Life is too short to fair above the waterline

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Lachie, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Lachie
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 4, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Airlie Beach & Phuket

    Lachie New Member

    I am starting this thread to assist those of us who are not financially endowed that they can realise their dreams. My first major endeavour was a Woods Gypsy back in 1996, built making the hulls out of fibreglass panels instead of ply with all ply above the gunwales. Built for $25k using second hand sails, mast, winches and new outboard. When you are building yourself you have the time to look for gear at the right price. That boat "Vela" is still sailing today. Remarks made in forums were very strong but agricultural , ie. Not very shiny above the waterline.

    Since then I have built (to keep myself sane) a number of multihulls including an Aldridge Slider in Phuket ( with longtail motor and 160%genoa only). A Kohler Eco 5.5 using a cheap fibreglass panel (400gsm and honeycomb) because polyester is cheaper than beer in Thailand . Others have been a hovercraft (far too noisy) and back in Oz due to covid have just finished a Kohler Duo 480c but with laser mast and sail and Hobie-wave rudders. Still to be tested ( could end a disaster but has been fun building).
    All have been built by a wood butcher whose main desire has been to get out on the water with a boat that is strong, cheap but close up is not a thing of beauty . The Duo took 2.5 months to build, all ply epoxied and 200 GSM to the gunwales. Cost $2000 AU and 10 weeks.
    I don't expect that archaeologists will find its remains in 20 years, but I will have had fun over the next few years. If I had decided to fair and make these boats into a thing of beauty, it would have been double to triple time spent. I am not knocking those that make beautiful boats ( I enjoy and love looking), but am giving hope to those that are lacking in the finer points of construction ( wood butcher) like myself. I hope that this thread will motivate those who have fears as to the result and that others can suggest ways and means to assist.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I am sure that many folk on here will take heart from your experiences Lachie.

    Could you post some photos on this thread of the boats that you have built please?
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  3. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If anyone queries the slickness of the finish, you tell them it is eco-friendly "sustainable shabby".
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  4. Burger
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 18
    Likes: 3, Points: 3
    Location: Australia

    Burger Junior Member

    I remember checking out Vela when she was in Airlie, as I always liked the Gypsy design. A fine example of Richard Woods' "50-ft. boat" concept. A boat that looks good from 50 ft. distance. You have to get up close to see that it's not finished like a grand piano or a Rolls Royce.
    I look forward to seeing the Duo on the water.
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  5. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 457
    Likes: 189, Points: 43
    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    A friend and I were sailing his boat on lake Champlain when we saw this one in the back of an Anchorage. We tacked carefully through all the other boats just to get a closer look. Not your classic beauty, but the most interesting boat on the lake, for sure.

    The guy built it himself from an old dory. The yard was a very rough hewn natural tree. Very un-fancy.
    20190817_144631.jpg 20190817_144945.jpg 20190817_144955 (1).jpg
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  6. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: East Anglia,England

    wet feet Senior Member

    That looks like a St Pierre dory.John Gardner published the lines and building details.The question of fairness and finish quality is an interesting thing to ponder.On one side of the builder's mind there is an intense desire to go boating in a sound boat very soon.On the other side of the brain there is usually a growing sense of "well if I build another one,I'd change this and this and this....".Which often means the first one has to be finished to a level that would persuade somebody to hand over a pile of cash to own it.Which dictates that the finish needs to be of a reasonably high quality.The alternative is the scenario where you discover a good fishing lake in the middle of nowhere and you build a boat that is structurally sound,with a view to leaving it at the lake,inverted and under a tarp,rather than transporting it each trip.All it has to do is float and looks aren't even secondary.
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