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johnseattle 09-21-2010 08:52 PM

Kits for building a 30ft sailboat?
Does anyone know of any kits (comprising fiberglass hulls & decks) for building a 30ft sailboat? I know you can buy plans to build from scratch but such projects need 4 or 5 years of work. For example, an expert like Larry Pardey needed, I believe, 4 years to build Taleisin from the Lyle Hess plans that can still be bought today. Likewise Paul Gartside sells plans for a 30ft cutter said to need 5000 hours to build. I just don't have that amount of time, not to mention the skills. I know that years ago you could for example buy a Westsail 32 in various kit forms. Does anyone know if there are any modern day equivalents? Thank you all.

sailingdog 09-21-2010 09:15 PM

You can buy some pre-fabbed kits for some of the catamarans, like the Kelsall designs IIRC, where they supply the materials and you supply the assembly.

deniseO30 09-21-2010 09:47 PM

there are a few of us Builders and builder wannabies on sailnet. Most of us are sane enough to not try and build a big boat.
1 it's not cheaper. It's actually more $
2 everyone forgets the cost of a place to build,said boat.
3 Most never considered the fitting out costs. rigging, spars etc.
4 everyone(almost) looses interest or gets too old to enjoy the boat.

Just a few things to consider.

Garth side has some nice designs!

cold molding is a very popular way of building.

talking about DIY boats this will come up allot! --> BOAT PLANS, CRUISING BOATS,* BRUCE ROBERTS, FOUNDED 1966, OFFICIAL SITE, 200 boat plans & boat kits SAILBOATS, POWER BOATS powerboats steel, aluminum, fiberglass, wood epoxy boats

dhays 09-21-2010 10:50 PM

Depends on what you want to do with the boat. I'm sure you can still find plans to build a T-bird. 26 ft boat made of marine plywood. Very nice boat, cheap to build, fun to sail.

SlowButSteady 09-22-2010 12:36 AM

It would probably be cheaper, and not too much more work, to start with an existing boat that had a sound hull but needed a new interior, rig, engine, etc. There are plenty of old boats around with rotten bulkheads, dead engines, and unsafe rigs. If you could find a real "project boat" with lines that you like, it would cost a fraction of having a new hull and deck built (and the money you save on the hull will by a ton of beer, aspirin, and Icy Hot; all essentials for such a project). Tearing stuff out of a boat is usually pretty easy, it's the putting back together that takes forever.

MarkCK 09-22-2010 04:39 AM

Norsea sells a 27 foot kit and and 37 foot kit in various levels of completion.

Nor'Sea - Price and Options

JohnRPollard 09-22-2010 07:29 AM

Cape George Marine offers a line of William Atkin-derived cutters ranging from 31-40', as well as Lyle Hess' BCC 28' and FCC 22':


Building Options
We offer our craft in various stages of completion from a bare hull to a complete yacht. We encourage prospective customers to visit the yard and inspect vessels currently under construction to develop a better understanding and appreciation of our craft and the processes involved. Our construction methods can accommodate a customer's wishes in terms of deck layout, cabin arrangement, etc. We also provide drawings, components, and advice to assist owners completing their own boats from a bare hull. Many of these owner-builders have completed fine vessels and cruised them extensively.
In my opinion, the Cape George 34' is one of the handsomest boats on the water. The 31' is nice too, but for my money, I was going to all the trouble of building myself I'd stretch to get the 34'.

If you are in Seattle as your username suggest, man, you should take a trip up to Port Townsend and visit them.

blt2ski 09-22-2010 08:59 AM

I'd bet if you really hunted around, you could still find a W32 hull floating around that has not been finished. Or the Atkin designed Ingrid 38 that was built in Woodinville.

Otherwise, I would wonder up to PT and check out the cape george boats.

I would also add about double the hrs as mentioned for any finish work, as many times you have to make up the jigs, where as a pro has the all finished, and some of those types of hrs are not included in the time to finish.

It took my step dad some 30 yrs to finish a Bill Garden design Sea Bird Yawl variation. He was not working consistently, These types of projects sometimes take longer than one thinks they will.

Yes T-bird plans are still available from the main T-Bird assoc, and Clark Craft in NY has plans, about $200 or there abouts IIRC. I can think of 6-9 places off the top of my head one can get boat plans to build in all types of materials.


rockDAWG 09-22-2010 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 646757)
It took my step dad some 30 yrs to finish a Bill Garden design Sea Bird Yawl variation. He was not working consistently, These types of projects sometimes take longer than one thinks they will.


Yes, it is a bit too long for most of us. But if he enjoys it, who are we to judge. After all it is the journey, not the destination. If the goal of golfing is put the ball in the hole. Would it be easier just pick up the damn ball and put it in the hole, why putt around all day? ;)

If I can find a nice modern design plan (40 to 50 ft) and have a finished product to study by, I may consider it. I am not going to build every thing myself but I will be the one who will supervise and build the way I want it. I know it will be done correctly. Of course, I must treat this a business venture; it must make sense before I shell out the money. The question is if I spend 200 to 250K on building my own, will it be equivalent to a brand new Valiant, Caliber or Shannon?

Someone mentioned the space before. I have plenty space (200,000 sq ft with 30 ft ceiling unheated warehouse) to house this project of this size. It may be a fun project to do if the money works out.

Thanks johnseattle for posting this post. Good discussion thus far.

deniseO30 09-22-2010 10:56 AM

If I had the energy, and $ I'd be restoring a Cheoy Lee 35-41 ft size. or one of the japanese boats.

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