With a skilled owner and good tools, I've put together a 36 ft hull in two days or tacked together the shell( Hull, decks, wheelhouse, cabin, cockpit keel and skeg ) in 6 days.
When the cost of steel to build a 36 was around $4K ,the cost of aluminium to build the same boat was around $20K, and aluminium welding equipment was far more expensive . You can only weld aluminium outside in a dead calm, in dry weather. Aluminium welds are only 60% the strength of the surrounding metal, whereas steel welds are 100% , demand far less skill, and are far harder to screw up on.
On my steel 31 footer, maintenance cost has averaged around 2 hours a year, and less than $50 a year.
It's not displacement alone which makes a boat too slow .It's the displacement to sail area . Heavier boat, more sail.
So now that I'm doing more research your boats Brent, and being repeatedly accused of saying stuff I never said, I'm beginning to wonder about most of your claims.
Here's what I mean. You talk about an entire boat exterior you can knock out in a week.
That's cool, but let's look at some facts...
Here's a very informative website about a guy building a 74 foot origami steeler named S/V Seeker, modeled after a 65-footer you helped put together (Paul L's boat which we'll get to in a minute):
Looks like the guy definitely has the right tools, and definitely knows his way around steel. And he sounds like a very nice, motivated, intelligent guy in the videos. So why has it taken him 5 years to get to this point?
And he says he still has another 3+ years to go. Sure, it's a bigger boat, but according to your timeframe above, and allowing for the bigger scale, shouldn't he have been at this point in 4-6 weeks?
8 YEARS before they can sail a single nautical mile??
Tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment and very evident experience - but he can't work the Swain magic? What is he doing wrong, Brent?
It's not like he and his wife didn't research. Like I said above, they visited this other guy's 65'er before getting started:
It was a boat that you apparently worked on too Brent...
I'm sure you helped them pull that whole thing together in a few days. But after several years more work, which, again, is mystifying according to your claimed timing for your boats, they're still not done!
What are they doing wrong, Brent? I don't get it.
Of course, I also see you talk about how owners absolutely love these oragami steel boats and how the value increases exponentially over time. It all sounds pretty incredible. So, they're obviously close enough to the big payoff of FINALLY getting out and fulfilling the dream of cheap cruising that you promised them in a boat that they love and that has tremendous value...
Ohhhh. That's unfortunate.
Well, at least when one of your clients DOES get it right and actually makes it out onto that beautiful ocean and into their cruising dreams, they can do it VERY cheaply due to the incredibly low maintenance of one of your boats - 2 hours and $50. Take "Nothin' Wong" for example. A fine yacht:
Well, okay, pretty rough around the edges.
What's funny, is the couple on that same site ACTUALLY SAILED on "Nothin' Wong". Here's their glowing review of that nicely maintained Brent Boat:
Ouch. We'll I suppose I can see how one can actually get to 2 hours and $50 when foregoing plumbing and having the cockpit seats and a bucket serve as the head...
...or not worrying about a cracked mast...
...or using exposed bicycle chain and bungee cords as your steering system. It is all definitely inventive. And, I can definitely see how it's extremely easy on the cruising kitty.
Looks like the Skipper of the Wong is following your maintenance lead perfectly. Yes, once you get out there - it's all cheap and easy...
Maintaining a 15m steel boat costs a lot of money which the contributions Clive asks to the travellers don't cover entirely.
Ohhh. Well, at least they have a great looking, great sailing yacht, right? Ahem.
Brent, this is all directly from the friends and acquaintances you like to quote so often. I don't understand. It's supposed to be much more magical than this, right?