Considering Homebuilding a ~50' Catamaran

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Iridian, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Tiny Turnip
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    What risks do I see? Well, to be frank, your relationship!

    If your spouse doesn't want to get involved in the build, even if they are supportive, I'd look long and hard at something that will separate you from your spouse (and potential children) for the majority of your post work, post chore, 'quality' time for the next 10 years.

    If, however, they are enthusiastic about the project and like to get their hands dirty, then it is something that might be a wonderful 'together' part of a relationship. And something that children can be a part of as well, as they get a little older, health and safety allowing.

    its a very different boat from your proposal; nevertheless, have a look at Murielle and Mark Ovenden's project, and perhaps contact them: Mimi Jane They sometimes post on this forum.

    If your spouse isn't interested, I'd seriously consider buying second hand and having adapted for height if necessary, so you can go sailing *now*, *and* build something smaller, different, perhaps open, (no height constraints) as an adjunct, to scratch the building itch. Even the simplest of small builds may run into the hundreds of hours, and will give you a good idea of how much you enjoy it.

    When I bought my first boat, one of the many pieces of 'hilarious' sailing advice I was given was 'it doesn't matter what you buy for your first boat, because it will be the wrong one.' I found this to be true. Your views on the perfect boat will be a learning process and I would caution against committing too fully to one idea too early.

    Paul McCready won the Kremer prize for human powered flight, not by spending months and months trying to build the 'perfect' aircraft, as the rival, heavily resourced University teams did, but by building a cheap, simple aircraft in 10 days, learning why it was wrong, and building another better one, and then another and then another...

    And of course, you can still build a big one when the children have left home, when you retire....
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  2. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    If you have a FREE location next to your home, you are at a big advantage. 10 years of rent and insurance would be a project killer but make sure you can get the boat to water once it's built. Not having a good location was the one thing that held me back for years.

    Two weeks ago I bought 7 acres with 1600 of water frontage in North Carolina. I've already started the process of subdividing the property into 5 lots which I will sell when I am done. This will get me my money back including the cost of the boat. Look for an angle like that, if it takes you 10 years, the property will be appreciating the whole time.

    Aside from investing in some waterfront (if possible) here are some ideas for time and money savers -
    - Keep the hulls symmetrical and you only need to build one tool for both hulls.
    - Likewise many components also repeat. Simple tools can be taken apart, flipped and reused for the other side.
    - Use CNC whenever possible, Energy becomes a precious resource. CNC router parts, now Avid, has a good cnc kit for cheap.
    - Invest in an epoxy dispensing pump, Proset and West both have a 3:1 ... if you have a little more money - Home | Michael Engineering
    - Pre-cut your foam and infuse your bulkheads both sides to a mold finish and to the correct shape.
    - Use in mold primer when possible, it's better anyway.
    - Pre-paint all your bulkheads, furniture etc and glue them in using custom made brackets. Think Fusion Catamaran
    - Avoid fairing it all together, that is Hell On Earth.
    - Plan a production workflow, changing hats 10 times a day is a good way to kill efficiency.

    Good luck.
  3. Iridian
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Iridian Junior Member

    @guzzis3 Wow, I'm really struggling with names here.

    Good suggestion on the list, I'll get the weights tabulated before choosing a design and work with the designers to ensure the waterline is set appropriately. I want a few creature comforts, but am not looking to weigh the boat down too much. Airconditioner, dive compressor, washing machine... Can pass on the dryer, dishwasher, and the pool table!

    If a trimaran design has a significant amount of dihedral, won't that remove one of the primary benefits of having a trimaran, that being the ability for the windward hull to come out of the water, reducing drag?

    Wasn't aware of that for Horstman's designs, thanks, I'll take a look at the pdfs of the boats I've been interested in on his site. That Tristar 45 has a serious amount of space for the size. It looks like the bridge deck clearance is pretty limited though. Is is the slamming not as big of an issue with trimarans?

    Thanks for the info on the UTEK stuff, I'll see what I can find out in the next couple of years. Would be good to save that money on the foam. As far hull shape, I'm not a huge fan of the deep v sections, like on the Wharram 46es. From what I've seen, the flat panel multi-chine seems relatively straightforward, but I think I need to spend a lot more time researching this.

    That's a really good point on the guest rooms, if guests aren't staying over for very long, I could always kick the kids out of their rooms onto the couch or something. I think I'd need 3 cabins, one for each gender of kids + mine. Part of what I like about bridgedeck catamarans is the open air access and all the natural light, though that seems to be a bit of a double edged sword with the heat and sun in the tropics.

    Agreed, there was a misunderstanding on the max beam, good to know on the beam at waterline being that much less.

    You are right, I think the idea of it is much more enticing than the hours of sanding and gluing. I am hoping to get my ASA certifications this Fall and then do some catamaran chartering next year! Hopefully that'll push me strongly one way or the other.

    @Tiny Turnip Definitely agreed on the spousal support. She's not onboard that strongly now, mostly wanting me to follow my dreams, though I'm not sure that's enough. Will need to reevaluate after some of that charter time on the water and some practice projects. I'd rather not work on modification of existing boats. I've been watching a lot of videos on it, between Sailing Parlay Revival, Bryan Sailing, and a couple of other channels. While I'm sure it can be done well, I think I'm likely to end up with a frankenstein of a boat that still doesn't fit me well. Would rather build something smaller to test with. Thanks for the link, I'll start reading through it once I finish with the Scrumble Project. I'm with you on never knowing what you want at first. The number of different kites I've gone through in my kiteboarding addiction as I refine what I really want is pretty painful.

    @jorgepease After watching a lot of videos on boat building/repairs, I absolutely refuse to even start the project without a really good working environment. Minimum:
    1. Permanent building next to house.
    2. Concrete Floor
    3. Woodstove or similar alternative
    4. Strong ventilation & fans to keep down the heat in the summer.

    I'd like to aim for waterfront, but I'm not sure I'll be able to afford it. Will also need to check the local boat ramps to see what can support a large boat being transported via semi to the water if I end up not being able to afford waterfront.

    Do you think a CNC machine is worth investing in over buying a pre-cnc'd kit? Thanks for the info on the epoxy pump. Would be good to get the ratio just right and be able to keep the batches appropriately sized. It probably is compared to the markup. I've been meaning to improve my autocad skills. What boat do you intend to build?
  4. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    You are getting ahead of yourself.

    Chartering is a WONDERFUL idea. Do it and do it again. It is absolutely the best way to discover what you want. It might be that what you want turns out to be chartering a boat now and then and never owning, or it might not. Either way it's a holiday for you both as well as a priceless education.

    Only in very light air. You aren't racing. From what you have said you want a cruiser. 6 - 10 knots in comfort. Rent a boat and this will become apparent. Diahedral is for racers. It's like reverse rake bows, actually plumb bows. They don't work as well on cruisers but they look sexy so people want them. Bad luck standing at the bow as you approach a dock trying to lassoo the mooring line as the skipper, who can't see the bow anymore tries not to crash into the dock. It's doable on a smaller boat but in the size your talking....

    Slamming is dependant ona lot of stuff. With a tri the beam is cut in half. If you can be bothered reading Thomas Firth Jones books he tells the story of a terrible huricane and a horstman that survived it. One person died because he lost his meds and died before they were rescued. I read it years ago so ... memory... it was something like that. They are safe boats. Really depends on accommodation preferences. Safety is always more dependant on crew. Don't underestimate how fatigue cold and stress can undermine your ability to think and act.

    Don't build a wharram.

    There are dozens of options building boats. Lots of people profess the virtues of one approach over another. If you build a multichine for example you save building a mold and bending your foam but you get bogged down (literally) taping filling fairing every joint. Mr Woods has been embracing the dory hull lately. Good compromise. The difference in wetted surface and therefore performance is small. Coves on the deck look secksy but they invite tripping. These are all decisions for later. Work out how big a boat you want, go sailing on a charter boat or 5, then you will be able to start narrowing your options. BTW look at caravan/motorhome washing machines and half size dishwashers. Also remember if your mattress isn't standard size neither are your sheets. Everything not off the shelf = $$$

    Usually in a cat you get 4 ends. One is usually the heads the other 3 berths. If you add a cuddy cabin (sometimes called a pod cabin) that is usually dining that can be converted to a double. If you put a big galley in one hull in that size of boat it will be big enough to house a washing machine and a benchtop dishwasher. OK not a seperate laundry, but it's a boat...

    You don't launch a boat that size at a boat ramp. For a start it will be too wide. You either crane it off the truck or truck it to a boatshed and use the travel lift to move it. You will need a crane at your home to drop it on the truck. If you are thinking of keeping the boat out of the water when not in use you really need to do some research. Anything is possible but that's a hard path.

    No to all of that. You can usually buy your epoxy in 20l drums for the same money as a 44gallon drum provided your buying the same amount. The packaging is a small component. Weigh the bucket or whatever your using add weight of epoxy, add weight of hardener to another bucket. Line up maybe 5 pairs or whatever. When you've used up one pair of buets you combine the next pair and keep going. Only cost is an accurate scale, actually it doesn't need to be accurate only consistent as you just need to get the proportions right. You do all this before you start so one less thing to think about while you work. Just tip, stir, apply.

    CNC ? Why ? You aren't going to cut full length hull panels with one, MAYBE bulkheads, certainly furniture but so what ? Get foam, draw outline, maybe trace if off full size paper plan which can be printely cheap, cut foam. Use foam as template to cut 2X glass. Either hand layup or infuse.

    With infusion you get faces ready to tape and paint. You may want to fill and fair around joints. Peel ply and infusion medium are cents per square meter. Bagging film can sometimes be used twice. spiral can be reused over and over.

    But as I said this is all down the line. First go sailing do your sums and see what all that looks like. By the time you are ready to start you will make decisions on building method. Whatever you choose will be fine.
  5. oldmulti
    Joined: May 2019
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    oldmulti Senior Member

    Iridian. I have built 22, 33, 37 and 42 foot multi's in ply and foam glass. Dream big but start small, real small. You will need a relaxation machine when you are building the longer term cruiser, so practice your building skills putting together a mini cruiser that will only take a few months and use EG a Hobie 14 rig and sails. Believe me you will you will learn so much about yourself, partner opinions and boat building short cuts that you will reduce your build time on the larger boat by 10 % plus. An example of a simple design you could build is in the attached jpegs and PDF's. Scarab 16 tri which can be built in ply or flat panel foam glass. It is a relatively simple boat that can be built in a 2 car garage and will teach you a lot about flat panel foam glass and the minimum amount of tools required to build such a boat. I know a guy who built a 32 foot then a 40 foot trimaran. He used a cheap jigsaw, 4 inch angle grinder, scissors, cheap power screw driver, hammer and bundles of clamps and not much else. PS both these tri's sailed 30,000 miles of transocean sailing. You do not need a big fancy tool kit to build ply or foam glass boats. You do need patience, support and resilience. Start small, get skills up then start to finalize your big plans. The Scarab 16 plans can be purchased for $150 Australian (about $100 US) from Plans for Scarab 16 trimaran folding trimaran These are full complete plans that have a ply or foam glass build option. Team Scarab also have build support documents for flat panel foam glass building.

    Attached Files:

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  6. waterbear
    Joined: Mar 2016
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    waterbear Junior Member

    Nice, that will be a lot of fun.

    When I said "there are many disadvantages of a larger boat" I was also alluding to the difficultly in handling, docking, anchoring, maintaining a large catamaran, among other things. Many experienced sailors feel handling this size boat is beyond the physical capabilities of a fit couple, especially in inclement weather, or when you're sick/tired, etc.

    Also your build time of 6-10 years at 25 hours a week may not be realistic. E.g, it took this guy 6 years, mostly full time, to build a Tiki 38. A hypothetical Tiki 48 would be exactly twice the weight and twice as much work, while a Grainger Raku 52 would be even more work because of the foam composite, the compound curves, the bridgedeck, etc.

    So you don't want to be 10 years into your Raku 52 when you realize you're going to need another 10 years to finish the boat. And you really don't want to be coming to the realization that "sailing and docking 50ft of catamaran is a complete and utter nightmare" having just spent 20 years in your basement building a 50ft catamaran.

    Like Guzzi, I am a fan of Richard Woods. His boats are ugly, but they are very fast for cruising boats and are quick to build. Richard no longer sells plans for boats over ~40ft because he feels large boats too difficult to handle, the extra space is unnecessary, and life is too short. I think Richard would tell you the extra freeboard needed to accommodate your height wouldn't make much difference performance wise, and other factors like keeping the weight low and having top quality sails are much more important.
  7. jorgepease
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    If you don't buy a precut cnc kit, then CNC used in a Production workflow will have ALL your bulkheads cut, infused and primed in less than 2 months. Treat it like it's not a big deal to hand draw and cut and you will be taking the first steps down that trail that ensures your project will drag on and on.

    The epoxy pump is not because it's hard to measure out by weight. I built a small flats boat 22' and weighed out the epoxy by hand and no matter how careful I was, there was always a drip which led to a cleaning of scale and my hands and then there was the mixing all the while I was whiffing the epoxy and all of that is a time and efficiency killer.

    Also, After 1.5 years I was starting to get a reaction from the epoxy, imagine after 10 ))

    When somebody tells you that you can buy epoxy by the bucket at same price as by the drum, ask them for the link. Blanket orders usually come with time constraints as in 1 year not 10. If you can save a chunk of cash before you start, buy in bulk and adhere to a production type work flow, you will save a lot of money and time.

    And the absolute best thing you can do before starting the BIG build is to build a smaller boat, make it your dinghy perhaps, and experiment with boat building methods. The little flats boat I built took me 1.5 years working weekends and after work. I can build the same boat - BETTER - now in less than a month.
  8. Iridian
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Iridian Junior Member


    I want to go fast! 20-25 kts and surfing! That's probably not a realistic goal, but I certainly want to be able to go faster than 6-10 knots. I love how my hobie cat sings, and watching some of the videos of the Gunboat 68, Balance 526, and other performance cats has me quivering in jealousy. Not a huge fan of the reverse bows for the exact reason you mentioned, would prefer a plum bow. I don't like the Wharrams regardless, was just using that as an example of a boat with a deep V hull. Do you remember the Firth Jones book? I'm interested to read it.

    The number of times I've been neck deep in the Chesapeake bay with only my wetsuit and a downed kite in 30-40 degree water wondering why the hell I went out that far has given me a very healthy understanding of the degradation of ability due to the cold and exhaustion. I intend to have a heavily protected helm position, a solid autopilot system, and electrical aid where necessary. I've also put some thought into how to handle docking with bad visibility. It should be slightly easier on a catamaran with the dual engines...

    Smaller boats will require a bit more custom stuff right due to the inability to fit standard sized parts? I think I'm struggling a bit with the time difference between say a 40' tub with a significant amount of accommodations, and a 50' performance boat with the same accommodations if the hulls are only a small percentage of the total time and work, and cost. (Understanding the rigging and engines will be significantly increased).

    I have a potentially outlandish idea of having a concrete ramp poured if I find the right waterfront property, then slicing the body off of a totaled work truck and using the ramp + a massive winch to be able to pull the cat up onto my land when not in use.. I'll have to put some significant thought into the engineering implications of the 10+ tons of load that will be on the ramp. It could be potentially doable at a reasonable cost though, and the slip fees and loading fees saved would be tremendous.

    I am going to avoid doing hand drafting wherever possible. Having attempted several wooden projects, and various other things by hand, the level of effort I would put in for the comparatively poor end result is not worth it, especially at the time expenditure in comparison to machine created parts.

    Thanks for the clarification. Some of that I had intended to use electrical aid, though I realize that just adds to the maintenance burden. Speaking of electrical, are there areas in a build like this where it is cost AND time effective to bring in contracted help? Say cabinet makers, final painting, or an electrician? Are there areas I could spend a bit of extra money but save significant amounts of time over doing it myself, and potentially have a better outcome? I expect these areas might be few and far between, but would appreciate any suggestions in this area.

    I hadn't seen that tiki video, though I have been watching one on a guy doing a tiki 46. He made it through completed hulls, painting, fairing, and the bridge deck, before disappearing off the face of youtube. Hopefully I'll get a better feel for what size I want while chartering.

    I'm going to avoid hand-drafting wherever possible, I'm not confident in my capability vs that of a machine, not even including the time constraints. I've heard the epoxy reactions starting up from a couple of people now. Do you know how common this is? I really really would not want to get 8 years in and then not be able to finish it due to allergies. I've heard epoxy will start to go bad after a year or so. Does storing it airconditioned areas improve this, or is there some other secret to keep it from going bad?

    You guys have convinced me! I'm going to start by building a smaller boat once I have the space available. Do you know of a boat that fits the following criteria:
    1. Suitable for a beginner to build in foam/glass. Flat Panel Construction?
    2. Capable of sleeping 2-4 people for a night of camping. (No head/sink/other necessary)
    3. Ultra low draft, suitable for the outerbanks, think 2-3 feet max with boards up.

    This last criteria as well, though I'm not sure if its doable:
    4. Reasonably safe in winds of up to 40 kts, though only in protected waters, such as pamlico sound or the potomac river.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
  9. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    jorgepease Senior Member

    Good Idea. The land I bought is next to you, in Merritt, I will be moving there in about 3 months to start my build.
  10. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Given your height I would not advise the scarab 16. Getting in that cabin would be like curling into a snail shell. Also given your preference for cats I would consider building a small cat as your experiment. Again I'd point to Mr Woods site for options although maybe a jarcat 6 would be another great option. You could easity re-engineer it for foam build and make the double long enough for you. Plans are still available cheap and cheap enough but if yougo foam sandwich you will have to work out some stuff.

    TFJ wrote several books. They are all worth their weight in gold and come up second hand cheap. I THINK the one I'm referring to is Multihull Voyaging. He and his lady crossed oceans on 23' - 27' plywood cats and tris. Not what you (or I, or any "normal" person) would want to do, but the lessons are invaluable.

    I understand having a beach cat makes you desire speed. All these boats can be surfed, some might even fly a hull in the right conditions, but on a boat that size sailing that hard is both terrifying and impractical. RW has been racing sailboats probably longer than I've been alive. I don't know but I estimate he is maybe 10 years older than I am. He's won some significant races and his boats in other's hands have done well. They are not "dogs". To get to the next performance level you need to add lightness in massive numbers. Yep carbon hulls and sails etc will help, but if you think you can get that level performance and keep the washing machine...

    It's true dual engines give tremendous maneuverability, but the problem docking a multihull is the same stuff that makes them lovely to sail. Your boat weighs nothing, it doesn't "gather speed" it accelerates, with every gust, every current it moves. Things happen faster and when your 3' from a dock that sudden lurch.. AsI said before, you've made it to harbour but the storm is upon you, boats are moored everywhere. You need to deploy that HEAVY anchor and position your boat without being blown into any adjacent boats in 4' waves wind and driving rain. It's dark. You built a 50' boat. How is that working out for you?

    Are you talking appliances ? A 40' boat should fit a decent fridge, maybe not 200 cubic foot but ok. You'll get a full size washer etc. Space isn't the problem on cats. First comes weight, but then there is power. Again do the numbers and understand how many batteries/solar panels/wind generators you need. You can run the engine to get power but they need fuel.

    The problem with a big boat isn't the hull. Hull/bridgedeck/crossbeams won't be the bit that breaks you. Pretty much every failed project I've seen they completed the hull, or got close, but at that point it finally dawned on them how much more work was left to do and how much money. Building hulls is the fun bit. It's when you get bogged down working all day and can't see any result, weeks and weeks. And now and then you pause and consider how much more work/time/money there is before you get a result. That is what breaks you. On say a 25' boat you can power through that, on a 40' boat lots of people can't.

    If you can build in your back yard that's a big plus, but you need to be CERTAIN the boss will stay with you for the duration. Boats have wrecked many marriages.

    Oh no that's totally doable. The problem is trivial. Note I'm no boat designer and understand my limitations, but I am a mech eng and could sort that drunk and half asleep.

    The problem is trivial. Lets say you do hard chine. All you do is glue sheets of foam together draw a grid mark out the widths at intervals, us a batten to draw fair curves and use a jigsaw to cut along the line. You now have a template to mark out the other 3 foam panels and cut the 8 glass sheets. Now vacuum bag or hand layup. Any errors are taken care of as you layup in the assembly jig. Bit of trimming, bog the gaps. Tape and move on. Or you can get sophisticated and make tabs or whatever. Building hull skins isn't the hard bit. Seriously say it over and over. Building hull skins and cabins isn't the hard bit. It's amazing how much thought goes into this bit rather than speeding and easing the other killer operations in the build.

    It's ver common. Keep it off your skin (gloves disposable overalls) and use a fan to blow when mixing. Another advantage of infusion. Minimal contact hen making panels and you can set up as I said to make the process low stress. It's when you get in a tizzy that mistakes happen. Epoxy formulations vary but I would be VERY surprised if you are talking a year sheft life. Many years I'd think but you'd have to check I guess.

    Given you want to build a cat I'd suggest a cat. Your height is a problem.

    Richard Woods has several. Eagle is probably bigger than you are after but it has really wide berths. Chat 18 is another option with a deck tent for sleeping.

    Sailing Catamarans - First Choose a Design

    Ray Kendrick has this (ply but could be re-engineere). Change interior to suit:

    Plans for the Double Shuffle catamaran

    On sale atm for $100AU down from $150, trailerable. Ask him about foam construction.

    Jarcat. I had a 5 years ago. The 6 is basically the same boat longer. Long berths for tall people. RT passed years ago but one of his children sells the plans. There are strong owners groups. Build is simple, re-engineering in flat panel foam would be easy.

    Jarcat Five and Six

    There are others options I've probably forgotten.
  11. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Um the last 200l pack I bought was quoted as a drum and I asked about 20l packs before finalising the order. They supplied for the same price. Mind I'm in Queensland and was ordering from NSW, Australia. Maybe it's different where you are but the upcharge might be worth investigating. Handling is SO MUCH easier. You just tap the 20l pack put it on a table, position the scale below, put the bucket on and open the tap. You can ladle to creep up on the weight or remove any overshoot. Likewise with hardener. The brilliant thing with epoxy is you can do say 5 pairs of buckets and just tip and mix as you need, and it cleans up easily for bucket re-use.
  12. waterbear
    Joined: Mar 2016
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    waterbear Junior Member

    Since you want to go fast you might consider a Salish 28 for a smaller project. 4 bunks in cruising form, 1.75m headroom, 250mm draft with boards up. Very simple flat panel construction and very fast. A boat like this will be able to break 20 knots under the right conditions with the racing rig. I'm not sure about flat panel foam - you can ask Richard. This would be something like a 600-700 hour project before painting and fitting out when building in plywood.

    Sailing Catamarans - Salish 28 minimum coastal racer

    Here's some footage of a similar but smaller Woods catamaran sailing fast.

    (33) 24ft Strider catamaran sailing fast in the Pacific - YouTube

    There is also the Eagle 24 which has a similar hull cross section to the Salish but is shorter and less performance oriented. Smaller Woods boats like Janus and Acorn are just too cramped inside for someone of your stature.

    I'm not sure about what tasks are best to delegate - probably the ones you don't want to do. Like sanding fiberglass inside your boat in the summer. If I were building a large boat I would hire a full time gimp for $15/hr.

    You should also consider building in okoume ply-epoxy. Boats using this method are not much heavier than foam but the cost is much lower and the build process is much more pleasant. Durability is not an issue if the boat is looked after. Resale will be lower, but that doesn't matter if you're not planning to sell the boat.
  13. Burger
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Burger Junior Member

    If your income allows you to think in terms of buying a waterfront property to build a 50' cat, you'd be much better off working for 7-8 years, having a normal family life, (priorities and time management change radically when your first child arrives), chartering large cats on holidays to learn, and madly saving up cash.

    You'd end up well-informed enough to reconsider some size/fitout options, and know what it feels like trying to winkle a tennis-court- sized cat into a tight spot in a howling wind. You'd also have saved enough money to buy a pretty good boat that comes near enough to your requirements. Maybe no washing machine, maybe not quite 20-knot surfs, but safe and quick enough.
    You might also find that an annual charter holiday, and a speedy simple local overnighter is enough.

    Building a 50' cat you'd go for a large galley, two head/shower cabins and a laundry. Making just that in a finished pair of hulls, with all the associated tanks/pumps/plumbing/electrical wiring/cosmetic concealment, would take you at least a year and a lot of dollars.
  14. Iridian
    Joined: Jan 2020
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    Iridian Junior Member


    I'll take a look through TJF's books and see what's interesting! Like you say, I think I'll pass on crossing the oceans in a 23' plywood boat though lol.

    I don't want to fly a hull like a Gunboat 68, too much risk for my taste on a boat that'll eat up a massive chunk of my life earnings. If I can get performance similar to that of a Balance 526 or Marsaudon TS5, I'll be happy. Do you think the performance of the Horstman or Woods designs will be similar to either of these?

    With regard to the example about anchoring in a harbor in heavy winds, I may be showing my naivety or lack of knowledge here, but I'm not sure how this situation would change much in a 40' or a 50' boat. Assuming an electric winch, the difficulty should be reasonably close to the same. I was more worried about ability to reef and manage sails of an increased size and therefore mass in a blow.

    I was thinking less about the appliances and more about mattresses, cabinetry and some of the fittings needing to be more custom fit for a smaller boat, though I may be off here. For example, a standard thin queen mattress could fit in a wide enough hull compared to a more narrow one requiring an oddly shaped matress.

    Thanks for the info on the epoxy, I'll have to keep an eye on that when downselecting on materials.

    @guzzis3 @waterbear

    The larger catamarans you linked aren't really trailerable. I think I'd rather build a trimaran as I could collapse in the Amas and still maintain a trailerable road width (8.5'), while the handling would still be reasonably close to a catamaran, and I'd have even more build complexity to learn on. Any suggestions for a trimaran or trailerable catamaran that wouldn't overlap with my Hobie 20 too much? (requirements creep already)

    @Burger I'd thought a lot about that before deciding to look more into building a boat. The reason I'm straying away from the used or new optiosn is that I wouldn't be able to get close to the same level of boat in the same amount of time *and* have it fit. If I go used, to fit, I'll have to slice the saloon and bimini roof off, at minimum, and still be a bit screwed in hull height, as I don't think there is an easy way to raise that. I'd still be spending $400k for the boat, + however much it took to bring it up to snuff and repair it.

    If I tried to save for a new boat, with a savings rate of $50k/year, a duration of 7 years, and a compounding yearly interest rate of 7%, I'm looking at about $700,000, which still isn't enough to get me a custom yacht to my height requirements new.

    If I work extra hours, to try to up my savings rate, that takes me back to the living in a computer chair 24/7 issue I'm trying to escape.

  15. waterbear
    Joined: Mar 2016
    Posts: 71
    Likes: 16, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Alameda, CA

    waterbear Junior Member

    There is the folding Sango catamaran which takes 900 hours. Can be made in foam or ply.

    Sailing Catamarans - Sango - 7.65m version of Wizard

    And smaller version wizard which is 800 hours.

    Sailing Catamarans - Wizard - 6.6m folding trailable cat with central cuddy

    Some people will say "these are not small projects!" but compared to a 50ft catamaran these boats are less than 1/10th the weight, probably less than 1/10th the work and 1/10th the cost. So a rounding error on a large project.

    Here's a video of a plywood wizard sailing

    and a video of how the folding system works, buoyancy folds the amas open and the boat floats off the trailer.

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