Estimating costs

I’m frequently asked materials costs of one of my designs. I don’t have a clue and if I did, I still wouldn’t tell you because I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong. Some of you might remember a franchise home builder/designer who sold “packages”that were way way less than was really needed. You still see some of the hulls created from his “hull packages” sitting out in fields. I’ve heard some have been turned into septic tanks…..

The only way to really get an accurate materials cost is to purchase the Building Plans, then make a scale model.You measure each piece that goes into the model.

But it is possible for you to do a rough guesstimate without buying the plans. Here’s the Old Time way of figuring the hull expenses.It’s simple, and accounts for waste plus a little so maybe covers fastenings and goops in wood, and welding rods and gas in steel?I dunno. Our example is a wood hull 1 40′ x 10′ sailboat, 8′ from the tip of the bow to the deepest part of the hull less keel.

Figure it as a rectangle, which gives us one 40′ x 10′ x 8′. I think the below is correct but if not, you get the idea……
Frames are 2 x 6, spaced 2′,, which makes 20 pces 18′
Deckbeams: laminated 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ spaced 2′ or 20 pces 10′
Hull plank: 40′ x 8′ = 320 sq. ft. x 2 for both sides, or 640sq. ft.
Deck: 40′ x 10′ = 400 sq. ft.

This obviously is rough but gives you a basic hint. Then, carry it out and price an engine, galley, sails, and so on. Remember, you don’t need to buy everything at once if you’re building yourself and frequently you can find good used stuff quite inexpensively.

So, to answer “how much does it cost?”

I dunno. But if you go through the above you’ll have SOME idea…..Besides, within reason, I never cared. Of course I wouldn’t start building a hundred footer in my yard but a 40 or 50 footer, why not? You go a piece at a time and believe it or not, it is easier to buy good used gear for big boats than it is for small boats.Just today I learned about an 8 cylinder 290 HP Cummins marine engine donated to a school. They want $750 for it……