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Thread: building a cheaper skiff?

  1. #1
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Default building a cheaper skiff?

    Im having a friend of mine who is a decent welder/fabricator build me a 16ft jet skiff. He owns a welding shop and has built a few of these boats ive ridden in one. Hes gonna let me do most of the labor (cutting/grinding) so I can save on the labor charges. He also said if I get my own materials I dont Have to pay his mark up. Im getting the material list this afternoon.

    Im wondering if anyone has suggestions on where to get a decent price on the aluminum. I live in juneau. Im trying to make this a budget style project. He recommended a place called alaskan copper&brass company in seattle.

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    Member anonymous1's Avatar
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    Default might try ryerson in seattle


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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default food for thought

    I had a boat built 4 years ago. Local guy and was buddy but he had built about 120 boat before mine. On my sides we decided to have the gunnels and a support rib bent into the material. Nobody in anchorage had a brake who was comfortable using it in this application. He ordered from some where in washington state. They bent the two sides with two bends each. Them shipped them to his door. It was still cheaper than buying the 20' sheet in anchorage. My boat had right about $5500 worth of materials, maybe more. It is 22' and all aluminum with walk through windshield and bow rails. So if you want to save money on materials and laber have it done out of state. I got lucky as my boat was finished a month before aluminum went up 30%. I have a lot of photos so if you need some ideas I can send you some pics.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    I had a boat built 4 years ago. Local guy and was buddy but he had built about 120 boat before mine. On my sides we decided to have the gunnels and a support rib bent into the material. Nobody in anchorage had a brake who was comfortable using it in this application. He ordered from some where in washington state. They bent the two sides with two bends each. Them shipped them to his door. It was still cheaper than buying the 20' sheet in anchorage. My boat had right about $5500 worth of materials, maybe more. It is 22' and all aluminum with walk through windshield and bow rails. So if you want to save money on materials and laber have it done out of state. I got lucky as my boat was finished a month before aluminum went up 30%. I have a lot of photos so if you need some ideas I can send you some pics.
    Yes, please post a pic or two. Let's check it out!

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Talking

    Magnum Man,

    I live in Juneau how much do you think this will cost? And what are your reasons for having a custom 16' skiff? There are many jet skiffs manufacturers available in this town Seaark, Lowe, Klamath, G3 to name a few.

    I've got a 16' Seaark jet tunnel with flotation pods and it it awesome. I'll sell you the trailer and skiff for 3k. That isn't the point of my reply... just a cheap jab.

    Locally T&S welding has awesome jet skiffs Mendenhaulers is the name for $4500 ish thick aluminum with tunnels. I'd go to them before wanting to make my own.

    Sobie2

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    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Smile custom

    I having custom built because for durability and longevity of the product. Using 1/8 aluminum instead of the .100 used on most manufactured skiffs. Also this boat will be wider and have have high sides. He said we can get it all done for about 4k if I do the dirty work. 5k if he does it all. Ill be using it up the taku river. I want to also be able to use it as a backup in case my big boat breaks down or something. I have land up the taku, 45miles each way, and sometimes crossing taku inlet to get to the river with a 25 footer can be kinda hairy. Besides its a sweet boat ill put up a pic when we get it done sometime in late spring early summer. Seen those mendenhauler skiffs the look pretty nice too.A couple of those up the taku too.

    Any Ideas what motor I should put on it? I was think either a 60/40 merc 4stroke find a yamaha 70 2stroke cuz I could save 100# with the 2 stroke. I think you can still get a 2stroke brand new from yamaha.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Default

    The higher the HP the better. I've been looking at the yamaha 70 2stroke as well due to the weight. You can't get the merc 60/40 two stroke anymore, but Rockys can still get the 2 stroke yamaha. I've got a 50 Tohatsu tldi with a jet and it is enough power... but unfortunately there aren't any decent places to get it worked on. So I'd for sure go the 2 stroke yamaha. I'd also build on some flotation pods which really help getting a small skiff up on plane quickly.

    Sobie2

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default

    Here is a pick. "Slaughterhouse" is her name. The bottom is 3/16" and the side are 1/8" along with windshield and dash area. The floor is .100 diamond plate. I think the hat channel used in the bottom was 1/8'' also and then the floor joists were thicker with the same material supported to the hat channel. My dad and I finished the boat completely, from paint to motors. Fun project. I helped design it and was there almose every night. But I didn't do much labor on the raw hull part. Didn't want to curse the boat!. He charged me $12,300 with the added bow rails and aluminum floor through out. But he had about $5,000 or more in materials I think. It took about six weeks working on it part time. It took my dad and I from Feb to May to finish it, just working sat and sundays about 4 hours or so a day. First launch was early May.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:49.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default another pic

    hope this helps. go beefy dude. 12" centers. the second pic is how it was delivered to me. Took it back for the bow the rails.
    Last edited by akrstabout; 09-18-2009 at 22:49.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    hope this helps. go beefy dude. 12" centers. the second pic is how it was delivered to me. Took it back for the bow the rails.
    Nice boat! Smokin deal at $5500! Is it pretty beefy and tough? I've never consitered having a boat built, rather than buying one. I wonder if it is always cheaper? It seems like to get these good deals, you have to have a friend in the business, though!

  11. #11
    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Default how long is the smaller boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    hope this helps. go beefy dude. 12" centers. the second pic is how it was delivered to me. Took it back for the bow the rails.

    I was thinking of going with a tiller steer in my 16 footer. What do you think if I put a cc steering station in it? What setup would give me better control,/menueverability? thx for the pics and info.

  12. #12
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Magnum Man

    Not sure what will give you better control. Tiller would be cheaper but I like have a steering wheel and always have. If you plan on using it in salt water keep your console in the back 3rd if possible. You will get a better ride, same with a tiller. Dead center might be fine too, depends on what you want to do with the deck space.

    $5000 was just for the materials. Actual boat on the trailer, but not including the trailer was $12,300 after bow rails were put on. I currently have well over $40,000 after motors, shrimping and fishing gear, all the nuts and bolts, paint about $900 and we did it our selves, just all the little stuff that goes with boat is all included in the $40K+. So not the bad of deal still. Now I just need a bigger boat with deeper vee. But like the boat I have now kinda and it gets great gas mileage.

  13. #13
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Talking same boat in all the pics.

    it is beefy and tough. I use it out of whittier the most and also homer, seward, and some of the bigger lakes. She is a work horse. Has 6 bear and 3 deer under her belt and hopefully moose soon to follow.

    boat is 22' long, right about 8' wide at the top gunnels. Actual bottom is 6' wide inside the boat. I put a lot of brain power into this boat. She turned out perfect what I use it for and intended it for. A 26-28'er would be nice with about 22* dead rise. But hate to think about paying for that thing. I have found a builder I like in homer but they want $250,000 for my next boat. Pretty cheap for what it comes with, but don't have that much cash laying around at the moment

  14. #14
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Default

    For such a small skiff tiller makes the most sense for space. Around Juneau I really like how quickly I can pilot the thing in really small streams with a tiller... plus cost for the motor and controls especially since that was your goal.

    On the plus side for a center console if you are primarily running by yourself if the console is in the front 1/2 or 1/3 you can get up on step w/o bow rise and it is best for visibility and can drift in shallow water by not having your stern sit low. My skiff has flotation pods since it is a tiller and that gets rid of those problems (bow rise) but the visibility is still not as good as a center console. For control nothing beats a tiller if you go cc you can get a quick ration steering which make a difference. My buddy has an alumawald seld with center console and on the mendenhall river it was a little dicey where my tiller didn't cause me to break a sweat.

    Sobie2

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