Mark Smaalders Yacht Designs

Designs for seaworthy, affordable cruising boats, sail and power
Specializing in wood and wood/epoxy construction

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Building Cost 

Estimating building cost is difficult, as it can vary enormously between different builders. The largest variable in terms of cost is labor (which amounts to 55-60% of the cost in professionally built custom boats). Among amateur builders (for whom labor cost isn't an issue), building costs will vary somewhat due to differences in the cost of raw materials, but much more significantly depending on the complexity and cost of the equipment on the boat. The biggest potential for cost savings on amateur built boats is in outfitting. One builder might choose to sail without an engine, or to purchase a used outboard costing a few thousand dollars. Another builder may opt for a new marine diesel, with a total  cost (including shaft, stuffing box, prop, tanks, controls, etc.) of $10,000-$15,000; some may want a hybrid drive system costing two or three times that. Some builders may choose very simple electronics  - I've sailed thousands of miles myself using just a VHF, depth sounder, and simple GPS - but others may opt for radar, chart plotters, and more. The material cost for a wooden mast and boom is not high, but new alloy spars will run to many thousands of dollars. So the real message is:

Keep it simple

This has added dividends -- simple gear is not just less expensive to buy, it's usually less likely to fail, and cheaper and easier to repair.