Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Building with hind sight or "What do I do now?"...

One of the attractions of the various Bolger designs is that they are fast to build. Some people seem to have a problem with that as if being able to build a boat in a short period of time is a bad thing...Since I have something of a street cred on building boats fast one of the questions I hear from folks on a regular basis is "How long do you think it will take me to build this boat?"

Sadly a lot of people are deterred from building a new boat or rehabbing an older one because they keep being told that it takes too long, costs too much , takes too much skill and more of the same...Take it from me there are a million reasons that people have for not doing something and they do love telling you about them.

Fact is building a boat takes just as long as you take to build the boat...I do realize there is a Zen element in that statement...Take Loose Moose 2 for instance. We had a building window of a year as the yard we were going to build it in at was being sold. The fact is when we arrived to begin building the space was still in use by the guy who was not quite ready to launch, so we had to wait three months to begin which now left us with nine months to build. We also knew that in Meaux, France it gets cold in the winter so that for at least a couple of months we would not really be able to do any work of substance so in the real sense we really only had seven months to build Loose Moose 2...Just for the record we launched just shy of six months of construction more or less ready to sail off into the sunset. For those who are into the how many hours did it take that works out just shy of 1500 man hours.

The hind sight factor I sort of worked as I was asked to build a Loose Moose 2 for someone not long after so came up with a building and labor budget in which I realized that a lot of those 1500 hours of labor could be trimmed by not standing around so much saying to myself "What do I do now?" and systematizing my efforts a bit more. My labor estimate for doing the second Loose Moose 2 was in the neighborhood of just a tad over three months though I still think I would have finished it in less than three at two thirds of what Loose Moose 2 cost us...

Phil Bolger of course knows how to design a boat that is simple to build but my experience building and repairing other sorts of boats tells me that Bolger boats do not take that much less time than more shippy designs as the real black hole for time is a simple lack of organization and momentum.