Catamaran plans/design question

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Thepoms, May 19, 2014.

  1. Thepoms
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Ireland

    Thepoms New Member

    Hey, this is my first post here.

    My husband and I are looking to build a liveaboard catamaran for a charitable missions cause. It's our intentions to sail from our home in Ireland to the Philippines either next year, or in 2016. We'll basically we selling everything we have to do this but even at that we dont have much of a budget to work with. We've got a large family so we're looking at building a 37-40ft catamaran and a local farmer has kindly set aside a huge hay shed with electric for building, for free.

    We've looked about at several websites selling plans but they're all very expensive and we're not looking for a designer boat that's going to hold its money, we're looking for something that will house us modestly, float, and more importantly, sail.

    A friend of ours came up with an idea, he has a couple of old 18ft catamaran plans he's willing to give us and reckons if we double the sizes and keep everything in proportion then they would serve as plans for the hulls. It sounds okay in theory, but would it really be as simple as that? I'd hate for us to spend the time and money making something that's going to be useless!

    Also, excuse me if I'm ignorant of anything marine architecture/design and building related, I really am! My husband is an electrician and marine engine mechanic...but he's utterly useless at anything computer/internet related, hence why im the one here ;) ! we've also got two unemployed carpenter friend who are volunteering time to help us out.
     
  2. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: South Lake Western Australia

    redreuben redreuben

    Well for what it is worth and excuse my cynicism but don't count on the free help at crunch time.
    Re the 18ft plans, no it's not as simple as that.
    If budget is tight why build ?
    Have you looked at the secondhand market ?
    Buy a secondhand boat with some money in hand for upgrade to your needs, let someone else pay the depreciation.
    My 2c.
     
  3. Thepoms
    Joined: May 2014
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    Thepoms New Member

    Why build? simply because the market here in ireland for secondhand boats is rubbish, we've seen suitable project boats elsewhere in the world but not here. secondly, comparing the costs of what's for sale here to the cost of building, building is far more realistic. Also, the materials here in Northern Ireland are for some reason a lot cheaper than what we've seen quoted in other countries. I have no idea why.
     
  4. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: South Lake Western Australia

    redreuben redreuben

    Further afield.

    Well if your going to take the boat from Ireland to the Phillipines why not look further afield for a suitable boat.
    Look all over at what you can buy for your money and don't forget while you are building (several thousand hours) you are not earning.
     
  5. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    No, scaling up the 18ft plans wont work. As you say, many of the multihull plans are insanely price but not all, try K designs, very reasonable priced plans for plywood/epoxy build from a designer with a long track record. But to be honest, I agree with the others that have suggested buying used. I would also suggest looking further afield but instead of looking for a catamaran, look at trimarans, there are plenty of older Pivers,Searunners,Cross and Horstmans for sale in the US for a lot less than you can build for anywhere in the world, if you could find a boat on the west coast its a shorter trip to your destination. A 42 ft Cross would hold your family and is a very respected design as are the others I mentioned.

    Steve.
     
  6. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Just had a quick browse, and found a 46ft Cross for $28000, a 42 ft Horstman for $25000, and a 40ft Piver for $29000. You cannot build anything in this size range for that and the Horstman in particular is supposedly ready to cruise.

    Steve.
     
  7. cavalier mk2
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I agree with Steve W. Buy a big tri. You'll be sailing now versus the years from now a build would take. Remember the build budget has to include 2-4 years plus of living accommodations and food.
     
  8. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I am sorry to say this, but if you cannot afford a set of plans, which will be say 2% of the cost of the boat, then you cannot afford the boat. You will spend more on electronics (chart plotter, instruments, radio) than on the plans.

    If building in wood assume 4000 hours minimum build time, more likely more. And say 100 sheets 9mm ply and 50 sheets 12mm for a 40ft cat.

    I doubt if you will build it in a year if you have not built a boat before. Most likely you would actually find it cheaper to build it in the Philippines where plywood and labour costs are very low.

    Don't be shy, the more you tell the forum the better members can help. So budget, how many in your "large" family? What charitable work - do you need a workshop (welders, heavy tools maybe) or scuba gear? Or maybe you're a dentist and need a separate consultancy room?

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  9. aussiebushman
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    aussiebushman Innovator

    Like others here, I'm sorry to be negative but these guys know exactly what they are talking about. I can assure you that for an amateur builder,especially if you do not have extensive sailing experience, it will not matter how much time and money you put into it, it will always have some flaws ranging from the irrititating to the life-threatening.

    I have built five boats because it allowed me to spead the cost of each one over a long period, buying materials as needed and putting in the labour between times. I'd guess this is your reasoning. However, please be realistic.You will never complete a boat of the size you want under many thousands of hours. Remember too that a vast amount of time will go into sourcing materials and fittings, which is hard enough in a major yachting area where you will have access to a range of gear and sound advice.

    About selecting a tri - I agree. I once was offered (and purchased) a 35' Piver with lots of rot in the skin and in a few frames, but a good rig for just a couple of hundred dollars from a couple of guys who had lost interest. I sold it again at a small profit to a young couple who stripped and replaced all the bad bits and refurbished the boat for a very small outlay. They then took off and sailed around Australia in it. Respectfully, something like that is your best choice - just look around and you will find something suitable. The cost of shipping it to your shed is negligible compared to the cost and hassles of building a new one
     
  10. downunder
    Joined: May 2009
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    downunder Junior Member

    Buy a set of plans such as one of Richard woods, fly to the Philippines and build it there.

    Cheers
     
  11. NoahWannabe
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: United States

    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Thepoms, firstly I commend you guys for doing the charitable mission voyage to Philippines. It is very honorable thing.

    As others have suggested, purchasing used catamaran would be the best option. Expand your search to include Mediterranean areas. Used Richard Woods catamaran would be great. You can probably buy amateur built ply-epoxy catamaran for less than the cost of material. Work hard next year or two to make any repairs and modifications for safe voyage.

    Another thing is, if you donate the expense of the trip to a reputable charity organization then they can probably perform most services more cost effectively than you can, unless you possess a specialized expertise Philippino locals lack, such as orthodontic surgery. I have been involved with Katrina in US and few Mexico trips.

    Best wishes for your successful trip.
     
  12. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The USA has the lowest prices for used boats. If you are sailing across the world, it won't make a difference where you buy. If you can't fit you belongings in a short container and ship it, it is time to unload stuff. Catamarans do not have a large load capacity.
     
  13. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Its tough to find a decent cat for short money anywhere in the world including the US, which is why i suggested looking at tris instead, there are lots of them in an appropriate size in the US, which knocks off some distance to your destination.

    Steve.
     

  14. rxcomposite
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philippines

    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Richard is right. There is a lot of skilled wood boatbuilders here as it is their specialty.

    You did not say which part of the Philippines you are going to do charitable work but if you are doing it in the Visayas region, then you might capitalize on the Haiyan tragedy.

    If you are a religious organization, there are more incentives, primarily tax free incentives on all the thing you do.
     
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