Building a Boat or Die Trying

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by LakeShark, Feb 13, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    5,228 posts, 2,558 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Can you make into a chicken coop?
    :stir:
     


  2. Brian M H23

    Brian M H23

    Joined Oct 3, 2006
    992 posts, 9 likes
    Hunter 23
    US Philadelphia
    My dad has invested probably north of $100k, plus $25k on the plot, building a cabin in upstate NY. It's been almost two decades, and in retirement with the amount of work left to do dwindling, guess what?

    He rarely goes - instead selling the first house he built (in PA), and moving to a 20's stone farmhouse ("Taking it easy in my old age and starting with walls and a roof"). Of course, as soon as he got there, he realized the property wouldn't be complete without a barn...

    Many people enjoy creating. This man might not have enjoyed a circumnavigation at all, but hopefully he enjoyed every hour spent creating this hull.

    (Bonus for me, I am very happy to someday maybe inherit an almost-finished cabin than an almost finished boat)
     

    Attached Files:



    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  3. LakeShark

    LakeShark

    Joined Sep 15, 2016
    415 posts, 167 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Minnesota
    That is my guess as well. I think someone will purchase the boat, strip it and all the additional parts in it before scrapping it. Perhaps it's my lack of boat construction knowledge but it just seems like a project of this undertaking is not something most can do and putting 25-50K into a boat to get it to the water in the Midwest just seems like more of a dream. Still though you can see that this boat was a labor of love.
     


  4. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,950 posts, 900 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    Again it's not for everybody but success stories exist. There is a well regarded sailor here in Greenport who built his own boat in his backyard in north Nassau County on Long Island. He is a dentist who worked a full time schedule and then worked on the boat sometimes only getting a few hours sleep. He is extremely fastidious and ended up with a solid boat. He sailed the boat between Long Island and The Bahamas for years - I believe sometimes solo. After many years of that he sold the boat and bought a production boat which he kept sailing to The Bahamas until he was in his nineties. I believe he is still alive but doesn't sail any longer. He is locally famous the there have been articles written about him. I expect a few forum members know his story and could supply his name.
     


  5. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,078 posts, 3,084 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Does anyone here remember @philwsailz ? Where are you buddy?

    He undertook a total restoration of a Catalina 27. Man it was awesome. I'm convinced he got more satisfaction out of the construction /restoration than he ever did sailing, which is not a bad thing at all. I had to chuckle when once during the work, and before the boat ever got wet, he had to replace the CO/smoke detectors he put on the boat early in the project because the 5-year batteries in the devices died!

    I'm 100% the other way. I do everything possible to optimize SAILING time.
     


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  6. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,249 posts, 1,102 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Indeed. Winter gets in the way of building time. If it weren't so cold, it would be sailing time.
     


  7. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    5,228 posts, 2,558 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Phil knows a lot about adding really great sound to boats. I always enjoyed reading his posts even if I didn’t understand everything. Another great shipwright is @woodster . He worked for several years and shared his knowledge with us. And we’re all still waiting to hear more from @B757Captain .
     


  8. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    6,124 posts, 1,604 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
  9. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    6,124 posts, 1,604 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
  10. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,607 posts, 2,562 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    When I first got married, my wife and I looked at buying a house. One of the properties was a 12 acre lot and 1800's fieldstone and wood cottage, here in Littleton, NH, 3 hours drive from the ocean. The owner was a boatbuilder who was building his own traditional wood planked 55' bluenosed schooner to sail as a commercial cargo carrier. He had a plastic tarped shed, a table saw, a bandsaw and a collection of hand tools. The hull was almost done being planked when he showed the house.
    We didn't buy the house, too much work to maintain. He did finish the boat and had it trailered to the ocean. His last name was Smith. I wish I could remember the what he named his boat. This would have been around 1984-85. That guy worked fast. I imagine he eventually sold her and built another boat with the money.
    Maybe there should be a support group for people with this problem.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  11. TomY

    TomY Alden Forum Moderator

    Joined Jun 22, 2004
    1,705 posts, 1,635 likes
    Alden 38' Challenger yawl
    US Rockport Harbor
    I know a hand full of very accomplished boat builders. Between them, they have built hundreds of custom boats, mostly traditional wood construction, some composite boats.

    They've taken projects from start to finish; the process, the timeline, the expense. If you make a living at building then projects all have to come to a pre-determined end.

    They know what the amature builder, usually does not: How long and how much $$ the project will take. They know they are not boat designers and buy that skill when needed.

    I can only think of one that built himself a boat and that project was strictly a build for profit in the charter trade. The boat was a 50' Alden designed schooner. He with a small crew (mostly himself with his wife-also a boat builder) completed the build in less than 2 years, on schedule. They have been chartering the schooner full time (Maine to Caribbean seasonally), ever since. Hardest working boat I've every seen.

    All the rest own old boats that they maintain. They maintain them to a high degree because they know that saves them $$.
     


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  12. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,950 posts, 900 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    The posts above made me think of some other homebuilders. While I was waxing my topsides one spring a guy showed up in the yard with a truck full of steel. He preceded to lay out a keel on the cement pad and started to weld frames up on it. Within a year he had a 40' + schooner which he used to charter out of Greenport. He did that a few seasons and then sailed it South where I lost track of it. He worked alone most of the time.
    There was also a guy out of Port Jefferson who was carrying cargo across the Sound and back from Connecticut. I believe he built the boat himself. I don't know how long he lasted at the cargo business but he had a decent run.
     


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  13. Dennis Kitchen

    Dennis Kitchen

    Joined Jun 4, 2004
    383 posts, 121 likes
    Hunter 23.5 and 25
    US Stockton State Park Marina; MO
    I have purchased several Roberts study plans and a full set for the Spray 27 in steel. I'll probably never get to building it, though it is still a dream. Meanwhile, my Cherubini 25 re-build is still not finished, though the end is in sight. And then there is the plans I purchased for a 12 foot day sailer. That one I will start on when the 25 is finished.

    A sickness? Maybe. An obsession? Definately!
    Dennis
     


  14. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,607 posts, 2,562 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    I believe the proper start to a confession like that is, "Hi, my name is Dennis and I'm boatwork-a-holic."

    But,
    Denial is the first stage.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


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  15. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    1,944 posts, 1,626 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    the family business model in the 1800's was walk up into the woods, cut down trees, build a schooner, sail the schooner for the season, sell the schooner, build another one the next winter. 75' cargo schooners. built his own house, everything came of his land but the glass for the windows. still enjoy the house today.
    gramps built his own boat for pleasure. he also built the largest factory/company in his town. still the largest employer in that town today.
    dad built his first sailboat when he was home from collage, 19' boat. took a month.
    i grew up around wood sailboats, know how to maintain them.
    sturge is a famous boatbuilding town. know lots of home builders too, that are sailing their boats.
    sailors sail, builders build, dreamers dream, ............................. some people do it all.
     


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  16. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    4,607 posts, 2,562 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    That's who I dream of being. ;)

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


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  17. rgranger

    rgranger

    Joined Jan 19, 2010
    6,124 posts, 1,604 likes
    Hunter 26
    US Smith Mountain Lake
    It is called SBO:cowbell:

    Actually I think it is called Duckworks.

    https://www.duckworks.com/boat-plans-and-kits-s/103.htm

    I have purchased a few of their plans and made one to-scale model.
     


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  18. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    5,228 posts, 2,558 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    Anyone who can eat a chicken after naming it is halfway there.
     


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  19. KevinPowell

    KevinPowell

    Joined Jul 21, 2018
    6 posts, 0 likes
    O'day 25
    Zawerucha US Portland Oregon
    I wonder if they guy who built this boat was dreaming of being someplace else or was he very happy being in his barn building a boat? Did he waste the last 38 years of his life on this? We will never know.

    If your the type of person who presently has hours of spare time everyday and free weekends and gets pleasure from working on things then this might be good for you. You would be happy because you enjoy building and working on stuff. But if your dream is to be sailing and cruising rather than in the barn always working while dreaming of doing something else then I would say this would not be good for you.
     


    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  20. philwsailz

    philwsailz

    Joined Dec 11, 2008
    1,322 posts, 48 likes
    catalina C27
    US stillwater
    I’m still here! The boat is in the water. The A-frame to install the mast is built and ready to go. I just need to step the mast, tension the rig, and then re-align the prop shaft and motor.

    This spring hopefully!
     


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