A Quick Guide to Starting a Boat Building Business

Sailing and spending time out on the water is something that can bring a lot of people a sense of adventure, happiness, and peace. If you are someone who has always had a passion for sailing and an interest in maritime pursuits, and you have a talent for building and designing, perhaps you have already considered a career in boat building? This is a great way to combine these two interests, and it can be a lucrative business if you are good at it. While shipbuilding focuses on larger vessels used for the navy and commercial use, as a boat builder, you could design and bring to life the kind of boats that people can use for leisure. If this sounds like a dream job for you, below are a few tips on how you can start a boat-building business.


You can jump right in and start a business if you want to, but it would be a smarter move to make sure you have plenty of experience in this field first. If you haven’t already worked in a role like this, you should look at getting an apprenticeship or some other work experience so that you can learn the practical skills and steps of boat building and to better understand the way this business works. This kind of experience will be invaluable when it comes to establishing your boat-building company.


To get a job in boat building, you can go to school and study this at a specialist school or find a more mainstream college that offers this course if you can. While this is useful, it’s also important to think about how to best prepare yourself for starting a business, too. You might have experience working in this industry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have the know-how to manage a company. Consider going back to college or enrolling in an online course if this is easier and studying the basics of business management and administration. This will help you to better understand the complexities of running a business and prepare you better to move ahead with your plans.

Write a Business Plan

Once you are confident with your experience and education, the next step is to start putting your boat-building business together. Firstly, you will need a sensible business plan that lists your estimated overhead expenses, including material costs, employee wages, lease of a suitable workspace for your boats, estimated profits, and business branding ideas and marketing strategies. You will need to carry out thorough market research to identify the customers you will be selling your boats to and how to engage with them effectively, as well as which businesses are your competitors, etc. All of this information will be essential to creating your business plan, so make sure you do delve deep into your research.

Apply for Funding

When you have completed your business plan, you can start applying for business loans. It is important to have your business plan finished by this stage as banks and/or private investors that you approach for funding will want to see this to help them make their decision. You’ll also likely be subjected to a credit check by the bank to make sure that you can make your repayments, so make sure that your credit score is in good health before you start applying, or fix this if it could pose a risk.

Source a Supplier for Your Materials

You will need to have reliable suppliers for the various materials, equipment, etc., that you will need to construct your boats. Hopefully, you will have found a variety of suppliers you could reach out to during your market research, but if not, this is something you need to look into as soon as your business loans have been approved. Get a few different quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal, but always prioritize the quality of materials to help make your boats safe for your customers. As an example of the type of suppliers you might need, visit Righton Blackburns which supplies metals and plastics for marine and shipbuilding businesses, amongst other sectors.

Hiring Talented Staff

You might not be able to hire a big team of employees at the start, but you will certainly need help running your boat-building business. From other talented boat-builders, engineers, designers, and office admin staff, you’ll need a reliable staff who are passionate about what your company does if you want it to be successful. You might already have one or two people in mind to hire, but consider using a recruitment agency to help you find the right employees and save you some time looking through resumes.

Many other things will go into establishing a successful boat-building business, but the points above are all essential steps to getting started that you need to keep in mind if this is a venture and career that you want to pursue.


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