Q & A with Gil - Gils Catamaran

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Gils Catamaran, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Gils Catamaran
    Joined: Jul 2009
    Posts: 2
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    Location: California

    Gils Catamaran Custom Catamaran Builder

    Gilbert "GIL" Iwamoto, of Gil's Catamaran, is 88years old and still building custom catamarans in Southern California!

    Gil's life-long passion has been catamarans - he is a highly skilled craftsman, and one of the original pioneers in building custom catamarans. As a young Japanese American, Gil left Hawaii following WWII and moved to California with $300 bucks in his pocket - with his 5 year old son Wayne and his wife Grace in tow, they started Gils Catamaran in 1955 and continue today building custom catamarans for charter and recreational use throughout the world. In a world dominated by mass media, it may be refreshing to learn that Gil's Catamaran has never made a practice of advertising their business; Gil built his reputation and business one boat at a time through referrals and word of mouth!

    Today Gil enjoys giving back to the catamaran community, and hopes to share his passion and experience with others to successfully build and strengthen the role of catamarans in the maritime community. He will be checking in periodically to this forum to engage in any building discussions, answer any direct questions, or just to share in a good story or two with old and new friends.

    If you have an urgent question, you may also reach Gil or Wayne directly at: 949-646-5750.

    Thanks for reading this post and Gil looks forward to talking to you soon.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Welcome! Sure would like to see some pictures of the boats.....
     
  3. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    That would be great. Us greens can always learn a handy thing or ten from the old hands that has been through the mill a couple of times.

    Looking foreward to the posts and thanks for taking the time !
     
  4. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Hey Wayne,

    Good to see you posting here about the current business and the interesting history of your Dad's contribution to the catamaran scene.

    How are things going at NAC these days?
     
  5. fhrussell
    Joined: Dec 2004
    Posts: 156
    Likes: 2, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 30
    Location: Long Island, NY

    fhrussell Boatbuilder

    Hey Wayne!
    Give me a ring... !?!?!
    Frank
     
  6. Layne Chaney
    Joined: Aug 2009
    Posts: 1
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    Location: Houston

    Layne Chaney New Member

    Mr. Gil,, interesting biography

    Greetings, good wishes, my name is Layne Chaney contacting you from Houston Texas, I would like to discuss the boat building process with you. I have my own design, but i believe there is a mold out there that can fit my needs, (or modify one)I think the bottom half of the boat mold already exists, the top I will probably have to fabricate, looking for a simple 20 ft, tri hull mold..Respects and regards,, Layne Chaney:
     
  7. Catbalu
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 16
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    Location: NY

    Catbalu Junior Member

    Hello, my name is Jeff. My friend bought a boat named Catbalu a few months ago. It was built by Gil's in 1988. We are in the process of restoring her. Here is a link to some pictures. Do you guys have any information or stories about this beautiful catamaran?

    http://picasaweb.google.com/jeffecampbell/Catbalu?feat=directlink
     
  8. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Hi Catbalu,

    You should start your own thread !

    Nice boat btw, me like.
     
  9. Catbalu
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 16
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    Location: NY

    Catbalu Junior Member

  10. radingo
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Austria

    radingo New Member

    Hi Jeff
    My name is Ingo, I know the Catamaran very well. My father Herbert Raditschnig and his partner built Cat Balu with the help of Gil and Wayne at their Yard between 1981 and 1988.
    I worked and sailed on Catbalu quite a lot in SoCal,down in Mexico and in the Carribbean after the Refit. If you would like some more info i am happy to give it to you.
     
  11. Catbalu
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: NY

    Catbalu Junior Member

  12. radingo
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Austria

    radingo New Member

    Hi Jeff
    Back in 1981 my father Herbert and his Partner decided they would like to have a 55`Catamaran Built.They got to know Gil of Gil´s Catamarans. However, Gil at that time was busy building Kiele IV, also a Vince Bartolone Design but built for day charter in Hawaii. Cat Balu was nearly the same Design but for a few Modifications like wider Beam and Hulls and a higher Wingclearence and the rounded junction of the Hull and Wing wich decreased slamming immensly.
    Since Gil was busy they had to go to a different yard.As it happened the Boatbuilder there used up more than twice the amount of Money planned for building one Hull. So they were forced to make a decision either to abandon the whole project or to try to build the Cat by themselfes.Herbert was a Master Carpenter before he moved to be a Director of Photography, his Partner was a superb Electrician and also very skilled in all kinds of woodwork etc. So they went back to Gil`s and asked him if they could build th cat in his yard and if it would be possible that he would help them with ther expertise. Gil luckily agreed. It would have been impossible to build Cat Balu without the help of Gil and Wayne.
    Building Cat Balu took more than 7 years, the cat was launched in 1988 just before the Americas Cup 1988 in San Diego. We were watching the Cup having more than 30 people on Board.
    Originally the Sailplan was Cutterrigg with a Furling Main.The Mast was a Reckman Furling Mast. This Sailplan proved easy to handle but it was not very efficient, the upper third of the Sail had to be cut nearly concave in order keep the shape without Battons and to be able to Furl in the rather Heavy Mast.
    Also the original Design specified pretty small Daggerboards, they never helped much going to weather.
    The whole deck was made in Teak using also Westsystem like in the restof the boat, in the Mexikan heat there was some delaminating, the Teak was not screwed on, it was just glued to the deck.Possibly the West System Epoxy didn`t go well with the really hot Sun.
    The reason that Cat Balu was lengthened at the Stern was that it was squatting to deep, a nice Sideeffect is the Bathing Plattform. Adding to the Bows made the movement of the cat smoother.The rocking Motion is much less.
    Before the refitt we sailed the Cat for a few years in Baja California, clocking the Boat at 21 Knots in the Bay of La Paz
    After the Refitt tacking was much easier, the new Daggerboards doing lots of good to the before not so great pointing ability.
    About the Wingmast, it was built by Goldcoast, what you might not know is that it is already the second Wingmast,the first broke just around Tortola BVI,
    that one had two spreaders and was slightly higher. According to what I know at the time of the Accident there was not very much wind so it could have been a handlingmistake of the Chartercrew.
    Orginally the Boat had a Mercedes 300 TurboDiesel Engine in the Cockpit with Hydraulik motors in each Hull. I remember this Hydraulik Motors as really noisy with very high pitched noise. And this Motors also took a lot of power from the engine away. The noise and the inefficiency of the system was most of the reason my father changed it to the recent layout.
    After the refit with all the Modifications Cat Balu was Sailed in a very fast time from San Maarten to the BVI`s doing up to 25 knts quite frequently.
    You got a great yacht there and I hope you have many jears of joy Sailing on Catbalu!
    Sorry about my English, I haven`t been in the States in the last 10 Years so its a little Rusty,
    I loved to see the Pictures, they brought back a lot of Memories!
    Have Fun and Great Sailing,
    Ingo Raditschnig
     
  13. radingo
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Austria

    radingo New Member

    Hi Jeff
    Back in 1981 my father Herbert and his Partner decided they would like to have a 55`Catamaran Built.They got to know Gil of Gil´s Catamarans. However, Gil at that time was busy building Kiele IV, also a Vince Bartolone Design but built for day charter in Hawaii. Cat Balu was nearly the same Design but for a few Modifications like wider Beam and Hulls and a higher Wingclearence and the rounded junction of the Hull and Wing wich decreased slamming immensly.
    Since Gil was busy they had to go to a different yard.As it happened the Boatbuilder there used up more than twice the amount of Money planned for building one Hull. So they were forced to make a decision either to abandon the whole project or to try to build the Cat by themselfes.Herbert was a Master Carpenter before he moved to be a Director of Photography, his Partner was a superb Electrician and also very skilled in all kinds of woodwork etc. So they went back to Gil`s and asked him if they could build th cat in his yard and if it would be possible that he would help them with ther expertise. Gil luckily agreed. It would have been impossible to build Cat Balu without the help of Gil and Wayne.
    Building Cat Balu took more than 7 years, the cat was launched in 1988 just before the Americas Cup 1988 in San Diego. We were watching the Cup having more than 30 people on Board.
    Originally the Sailplan was Cutterrigg with a Furling Main.The Mast was a Reckman Furling Mast. This Sailplan proved easy to handle but it was not very efficient, the upper third of the Sail had to be cut nearly concave in order keep the shape without Battons and to be able to Furl in the rather Heavy Mast.
    Also the original Design specified pretty small Daggerboards, they never helped much going to weather.
    The whole deck was made in Teak using also Westsystem like in the restof the boat, in the Mexikan heat there was some delaminating, the Teak was not screwed on, it was just glued to the deck.Possibly the West System Epoxy didn`t go well with the really hot Sun.
    The reason that Cat Balu was lengthened at the Stern was that it was squatting to deep, a nice Sideeffect is the Bathing Plattform. Adding to the Bows made the movement of the cat smoother.The rocking Motion is much less.
    Before the refitt we sailed the Cat for a few years in Baja California, clocking the Boat at 21 Knots in the Bay of La Paz
    After the Refitt tacking was much easier, the new Daggerboards doing lots of good to the before not so great pointing ability.
    About the Wingmast, it was built by Goldcoast, what you might not know is that it is already the second Wingmast,the first broke just around Tortola BVI,
    that one had two spreaders and was slightly higher. According to what I know at the time of the Accident there was not very much wind so it could have been a handlingmistake of the Chartercrew.
    Orginally the Boat had a Mercedes 300 TurboDiesel Engine in the Cockpit with Hydraulik motors in each Hull. I remember this Hydraulik Motors as really noisy with very high pitched noise. And this Motors also took a lot of power from the engine away. The noise and the inefficiency of the system was most of the reason my father changed it to the recent layout.
    After the refit with all the Modifications Cat Balu was Sailed in a very fast time from San Maarten to the BVI`s doing up to 25 knts quite frequently.
    You got a great yacht there and I hope you have many jears of joy Sailing on Catbalu!
    Sorry about my English, I haven`t been in the States in the last 10 Years so its a little Rusty,
    I loved to see the Pictures, they brought back a lot of Memories!
    Have Fun and Great Sailing,
    Ingo Raditschnig
     

  14. Catbalu
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 16
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: NY

    Catbalu Junior Member

    Thank you so much for the information. It really has everyone inolved with the boat very excited.
     
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