Thursday, June 9, 2016


Yesterday I tried to post a cut/paste of a spreadsheet I did with costs so far.  It didn't format correctly so I deleted it.  My last valid post about having the first layer of decking complete succumbed as collateral damage along with it.

So here are the pics again.  Scroll past and I'll talk about those costs....

Okay, about those costs:

Since beginning the project I have kept every receipt.  I only sorted them into two envelopes - one marked boat materials and equipment - and the other one marked other costs.  Anything that was actually used on the boat or will be installed on the boat went into the first envelope, and anything else, from rent to craning, to paintbrushes or tools went into the second one.

So yesterday I spent the afternoon tallying it all onto an Excel spreadsheet.  So far the total materials and equipment comes in at $18131.09 CDN and the other costs at $6505.74 for a total so far of $24636.83.

Boat Materials and Equipment

I won't give an exact breakdown here but the rough costs are as follows:  About $5000 for the outboard, high thrust prop, control cables, tach and controls, about $5000 for all the plywood used so far (66 sheets and all gone) , along with the stack of structural fir lumber (still have lots), about $600 for the Titebond 3 (5 gallons left), about $3500 for the epoxy and fiberglass (still have lots of cloth and a couple gallons of epoxy),
about $700 for the Cubic Mini woodstove.  The rest is screws, bolts, paint and a lot of PL Premium, that in retrospect I should have bought by the case but instead bought it as I needed it.

Other Costs

I spent $1600 for four months rent at Tim's, $350 for the crane, $500 for the boat mover.  I bought lumber for the shelter and tarps.  I spent a fair bit on tools: a table saw, mitre saw, Raptor nailer, router, belt sander, and other hand tools as I needed them.  The rest was brushes, rollers, cups and so forth.

What I Still Need:

I still need to buy plywood to finish the deck, cabin sides, roof and some of the furniture.  I'll need more PL and more Titebond.  I'll need more paint for the ouside and bottom paint as well.  Polycarbonate, fasterners and sealant for the windows, and PVC fittings for ventilators.  I'll need material for the rudder and leeboards.

I need a sink, galley stove, electrical, composting toilet (Nature's Head?).

Then there's the rig....

It sure do add up.


  1. Your deck is looking nice. As for the composting toilet, I built on and detailed it in a post on my blog from a couple of years ago. It was the first actual piece of the boat, as I needed to know if I could avoid having a black-water tank.

  2. Also, I got a free single stainless steel sink, check your local re-store (Habitat for Humanity store) or the local take-it-or-leave-it place , we have one at the local waste transfer station.
    PS, in the first comment, it should have been "I built one"

  3. Thanks Dennis. I have a homemade composter on Rosebud, and we stripped out the usual marine head on our sailboat and did the cedar chip bucket thing there too. It was far superior. The reason why I'm contemplating a store bought Nature's Head is that we want to take the boat to US waters (assuming a Trump gunboat isn't forbidding it). I know the US Coast Guard is happy with them.

    The sink will be easy to find used but I'm not going to cheap out on the stove, or upholstery foam. That's the kind of stuff that adds up.

    BTW I read your composting toilet post a while back...I was very impressed!

  4. Yes, some stuff is better bought new, I bought the camp stove/oven for mine new, but at least it was on sale. Also the wood stove, but small ones are extremely rare to find used

  5. This cost documentation is the kind of thing folks need to know who are contemplating a build. Dave Z did a good job detailing cost forecasts on his barge building site and good to see a concise actual building account posted. Amazing what it costs these days to build but, when contrasted with having a new house built for you, or buying a overpriced used house, quite inexpensive. Especially for a paid-off, systems independent abode.

    Back in 2002 my 37 footers 3/4" formply was 22 bucks a sheet. As I recall the 22 gallons of Shell corporation epoxy cost about 1600 bucks (maybe 900 but, jeez, the alz is hitting me thickly this morning....sorry!!). The used outboard 2 stroker was about 1500 bucks. Thank you central bankers for the monstro jack-up via inflation in the last 14 years: amazing.

    Despite building ones self to get exactly the flattie you want these figures point out the extreme cost advantage these days of buying used. Suffering a swinging lead mine below is a grave indignity shoalie types might just bear up to in order to save a shitpot of moolah. A extremely rugged and seaworthy little 25 footer sold a month ago or so on E-Bay for just 2000 bucks as I recall. It was engineless but well finished with custom wood trim inside and a thick fiberglass hull. With lots of extras to boot. Lots of those deals around these days and more and more coming up as the economy continues to tank.

    But when looking long range at a boat home to REALLY make you happy as a flat bottomed sailor it makes sense to spend the extra bucks and get exactly what you want. The joys of flat bottomed boating are immense and worth the effort.

    Much appreciated and this is one of the best boat build documentations I have ever seen on the web. Perhaps inspirational to any number of young adults or folks disgusted with the rat race that they can actually make something like this happen themselves and for a fairly accurate price as well.

  6. Once my comment got published I saw how long it was.... sorry about that.

  7. Robert, don't apologize for that! I am always happy to see your comments and especially ones that are complimentary :-)

    Like any project, it always costs more than you think. That said, we are in an orgy of real estate speculation, home renovation and construction here in the Lower Mainland. Prices for anything building related are up.

    Funny though, I went out to buy a 10 kilo bag of sugar to put on a batch of hooch - and it's been a while since I've done that - and it was the same price I paid 6 or 7 years ago. Everything else food-wise has skyrocketed. You can still economize if you are dedicated I guess. I try to weigh the cost against the time it takes for alternatives. And time for a guy in his sixties is precious...

  8. Yes, amen to the precious time in the 60s sentiment. One reason I may well just start scouting used boats myself. BTWay: that 25' Storfidra full keeler sold for $1026 dollars finally.

    Building wise, in the same 60s guys category, it makes no sense to build anything BUT a flattie. Forget 2-5 year builds at this age. Re materials costs I remain intrigued by the now almost ridiculously low cost of steel, especially recycled steel. In that very same, again, 60s guys category a steel boats rust cycle corresponds to my aging bodies rust cycle about now so it's a wash! As I recall you have plans to pass on your boat to a younger crew finally?

    Those random building thoughts and about 15 pesos buys a custom cuppa joe down here. At 18:1 now....... not bad......

    1. Well, we're hoping that one of our kids will want Autarkia one day, and not need it desperately.

  9. It sure do add up.<

    That's depressing. Surely there is an alternative building method that would not be quite so expensive.? Possibly a ferrocement hull or something?

    Robert said 'it's relatively cheap'...but if you ain't got much money you don't have it.