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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Bottom Line

And now, for the bottom line.

I'm sure a number of people are curious how the costs shaped up for this project. I haven't kept an exact accounting, but I think I can nail it within a $1000.

First, Here's the breakdown for out of pocket costs, i.e. everything except my labor:


  • Hull modifications and reinforcement $8,500
  • ZF transmission PTO kit $600
  • Glendinning relay interlock kit $300
  • Hydraulic hoses & misc $1,200
  • Misc supplies, awlgrip, interprotect, epoxy $1,000
  • Equipment from ABT $30,000
Total $41,600

The biggest cost was the equipment itself at about $30k. Collectively, the installation cost $11,600. The biggest installation cost was the hull work. If we had not needed to relocate a stringer section, I expect this cost would have been 1/2 to 1/3, but to avoid this you would either have to get really lucky, or have a much bigger boat with larger spaces available. The hydraulic hoses were a bit less than I had estimated, coming in at about $70 each where I had expected $100. The Awlgrip and Interprotect are very expensive, especially after you get all the extra potions to thin, activate, clean, etc., accounting for about half of the $1000 of misc supplies.

My labor is harder to value, both because I didn't keep track of it, but also because I was doing everything for the first time and hence taking a lot more time than I'd expect someone who's done this before. Regardless, here's what I think is a reasonable estimate.

The project took 6 weeks of elapsed time. Some of those weeks I only worked a day or two, and others I worked 7 days. I'd say on average I worked 4 days a week. Some days I worked 8 hrs, but others I got in no more than 3-4 hrs of productive time. On average I think it's fair to say I worked 6 hrs per day. Running the math on that I put in 144 hrs.

If it took me 144 hrs bumbling along with a lot of head scratching, I'd expect an experienced installer to do the job in 80-120 hrs. A couple of installers told me 1 week for two guys which supports the 80 hr number. At $100/hr, that's $8,000 to $12,000 in labor. Let's pick $10,000 as the mid point.

If an installer had offered to do the installation job for $21,600 (my out of pocket installation costs plus $10,000 in labor), I probably would have hired them. But the best proposal I got was $25k, and I still needed to do the hull work, so the total would have been $33,500.

Looking at it another way, buy doing the job myself rather than paying $25k to someone else, I got paid $152/hr for my 144 hrs of time. That's not a bad rate for bumbling around, getting to know my boat inside and out, and gaining the satisfaction of a job that I know is well done. I'm glad the project is done, and I have no regrets doing it myself.

So there you have it. Yesterday I finished securing all the hydraulic lines and the couple of dangling cables. All that's left are the bonding wires and today I picked up the wire ends that I needed to finish that last piece off.

Now it's time for some cruising!

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