TRANSPARENT PRICING POLICY
The most common question we receive daily from clients is, "what does a custom heavy gauge, welded aluminum boat cost?" Because every boat is unique, we developed an exclusive Transparent Pricing Policy, which allows our customers to see exactly what they are paying for, with no hidden surprises.
1. THE HULL
THE HULL OF A CUSTOM, HEAVY GAUGE ALUMINUM BOAT IS CREATED AS A RESULT OF 4 DISTINCT STEPS:
1.DESIGN, NAVAL ARCHITECTURE, & ENGINEERING
A custom heavy gauge aluminum boat of 50' or less typically takes a qualified naval architect 1 hour per lineal foot to design, calculate buoyancy, engineer, and develop prints from scratch. The rate per hour for our certified naval architecture services is $135.00 / hr. For example, a 20' boat totally designed from scratch would normally cost $2,700.00 ($135.00 x 20 hrs.) This estimation can vary based on the control station of the boat , such as tiller control vs. pilothouse, but is a safe rule of thumb. STOCK DESIGNS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ENGINEERING FEES.
Obviously, the main material in aluminum boats is...aluminum. 5086 series (marine grade) aluminum pricing varies, but typically costs between $2.10 and $2.80 / lb. The total number of lbs. of raw materials in a boat is listed as a line item on our quotes, based on current market rates.
5086 ALUMINUM PRICING AS OF FEBRUARY, 2021: $2.52 / L.B.
3.CNC CUTTING & FORMING (MATERIAL PROCESSING)
The 3rd line item on our quotes is PROCESSING. This is the cost to turn the raw sheets of aluminum into precision cut parts, ready for assembly.
4.WELDING / FABRICATION MAN HOURS
This is the single most expensive part of a boat build. The 4th line item on our quote is the total number of man hours required to weld the hull to a watertight state, ready for outfitting. Our rates per hour for a two-man team of certified, AWS compliant, professional shipwright welders, including supplies & consumables, is $135 / hour. We only use advanced pulse MIG & TIG processes, utilizing state of the art equipment.
Subject to vessel beam & layout, it typically takes between 5 and 9 hours per boat foot in welding & fabrication labor.
Based on these formulas, a simple, open tiller boat hull, ready for outfitting, will typically cost around $1,000 / boat foot. A complex offshore boat with a full width house and cuddy would be around $2,000 / boat foot.
2. RIGGING & OUTFITTING OF SYSTEMS
Self-install vs. Factory Install, component brand, and general systems complexity have a significant impact on custom boat costs.
12V and 24V systems are the most common in boats 50' and less. This typically means, at minimum, a 12V marine grade battery, shutoff switch, switch panel, wires run for navigation, bilge, and other accessories. If you choose to have your system installed by our ABYC compliant technicians, this will be a line item on your quote.
2.PLUMBING, MECHANICAL, AND FUEL SYSTEMS
Plumbing on most boats is described as the bilge pumps, fuel system, freshwater / graywater storage tanks, and washdown systems. Mechanical items such as hydraulic steering are also listed as separate line items on your quote, allowing you to choose the brand or type of your choice.
3.WINDOWS & DOORS
From small plastic access hatches to sliding entry doors, the window & door package is listed as a separate line item on our quotes.
4.FINISHES & FURNISHINGS
From paint, anti-skid coatings, to bulkhead linings and interior furniture, this category is also listed on your quote in a comprehensive breakdown, allowing you to select or deselect items based on your preference or budget.
Motor brand and horsepower affect pricing significantly. Many customers choose to outfit their hull with a used or self-sourced outboard, or we can install a factory-authorized OEM propulsion package.
If you are handy at basic electrical & plumbing, self-outfitting may be a good choice for you. As always, our professional team is always willing to provide an OEM package; in this case, all materials and man hours will be listed for your review.