Boatbuilding Tips and Tricks

I've been compiling this blog of boatbuilding tips and tricks, plus launchings and in-progress boatbuilding projects for over five years now. The vast majority of the questions I receive by email have already been asked by someone else, so if you take the time to read through the archives, you'll probably run across many the questions you may already have plus find answers to questions you haven't thought of yet. You also get a chance to look through many of the projects that others are building. I try to include as many of the photos I receive from builders as well, some from facebook pages.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Model ____"

I get this email a lot, and thought it was worth making a post so I can just reply with a blog post link.

Here's my best and most honest answer: I have no idea what it will cost YOU to build a boat in YOUR part of the world. I have no idea where you live, no idea what access you have to lumber, fasteners, tools, fiberglass, resin, space, accessories, on and on. If you read the construction manual, I talk about many, many varieties of wood - which do you want to build it with? Construction grade off the rack or clear? maybe polished teak? Will you be using construction grade exterior ply, hardwood ply, or marine ply? Are you planning to fiberglass the outside? How many layers, and what weight glass? Name brand epoxy or generic? Do you have the tools or not? Are you planning a yacht-like finish or commercial workboat finish? Varnished mahogany brightwork and decking or glassed over commercial ply? Are you planning a brand new 90 horse outboard or a rebuilt 60s GrayMarine flathead 6? Stainless Steel, Bronze or Zinc Plated fasteners? The questions could be endless. Only you can answer those and only you can research the costs/benefit ratio of making those decisions for YOU. I have nearly 100 designs and cannot even attempt to come up with current or even ballpark guesstimate prices for them, no matter what materials you select.

Guys have built my boats from lumber scrounged from the dump, like this builder: Huntington Harbor in the Canadian Arctic and some elect to use primo hardwood to finish it: Carolinian with a Yacht-like Finish. That Carolinian probably has a couple grand worth of trim alone on it. So maybe my answer to the question of how much will it cost, should be: "somewhere between $1 and $10,000." Would that help?

The only even moderately reliable way to figure out how much it will cost you, is to go to the study prints for the boat you are looking for and you will see a bill of materials. Then research the types of materials you wish to use and add up what you want will cost. Here are some useful links:


Fiberglass and Epoxy:

Gear and Accessories:

If you live elsewhere in the world and want to find a local supplier, just Google it.

Anyway, hope this helps.

- Jeff

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Boatbuilding Pictures

Boat Building Photos

Please don't be embarrassed to send in photos of your projects. I get a lot of emails from people who tell me about their build but never send any pictures. I'd love to see them, as would all of the other people who are either building a boat or thinking about it. They need all the encouragement they can get.

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