When you DIY (Do it yourself) you save money!!!
The cost to build this pirate ship playhouse was under $1,200.00 in May of 2013. The small ship is about $550.00. Most of these large wooden “V” haul design ships retail close to $5,000.00.
Besides price the biggest difference between our ship and a pre-built ship is the rounded edge 2×4 members. However, you could run all 2×4′s through a table saw and bevel the edges down. I chose not to bevel the edges on the ship I built. I didn’t think the 2×4 edges were a problem. I did sand down the exposed 4×4′s edges because they had a pretty sharp edge on them. The 4×4 edges I am referring to are at the rear of the ship only. (UPDATE – The 4×4 on the rear have been redesigned using 2×4′s instead) And there are only 6 edges to round out. I used a belt sander to accomplish.
What I enjoyed about this playhouse project was the interaction I had with my son. He got involved with me and help make some choices about how we built this thing. Once you have the frame built it starts to get real exciting! You see the project coming together. At that point you will have a lot of flexibility as to how you’ll finish her out. Seating can be done in a number of ways and places.
I will be adding a climbing net to the front of the ship as per the instruction from my 9 year old. Of course a couple swings are in the works along with a slide and a climbing wall. As I add these items I will also make them available here. I am still looking for a better ship’s wheel and when I find a source I will post it here.
When I was looking to build this ship I searched everywhere to find a set of plans and over a period of 2 months I found nothing on the net or anywhere. So I just took the bull by the horns and started building and through trial and error I managed to get the ship built. I would have paid $200.00 plus for a set of plans.