alot of people believe building themselves boats will save them money, but halfway through they relize it is costing more than a comparable boat, that is factory produce, building a boat outside of a jig can be a nightmare, If you are going to do it I hope it drives straight. dont forget custom built boats cost anywhere from 60-80K .
Some thing else to consider is the whole factory warrenty on the hull. With all the torquing on the body from operation if your design and supports aren't up to par, you'll have cracks in the joints. TnT had a good point about cost compared to buying new. There is a article in the Feb STS mag about that and how after all was said and done the cost diffence could have been made up in beer. On the other hand self satisfaction of building your own is some times worth the extra deniro's. I custom fabricate alot of my own attachments for the equip., so I understand the theory. I my self am looking at new sled for this year and was floored by the cost, but if you add in your time+ materials+options+time you really aren't that far off 4o g's. Defiately keep us posted on progress and the final result.
Elvis dont feel like I was trying to discourage you, I just hope you are aware of the costs, you are more than welcome to climb around in our hulls to try and improve or redisign them , take measurements or what have you.
We have built many ourselves down here. You can save at least 10-15K depending on the boat you build. We have built them from 14'-23'. If you are building a boat with any type of V you need a jig!! If you are planning on building a Flatbottom you will have a better chance at being successful. The advantage of building the boat yourself is, you can customize it to anything you can imagine. The last boat my buddy built was a 22'6 open sled with a 5 degree bottom. It has everything, Diamond plate floor, pro transom, dry storage, dual rod trays, interior lights and much, much more. It has a .250" bottom with .190" sides. He has designed his own floor structure that is bullet proof. He built the boat for around $6,000 USD. He built an aluminum dual axle cutom fit trailer to go with it. He put a 250 HP Merc tiller on the back. He is into it Boat Motor and Trailer, $15,000. The same boat with the Alumaweld name on it is $35-$40,000 USD. The boat drifts perfectly straight while backtrolling.
I will say, it's not easy. You really have to know what you are doing. If you don't know how to make the jigs and pull the bottom into the sides properly, you are going to be in trouble. The first boat we built was far from perfect. Just building by plans will not be enough. If I were a first time builder, I would start off with a Flatbottom. And figure what size the material (Aluminum Sheets) are before you start. It will be much less labor and welding if you build to the material size. If you build to the sizes you can buy the material in, you won't have to worry about welding sections together width wise. That is a pain!! The other problem you have with welding Aluminum is nothing stays square when you apply heat if you don't have it securely supported.
Thanks guys for all your help. I am lucky to be in the position of time is on my side and I have the right people going to fab for me.I am taking a real professional approach to this because of money not time because I plan on not getting it done overnight.I am looking at all possible angles and approachs to this and I am asking anyone and everyone for their help and opionions. TNT I will come out sometime and have a look at your equipement for sure .I will also get a quote to do a comparison on the pros and cons of the self built boat.Again thanks guys for the help and advise.Elvis
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