What did it cost?

Now that I have the Cabin Skiff more or less finished I decided it was time to total up the bills and see how it came out.  I could have done several months ago but I actually have been putting it off.  In some ways I really didn't want to know how much money I had invested in the project. I have enjoyed it immensely but I had a feeling that the cost had exceeded my early exceptions. 

Finally an interested prospective builder drop me an email asking if I would share the information on dollars invested.  I decided it was time to take a deep breath and grab the calculator. To make things a little more explanatory I decided to break it up in to several categories.  This is what I found.

$2,137  -  Building Materials  -  plywood, epoxy, bronze screws, FG cloth, etc.
$1,206  -  Hardware  -   nuts, bolts, seats, cleats, lucite, steering cable, etc.
   $703  -  Electrical  -   wire, battery, fuses, etc. (includes instruments - got carried away here!)
   $329  -  Paint  -   Including thinners, primers
   $104  -  Disposable  -   paint brushes, gloves, coveralls, etc.
   $304  -  Other  -  carpet, swim platform, etc. ( items many builders might not use)

$4,838  -  TOTAL    plus engine & trailer

I know there are some receipts missing.  I did a far job keeping track of most but I am sure I failed to get a few in the folder where I was filing them.  I know many of the odd and ends from the local hardware store were missed.  So probably rounding it off a $5000 would cover it all.

This sounds like a pretty good chunk of cash - and it is. But if you compare it to a similar craft like the C-Dory it is actually not too bad.  The list price for the C-Dory 16' cruiser is $11,800 for the hull. Don't forget like the CS you still need to add the outboard and trailer.  My engine ran $5000 and I probably have about $800 in the homemade trailer. A new 2 stroke 50 HP with prop and controller would probably run close to $4000.  A factory trailer will be in the $1000 to $1500 range. At least these are the prices I was finding in the spring of 2000.  Obviously,  a used outboard and/or trailer is another option.

Could you build a CS for less?  Sure!  I added items that weren't totally necessary - I just wanted them.  To list a few - Stretched it 2' to 18'.  Built in 30 gallons of fuel storage when a small plastic tank would work for most. I used 3 colors of paint when one would have worked. My seats weren't the most expensive ones available ($55) but cheaper are available. Added a hatch in berth top.  Made the side windows slide and windshields open.  Added homemade port lights in berth. Added glove box, carpet and swim platform.  Five 12 volt sockets (2 on each side of berth and 3 in cockpit.  Main reason is to plug in small 12V fans). Installed commercial made rubrail.

I really got carried away with the instruments.  The fuel flow meter and speed/log with temp ran almost $400 for the pair. The depth sounder cost another $100 (I already owned the handheld GPS and VHF radio).  Installed a regular fuel gauge too which is more or less redundant with the fuel flow meter (I am very paranoid about running out of fuel!).  These are a few that come to mind but I am sure there are more.


The photos on this page are of a couple of modifications I have made lately.  Since it is now November 2000 it is starting to get cold here in Illinois.  I have winterized my other two boats but I am planning on running the CS through out the winter - as long as the river is not froze over.  I trailered it to a local canvas shop and had them make an aft curtain to enclose the cockpit.  It has a zipper down the center and is designed where I can roll it up and tie it at the top or open the zipper, pull the sides open and tie at the sides. The clear panels allow for rearward vision.

When planning for the curtain I was curious as to how it would react when underway. Would the wind cause it to billow out or in?  I was concerned about "in" because the seat backs are very close to it and I was afraid it might be pressing on the seats and maybe the back of my head.  As it worked out when moving with all the windows closed it tends to billow out just slightly.  Opening the windshields naturally make it billow out more as does opening the "rear" section of the side windows.  But if I just open the front section of the side windows it sucks it inward.  Not enough to be a problem but interesting that the front of the windows are actually exhausting!

I have found that I can trailer the CS with the curtain in place. I close all the windows and can see very little movement even at 65 MPH.  It is very convenient not to have to remove it at the end of the day. Also it helps keep dust out of the cockpit when stored in the shed.

I am very pleased with it.  Blocks out all air movement in the cockpit and with the sun shinning warms up nicely inside during mild temperatures (I have ordered an indoor heater I am going to try o use onboard.  I will report on it when it arrives).  The cover also keeps the dew off everything in the cabin when spending the night on the water. The downside - $250. (Not included in total above).

The second photo is of an engine box I have built. Although the drone of the engine isn't real bad it does tend to get annoying after an hour or two. As I mentioned before the cabin seems to "catch" the engine noise and make it more noticeable.  The box is just a way to catch it before it gets to the cabin..  It was made from scrap left from the CS project so no increase cost were incurred.

I am really not wild about the looks of it but it does do the job. Interestingly, the curtain seems to be just as effective as the box in reducing the noise.  But obviously don't want to run with the curtain on and closed during the summer. 

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