) repairs along with a few waters heater but most of that was just following directions.

Similarly, with auto repair, I'd be comfortable with basic maintenance (belts/fluids/seals) or replacing parts but I would not be comfortable with a complete tear-down of an engine, for example. I'm wary of tackling more involved suspension issues.

I do not have experience in dealing with fiberglass structures.

In regards to specific installs, I'm not quite sure. I was looking at the options list and the prices to have certain options might be much higher with some manufacturers than others. It's similar to RVs with markups for some options.

It might be too hard to DIY a production boat that's picked up straight from the yard but I like the idea of doing some of the work myself. Hypothetically, I might ask for A/C vents/wiring to be installed so I could add it at a later date. Installing something simple like window blinds might not be too bad.
Based on all that I think you should be fine in running DIY on a boat. No one here was born with all the knowhow and experience. If you have the basic technical approach as you describe here and if you are happy to learn more - youíre in
There are tons of great resources online, print, YouTube and youíll want to search before doing any new repair or project. - even those looking simple and straightforward. Boats have their own rules.

Welcome to the club of technicians 95% of the time and hopefully sailors at the remaining 5...
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Old 08-09-2020, 22:42   #13
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

I can only think in terms of my boat and what would have been options at the time of purchase and then determine if going DIY would be an advantage. Items like: diesel heat (a very hard and fussy install). The electronics package. I'd still rather have the boat delivered with this. A secondary water tank. That would be easy. Electric head. Again, not too hard. Dodger and bimini. Definitely need a professional, although searching on the open market could be less expensive than the dealer supplied route. Stereo/TV. Easy.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:04   #14
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

Suggest you differentiate between what is installed at the factory (usually low labor rate locations), and what is installed as part of the commissioning process, typically at the dealer docks and often high labor rates. Larger builders try to have as much done offshore as possible, including electronics which were traditionally done as part of the commissioning process.

Then need to differentiate between true DIY vs sourcing a less expensive professional (Bimini or stern arch for example). The final piece to consider is will you add or subtract value? DIY electronics and autopilot may functionally work, but most DIYers are not good about clean installation and properly bundled wires. I'm sure adding solar and a larger battery bank with bigger inverter save a bunch via DIY, but it benefits from prior planning, and few DIY installers have the experience or patience to make the wire runs super clean. It may be the first step of a Frankenstein boat, and it's sad that it happens so early in the life cycle.

As others have said, would be helpful to have specific examples of items where you have questions.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:44   #15
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Re: DIY options on production boats?

I agree with everything the guys are saying.

But you say "I do not have experience in dealing with fiberglass structures". Maybe now is the time to learn (it is not hard). Waste tanks, potable water tanks, dorade boxes, tool box.....

Maybe you could make up a watermaker?
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