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Brandon, FL
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With all of the great builds going on at one time it might be an appropriate time to have a discussion.

These builds get people fired up and chase their dream of building a boat or starting a business.

These guys commissioned plans to be drawn up and they set sail full speed ahead. But down the line they got in over their heads and abandoned ship.

https://www.microskiff.com/threads/captive-14-plug-mold-build.58738/

Certainly not trying to belittle anyone but when you try unconventional methods of building your business depends on a plan B.

If you stick with conventional metholds you can get things rolling and then afford some experimenting.

Listen to what others are telling you and you will be fine.

This build certainly is not the lone scenario, there have been quite a few builds where the OP simply disappears and there was a started hull recently for sale.

One of the best builds ever on here stalled and vanished when he was nearly ready to drop a motor on. He was documenting the build on 3 sites and he went dark on all 3 at the same time.

I enjoy the builds as much as everyone else. I don't enjoy watching people go off a cliff or vanish.

Please build responsibly!
 
G

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Yes, I have seen some great builds here myself. It is one thing to build a few great skiffs but another thing to start a boat manufacturing company “which I have been told by many”. There are certainly pitfalls with getting going and I personally am learning them now! I will add to @DuckNut’s warning by saying... if you are gonna build for someone else then you need to have a full understanding of the liability you are taking on. You had better understand the materials you are working with and how to put them together in a way that will produce a product that will perform as intended/advertised and be safe while not falling apart! You also will need a very sharp accounting pencil as Mel once told me “best advise ever for operating a business”! Well, I am just getting started so I am not the best one for all the details but maybe @copperhead, @Chris Morejohn, and @East Cape can chime in and offer up some constructive input for all these folks, myself included! So many aspects that are not thought about by many... building space, general overhead, consumables, various government agencies that want to get deep into them pockets, trash cans, waste disposal, etc...
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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For those thinking of building a business, I’ve been in product development for over two decades and every time someone would come to me with a “new” idea and want me to produce concept models, prototypes, low volume production, etc., the one thing they never seem to understand is the true costs involved to do it right, and the amount of time it will take. If it’s worth doing, do it right and don’t cut corners.

Look at your project as a business owner and the from the customer side. Never fall in love with it, it’s business. I would tell people all the time, ”Just because it seems like a great idea doesn’t mean you should do it”, “if you have 50k you can set on fire in your driveway and it doesn’t hurt, then proceed”. And the last one, “don’t think you’re so smart that no one else has thought of this”.

I hear a lot of people complaining about the prices of a lot of skiffs, but you have to understand if you’re going to put x hours into each hull why not charge more? This is low volume territory, you have to charge more, it’s not a high volume production hull like a Carolina Skiff. If you do it well, they will pay for it because there is emotion controlling the purchase of a skiff, it’s not a rational purchase just like a $700 fly reel, $900 rod, etc.

It’s why HB charges what they do, you have to go where the money is. If you’re trying to sell lower cost hulls, those customers will be gone if the economy takes a dump, and it will. Those with all the cash will always have the cash and the desire for high end products.

Like most things, YMMV and good luck to anyone attempting to start a company building boats.....One last thing, “If you’re going to work for assholes, you might as well work for yourself”.
 

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276 Posts
Several thoughts on this as I set out early on to build a small skiff for production--and subsequently pulled the plug.

Ducknut and Fishtex hit this squarely on the head. It's fucking expensive. I started with a partner that had the cash while I had the experience and had already started the plug (for a one-off for me initially). Problem--he didn't have the cash and I couldn't afford the change in direction to self-finance to completion. Project went full stop in short order and we separated.

Now, I have a few restoration/refit projects over the years, and one I plan to document completely on the interwebs, but it won't be posted in parts. I'll wait until it's complete then let everyone binge read. The reason for this is due to the phenomenon that Ducknut alluded to--people ghosting on a thread after it has started.

My reasoning--that project will be quite different from most other restorations and it will have a drive system that some people just love to hate for some reason. I don't care to argue with anybody until it's done and I have the numbers...and a floating boat...with a beer in my hand.

I wonder how many projects we don't get to see to the end, or ever, as a result of the blatant disrespect of just a few OR the inability of some individuals to handle constructive criticism without it turning into a pissing match.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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2,196 Posts
One of the best builds ever on here stalled and vanished when he was nearly ready to drop a motor on. He was documenting the build on 3 sites and he went dark on all 3 at the same time.
If it is the build I am thinking of, I hope he just got tired of the forum life and is out using that boat. I saw it in his garage in person and it was a thing of beauty.

I am now a strong believer in using “low fi” materials to rip out a workboat finished prototype. Even doing this, my build drug on for over three years. The cabinet makers do awesome work initially, but burn themselves out pursuing perfection. I started out with intentions of perfection, but my attention span and actual skills brought me back to reality over the course of the build. It was ultimately for the best; I would otherwise still be reorganizing my sock drawer to avoid fairing my bilges.

Nate
 

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Brandon, FL
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10,976 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If it is the build I am thinking of, I hope he just got tired of the forum life and is out using that boat. I saw it in his garage in person and it was a thing of beauty.

I am now a strong believer in using “low fi” materials to rip out a workboat finished prototype. Even doing this, my build drug on for over three years. The cabinet makers do awesome work initially, but burn themselves out pursuing perfection. I started out with intentions of perfection, but my attention span and actual skills brought me back to reality over the course of the build. It was ultimately for the best; I would otherwise still be reorganizing my sock drawer to avoid fairing my bilges.

Nate
It is Nate. I had communication with him and he was nearing completion of the build and then had all the rigging and he indicated he was mentally cooked. I too, hope he finished because he deserved years of enjoyment.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I had a neighbor that bought an old sailboat in hopes of restoring it and cruising around the Caribbean. It took him 5 years to finish it and probably 20 years of life off the guy. The boat was a stunner when he finished. I went with him on the maiden voyage and the boat was perfect. Poor guy was so tired of the boat, he didn’t even want to drive. He just sat there looking at his boat while we sailed, hardly saying anything. Instead of a smile and a gleam in in his eyes, they were empty like a man that had accepted his fate. He never sailed the boat again and put it up for sale.
 

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This thread just took a depressing turn.
I think, as others have mentioned, a lot of this does have something to do with the idea of these projects versus what they actual are. To me it's like the dichotomy of how one perceives themselves against how others perceive them.

I have a flats boat I'm finishing up. I will sell it at any stage along the way. I have contacted people who say they are looking for a project or a bare hull. This thing isn't a full restoration type of deal. Still, people come and look and change their mind about what they are actually after. Usually a turn key boat is their purchase.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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2,196 Posts
It is Nate. I had communication with him and he was nearing completion of the build and then had all the rigging and he indicated he was mentally cooked. I too, hope he finished because he deserved years of enjoyment.
Things move so fast while the initial boat-like shape comes together; every day is a huge step foreword. I didn’t even mind the fairing. Despite how much we complain about fairing, finishing out the interior is what kills builds. All those final touches require twice the time and four times the thought to get right. You don’t get the same satisfaction when you look at your work because each task you complete brings you closer to some other task you’ve been putting off. It becomes really easy to find other things to do.

Nate
 

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Mostly Harmless
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2,196 Posts
I had a neighbor that bought an old sailboat in hopes of restoring it and cruising around the Caribbean. It took him 5 years to finish it and probably 20 years of life off the guy. The boat was a stunner when he finished. I went with him on the maiden voyage and the boat was perfect. Poor guy was so tired of the boat, he didn’t even want to drive. He just sat there looking at his boat while we sailed, hardly saying anything. Instead of a smile and a gleam in in his eyes, they were empty like a man that had accepted his fate. He never sailed the boat again and put it up for sale.
There was something else going on in his life. The project was an escape for him or he would never have finished it, but it couldn’t fix the root problem.

Nate
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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There was something else going on in his life. The project was an escape for him or he would never have finished it, but it couldn’t fix the root problem.

Nate
White dog, you are insightful. It turns out he had cancer and died a couple years later.

Sorry for the depressing story...I’m going fishing right now to cheer myself up.
 
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We all need an escape from life sometimes. For some, it is a project... for others, it is travel... I enjoy building boats/trucks/structures myself. My passion has always been hunting/fishing/gardening/raising livestock but building something with my hands and seeing a project completed is a feeling that I can’t describe. The joy that my current skiff build is giving me came at the perfect time in my life to get me through the toughest time in my life to date, James
 

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Some enjoy the journey, some enjoy the destination. I'm a journey person. I enjoy rigging, building, getting everything together. But many times I will lose interest before crossing the finish line. I know this thread may be a little depressing, but to me it's enlightening. I enjoy reading about other's struggles and victories.
I need to go fishing.....but not today, I've got a journey to take. ;)
 

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Brandon, FL
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't think he ever said but he did elude some structural work on his house would be required.
 
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