Working on boats…

Time, apparently, is a somewhat elusive concept where work and boats are concerned…

The other day someone was telling me about a guy who’d taken 12 years to build a boat. As it happens, I built the same boat and it took me six months of work spread out over a year. So, the question is how long does it take to build a boat? Or, more accurately, how do you measure time/work?

The boat in question was Phil Bolger’s Loose Moose 2 (AKA the AS39) which admittedly is a pretty easy boat to build but there is a lot of it so there is a considerable amount of work involved.

Launching in Meaux (where they make the best Brie) France

Hindsight is a wonderful thing… Looking back at the build, I clearly recall that a good portion of the time spent “working” was actually spent sitting around deciding what to actually do. Seriously, I spent a LOT of time doing the should-I-do-this-or-should-I-do-that two-step. Offhand, I’d guess about a third of my time… Now if my decision making process had not been so ass backwards problematic I’d have been able to build the boat in four months rather than six.

There’s also the learning curve which, though not so steep on a sharpie, does take its toll in time and I would not be surprised if that did not take up another month of the building process. So, that would make the actual build time for LM2 to be somewhere around three months or 600 hours of actual “productive” labor.

Of course, the big problem is that it’s really hard to set up a project so you can maximize the amount of productive labor and minimize the non-productive time sinks that are all part and parcel with what most people think of as the normal boatbuilding process.

We’ll get into the how and why on that next…

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