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  #1  
Old 06-18-2011
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Post Need some expert opinions

I want to build my own sailboat, I plan to live on it. I'd like some opinions on what size boat I need. It will probably only be having three people on it at the max if I'm going on any long trips maybe more for just a couple days of fun. I want to know what kind of boat I am looking at for this ind of thing. something big enough to entertain, but something I can also handle by myself. also the cost of everything you need to officially sail, lessons licenses, stuff like that. As well as if I need to have the boat tagged and registered, how all of that works, and cost of maintenance, what problems will I most likely have to face, and what can i fix on my own?
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Old 06-18-2011
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With you, wife and kid... around 30 to 45 feet. Pending on how comfortable you are with sleeping in the Cockpit when the wife is pissed off at you.
Of course the smaller the boat the greater the chances of you having to sleep in the dinghy.
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Old 06-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SullivanFamous View Post
I want to build my own sailboat, I plan to live on it. I'd like some opinions on what size boat I need. It will probably only be having three people on it at the max if I'm going on any long trips maybe more for just a couple days of fun. I want to know what kind of boat I am looking at for this ind of thing. something big enough to entertain, but something I can also handle by myself. also the cost of everything you need to officially sail, lessons licenses, stuff like that. As well as if I need to have the boat tagged and registered, how all of that works, and cost of maintenance, what problems will I most likely have to face, and what can i fix on my own?
IMHO, you really need to define your objective(s).

1. If you enjoy building things and have plenty of time, build the boat. I would love that too, but I can't and won't. Of course, your resources may be better than me, like having a shipyard or large manufacturing facility with a design team, for example.
2. If you want to sail, keep the family together, and entertain them, buy the boat. Have fun.

Before these two above, learn to sail first and look for a boat. I like to keep things simple first. The rest will come naturally in time.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-18-2011
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I heard a wise person say:

"If you want to build your own boat, build the dingy first. Then you will have a better idea as to whether you really want to build your own boat."

Rik
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Old 06-18-2011
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Thanks for your thoughts, very helpful. I've got space to build the boat, and the tools to match. One thing I'm not sure of is the price, everywhere I have looked it just says that the price varies, I'd like some idea's on the cheapest way to build a boat. I've been told that a 30' boat is the bare minimum if I want to live on it. Keep in mind, that this idea is kind of the goal I am reaching for, and am well aware that I will have to take small steps to build up to this. Also if anyone knows how I can get a job on a boat, for some experience and to learn the ropes, it would be greatly appreciated. I haven't been able to find anything very legit on the internet.
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Old 06-18-2011
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Good advice Rik!
Sull- I'd advise that you take some sailing lessons to see if you even like it before deciding that you are going to spend the next several years (decades) building a boat.
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Old 06-18-2011
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Boatbuilding requires extraordinary craftsmanship and know-how. It is all complex curves.

A 30 foot boat might take a very gifted amatuer 4,000 - 6,000 hours to build.

Far better to work a side job and buy a used 30ft boat for $20k.


agree with the rec: first build a 8ft. dinghy.
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Old 06-18-2011
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What kind of Hull construction?

Wood, Fiberglass, Steel, Aluminum, Ferro-Cement?

If you have the skills to build a boat, you should be able to find work in a marina with a service component....Boats and Captains hang around marinas...
Meet some captains..and establish yourself as a reliable, sane, sober person with skills and you will develop a network that might lead to other things.
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Old 06-18-2011
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Just judging from the questions you ask, I have to wonder if you're really ready to build a boat of this size. I don't mean that as a slam or an attack, just an honest observation....perhaps you're just feeling it out right now...honestly, this is a great forum and all, but you really need to start your research:

1. At the shipyard.....talk to boat builders, hang around, volunteer to help, etc.
2. Get some books. There are quite a few great books on building your own boat, marine electrics, etc....get them and read them.
3. Buy plans or commission your own. Plenty of these out there.
4. Get to work! It's probably going to take you at least 5 years of hard work.
5. Expect it to cost more than you thought. Alot more.

But, if I had the time, skills, space, money....I would love to build my own boat. How satisfying is that? And then to sail her and live on her...talk about being an expert on your boat and her systems! I would have to have a production boat in the mean time so I could go sailing. I can't imagine having a boat for all those years and not being able to sail her.
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Old 06-18-2011
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Another question - Why do you want to build your own boat? It's certainly not the cheapest way to get on the water. Not even close.

I'm also worried that your first and last phrases, "I want to build my own sailboat" and "what can i fix on my own", are contradictory. If you can build the boat, there isn't anything that you can't fix, replace, or refurbish.

I think that the consensus here is to buy a used boat, fix it, and learn on it. 30' is a manageable size. IMO, anything larger for a beginner is too much. Smaller is better IMO. After a while, you'll develop the attitudes and opinions that will carry you to the next vessel.
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