easy, fast to build multihull with simple rig

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by sailor305, May 15, 2012.

  1. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    Woods Vardo

    I'm surprised Richard has not plugged his new (long awaited) Vardo design.
    I am building the first boat, but consider it to be sail #2 as Richard sold another set of plans before me.

    I have the first hull built and starting the second later this summer. The interior plan is still being finalized.

    No to go into to much detail, but Florida is a wonderful place to find used equipment. Unless you are hiring all the labor, I think you can build a boat cheaper here than anywhere overseas when factoring in the outfitting costs.

    I'm not building the boat to a budget, but I am expecting to have the boat sailing for a shocking price (I have almost all deck gear, RF headsail, spinnaker, outboard, plumbing, lighting from other projects) Have bought second-hand mast, ports, hatches, a few winches. New surplus mainsail from a Catalina 350 monohull for $800. Will be a touch small in roach/ area, but should be fine while getting the boat sea-trialed and first few cruises.

    I'm also building at my home indoors so a large savings there. Will launch from my own trailer at the city boat ramp 3/4 mile from my house.
     
  2. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    Perhaps that is because the Vardo does not meet the SOR provided by the OP - not big enough, not enough masts, possibly not enough bunks, possibly not enough headroom (+possibly not wierd enough!)

    I also quite like the Vardo design and it would meet some of my requirements, but I dont think it is demountable so how could I transport it the few miles from my house to the salt water?

    In any case, if I build a new boat it just has to be one designed by me, that is the way I have done it before and I have not regretted it.

    Another boat I quite like is one which I think is called Lavranos Proteus, but although its only slightly more LOA than I have in mind it looks to be a bigger boat in all directions, particularly vertically, so just too much boat for me but might suit the OP if he can put up with a sloop rig? Other than that I could only suggest one of the larger Wharram catamarans - at least they do tend to have plenty of masts. Or design it himself of course.

    With regard to costs, the preliminary costs I have worked out for the boat I have in mind are looking like at least double what Richard Woods suggests a similar size boat could be built for, even though I am thinking of making a lot of the metal work with my own machine tools and fabricating equipment. Part of the difference could be that I am not allowing for buying any equipment second hand, I would rather spend the time designing, building or sailing than traipsing round boat jumbles. Mind you, if I did happen to come accross second hand equipment that is just what I need I expect I would go for it.

    I have looked at the Blog you have covering the building of your Vardo and I am most impressed with the good progress you are making, it looks to be a well planned project and I expect it will be a fine vessel.
     
  3. sailor305
    Joined: May 2012
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    sailor305 future cat builder

    You are welcome guzzis3
    I'll go for dagger or centerboards now!
    But it would be much easier if they could be placed similar to the Harryproa ones with a double effect to use them as retractable rudders.
    I like the 42' cat out of 3mm epoxy glued sandwich ply.
    However, it should way a bit less, have more payload and a hard bimini top (additional weight again).
    Anyway, it seems to me hard to find plans offering a light weight boat with sufficient payload.
     
  4. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    John-

    I saw the Romany mentioned, but did not realize he wanted a "demountable" boat which the Romany isn't. It's a "can be assembled near the water in a couple of months" boat. Depending on where you are a couple miles to the coast should not be a problem with even a 20'/ 6m beam.

    I agree on the second-hand parts. I've seen lots of home built boats with lots of old gear bolted down to them. I've been very selective in what I've bought and in my area there is really a lot to choose from. I never pay more than say 25% of new retail for a good used item so the savings are large for the right items. Will likely buy the primary winches, genoa tracks, traveler, etc all new as those items stand out if old and worn. Winches especially self-tailing hold there value and not really worth buying second-hand unless you find a real deal.
     
  5. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    I dont think Sailor305 is looking for a demountable boat, but I think I would like one. I live less than 5 miles from a broard concrete slipway but the roads between my house and that slipway are narrow lanes!

    It would be an option for me to build a catamaran at home as three main sections then permanently assemble these in a waterside boatyard, perhaps over a couple of months (A friend of mine is doing just that) However, since I am not looking for a central cabin that has covered access into each hull I dont think it is a big compromise to make the boat demountable and I have now worked out a way to do it. It allows the option to bring the boat back to my house in the future, say for a major refit, or if I want to do land rather than sea travelling one year. Whether I would actually do that I dont know, but nice to have the option i think.
     
  6. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    Check out the Edel 33. It is supposed to be container shippable, but I imagine it would take 3 40' containers. I thought about asking Richard about doing something like this with the Vardo, but I think it would add too much weight and make the interior too choppy.
     
  7. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    Sure, the Edel 33 looks a nice boat, probably no longer in production. But as I said, if I build a new boat (dont actually need to, since I already have one) then I want to design it as well, and I want to use my own ideas rather than make it a patchwork of ideas cribbed from other boats. Having said that, I am not looking to design something too way out - not like I was doing when I was building sailing hydrofoils. This is a fairly big project for me so I want it to work pretty well straight out of the box. This thread shows some preliminary drawings of what I have in mind.

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/post-your-design-ideas-37103-8.html#post555718

    I am not particularly wanting a boat to fit in containers, something that could be loaded onto a flat bed lorry that has a hydraulic loading crane would be fine. Dont mind if it takes several short trips to get it all to the waterside. For transport of a biggish boat on a lorry, or in containers for that matter, the mast is always likely to be one of the limiting factors. Does make me wonder about a jointed mast, although for a 10m LOA I think I can get away without that - having the base of the mast on a raised tabernacle helps a bit.
     
  8. guzzis3
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Hm. It's possible I have not made myself clear again.

    I like lar keels. If you find a boat that meets your requirements then I'd happily accept them, just as I would accept tri, proa etc. unstayed rigs are fine, whatever works out for you. What I was saying is don't apply arbitrary criteria that might knock out a good boat. Stick to what really matters to you.

    If I were in your situation I'd harden up your NEEDS, that's payload and price mostly from what you've said. Then I'd make a spreadsheet with a table of material costs for your building location, then I'd make a sheet each for whichever designes meet your criteria. Make each as comprehensive as you can. Mr Woods makes his materials lists available. Others might also.

    I did this years ago for the types of boats I was considering building. It was quite informative. One of the standouts for me was how little difference hull skin material made to total cost of build. It also emphasised how little difference in total cost of build there was between boats of similar weight (not size).

    Most "modern" designs are fairly similar timewise to build. People get obsessed with hull build times but again the DIFFERENCES are dwarfed by the total, fitting ports that don't leak, positioning deck fittings, plumbing, finishing. You might save a week using some method of skining a hull but lose it again fiddling with details.

    The boat your planning to build is a huge project. I've seen a lot of people take on boats like this and never finish, and remember if you need to sell prior to finishing your lucky to get your materials cost back, you certainly won't recap any labor site rental etc. If you dig yourself into a hole it WILL end in tears.

    This is why I emphasis going with a design where the designer backs up your build, where they have actually built boats and sorted the details.

    Finally you keep talking about heavy boats a low carrying capacity. Be wary of people claiming one design is much lighter. It's either not strong enough or they are lying. There is no proper standard for empty weights. That's why good designers explain what they are measuring and give realistic estimates of time money an the outcome you should expect. Kurt Hughes tortured ply/cylinder molded/whatever you call them should have amongst the lightest hulls around. The method does limit hull beam but that is no bad thing provided you understand what your building.

    Anyway, as I say good luck :)
     
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  9. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Guzzis3

    Solid, realistic, practical advice, good job !
    RR
     
  10. guzzis3
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Thank you.

    Mr Woods meander might be worth a look. It's a sheet ply equivalent to the Hughes 42. Mr Woods makes materials lists available free so it might be a good starting point. It's 3.5 tonne empty and 2.5 ton payload, same as the Hughes, so it ticks your boxes. Fiberglass option.

    Remember bridgedeck cabins add cost and complexity and weight and don't add payload or waterline. Given these boats are big an open deck with all accomodations in the hulls is worth a look. I personally like the offset doubles as featured in the Hughes boat but that's personal preference. I don't see the point in 2 heads but again that's me.

    Anyway, really, your spoiled for choice.
     
  11. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

  12. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    These days the method makes a huge difference. Richard says a typical 3.5T, 35' cat would use 1,100 kgs/1.1T of resin (plus wastage, glue and bog) to wet out 800 kgs of cloth by hand. If it was infused, it would require 400 kgs/900 lbs (no bog, little waste). That is more than 700 kg/$10,000 of resin difference. 20% of the boat weight and a big percentage of the materials cost.

    I agree that a lot of cruising cats take a long time from start to finish, although both Hughes' CM and Kelsall's KSS will produce hulls much quicker than ply or strip planking, both of which will be quicker than foam on stringers in my experience. All are fiddly to complete, as you point out.

    Solutions to this? Infused harryproas speed up the build by including the bunks, galley bench, cockpit seats, entry hatch and surrounds in the hull and deck stage, then folding them into position. See the build video in post #53. This is many weeks quicker than cutting, fitting, bonding and fairing them seperately.

    The infusion also includes window rebates, solids for through hulls, hull/deck joins, hatches and their surrounds, beam reinforcing, mast bearings and their reinforcement and bulkhead and shelf landings. This means a couple of days of placing core and dry cloth pre infusion, but saves months of fiddly, sticky messing about afterwards. It looks (and is) perfect and saves a lot of weight and cost. All the glass is transparent with precisely the minimal amount of resin and no voids. There is no filleting, wet laminating, jagged glass, peel plying around corners, sagging fillets, uneven edges, filling or sanding required.

    Joins, shelf and bulkhead landings are all matching male/female joins. Remove the peel ply, use a caulking gun and integral mixer to put glue in the female part, resin coat the glued area of the male part and push the male into the female. Remove the excess glue and leave it to cure. Less than a day's work vs months of fiddling about with wet resin and small lengths of tabbing tape, then sanding and cleaning them up. When the joins are cured, the boat is ready to sand and paint, inside and out. Little or no filling or fairing is required.

    An example. A mate of mine has almost finished a balsa cored panel 12m/40' cat. He used an extra roll of double bias, cut into 100mm/4" and 150mm/6" strips and half a drum of resin to fillet and tape all the joins. That is roughly 10 strips per 100m roll or 1 km/0.67 miles of tabbing to wet out, put in place and peel ply. I've never timed it, but I'd guess you could tab a meter in 5 minutes. So 5,000 minutes/83 hours/2 weeks of 9 till 5. Plus filleting inside corners and filling and rounding outside ones. Not as much work as screwing and unscrewing thousands of screws, then filling the holes on a ply boat, but still a lot of work which is not required on the harry.

    The unstayed schooner rig has no deck gear apart from a couple of winches. That is, no traveller, forebeam, seagull striker, chainplates, jib tracks, turning blocks, jammers etc to build/buy and attach, again saving time and money.

    The beams are straight box section, built with the same simple, easy method as the mast in less than 100 hours.

    Oversize beam mounted rudders and no daggerboards are easier to build than the in hull variety.

    Downsides?
    You need to build a large level table from mdf sheets. This is more than offset by not needing to cut or set up a strong back or any build frames.
    There are fewer curves than strip plank or moulded boats, but more than with a ply or other sheet material boat. Of course, any areas you want compound curved can be built using strip, but it will add to time and cost.

    True again. Although a couple of people working 8 hour days on a simple 15m/50' harry would be afloat in 2 months (900 hours) and able to cook and sleep on board and motor around enjoying it. Another month and they could be sailing. This will hugely increase the likelihood that the boat will be completed. The fiddly frustration of finishing is offset by being able to go for a sail.

    True, but both are much more work than not requiring either. And repairing board, case and probably hull if you hit something at 15 knots is a major job. The material for the NACA 0012 dagger rudders/leeway preventers for the latest 10m harry cost just under $300 each. They need neither fairing nor sanding. The ball bearing cases which allow them to be lifted and still steered are about the same cost and the beam mounts which allow them to kick up (in either direction) in a collision considerably less.

    Sailor 305,
    Thanks for updating your requirements.
    Some numbers to consider. The strip planked cruising version of the 15m/50' Visionarry design http://harryproa.com/visionarry.htm sans rig took 4,400 hours to build (follow the links at the bottom of the page for the build progress and times), a significant portion of which was fairing and finishing. The materials including freight, wastage, 10% taxes, motors, electronics, etc cost $Aus85,000.
    The simpler sports version (same url) weighed 2.2T, took 3,500 hours to ready to sail stage. The materials, ex motors, electronics, tax, freight and wastage was ~$40,000.

    Based on what we have learnt from infusing two 15m day sailors, a 12m cat and numerous non marine jobs (including a house), a further simplified sports version, infused from foam and vinylester, would save 50% of those hours as well as about 0.5T, making it 1.7T, with 2T payload. The materials cost would drop by up to 25%, depending on just how simple you wanted it to be.

    How this boat would meet your requirements:
    Lightweight/low cost: There are no cats of similar space and performance anywhere near this weight and materials cost or buildable in a similar time.

    Safe: Unstayed rig, ease of use, automatic depowering, no rig maintenance, ability to stop and reverse on most points of sail, no holes below the waterline, kick up rudders/daggerboards, working deck and cockpit all one level, no sails on the foredeck bunks, cockpit and galley at centre of pitch and always to windward and an easily sheltered crew.

    Fast/performance: There are no videos or other evidence of cats with similar space and cost sailing at windspeed under main and jib. This will drop off a bit with the extra 500 kgs payload, so you can either accept it or increase the sail area a little. The schooner rig, using two masts of similar height instead of the easyrig would have more than enough sail area to compensate.

    Easy to build. See the build video in post #53. There have been a lot of improvements since this was filmed.

    Unstayed schooner rig. Your call on sleeves vs cars, although sleeves do not easily allow full length battens (the batten end for the top battens is of smaller diameter than the lower ones due to the mast taper) with all their advantages. A zip or lacing down the leading edge may be an option to make the sleeve easier to handle. There is a very big saving to be had by fixing the mast, using simple jaws for the gooseneck (or a wishbone attached to the sail which is attached to the mast by a loop inside the sleeve, allowing the sail to be reefed and the wishbone moved up the sail to the new attachment point) and allowing the sleeved sail and boom to rotate around the mast.

    One winch is possible with jammers and/or multipart purchases, but depending on the rig size, it might be cheaper and easier to have a winch on each mast and either one or two for the sheets.

    2 small outboards: The lighter the boat, the smaller these can be. The cruiser has 2 x 15 hp, the sport a very old 20 hp. Both motor at 8 knots.

    Accommodation for 6 to 8. 2 queen size doubles and a single in the windward hull and 2-4 singles in the lee hull. It would be easy to flare the lee hull to make these doubles.

    Full overall standing headroom 6'5": No problem, although if you want it in the toilet/shower, put the bathroom in the lee hull. This also keeps smells etc away from the cooking/eating/living area, something not given nearly enough attention on most boats.

    Open but covered wing deck. A bimini is easy enough. A hard bimini will need more support as it cannot be removed. A soft one rolling out from a hard one over the cockpit can be rolled up in strong winds. A harry is probably unique in allowing you to steer and see both sails, both ends of the boat and 355 degrees of horizon while sitting in the shade.

    Demountable. The sports version in Holland is dismantled for storage each summer.

    Boatguy30.
    Nice job. Can you detail the "shocking price", please. And the hours it has taken if you have kept records.

    This is probably the 2nd most common criticism builders have. The quoted time being low would be first. The more controlled the build (ie less hand work, fewer build steps, full size panels rather than lots of sheets to cut up and join, etc), the more accurate the estimates will be and the more likely everyone is to meet them.

    rob
     
  13. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    Don't think it's possible to use 400kg of resin to 800 kg glass! Good luck! Maybe in a cold fusion reactor layup.....

    I reckon I have about 400-500 hours in on the Vardo. Some of that is a few bulkheads for the next hull as well as all the stringers and the setup of the build floor. I figure this competed glassed hull is about 1/6 the total build. A Romany was built in around 2500 hours , but not as much a composite structure my boat is. I think the Vardo will actually require less build time than the Romany(less pieces), but my techniques will add some time.

    I intend to be sailing for around $20,000, keep in find I have at least $10,000(new replacement cost) in gear already and saved a lot on buying a second-hand mast. A Gypsy 28 builder spent $15,000 on just the mast and rigging in the US last year.

    This will not include cushions or electronics, dodger, etc. Depending on time of year, I plan to launch as soon as can be sailing. Hopefully about 15 months from now. My son's school is 1/4 mile from the mooring field (1 mile from house) so I can ride bikes with him to school and then row out to the boat to finish interior fit out thru the school year.

    Again, I'm not really keeping track of every penny. Have spent about $10,000 to date and have around 70% of the materials needed (more than enough fiberglass) and all the hatches and ports, mast, engine, sails, epoxy primer, halyards sheets, blocks, cabin lights, etc, etc.

    Cheers,
    Jeff
     
  14. guzzis3
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Too small for the OP's requirements.

    Thank you for commenting Mr Denney.

    I know your keen on proas but have you considered applying what you have learned to building cats ? It's just that a lot of people are more "comfortable" with cats and tris....
     

  15. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    We get it every time we infuse. So would you.
    The Gougeons get it vac bagging wet laminate see http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/Vacuum-Bagging-Techniques.pdf section 4.2.2 and their expert (Vegas) on SA says you can do better than this if infusing.
    Groper gets "65-68% of the laminate weight is glass, the remainder is resin". see http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/cheap-simple-rig-43209-5.html which is a thread on the same subject as this one. Worth a read if you ignore the personal stuff.
    Google 'resin fibre ratio infusion' and you will see that everyone who infuses, gets it.

    To see the difference, wet out 10 x 300mm/12" sq pieces of your 440 gsm/13 oz d/bias cloth on a piece of plastic, then stack them on top of each other. Let them cure and measure the thickness. It will be about 6mm/0.25".

    Then lay up a seperate stack and place 2,160 lbs/982 kgs, (15 psi x 144 sq", same as a vac bag at 1 atm pressure) on the top. More than half the resin and a lot of air will be forced out. The cured stack will be just under 4 mm thick and the laminate will be stronger and tougher than the non weighted stack.

    If the stack was infused, the result would be even better as a) it uses only as much resin as required and b) the pre infusion bagging removes any moisture from the cloth, of which there is probably quite a lot in Florida.

    According to your impressively honest blog http://sailingcatamarans.blogspot.com.au/search?updated-max=2012-03-20T18:42:00-07:00&max-results=7, on Mar 30, you did a nice job of laying up a piece of 13 oz/440 gsm glass 1.8m wide x 10.5m(?) long. Weight 8.5 kgs/18.7 lbs.
    You used 3 gallons(11.4 litres/12.5 kgs/27.5 lbs) of epoxy of which about 2 kgs (half a gallon) would have wet out the ply, leaving 10.5 kgs in the glass. Resin:fibre ratio 1.2:1. Then you aded another half gallon/2 kgs to fill it making 12.5 kgs/27.5 lbs of resin used. Resin:fibre ratio 1.5:1.

    Infusing ply is not recommended unless you want to make it heavy, tough and rot proof. However, for the sake of the comparison the 1:2 resin:fibre ratio from infusing would have used one gallon (4.2 kgs/9.2 lbs) to wet out and fill the glass which would then be ready for a light sand and paint.

    Replace the ply and stringers with infused foam panels and the hull panels (including rebates for the joins, so no fairing required) would be built in a fortnight, including building the table.
    The finished hull would be half the weight, you would use half the resin, and there would be no stringers, screws, scarpphing, butt blocks, planing, bloom, filling, fairing, drilling, core waste or worrying about rot.
    The infusion would have needed a $150 pump, 9 sheets of mdf for the table, a part roll of construction plastic, couple of rolls of brown packaging tape, window sealant, some poly string, garden fencing and plumbing. You would not have got sticky, nor needed to work 11 hour days.
    Ply, timber, resin and labour have to be very low cost for infusion not to be economic. This, or some other reason may be the case in your situation, but it is not in Sailor305's.

    I'd be interested in a breakdown of the build materials (timber, ply, glass, resin, paint, etc) costs if you have a spare moment. Please estimate prices for the gift items such as the Doug Fir.

    Guzzis3.
    I have drawn and built a couple of cats. One was a 35' racer which was dirt cheap and took 3 months to build. Unfortunately, it was destroyed and sunk (with much difficulty) after the idiot skipper capsized while leading his class in the 1982 Round Britain 2 handed Race.

    The other one was 12m long, 7.2m wide, 600 kgs. Unstayed ballestron rig in one hull and a single beam which allowed the hulls to pitch independantly, telescope to 4m wide and also allow the hulls to move fore and aft relative to each other if required. Both hulls built from a single half mould. Won me $10,000 in the RINA design competition, but believe it or not, demand for these attributes was not high. ;-)

    If you eliminate "having the same as everyone else", I can't see many reasons for building cats instead of harryproas. I am currently advising a few builders on how to make their cat builds easier/quicker/cheaper, but unless you want something different to the norm in a cat, you would be better off going with Derek or Kurt.

    rob
     
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