So far the negative comments you have heard are on the money, especially if you are building a Bruce Roberts boat with framed construction. There are tons of his boats lying around unfinished. Take a look at the Origami Boats forum on Yahoo. You'll find a whole different way to build a metal boat that radically changes the picture. The designer of these boats Brent Swain actually lives on one. He is for hire too. You can buy the steel, find a building site and provide a place for him to stay, plus his hourly fee, and in about 2 to three WEEKS you have a hull all tacked together ready for finish welding! His designs have very little welding too, so that goes quickly. If you use pre-primed steel, or aluminum you skip the sandblasting step. If you build a framed hull and it takes months then the primer fails and you have to sandblast. His plans and book are incredibly reasonably priced.
I have sailed on one of his 36 foot boats. It sailed amazingly well, like it was on rails, and was much quicker than I expected for a steel boat. It DID take that guy 7 years to finish it. However shortly after starting it, his house burned to the ground! I believe the pictures I took of his boat are still on the Origami website. Some of these boats come on the market from time to time, and most of them sell very quickly, for prices that sound like the owner didn't get hosed.
Gary H. Lucas