If cost and saving money is your biggest concern buying a used boat is probalby best. Homemade stitch and glue construction is expensive for both time and materials. I build boats because I love boat building. And because I do get a faster, lighter more hotrod boat.

Mario La Giglia's costs comments:

I'm often asked: "how much does it cost to build a boat from scratch?" It's hard for me to keep track because I always have more than one project going on at once, with lots of material left over from who knows when. And most of all I only build for fun these days. So I do my best not to keep track of money.

Mario La Giglia, however, posted the following Beavertail cost breakdown on the discussion Forum in July 2009. A Honky Dory project would probably cost an additional two hundred dollars or so. Notice too Mario spent almost $300 on automotive paint. You can cut that figure down significantly by using top-of- the-line oil based house paint. Don't buy cheap exterior paint for $30 a gallon. Get the best stuff they sell, perhaps for more like $45 per gallon. That's still a lot less than the $50 per quart you'll pay for automotive stuff. Big box home improvement stores no longer carry oil based exterior paint. You have to go to paint shop that caters to contractors to find it. These prices are out of date. Get a price for six gallons of resin plus hardener at RAKA. Get a ratio for the price increase and figure accordingly. You will be close to today's overall princing.

Mario La Giglia, July 2009

I have finally finished my Beavertail. I started on Thanksgiving weekend of 2008 and (almost) finished in June 2009. I saved all my reciepts and put together a detailed list of how much it cost, and exactly where/what I spent all that money. As a caveat, I want to support what Sandy says about building a boat for the love of building things, and not for the cost. However, if you are an average middle class American like myself, the cost can greatly determine how fast your boat gets done. So, here is a spread sheet I put together. Take into consideration that this does not include oars, anchor system (because I have not purchased those items yet, and wont for awhile), or trailer. I also built my own trailer. Axle, tires, material (2x2 steel), paint and leaf springs came to about $700.

TOTAL PRICE = $1,976.80


White Oak 159.53

Red Wood 30.00

Fir 53.22

Plywood 177.10 (2 x 1/4" Mhagony, 2 x 5/8" Mhagony) (WOOD TOTAL = $419.85)

FIBERGLASS MATERIAL (Raka, West System etc)

10oz x 6" Fiberglass Tape(50 yrd) 38.00

4oz x 50" Fiberglass (22 yrd) 126.00

10oz x 60" Fiberglass (6 yrd) 46.50

Kevlar Felt (5 yrd) 115.00

(Fiberglass TOTAL = $325.5)

EPOXY (Raka)

6 Gal Kit 288.00 6qt kit 93.00

6 qt kit 93.00

(EPOXY TOTAL = $474)


Auto Body Paint 227.5

Tax and Labor 94.05

(PAINT TOTAL = $321.55)


Saw Blades 46.85

Clamps 40.00

Random Orbit Sander 75.00

Sawhorse 17.00

Bevel Square 4.45

Chalk Box 9.13

(TOOLS TOTAL = $192.43)


San Paper 48.26

Wood Glue 6.3.0

Razors 1.83

Foam brushes/rollers 21.7

Mixing Containers 10.2

Dry Wall Screws 5.43

Other screws 37.62

Rope (for seats) 20.25

Masking Tape 7.3.0

Varnish 60.00

Thinner 7.33

Epoxy Pumps 12.00

Spreaders 5.25

(MISC TOTAL = $243.47)

It's interesting to note high-end automotive paint is one of the biggest expenses.  You can use latex house paint.  I've done it.