Build time 40ft catamaran

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by bluebox3000, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. bluebox3000
    Joined: Sep 2013
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    bluebox3000 Junior Member

    I know this topic has been discussed various times here in the forum but I would like to give it one more goaround.

    I also realize there are no two boats alike so time will vary from one boat to the next as well as one builder to the next. However there seem to be some correlation between design, size or weight and material etc. that could be used to plan or estimate such a huge undertaking as building a 40ft catamaran.

    In general a one off amateur build seem to be ranging from 2500 hours upwards to 10000 hours or more. Some other estimates are floating around to project between 3-5 lbs per hour. For a 10000 lbs build that points to 3-5000 hours to build. So for general discussion terms I'm thinking of a 40 ft sailing catamaran weighing 10000 lbs.

    After some thinking and planning for a build like this is time. Somehow I can not see myself spending the next five to ten years (assuming being able to put 500+ hours a year into the build on average) hogging up valuable vacation and family time on building the boat. I could throw at it over 1000 hours in a year (or two) if it would bring me to a place where I would reach a point of some usability of the boat. So where would one find the greatest time savings?

    My initial thoughts are simplify the design using fiberglass over hard chine plywood construction method. Use outboard motors instead of diesel and saildrive. LAR keels, transom hung rudders, purchase tanks etc.

    Other thoughts are phased construction so more complicated or advanced equipment/outfit will be purchased and installed later (turning a Chevy into a Cadillac over time).

    Not necessarily a time saver from a build time perspective is to purchase labor or helping hands that will overall shorten build period.

    So the final question is essentially if it is completely out of line to think that a barebone 40ft catamaran can be put together in about 18 months and 3000 hours.

    Funds are of cause not unlimited in a discussion like this. If so I would just ask someone else to build the boat.... However if there is a method or design consideration that is going to cost some extra bucks and save some time one has to compare cost/benefit.
     
  2. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    The quick answer is to say "build a smaller boat" Build what you need, not what you want

    The next quick answer is to say "pay for some professional help" maybe, for example, get David Hallady of www.boatsmithfl.com to build you a couple of Eclipse 32 hulls, or the Transit 38 hulls/decks? or buy a Fusion kit?

    You cannot turn a Chevy into a Cadillac if you make cheap hulls. The basic shell is the only thing you cannot change later.

    3000 hours is maybe feasible if you have built boats before and are a fast worker and have a very basic fitout. There is a reason why 40ft production cats cost so much - they take a long time to build.

    so what do you want to do with the boat once finished? The more information you give us the more we can guide you

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  3. Tom.151
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Tom.151 Senior Member

    Since you haven't made clear why you are choosing to build, and your 'flexibility' implies that you might be open to a variety of solutions, then some (I, for one) would suggest that you reexamine the underlying logic of the choice to build at all.
    Secondly, there are few 32' cats that won't do 90+ percent of what most people actually use their 40'ers for.
    Then there's the obvious economics... for example, these days there are often good production cats (f'glass, no rot worries) for sale for much, much less that the cost of materials to build new.

    By way of example, and because I have first hand experience with the boat and the prices, decent examples of an Iroquois 30 (or the 32' MkIIA, the model I owned) can be bought (recently) for $16k to $22k (in the USA)

    These boats (a) sail very well, (2) are very strong, and (3) provide excellent accommodation for a family of 5 (we had two kids and sailed with the port-side double cabin empty for guests). They can be hauled easily at most boat yards on a standard travel-lift. At any price under $20k you can afford to update the electronics, redo the berth/cushion coverings, and add a sail or two to the wardrobe - and still smile all the way to the bank..
    A boat like this could take you cruising anywhere in the world, and you could be pretty much ready to go this summer if you wanted.
    To me at least, the big advantage to buying a production boat is that you can pretty much be assured of recovering your investment after years of good sailing/cruising.

    Not meaning to be a wet blanket - but sailing is definitely more fun than boat building - trust me, I've built and/or restored trimarans and catamarans from 25' to 38' and can testify to what all (honest) builders will tell you... "It always takes longer and costs more than you planned for" as it's nearly impossible to overcome the natural optimistic tendency when planning for something you really want to come true. :cool:

    All the best,
     
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  4. bluebox3000
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    bluebox3000 Junior Member

    The Transit 38 might be an option.... Read somewhere it would take 3000 hours to finish the Fusion.

    Eventually the boat would become a liveaboard for a couple and be used for cruising Caribbean and who knows from there. Good headroom is key, no less than 6'6". But I agree, no need to build larger than necessary.

    My main issue is though more in the direction of what methods or design features could be considered to save build time.
     
  5. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    So, if you hadn't said
    I would have said the Eclipse, or Iroquois or Gemini (any model) would do what you want. But they won't have enough headroom in the saloon. The Iroquois only has 5ft at best in the saloon, the Eclipse has 6ft (although I had a 6ft2in crew member sail across the Atlantic with me on my Eclipse and he didn't complain). Well over 6ft 6in in the hulls though

    So you will have to go bigger and thus spend more time and money. But what do you mean by saying "no less than 6ft6in"? Is that everywhere? or the highest point? There aren't many boats that have 6ft6in (2m) headroom throughout

    I attach a couple of photos I took on board a Transit 38. David Halladay is a tall guy (if he reads this he'll give his height) but I'll guess 6ft4in. He is standing at the forward outer corner of the saloon, the lowest point. So there isn't 6ft 6in headroom there, even though it is nearly 7ft in the useable saloon area. The other photo is of a 6ft3in 250lb tall guy in the heads compartment so again not quite 6ft6in

    But I know for sure the Transit has much more headroom, and indeed room than the same length FP Athena. For I sailed the Athena for 2 weeks in late Oct, and then in November I sailed a Transit, also for two weeks, and the space difference was obvious

    So please think very seriously about the headroom requirement. Reducing it to 6ft, or even 6ft 2in will probably halve the build time/cost at a stroke. And I assume your partner is shorter than you? A smaller boat is easier to handle, clean and maintain

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. bluebox3000
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    bluebox3000 Junior Member

    As I am 6'3" myself and the idea is to get a boat of comfortable dimensions so I would say 6'6" would be required in most places. I'm also thinking "galley up" configuration.

    But back to the design and methods. Regarding building the hulls, deck and superstructure, would there be a faster method than plywood/epoxy for a one off build? I read a thread on this forum where someone was claiming foam infusion could be even faster.....
     
  7. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Your best bet for time and headroom on a 40' cat would be a basic Wharram. The headroom you want in the hulls and a deck tent however tall you want at anchor. You might apply Derek Kelsal's Kiss method for foam infused side panels. I'd suggest building a small boat for a dinghy before starting a big project. Give it your best time estimate before you start and keep track of the hours for the completion reality check.....then start reevaluating your big boat design requirements.
     
  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Yes flat panel foam sandwich will probably be quicker by the time you include filling/sanding/painting

    But don't get too hung up about the hull building. That is the quick bit

    Suppose you built a 32-35ft catamaran. You could use one single 9.9hp outboard. A 40ft high freeboard cat will probably use twin 27hp diesels. Its easy to check the price difference between those, and of course an inboard takes way more time to install. Also check the sail areas/costs and mast sizes/costs between 35ft and 40ft cats. Again easy to do on line in a few minutes

    As I say, the 6ft6in headroom boat will be way more money

    I don't think a "basic Wharram" is the answer. They have very low freeboard which, apart from anything else, means headroom is low. The Tiki30, for example, only has about 5ft headroom in the hull (I've been on one). My 30ft Windsong (also a deep V hull) has 6ft headroom

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  9. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I was thinking of a 40' Classic like Narai or the Tiki 38, and yes, I agree that Wharrams are not the answer he was looking for ;)
     
  10. groper
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    groper Senior Member

    Fusion 40 can be assembled by a crew of 4 guys in a month. Google it, there is a blog which documents th progress each day.

    Downside is the fusion is quite heavy, and the sailing performance is very ordinary... Also a rather expensive kit too.

    Any of the cnc flat panel duflex kits from the Australian designers like schionning or granger go together reasonably quickly, again there is plenty of threads online which document the progress. Also a bit expensive tho, but the performance is great once finished.

    I like the infused foam panel building method, however next time I would buy duflex panels for all the transverse frames, or most panels which don't require lots of rework including edge closure or high density inserts or decoring etc Infuse these panels yourself. Have a look at Rob Denny's build method, like kelsalls, the idea is to minimise rework later, minimise fairing, and minimise wet laminating. The downside is shapes are limited to very simple configurations which some find less aesthetically pleasing...

    End of the day, it's a lot of work regardless, if your time is limited, find a used yacht and go sailing...
     
  11. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I have sailed a Narai, Oro, Tehini and been on a Tiki 38 and 45

    I watched a Fusion being built. I think the 4 guys in a month is 4 guys who know what they are doing. Also, even with the interior mouldings you still only have a shell. It will still be 1000-1500 hours to finish it. You certainly cannot be sailing after a month's work.

    I've also seen a Schionning being built. Lots of work there with all the curves. Fitting out the interior always takes a long time if every shelf divider has to be spiled to fit. Flat panels are easy - that's why houses have straight walls

    so (unfortunately) I agree with your last comment. How's your boat going BTW

    Richard Woods
     
  12. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I sailed a Hinemoa, the trick in that case is to measure the headroom horizontally!

    The soles can be lowered at the expense of width and cabins raised a bit, hard to find a stock classic rendition.
     
  13. pogo
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    pogo ingenious dilletante

  14. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Indeed, all 40ft catamarans are heaps of work even with the fastest methods... and yes, 1 month for a fusion 40 is with 4 experienced guys, not including full internal fitout...

    My boat is going OK, creeping up on 20 months into it now, i figure i have about 1500hours into it thus far, although i havnt been keeping count... ive worked full time since the beginning and i cant really give anymore than some weekend time these days or my wife goes bezerk... topsides were offered up and cabin windows went in most recently -

    [​IMG]
     

  15. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Thanks, it's looking good!

    Richard Woods
     
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