What are my chances for success?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CatBuilder, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Have you tried Searunner Multihulls? They have various designs up to 55' that may suit your budget better.

    Another is Dick Newick, Newick Nautical Design:

  2. Maren
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: East Coast of the US

    Maren New Member

    I have a Searunner (well, one and 1-2/3s) and think it's a fine boat. But I also think it will take you a bit longer than two years to build one of any great size. Its farirly common to see someone cramming 4000 hours of building into 12 years worth of life. If I were you, I would buy a used Searunner (or similar) and refit/repair/upgrade as needed. No doubt you will want a set a plans to go with it and John will sell you a set at $10/sheet I think. The whole set is around $200. Note that this is for what I describe above and doesn't include support which is what you get when you pay for the full plans (and sign the agreement to build).

    Obviously there are some tricks to this. You are going to want to pre-inspect and have an skilled surveyor to go over it afterwards. But you save a huge amount of time and money too. On the other hand, if you are hell-bent on making somthing beautiful, I'm not going shout you down.
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Again, thank you for the posts.

    It's good to read the words sober words about the downsides as well. I'm glad everyone replied and dropped in a few good ideas as well.

    I'll go through some of these suggestions and post back when appropriate.

    Thank you.
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Also, I have a quick and dirty estimate for a Woods design cat. I did this estimate just to start getting an idea of what things will cost.

    Does anyone see anything wrong with this estimate?

    Keep in mind it's a very quick and dirty, 2 hour estimate, of which half that time was converting his metric units to the english system:

    Attached Files:

  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    No idea about US prices, but I can give you a solid estimation of building time per pound: about 3lbs per hr. for a skilled and busy amateur, 2lbs if there are mainly sandwich panels being hammered in place.

    And if you let me have your mail address I´ll send you a time, material, cost estimation / calculation of a professional built cat as a excel sheet.

  6. nero
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Marseille, France / Illinois, US

    nero Senior Member

    Extremely masochistic to use english measurements!
  7. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    CatBuilder there is very good info for you on this thread, what the guys say is so true.

    But you say that you are a first time builder :?:

    please believe me i have been on this path for many years
    the ideas change - the needs change - many guys end up sailing alone often

    as a first time builder you must go and build a small dinghy first

    i cannot stress this point more

    it is your apprentenship
    you will learn LOTS
    it gets you (and the family) into "build mode" dust, fumes, noise, late nights
    its sorts out your workarea, and you get familiar with the multitude of different materials and compounds and techniques AND SUPPLIERS
    the little things TAKE FOREVER
    sanding and fairing is soul destroying

    you are in for a shock when you start buying tools to equip the workshop, it never ends

    you must build a little sail boat first - there is more work in the mast, tiller, daggerboard and and and - than in the hull

    you will either come to love boat building OR you will hate it

    BUY a simple cheap plan - you will learn how they do things - i like


    i am on my 5th build, drawing feverishly on my 6th, which will be my last :D
    then my kids will be finished with University and i am finally going to do a "lap"

  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Fannie has given some very sensible advice.
  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    AGREED! :)

    The conversion was annoying, especially on the glass cloth and roving, which was sold by a weight measurement here, but specified as an area in the plans. Then, of course, it was available in a roll to complicate matters. Not fun and could be riddled with errors since I did this very quickly.

    Manie B - Thank you for that advice. I should stress to the responders that I have worked with repairing delamination and holes in balsa cored fiberglass boats, installed just about every system and already have many of the tools required to build a boat. I have taken an old boat, completely ruined inside, stripped out everything and rebuilt it (excluding the wood working). I've also done marine repairs professionally.

    However, your point about finding suppliers is a good one. If I recall, sometimes it would take half a day to find this or that, which is wasted build time.

    I would like to use the foam sandwich/vertical panel technique, but I have fears of the foam working free from either of the fiberglass layers over time due to how the hull might work in a seaway. Any comments on that, or shall I look at the search function?

    Thank you to everyone who has responded. Now I have a much better idea of the pitfalls. I am seriously considering just getting the Atlantic 42 plan and have asked Chris White for a materials list so I can see if I can afford the materials, plan, warehouse space, small pickup truck, etc... I currently live aboard a different boat and I have to move onto land to do this.
  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    You just opened a pot of worms!
  11. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    one of my problems is a "build site"
    (i have many other problems as well but for now we will talk about the site);)

    i live in the beeeeeegest city in southern africa
    rentals on premises is so expensive that an 12 month rental would cost more than the materials to build a 40 ft cat.
    here we have no choice - you have to build in a lock-up place or else they will steal you blind

    that was one of the many reasons why i started looking at fast unsinkable mono's


    excelent bang for the buck and much cheaper to build
    with a good turn of speed
    passage making is far safer at 12 knots than 5 knots - you get there quicker:cool:
  12. terhohalme
    Joined: Jun 2003
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    Location: Kotka, Finland

    terhohalme BEng Boat Technology

  13. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

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