Buildling or restoring your own boat? Thoughts and questions...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Alex Fernandez, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    For Yobata... we didn't have tyvek suits when I got my first decent job as a mate (and that old 48' "backyard boat" was in Tommy's boatyard on the Miami River). Back then (all those years ago) mates didn't get paid a penny when the boat was in the yard. If you were lucky the captain bought your lunch - but each day (for about a week as I remember...) it was sanding, painting, re-fitting - until you were trying to keep your eyes open on the way home at the end of the day... In that era chartermen were in the yard for scraping and painting every six months...

    I've put together a half dozen skiffs over the years and they ranged from 12' up to almost 19'... Yeah, it's a fun hobby - but back then it was also an economic necessity... In that time I've taken three un-rigged skiffs and done (or had done when I lacked the skill...) all the rigging and or re-fitting myself - with a little help from a few friends. That doesn't count an old SeaCraft that was a stolen recovery (that had been stripped and dumped - the second time for that poor owner...). I picked it up for $900, borrowed a trailer to get it to my driveway - then tore it completely apart and re-fitted it from stem to stern (every system replaced - then that old hull was water sanded by hand (by me...) to bring it back to life...). Finally a new trailer and a used motor (an Evinrude- what else?). In the meantime a real craftsman took the old center console, repaired every crack, filled every screw hole - then Awlgripped it... I made an instrument panel out of blue plexi-glass, installed a new teak door and frame, made a molded dark smoke colored sunshade out of plexi to fit over the instrument panel... As you can guess this didn't happen overnight... That same craftsman just happened to have the molds to build perfect livewell boxes that you could run wet or dry... for any SeaCraft (faired in perfectly on the bottom to match the variable deadrise bottom that those hulls were famous for...) so we added them to the finished product (and converted the existing in-floor livewell into a wet well for lines, nets, and other miscellaneous items..). The accessories (rodholders, etc.) were all done to complement the build (all rodholders, vertical and horizontal were crafted out of five quarters mahogany and got five or six coats of polyurethane each... I had 12 vertical (six on each side of the console) and 8 horizontal, four on a side. Back in those days we all used heavy gaffs and they fit up under the gunnels as well...

    All I can add is that I was a lot younger then... (this was around 35 years ago...). Wish I still had that SeaCraft.. Within a year or two after rigging it I was hook and lining (some days as far as 30 miles offshore - solo...) a few days a week, trying to justify the time I wanted to spend on the water.... It was sold to raise the money for the old Maverick I've been running ever since....

    Aren't boats fun?
    yobata likes this.
  2. devrep

    devrep Well-Known Member

    my before and after. Wasn't going for a resto as its a fishing boat.

  3. trekker

    trekker Well-Known Member

    I suggest tearing one down and rebuilding as a first step. If You find you like it then go for it on a complete build. As far as money, I'd say you will save about 50% compared to buying a similar sized boat.
  4. Shane Campbell

    Shane Campbell Active Member

    Building your own boat is a big commitment. I have a build thread on here. I researched a lot of different plans and talked to many different boat designers. I decided on a plan by Smith marine designs. This was the first boat I built and like some have said, I knew what I wanted but couldn't find it or didn't wanted to spend what they were asking for it. It took a year to build the hull with many long breaks due to work. Finishing work getting ready for the paint is the worst part. It has been very rewarding and enjoyed building it so much I would like to build another one. My 16 skiff with motor and trailer is going to run me around 16-17 thousand.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 12:05 AM
  5. LWalker

    LWalker Well-Known Member

    yobata and Capt Rhan like this.