ABOUT $950

max1500 fair 900-1100
how well built is it! Are you really a pro. If someons sticks their head inside on a sunny day are ther good sized gaps between the panels? Did you do stuff like put 3 or four layers of uv protective varnish (tends to be softer), then a couple of layers of hard (less uv but more physical protection)?

seeing folks price a stitch and glue boat at 2K makes me ill. Strip built is another matter all together but you’ve got to find the right buyer and pick the right design to build in the first place.

Stitch and glue
Wish I had talked to you before putting 80 hours into this toothpick.

Don’t Expect To Make $$

– Last Updated: May-03-04 5:03 AM EST –

if you're putting together a kit for sale. Your labor just can't compete with that of a factory.

The only S&G that can sell at $3000 or more are those made my the owner/designer, e.g. Betsie Bay, Superior Kayaks or Merganser made by Shrade himself. Here you're paying for not only the design but also the handcraft of the person who designed the boat.

I have a prototype greenland style (I mean really a greenland style, not a CLC, with narrow beam and low deck. I bought it for $850. I thought I got a great deal for it considering the work the guy had put into designing and building it. His 5th prototype is coming out (more rocker/more play). He plans on selling manuals for construction not the boats themselves. No money in it.



forget trying to sell itto makemoney. Paddle it for a time to get your “goody” and tell everyone you MIGHT part with it. When a buyer comes along give them a good deal by selling it at cost (if you are lucky).

the person making the money
is the person manufacturing the kit. If you want to make money you should look at adirondack chairs or items that have more universal popularity than kayaks. The CLC kayaks are popular simply because they were around “in the beginning” with a substantial amount of energy devoted to marketing. If you want to make more than $5/hr then you need to put a lot of energy into marketing yourself,not just a kit boat.

80hrs? good job. You must have had some inkling that re-selling a kit boat wasn’t a lucrative operation. Decent price for an unknown builder? $1100 for a well made boat,you could sell it for $1500 if the work was stellar,once the price pushes up to $2000 the work HAS to be stellar and the design desirable AND the builder a known quantity. As mentioned before the Betsy Bay and plywood kayaks sold by designers have all the above attributes working for them,a well known builder, a good design, and an existing marketing by the biz.

the facts of life
overall boat handling in a four panel,“greenland sytle hard-chine kayak” has more compromises than a molded hull shape. Compound or molded shapes can offer a wider range of stability, speed, wave handling comfort and control for weathercocking. This NOT to say that BetsyBay, Arctic Hawk, the Caribou and a slew of four-panel plywood designs out there AREn’t “sea worthy” or good. For what’s possible in four panels some are very good, some are good/unique,and some are,big.

So ten years ago a s&g kit boat really did give you a “better” kayak compared to rotomolded boats like the Perception Chinook. That isn’t the case now. There are plastic boats that can do everything better than a s&g kit boat for some size of paddlers and some applications. Perception Sonoma 13 or Current Designs Squamish for example, both around $1000.

So a couple market forces are pushing down the POSSIBLE price of a pre-built kit boat,the reality of the craft in question (some are better than others), the accumulation of other hobby builders (check around for want ads), the competition from a range of s&g designs (Shearwaters recessed coaming, multichine hulls), and for people looking to go paddling the options available in mass produced kayaks that have reduced the ratio of kit/production.

Then there’s the question a potential buyer will ask himself “it’s a kit,if he can build it why can’t I?”

Just say no
Unless you are doing this as a hobby and have another source of income. Even then, most kit manufacturers are not in the business of supplying you kits so you can build and sell them for profit unless you already have an agreement with the kit manufacturer or unless your customer bought the kit and engaged you to assemble it.

Strippers seem to generate more interest, and if you have some offsets that are not proprietary then you can build some strip-canoes and kayaks for profit. Might make up to ten bucks an hour or more with those… For really nice work.

Also, a freindly reminder that using all capitalization in a message is considered shouting. We hear you ok.

Have fun!

Is a 17 Chesapeake and Im building it for the fun and challenge. So far I’ve screwed up a bunch of thing but managed to fix them, I laugh at myself and continue with the construction. I’ll paddle it for fun and use it as a guest boat (besides the other 3 boats I have.) I’ve decided if it doesn’t entertain me and I can’t give it away i’ll cut it in half and mount each end of the boat on each side of my driveway entrance, put some low voltage lights in the hatches and call it decorative landscaping. I bet some Martha Stewart type will drive by and offer me a grand for it.


Maybe Better Opportunity Making

– Last Updated: May-03-04 8:55 AM EST –

custom SOF that is fitted to the buyer. Each one is a one of a kind. Labor is about the same, material cost is lower at $250-$350 per boat.

Some folks are selling "stock" size SOFs at $2000 a pop. Seems to me, if I were to buy a SOF, I would want it fitted to my size.

The market would be high end users or folks looking for an ultra light boat.


that makes sense
the expectation with a skin boat is that it’s not meant to be a “hard as composite” or durable kayak,so the custom builder can go straight to light weight construction with reduction in modern features that add weight like bulkkheads and hatches.


– Last Updated: May-03-04 10:42 AM EST –

It's hard to make money buying their kits with pre-cut plywood.

For savings, you could buy the plans, draw your own curves, cut your own panels, and source less expensive epoxy.

You'd have to buy your own wood, be good with a jig saw and your labor time for drafting the lines and cutting would have to be "free" but if it's something you enjoy doing then you could make a couple bucks off it. If you can source the materials reasonably, you could build one for around $500-600 (materials only) and probably sell for $800-$900. Good hobby money but not make-the-house-payment money.

You still need permission of the designer as well as have good designs. Many designers will want a cut of each sale. I did something like that with a builder in Florida except with no recurring fee. I like to keep things simple so we have an easy agreement that works well for both of us.

What you'd have to do is "sell" the hand-craftsmenship and qualities such as being lighter or looking nicer. Maybe some sort of service agreement to keep it up once a season or something.

Mark Rogers/Superior
will built a custom SOF for $3000. Bill Low of Willow will sell a “stock” size SOF for $2000. Harvey Golden can be commissioned to build a “replica” of a historical kayak for ?. Maliqiaq, Greenland rolling/champ, can build you a SOF for under $3000.

These are “Big” name folks though…

CLC Cheasapeake, middle of the road, touring boat. What’s the attraction when I can get a better performing boat from used composite market for just about $1500. There is no selling point to getting a boat made by a kit by someone else.


you’re right
and Nick Schade could sell a s&g Night Heron that he built better than the person who built a kit from NewFound could sell theirs.

Then why did you build it?
If it’s “not perfect” and you built it to sell after only a couple of paddles, don’t expect a lot of $. Makes people wonder why you would sell something of your own creation so soon.

There is a guy around here selling a CLC for less than $600, which is less than the price of the kit. (I know why it’s priced so cheaply.)

Pricing a stitch and glue kayak
I’ve got an idea… think I’ll sell raffle tickets for $5 each or 5 for $20 with a limit of 500 tickets!

Sorry I offended anyone with the capital letters!

I guess I was shouting because I didn’t think anyone would hear me.

I wonder what this guy considers…
…a reasonable offer? The following ad appeared in the local club’s classified ads:

“Chesapeake Light Craft, West River 180; 18 feet x 22” x approx. 45lbs = fast! Rudder & adjustable footbraces. 275 lb maximum payload. Built in 1999, in the water only a few times. Excellent shape, stored on living room wall. Asking $2700 for boat only, paddle not included. Will consider reasonable offer."


who knows
only the act of sale will tell

Whatever the stupidest person
will pay. All you need it one! Sometimes one waits a bit. Some folks wait two years!