Would you say it was worth it?
Christer, I think building your own boat is a personal thing. You go with a design that best fits a set of criteria that you have defined, but what works for one person may not work for another.
In my case, and I have told this story before, I have earned my living with my brain but have always been reasonably "handy". I have always wanted to build a boat and tell people who ask "What made you want to build a boat"
that there was a boat in me that needed to get out.
The final triggers for me were:
1) that long-term desire to build a boat
2) a growing desire to chase barramundi in some of the more remote parts of northern Australia in safety and comfort
3) impending semi-retirement and the need to fill the looming "work" gap
I had never built a boat before starting on this one and I had never worked with epoxy before. Most boat building sites will say to build something small to feel your way into boat building and learn the required skills. I rejected that concept as I already had a smaller boat and decided that if I was going to build something it was going to be the boat I wanted.
Having looked far and wide, I finally settled on Jacques Mangusta 20 hull as the one that I though would best suit my mission - 18o deadrise at the transom, long enough to deal with the short frequency north Australian "chop", well powered and reasonable fast, strong and unsinkable.
Then I read somewhere that Jacques had said you could scale the plans up by 10%, and I thought "If I am going to do this I might as well build the boat as large as possible
, and immediately moved to scaling it up by 10%. I really didn't consider the consequences of doing that in terms of increased building cost, issues with where I was going to be able to build it or house it afterwards, the need for a large tow vehicle or a higher specification boat trailer for it. My boat is right on the limit for what you can tow on the highways without a bunch of restrictions, signage and speed limits.
I just got stuck into building it!
Everything is at least 20% more than it would be if built as designed - materials, labour etc
I didn't even build the boat as designed. I built it as a side console with fore and aft casting decks - only the basic hull is "as designed".
The end result is a large, fast, comfortable, safe boat that can travel long distances (200+ nm range) and is a very stable platform for the lure casting type of fishing that I like to do. Where we fish, the boat is your life support system. If you end up in the water there a lots of critters that will eat you for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Was it worth it? Absolutely! For me, at my time of life. I spared no cost in building it, and it is full of the best of everything in the way of "toys" (BIG o/board, sounders. chart plotters, trolling motor etc), but it cost me waaaay more than I would have imagined. If I was still trying to raise and educated my kids it may well have ended up yet another unfinished dream. I love it - as do my mates who have been fortunate enough to fish out of it.
I think this pic sums it up. Four of us are headed out some 50nm from our base camp for a days fishing, sitting on 26-28 kts. If you search for "Fat Fellows Creek, McArthur NT, Australia
" in Google Earth you will see where we spent the day.
Or put another way, if you were to build another Even Bigger Barra Boat, would you scale it again, even with the added cost?
If I was building for myself, yes - in a heart beat!
However, as I have said before, if I was 20 yrs younger I would seriously contemplate building this type of boat commercially. I would not scale it up and might actually scale it down by 10% because I think there is a bigger market for boats in that size range - lower build cost, smaller hp requirement, lower specification trailer requirement, lower spec tow vehicle requirement.