CNC Router Service for Boat Kit

plcrawfo

Philip
User
After renovating my garage into a proper workshop, I'm gearing up to build a boat. I thought I had settled on a design, until I found this one:


There is a company out of Maine that cuts a kit for the boat using a CNC Router, but the price of the kit (before freight) is about $2,000 more than my calculated cost for the plywood. The designer will sell the CNC cutting files directly. I have looked at the 100kGarages website for someone locally (here in NC) who might be willing to cut the kit, if I supply the plywood.

I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with any local folks doing something similar. I don't really know what to expect for the cost of the milling service, or if the quality of cut will be as good as the company from Maine that does boat kits on a regular basis (if that's even an issue). If anyone has any suggestions as to where I might start, I would appreciate any input.

Philip
 

SJWiehe

Steve
User
How many sheets of plywood does the kit take? More than likely the designer will be selling you a dxf file that will need to be programmed to run on a cnc. The time laying out and programming the sheets is usually equal to the time it takes to cut the sheet. If the parts are complex or have multiple tool changes, more programming effort. It it’s a tab and slot, you will need to adjust the patterns to the actual width of the ply for it to fit tightly.

Some shops will charge you a flat hourly rate regardless of the work. Others will charge an hourly rate for the layout and a different rate for the machine time. Since the kit mfg has already covered the cost of the programming (program once, cut many) you may find the kit is the cheaper path.

it’s hard to give you more Information without seeing the plans.

steve
 
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plcrawfo

Philip
User
Steve,

Thanks for the information and perspective. The study plans indicate 7 sheets, but those are 5x10 (and the study plan is in French). The designer indicates the cutting files are available for 4x8, so maybe 10 sheets. You make a good point about the kit supplier working out the details. Sometimes being the guinea pig gets expensive.

Chris, I will ask designer what format the cnc files are in and check back.

Thanks both for the input.

Philip
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Steve,

Thanks for the information and perspective. The study plans indicate 7 sheets, but those are 5x10 (and the study plan is in French). The designer indicates the cutting files are available for 4x8, so maybe 10 sheets. You make a good point about the kit supplier working out the details. Sometimes being the guinea pig gets expensive.

Chris, I will ask designer what format the cnc files are in and check back.

Thanks both for the input.

Philip
I can work with almost any format.
 

woodworker2000

Christopher
Corporate Member
You may want to confirm the price you are using for plywood in your calculations. Looking at current prices of wood, it appears gold and/or other precious metals are now being injected into wood sometime after the trees are harvested and before being sold to consumers.
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
Hello Philip
I wondered as I was looking at you boat photo.. Have built a boat before? Without changing your plans, just consider the hours to build the boat, the shop space you will give up for one project before you get started.

boat flip day (8).jpg
boat outside.jpg


Here's a boat I am currently fininshing out in my shop. You are welcome to come by and see it before varnish and paint.

Dan
Durham, NC
 

smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
To piggy back on Dan’s wise advice - Building a sailboat like the one you mention I find it wise to build the ancillary stuff FIRST.
Build the spars, the rudder and centerboard before you build the hull.
Number one you will have more space to work in.
Number two you’ll get familiar with the way the designer thinks, dimensions and notes things
Number three( and most important) when you finish the hull, you’ll be read to go sailing!

Nothing worse than having what looks like a finished boat filling up your shop and unable to use it because you have to make all the little stuff.
 

smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
And if you are open to considering other designs, have a look at Chesapeake Light Craft.
They have a couple rowing/ sailing dinghies in the range you mention.
One looks similar but perhaps smaller.

I haven’t built any of their kits but I have visited their operation in Annapolis.
Good folks and they keep their CNC busy.
 

plcrawfo

Philip
User
Dan - No, I haven't built a boat before, but I've wanted to build one for the last 5 or 6 years. I've read several books (Gardner, Brooks, Culler, Tom Hill, Cramer & Steward, and looked at the pictures in Vivier's book in French) and come to the conclusion that this will turn into a 2, 3, or 4 year project. I also renovated my garage to a workshop specifically with boat building in mind. I put in new electrical, insulated, put in a floor, and installed a mini-split so that it would be a comfortable place to work, knowing I would be spending a lot of time there. I also put in a lumber rack that can hold 20ft items like spars, oars, and parts for gunwales, planks, etc. But I still don't know what I don't know - I'm sure I'll learn a lot along the way. I'll take you up one your offer to see your boat, but I'll have to wait a little until things calm down at work.

Smallboat - I'll definitely follow your advice. My shop is a converted two-car garage with an alcove - space is at a premium but 13' ceilings help for storing long parts like spars, planking stock, etc. I've spent some time looking at CLCs plans and kits, but none seemed to capture my imagination as much as my final choices.

Thanks all for the input.
 

smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
I thought the Lake Union Swift felt like the Minahouet you've chosen.
At 10' it may be a bit smaller.
Looks like its a new item for them derived from an earlier design.
No pricing on the site yet
 

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