FAQs for prospective boat builders

I have volunteered to present at this year's MEC Paddlefest in Toronto (http:\\mec.ca\paddlefest).  I will be taking my finished SOF Kayak and possibly hull#2 under construction.  The agenda will center around the experience of building, it's various rewards and options.  Topics will include types of contruction (SOF, S&G, Strip, glass), designs; materials; skills required;  support; cost; time to build... and the like.

So couple questions:  
1) Average time to build: S&G; Hybrid; strip
2) Average cost to build: S&G, Hybrid; strip (I was planning on using the costs of kits as an example)
3) Other FAQ that might be good to add to the one pager hand out (of course CLC and this forum will be featured)

If all goes well, next year I will have Kia Ora (SOF) and Leo (WD12) as examples of home builts.

5 replies:

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RE: FAQs for prospective boat builders

Speaking on behalf of my experience with the S&G Woodduck 12 kit...

Time - Can be water worthy in a week (6-7 days), but add a few more days on top of that for varnishing. (I believe that the boatbuilding classes follow the same basic timeline so this should be fairly accurate)

Cost: I did the Saple deck deck for $850 (+80-90 for shipping) - Here were my estimated additional expenses: $30 for varnish, $7 worth of disposable chip brushes , $10 for disposible foam brushes (varnishing), $10 for small foam rollers for spreading epoxy/fiberglassing (I prefer these to using the plastic spreader), arround $30-$40 worth of sandpaper, $20 for a pair of bronze pad eyes, added 12.50 for internal foot brace mounting kit (well worth it in my opinion!), $10 for a big box of disposable gloves, and about $25 worth of clamps (home depot has them for $1 a piece)

Additional notes...

I had epoxy to spare when I was done (I have seen some forums say that kit's never give you enough epoxy; not true unless you're really going overboard with it)

I did end up running to the hardware store for an extra roll of coper wire (I think it was $4) - I prefer to use longer stitches when attaching the deck for a little less fuss and probably would have ran short on wire just the same otherwise.




RE: FAQs for prospective boat builders

My recent experiences from a first-time built-from-plans of a Ches 17LT.

(1) Hours taken - about 130, of which at least one-third was on the final stages of undercoating, painting, varnishing.

(2) Materials cost (only - excluding tools specially bought, plans, seat and SmartTrack rudder system ex CLC) - about AUD $800, + about USD$1200.

I note that BS1088 marine ply here (Oz) is quite a bit cheaper than costs I've seen quoted on some USA sites - I paid AUD$39 for 8' x 4' gaboon (Okume) vs USD$49.   And no shortage either (yet)!


RE: FAQs for prospective boat builders

I built a Shearwater 17 stitch and glue last fall. Total time was 100 hours spread over two months, typically working two hours per day. I could build another one in about 80 hours, though, as I spent a lot of time correcting errors. Even though I calibrated the epoxy pumps, they were wildly inaccurate.  So much so that I twice had to spend a day removing uncured resin.Cost was about $1500 because I wasted a lot of epoxy and had to buy more. That also included a compass, better seat and thigh padding. The finished boat is simply stunning, however, and performs beautifully.

RE: FAQs for prospective boat builders

I am working on my 3rd stripper, and I can tell you about the first 2.

1) CLC Expedition Single from plans, made own strips 297 total hours, cost of materials (free wood) prefab glass combing $880

2) Guillemot L from full kit 257 hours, $1800 in kit and extras for materials. Different seat, recess deck fittings,

You can see the building process and pics here http://kayakkev.wordpress.com/


RE: FAQs for prospective boat builders

My Petrel is still in two pieces. It is my first kayak build and has been challenging. I am a bit of a perfectionist and have spent more hours than I needed to. A great learning experience ! Hours to date...close to 300. Extra expenses... spring clamps $ 30..sand paper $ 30..3/4" sanding drum and paper for the coming $ 20..Extra cedar that I milled myself $ 20, from left over red cedar siding. Two additional 30 packs of Bud Light...More to come ! I just put on the second coat of epoxy and it looks MINT ! I hope to put it together next week or the week after, and will put her in the water before any Varnish....I hope that is not sacrilage ! Approximate value.........PRICELESS !!!!!

The divorce lawyer may be the biggest expense...My wife calls it my mistress. I call it my sanity ! I can't wait to see how fast she will be...Damn it looks FAST !!

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