I will try to awnser all the questions...
Firstly, yes i did all kinds of research before deciding to build my boat.
Acctually i spent a few years looking at any steel boat I could, and reading all the relevant books out there. ( nigel warren, ian nicholson, giblert klingel, thomas colvin, blah, blah, blah) I have seen some great steel boats, and some aweful ones.
My last boat was a roberts offshore 38. While at first I liked it, I quickly learned to hate that boat. So much framing. 1/8th inch hull plate. centre cockpit. no space on deck, no space below ( stupid aft cabin crawlways) as brent said, a series of closets.
there were all kinds of things that I percieved as MAJOR design flaws in that boat.
For example, an anchor locker that was foamed and doesnt drain!
deck hardware bolted to an other wise water tight deck!
rediculous fin keel and unprotected rudder.
I could go on, but it doesnt matter. At a certain point i realized that I needed to build a boat from scratch in order to get what I wanted. I then began to write down for myself what I wanted...
Basically, thicker hull plate, bilge keels, stainless trim everywhere, aft cockpit, good sized wheelhouse, tiller steering, outboard rudder, etc...
Basically it came down to a "brent Boat"
I had met brent a few years earlier when cruising around vancouver island for a summer, and had kept in touch with him.
So, I saved my pennies, found a place to build, moved in, ordered steel and started.
Brent was/is incredibly helpful putting the hull together. He sailed up, and came by all the time to awnser questions, provide ideas, and help with drawing things out. Plus he is a great guy to work around because he is always having a laugh!
As far as how many hours it will take me? I have no idea beacuse I am not done yet!
I can tell you that, I started at the end of november last year, put the hull together in about weeks work. Working with the shortest days of the year, and having lots of delays because of snow, rain, having to go to town, etc.
I can tell you, however, that my "plan" is to launch the boat by september of this year.
and spend the next few months building an interior, and finishing things out getting ready for the next summer of sailing.
Do I have insurance? No. I am my own insurance policy and firmly believe that people would be much more resposible if they lived without it alltogether.
Do I believe that Anyone could build a steel boat like this?
There is no short awsner....
So, If we lay aside all the obvious crap, I.E. you are not a total moron. ( there are alot of those lurking around, especially in bigger cities)
Than yes, I believe that anyone with the determination, and a basic set of skills could do this. lots of people have. Its all about knowing what you want, and knowing what you can do. of course it is intimidating at times, but what isnt?
As far as Tools go, You dont need much.
I bought my plasma cutter for 600CD before i started this project cause it was a good deal, and I love the thing. it'll cut half inch plate without any struggle. I also have a set of torches that I got off a farmer for free. I use them rarely.
I bought my welder a while back for just under 2000CD. But the 150 dollar buzz box that I have will do just as nice a job putting the boat together. I just bought the welder because I wanted a very versitile machine (mig,Tig, stick)
I bought 2 ton comealongs on sale at princess auto. 100 bucks each. Best investment ever, i use em for everything. not just the boat.
Thats about it for special tools. The rest is pretty much a sledge, lots of clamps, Vice grips, Like ten measuring tapes cause I break one every four days...
But then If you dont already own a set of tools, Then maybe your not the type of person that wants to build/fix/break things.
I cant remember if thats all the questions or not....
Really, ALOT OF CLAMPS,