How Much?

How Much?

Boat Building Budgets

For those of you interested in what it costs to both build and then cruise a modern 40ft Catamaran, this page will journal our budget. I will endeavor to include all of our spending but will also summarize where possible to keep it concise. We have also rounded up or down to the nearest $5 to simplify the additions, on a project of this size, to get within $1000 is close enough! The only cost we are not including in our budget is the warehouse because if we were not building a cat in there we would still need a warehouse for our business and we have about the smallest warehouse there are around anyway so the cost is one the business wears, but you will need to factor that in if you need to rent a space to build in. Some people build in their back yards so they don’t need to budget for rent either.

We are budgeting on $250,000.00 ($200,000 for sail away boat, $50,000 for full live aboard fit out) for a reasonably well fitted out boat (I would be happy to get within 10%) but this very much depends on choice of fittings, motors and electronics. For example Outboards (twin 20-25 hp 4 stroke hi thrust) are the cheapest option at around $10,000.00 ( a pair) but we are looking into Electric with a Genset but this is comparatively expensive at around $30,000.00 plus the genset!, but then fuel is also becoming expensive…we will wait and see on this option, but we love the idea of generating our own power wherever we can.

As for electronics and other amenities, we are about 3-4 years off needing to seriously price all the options we want but some will need to be built into the furniture or at least be catered for in some fittings so some may need to be purchased sooner or at least decided upon but the list so far extends to: (a large battery bank, decent solar array, strong inverter/charger and probably also a wind generator, radar, gps chart plotter, forward sonar/depth/log/wind, auto pilot, watermaker, lcd tv/dvd that will double as screen for charting, laptop with mapping, sailmail and weather fax capability, ssb and vhf radio, decent fridge and freezer, mini washing machine, LP gas stove/oven/bbq and instant hot water) and we will probably use LED lighting throughout. With electronic prices coming down somewhat we are not too concerned at this stage about them.

There are also general fitting costs such as steering (we will probably make our own wheel and use cable steering, I am not sure about hydraulics yet) anchor windlass, anchors, chain and rode, 2 sail winches (yes only 2!!  but one may be electric) a main bathroom and an ensuite (2 toilets – one powered one manual with associated plumbing and tanks) water and fuel tanks and plumbing, lighting and wiring, 3 beds, saloon upholstery, etc. I am sure there are other items to put on the list!

Other costs to consider will be a life raft and a tender and outboard, and other safety equipment such as epirb, life jackets etc. We are also opting for Carbon Fibre free standing (no rigging) masts that we may make ourselves and probably only a spinnaker and the 2 mains so our sail set up costs are likely to be lower than on a similar cat with regular masted rig. Finally to save work, time and maybe even cost we are planning to use laminex or similar for interior finishing on bulkheads and furniture rather than fairing and gelcoat, we hate the old fashioned look of timber everywhere, we like clean, minimalist white! And laminex is fairly easy to apply, will go around gentle curves and wipes clean!

All costs to build will be in AU$ and include 10% GST.


  • The first cost is the plans. Depending on the designer and the design. Ours was $11,000.00
  • We opted for the ATL Duflex Panel Kit. $75,500.00
  • Building consumables (Sandpaper, Gloves, disposable mixing pots, resin/hardener pumps) $800.00
  • Wombat Junior Wet Out machine $470.00
  • Timber for strongback including delivery $400.00
  • Various power tools (Docking Saw, Cordless Drill, Jigsaw, Orbital sander) $165.00
  • Various non power tools (Level, Square, String Line, Clamps, drill bit set, socket set) $120.00
  • Miscellaneous hardware (Panel Screws, Acetone, Paint brushes) $120.00
  • Pine and MDF timber for gluing panels and later to stand bulkheads $180.00
  • More consumables, screws, brushes, etc $60.00
  • Ryobi power tools, gifts xmas 2005 (cordless router, batteries, angle grinder) $300.00
  • Wall mounted resin/hardener pump (for 44 gallon drums) $430.00
  • Additional labour (Brett Schionning tutoring x 2 days plus 1 free day) $630.00
  • 2 ladders $100.00
  • More power tools (electric plane, replace cordless drill) $80.00
  • More consumables (paint brushes, screws) $40.00
  • More consumables (paint rollers and extension handles, squeegees) $60.00
  • More tools (random orbital x 2, cordless saw, dust extractor) $640.00
  • More consumables (peel ply, squeegees) $300
  • Tools and Materials (Highbuild, Hookit, Handles) $330
  • More Materials (Copper Powder for antifoul layer) $360
  • Tools and consumables (Router bit set and paint trays and rollers) $40
  • Stainless Steel U bolts (anchor mounts) $60
  • Special Flexi Epoxy for Steel U bolts (Forebeam anchor mounts) $50
  • PVC rectangle down pipes (bridgedeck stiffeners) $190
  • Highbuild (4 litres) $75
  • Router bit, plastic sheet $45
  • MDF sheet and a Router bit, for shaping daggers $60
  • West Hardener 20 litres (replace spill) $450
  • More epoxy resin 24 litres  $400
  • Nidacore poly honeycomb panels (furniture) $1450
  • Consumables (paint brushes, jigsaw blades etc $200
  • More epoxy resin 24 litres  $500
  • 4 litres Luxathane topcoat $107
  • 4 Outboard motor tracks (sheet tracks) $260
  • Die Grinder and burrs $80
  • Ensuite under sole plumbing $50
  • Various skin fittings $150
  • Windlass repair $630
  • Deck winches x 5 $1800
  • Carbon for masts $6075
  • 4 liters food grade water tank paint $120
  • 2 x 17 lpm water pumps $120
  • Fresh Water pumps x 2 $120
  • Sump Pumps x 3 $150
  • Levac Toilet $1030
  • Chart plotter $2500
  • More resin $450


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