Newbie asking for advice

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by jmoropeza, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    Hello everyone!
    I'm really interested in building my own cat, mainly because i want a sailboat that sails and not a brick in the water.
    I'm 42 years old and planing my way out from the rat race, even tho i have little to none experience sailing, just couple of weekend trips with friends. In my country (Mexico) we don't have a tradition as sailors so it's hard to learn, make contact with experienced sailors and even, to get good quality materials to build, like marine plywood.
    My main goal with the boat is to learn and if it's possible, use it as a liveaboard coastal cruising around the caribbean, first the riviera maya zone and taking Rio Dulce in Guatemala as a safe haven while learning, and progresivly adventuring aroun the caribbean and maybe even the bahamas.
    I'm single so i'm good in something small, but also, going for something small limit my options to sail with friends or to get a female skipper aboard.
    My age is also a limiting factor coz i don't think i will be able to build 2 or 3 boats during my time.
    Initially i was very focused in the marine ply boats but as i said previously, i'm limited by my location so i have to take the option of foam core sandwich... again, a newbie about fiber glass and other composite materials.
    Learning is not a problem for me, i can say it's even exciting to learn and develop new skills and knowledge.
    The main designs i'm considering are from Richard Woods, Tamar 31' and Sango 25'. I would love to go for the Wizard but as a liveaboard i don't think the Wizard give's me enough space to get a freezer on it, wich is important for my plan to sail in the tropics.
    This leads me to bunch of questions:
    - What do you think about this ideas? Since you have more experience than me I value your input.
    - I consider the Sango as a good plataform to learn and develope skills but taking in consideration my age, i think Tamar would be a better fit in the long term. Any thoughts?
    - I know Tamar would be more expensive to build, but at the same time, it would be less expensive than building both boats, right?
    - Taking in consideration that i have to bouild in core sandwich, would you go fot hard chine or rounded hulls designs?
    - What about couple of lithium batteries and solar to power the boat? I'm thinking in daggerboards and outboard motors instead of diesel (in the Tamar design).
    - If i take the Tamar design, in the long run when i have enough skills and experience, would be an option to circunavigate?
    - Thinking in making my own dinghy could be a good way to get my feet wet in the sandwich construction building? I know i will do mistakes while learning so i think is better to lear with something relativly small.
    - Money is always an issue i think, so in terms of investment what do you think is the difference between both designs?
    - Could Tamar be a good learning plataform? Obviously, being more careful.

    Sorry for the long post and my bad english, but i have many doubts.
    Cheers
     
  2. Russell Brown
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 160
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    Location: washington state

    Russell Brown Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum. I'm not that familiar with the Woods designs, but you came to the right place for advice on them. I'm a big fan of plywood and epoxy. Will you have to import materials? Where are you in Mexico?
     
  3. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    Thank you Rusell.
    Yes, most probably i will have to import materials, but as far as i've researched plywood won't be an option since each ply sheet will end costing me around $100 USD between import taxes and shipping.
    I'm in Mexico city, but i'm planing to move to Puerto Progreso in Yucatan when i'm ready to star building coz there are some shipyards there that can have some materials, glass and epoxy mainly.
     
  4. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Likes: 959, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Build a plywood cat.

    Foam is really tons of extra work.

    Wood is far easier to sheath. Much cheaper. Or, buy a used @Richard Woods cat from the states.
     
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  5. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
    Posts: 910
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    You can struggle with all the choices and suffer through the learning/building process, all at great monetary and time expense, or you can buy a good used boat that’s fairly close to your desired design and sail away tomorrow!
    This will give you deep insight into the true “boat of your dreams”, and put you in a much better position to trade up when your personal database is better filled out.
    Good Luck
     
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  6. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    Thanks fallguy!
    I would love to but with import taxes + shipping, the ply option ends being much more expensive than the foam one.
    Haven't considered to buy a used Woods design, thanks for the tip, i'll look for some options available.
    In case i can't find any. Is there a way to make some good quality plywood water resistant or a diy marine plywood?
    Thanks again
     
  7. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    You are wrong.

    a typical foam layup

    20 oz glass each side plus epoxy 20 oz is 40 oz glass and 40 oz epoxy

    a typical ply layup
    6 oz glass maybe doubled on bottom, call it 8 oz glass and 8 oz epoxy one side

    glass cost is 5x foam
    Epoxy cost is 5x foam

    marine grade foams are about the same as plywood when you order from the right place, so how have you arrived at foam being cheaper; it isn't unless you want to use esters..
     
  8. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    Thanks KapnD
    I have looked for some used cats, from twins 26-27, iraquois to mantas, snowgooses, or m105s, wich are bigger than the size i'm comfortable with, plus most ot those options need a big refiting, that's why i thought in building it. I even considered some Shioning desins but again, the smallest one is 40ft so i don't feel comfortable sailing so much cat. Iraquois or twins would be ok i think, but again, or they are in europe or the american iraquois need a lot of work.
    Maybe i'm being paranoid because i'm ignorant but i would like to have a fast cat in case that a hurricaine comes to the zone. I would like to be able to runaway from it, that's why i thought mr. Woods designs were perfect for my situation.
    I didn't thought about trying to find a used Woods design, wich i'll do right now.
    Thanks again!
     
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  9. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    I hear you fallguy.
    I reach that conclusion because i live in Mexico, not in US so I quoted for materials from UK, a company based in Florida and from China. I estimated the same glass used with ply and foam (since i haven't purchased the plans) plus materials, epoxy, peel ply and so on. The plywood will cost me around $100 USD per sheet if i ordering it from Florida. From UK is around $120USD per sheet. Ordering the foam from Florida is around $18-20 USD per sheet. From China ordering Strucell would cost me around $12-15 per sheet depending of the size of the order/design. Maybe i'm not looking in the right places? But those costs are including shipping costs and import taxes to Mexico.
    At some point i even thought in building in US because the import+shipping taxes could be even with me living and building it over there.
    I'll look for some Woods designs used boats.
     
  10. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    The other issue is time. A foam boat is generally 3x longer to build.
     
  11. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 641
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    Location: Brisbane

    guzzis3 Senior Member

    You are asking the right questions and your ideas are good. Everyone has an opinion. Consider them then make your own decision. Please read the whole answer. I hve tried to include some useful information.


    It sounds to me like Gypsy would be a better option. Tamar is a very big boat. Probably the limit for one person. Gypsy could be sailed by one person more easily but is plenty big enough for 2. You have the option of the simpler dory hulls or the slightly faster rounded hulls.

    The woods forum is here:

    woodsdesigns https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/woodsdesigns

    You can read without joining I think and there are plenty of threads discussing various designs and detailed build threads.

    Sourcing foam contact utek in china. They are wholesale company so you will need a business name. Hopefully you know someone with a business. Doesn't have to be a boat business. Can be anything.

    Building a dinghy first is good practice. If you choose Gypsy you may not need one. The boat is small enough to sail right up to a beach, but building a small boat is a good idea even if you don't end up needing it.

    Learning to sail is a separate problem. There are plenty of courses. If your practice project is a small sailing boat you can play in that while you build your yacht. In fact you could build your little boat use it talk to people maybe get invited out to sail various boats until you know what you want to do.

    Gypsy could circumnavigate. It's probably the smallest sensible option for that. Smaller and your really doing it tuff.

    Do not underestimate how much more work a bigger boat is. Tamar is probably twice the work of building Gypsy. Look at the weight not the length, that is a better indicator. As I have said previously the bit below water provides the load carrying everything above water takes away from it, so if your priority is payload build big hulls not big bridgedeck cabins. For example looking at RW's portfolio:

    Boat name, empty weight, payload
    Tamar, 3, 4.2
    Gypsy, 1.8, 2.4
    Sagitta, 1.8, 2.7 (very hard to build)
    Mirage, 3.1, 4.4 (straightforward to build)
    Mira, 2.5, 4.2 (ditto and 1700 kg payload!)

    Gypsy is the better choice for coastal cruising but if I were focused on ocean crossing I'd build Mira. Possibly with the round bilge hulls using solid glass for the rounded part and foam for the flat panels.

    Regarding foam if you choose a design that's all or mostly flat panel (all above apart from sagitta) you can make a table out of chipboard or mdf packing sheets (I get them for $5 each) and cast panels to full size on that. You can get a good face which reduces fairing etc and no joining 2.4x1.2 plywood together. Then you fillet and tape the panels and your hull grows quickly. None of this helps though with fitting out and detail work. That's the bit that will kill you no matter which build method or design you choose.

    Be aware Mr Woods will provide details to build most of his designs in whatever method you want.

    And foam opens the option of using vinylester resin, which is cheaper than epoxy. You can even use polyester for more savings.

    Be aware I am blind so reading is a challenge. Please forgive errors.
     
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  12. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: Brisbane

    guzzis3 Senior Member

  13. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    Thanks again fallguy!
    I really appreciate your advice, but as i mentioned, ply is hard to get around here. What do you think about a mix build? Building with red cedar (wich i can get without issues) under the water line and the red in foam sandwich? or even maybe the full hulls on red cedar? The only thing that worries me about cedar is the added weight.
     
  14. jmoropeza
    Joined: Oct 2021
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 1, Points: 1
    Location: Mexico city

    jmoropeza Junior Member

    Thank you very much guzzis3!!!
    I really appreciate your answers and i assume, your effort to reply.
    I'll read carefully and most probably join Mr. Woods forum.
    I didn't consider Gipsy because, naivly, i thought well it's almost the same size than Tamar so maybe Tamar will be faster and get me more interior space. I know, newbie mistake.
    So you think round bilge is better? Solid glass would be better than building with red cedar? Could red cedar round bilges be mixed with foam straight panels as building technique?
    Again, thank you very much, i really appreciate you!
     

  15. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    I love strip building, but it is also very slow. One strip at a time..start on the middle of each side and you can glue four strips at a time; use fasteners and you can do more.

    But if you can find a design you like, I'd prefer cedar over foam and the glass needs are not like foams.

    Where are they selling foam for $20/sheet?
     
    DogCavalry likes this.
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