Woods Designs - Eclipse, Flica and Vardo build times

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by flagg, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Agreed re paulownia, although I have never used it myself I know Australian builders do

    In my longer answer on my own forum I said this

    "I write here


    that the fastest way to finish a boat is to make simple grp interior moulds from melamine faced mdf. We did that when building my Eclipse. We made a 3 sided box mould that was used for the chart table, wet locker, battery box/seat, galley shelving, heads lockers, and outside for the raised winching platforms"

    In answer to another Eclipse headroom post I gave this link, which I am sure you have seen


    scroll down to the Christmas lunch photo. Pip, in red shirt, sailed with me across the Atlantic in my Eclipse and didn't complain about headroom despite being taller than you.

    Tomorrow I will correct the Vardo headroom dimension on my website, sorry

    We have been very pleased with our C-head composting toilet that we use on our Skoota 28 and wouldn't have a marine toilet or porta potti ever again

    Our Skoota only has 3 12v LED lights, the other, less used ones eg in the toilet, by the companionway, the cockpit lights etc are all AA powered LED lights to save wiring weight, time and cost.

    Richard Woods
  2. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    I would. That is 5 x 40 hour weeks. I would also worry about using a material (ply) that is twice the weight of foam/glass, requires more frame work, is harder to use (scarphing, edge treatment, glassing, attaching things to, filling and fairing) and if not perfectly maintained, will rot.

    If you can't live without round bilges and other curves, strip plank it. But anywhere that is flat or curved in one direction, make it from infused foam and glass. The more of these you have, the quicker you will be sailing and the less it will cost you.

    Sure does. Give it some thought beforehand and it is possible to include all the finishing and fit out in these panels before they are infused. No post infusion laminating, trimming or grinding at all. Just gluing premade and finished panels into pre made slots and painting them.

    Rebates for hatches, doors and windows are much easier to cut in foam and infuse, as are perfectly fitting hatches and doors, complete with edge treatment, solids for handles and hinges and cut outs for catches, etc. Timber or other decorative finishes can be included on either side of the panel as can a moulded finish. And all this is done without getting sticky or making fibreglass dust. You mix resin in bulk, then stand back and go WOW! while the atmosphere gives you a perfect laminate in 40 minutes, using about half the resin you would use if you did it by hand. Demould it and glue it in place.

    Use a dory or double chine hull shape. You won't need a floor and all the hassle installing it. Topsides can be lower to get head room so the weight and windage saved more than offsets the small increase in wetted surface. You can use full length panels with rebated edges so there is no fairing required, inside or out. Fitting cupboards, shelves etc to flat surfaces is much easier than to curved ones, and easier still if the landings are included in the panels. Ditto for through hulls, rudder skeg and daggerboard holes, plus their local reinforcing.

    Where two straight panels meet, eliminate the join by laying them up with no core along the join, then bend them into place. See the hull to bridgedeck join and the cockpit seats at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfhdRfBTt8o

    Use local thickness increases (ring frames) rather than frames if possible.
    Vary the weight and thickness of foam and glass to save more weight.
    Use PET foam to save money and the environment.
    Choose a boat design that is simple, rather than complex.
    Don't accept that 20+ year old build methods are the only way to do things. Along with multihull design, there have been many huge changes, and some of them will save you a lot of time and money.

    Money well spent and almost certainly cheaper than a stayed mast if you design for it. However, a non rotating mast needs a rotating sail (junk, lug etc) to make the most of the advantages. If neither can rotate, then you cannot easily hoist, lower or reef the main unless the boat is pointing head to wind, cannot ease the main past 90 degrees to run by the lee, cannot gybe in a gale by letting the boom and sail round in front of the mast and cannot dump the main in an off wind emergency. If you do accidentally release the main while running downwind, you are very likely to rip the gooseneck, slides and sail track off the mast Making it rotate requires a couple of cheap bearings ($200 each if machined from solid material, $20 total from strip. A decent pro built mast will already be round so there is no work there.

  3. hump101
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    hump101 Senior Member

    Adding to Rob's comments about a non-rotating unstayed mast, if it doesn't rotate, then the mast structure must be similar all around the circumference, but if it rotates, then the structure can be optimised for the loads in each direction relative to the sail, so easier to get a good set on the sail, and reduced weight aloft.
  4. flagg
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    flagg Junior Member

    Hi Richard, is the interior in the hulls - kitchen benches, cupboards, bunks, etc. all custom fitted due to the round bilge in the Eclipse or do the plans have all interior dimensions for this so I am able to make in the workshop and then fit straight to the hull?

    Thanks for that, I really like that the paulownia is Australian plantation grown. http://www.paulowniatimber.com.au/marine.php
    I have read about the simple mould technique on Richard's website and its where I would start with any of the simple jobs that can be done first and then stacked in the corner for later. Getting some basic glass skills while I'm at it.

    Thanks Rob, lots of excellent information to consider there. I'm not really too interested in learning/building plugs/moulds for the lower hulls (for Eclipse) for foam but I am weighing it up against stripping in paulownia at the moment.

    I've seen the work needed in a ply over frame 16ft powerboat and that's why I am attracted to the flat panel infusion method. That and the efficiency/logic of it. Perhaps you should run "introduction to infusion" workshops so we can learn all the little tricks of the trade you have mentioned above as its one thing to read about it and so much better when you can have real instruction on it. That is the frustrating thing. I think that open-minded people accept the method is fantastic but just need a bit of support in the early stages to get going. I'll be there!

    Thank you, i'm slowly getting my head around the different combinations of rigs/sails and their advantages etc. I am keeping an open mind and eliminating what I can. So a rotating un-stayed mast limits you to a main only rig I imagine? Would this become quite a large single sail on a 32ft catamaran?

    Thank you everyone, Brett.
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    A lot of the time numbers on various builds, & their differing wildly, is due to how complex of an interior, & the exterior details, that the builder puts into it. That, & their skill level, plus how well their shop's set up. Some guys love to build floating jewelry boxes, others prefer to go sailing.

    Also, you have to factor in hunting down/buying materials. The more often you have to stop & do this, the longer the build time. And if you've not done a build, or a rebuild on a boat you'll be AMAZED at how much of your time that this can take up, especially if you're trying to do things on a tight budget.

    There's an article here http://epoxyworks.com/index.php/foam-strip-plank-boatbuilding/#more-657 in Epoxyworks magazine, about building a small cat in foam & carbon fiber. Can't say as to whether their techniques would help you or not, if you go the foam/strip-plank route. But it's worth a quick read as their focus was on minimizing sanding, plus buying a lot of off the shelf parts so that they could get sailing quickly.

    One other thought if you want to do less sanding on a build, regardless of method of construction. When you're looking at various boats, take into consideration how much of the boat really needs to be sanded to a show room finish.
    For example, will you use automotive carpeting to line the hulls where the bunks are (and or else where)?
    How much of the interior of the hulls will be covered by cabinetry, hidden behind daggerboard trunks & other structure(s)?
    And not to propose that you do a shoddy job, but could you live with a less than perfect finish on say, the underside of the bridgedeck & the hulls in that area?

    Plus, if you plan on installing insulation, one can pretty much skip making those sections of the interior look pretty, as they'll be covered by the insulation. And you can for example, pre-finish some 3mm ply (on a mould table, or with a spray gun in a shop's clean room) & use the panels to cover the insulation.
    Like for example, in my old Ranger 33, I covered all of the insides of the hull, up to the deck level, with insulation, covered with automotive carpet. And prior to this, the hull had some really cheap looking cloth liner material on the insides. Likely a move by the builder to avoid their having to do any finish sanding on the inside of the boat.

    Kurt Hughes has some good ideas, & information for builders on his site as well. Both in his blog, & in the tab titled "Post Apocalyptic Boatbuilding". Not trying to seduce you away from Woods designs, just pass on the info. That & I just discovered this site http://diy-yachts.com/ which from first glance, seems to have a good bit of info for multihull builders.

    PS: Might your build budget allow for the hiring out of either; the full building of the hulls by someone else (there's a gent in Florida who builds Eclipse hulls), or hire out the big parts of the sanding job? A "trick" which is relatively common for home, & low volume (custom) boat builders. There are companies who specialize in such jobs, in addition to various boatyards & custom builders.
    BTW, even if you go with a boat which uses plywood for the hull sides, & major areas of it's structure which are visible, if you want a really nice finish, you're going to need to platen mold it/use the mold table with pigmented resin, in order to get a mirror type, glossy finish on it. Whether it's sheathed in glass or not. That, or spend ages slaving on it with a longboard & a couple of types of power sanders.
  6. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I'm quite a fan of workboat finished interiors they are simple, lightweight and functional. It's good to fair the area around the galley and head though as it makes it easier to keep clean. The head was the only area of the inside of Banque Populaire V that they painted.
  7. catsketcher
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Gday Brett

    You live in a hotbed of catamaran sailing in SE Queensland so I would suggest you go out and find some real live cat owners and builders to talk to. On Russell Island alone there are two Easy's being built and if you put your ear to the ground you can find more. Grab a kayak and get out to the cats you see and start talking, ask some questions and get on board.

    I think you will find there is no magic cure all. If a designer spends more time making up the interior in CAD you have to spend heaps of time talking to them and paying them for their time. Then then next client wants it different. I modelled up the whole of my 7 metre folder and for one boat it is certainly not worth the time taken to learn CAD and then the expense of the cutter. Better to use frames and maybe a lofting board to take offsets.

    I think you are at the same stage I am with my deck on the back of my house. I am learning heaps about councils, bushfire ratings etc and need to learn it in a slow and steady manner. The next large thing I build will be different as I will have learnt a heap from the present alterations. Already I could have saved heaps of time but what is the alternative? If I don't waste time and learn I won't learn or build anything at all.

    You are going to waste materials, you will waste time, you will waste money. You must allow yourself to do so and get on with it. It will be worth it if the boat you build is what you want. I am very happy with my 38 footer - if I was to lose her I would build a very similar boat - same hulls in foam but with a bit of ply, maybe infused decks but maybe not (I like compound deck camber). Definitely same rig with lots of stays and ability to fly extras. So for me the wasted time I spent learning about stuff is of little consequence - I have a great boat for me. The problem is you won't know what you want until you get experience. Even as an experienced sailor I got my requirements wrong in places - so will you. You won't build the perfect boat. What you should aim for is a boat you like, that fills you with pride, is swift and safe and takes care of you. For all of us that is a different boat but you can over think it at this stage.

    I met a guy who was interested in a sistership to my boat (when I was building). He had spreadsheets about deck gear and fittings and was not happy with the detail Chamberlin gave him about the design. He was trying to get everything down really tight before he made his move. I liked Robin's boats and the design looked well proportioned and figured we could work it all out. That guy never built a cat - he built a hull or two but never launched. You have to take the first step and keep plodding.

    I have attached a shot of Kankama taken this year in the Whitsundays - no real reason. She's just my favourite boat.



    Attached Files:

  8. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    There is less work in strip planking a round bilge mould than there is in strip planking the bottom of the hull. You only need to finish and fair one side and can use cheap timber (pine or mdf), resin (polyester) and bog powder (talc) and light glass (200 gsm). It does not need to be shiny, just fair. You don't need a plug.
    Then spend a day cutting materials, another setting up the infusion (incl the holes for the skin fittings, rudders and dagger boards and the rebates for the topsides and transom) and doing it, then another couple of days for the other hull. This is how I built W, a 12m cat in NZ and how the 20m Norwegian harryproa hulls were built http://harryproa.com/index.php/2012-10-11-10-20-24/17-custom-20m-norway scroll down for mould and infusion photos.

    I built the first strip planked paulonia boat about 14 years ago. It is nice to use, but once it is stripped, you still have all the wasteful (time and money), messy glassing and the even more wasteful, messy filling and fairing to do, inside and out.

    Derek Kelsall does great infusion workshops. I have run a couple and they were huge fun. I regularly have clients drop in to help me infuse, you are welcome any time. Next week I am in Adelaide building the 12m long mould and hopefully 2 half hulls for Bucket List https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttXu3pRTzs8 A couple of engineers wanted to know how it was all done and are helping/learning. You are welcome to do so as well, although as I only have 4 days, it will be more work and less talk than normal.

    Another option is to get some materials from ATL and a 1m sq sheet of window glass and have a play. You will learn everything you need to know about infusion in a couple of days and can then start on the labour saving tricks for the internal fitout. I can help if required.

    Not at all. See the 77 sq m ballestron rig on the 15m harryproa at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8chR6DAFjGA Has the added advantage of a single, lightly loaded sheet to control the angle of both sails.
    We (Etamax) are also supplying the unstayed wing masts for 3 x 12m cats which will fly conventional headsails. The first one worked so well he chopped 4m off it and the boat is still very quick and weatherly. The next ones have a hinge just above the boom so the masts can be easily lowered for getting under bridges.

    Do get on board as many cats as you can and talk to the builders. But disregard comments from people who have not tried what they criticise.

  9. flagg
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    flagg Junior Member

    Hi Phil

    Very philosophical and I agree entirely. Whatever design or way I choose to build there will be a learning curve and some "wasted time" etc. That's ok. I hear you about allowing yourself to just get on with it. Often the hardest step is the first. Right now i'm clearing the shed of two small projects and finishing the last of the major landscaping jobs after which I am free to focus on one big project for a change. I'm getting there and the closer I am to finishing the house and misc jobs the faster I am going as I can feel myself getting closer to building a boat.

    I am not in a hurry which is why i'll spend my time now considering the best boat and build method that suits me and my situation. My wife laughs at me often as ill show her this plan or that detail about a galley or berth width. Fact is she is very easy going but as we boys know the little things wear them down quickly if not right ;)

    The Woods Eclipse has always been a favourite of mine. I also have the Schionning Wilderness 1030 on a short list but its a much bigger investment, however a pretty sound one on resale later. Ive looked at the Easy range and as you suggested will be arranging to check out a Jessica (9.9) and a 37 before making a decision. There are a lot out there but I'm not sure I want an all ply boat.

    Kankama looks a peach, you should be very proud! Thanks again for your words of wisdom and experience. Invaluable.

    Regards Brett.
  10. flagg
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    flagg Junior Member

    Thanks Rob I appreciate all your feedback.
  11. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    It would be interesting to compare the waterline area of the 3 designs as this is where you get the actual loading.

    Had the Vardo doing 8.3 knots on the GPS close reaching on the Indian river with slack current in about 16-18 knots of wind yesterday. Cleaned the bottom today for the first time in 3 months and removed several dozen large barnacles and lots of thick furry slime.

    bit concerned that green eclipse may be floating on the knuckles when launched. Truly a fit out of beauty, but meant for a Colin Archer.
  12. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    real speed

    I can now report the Vardo will do 13 knots in full cruising trim with mainsail and small furling jib. We did this a few days back between Stuart and Pompano Beach. While we were steadily surfing in the 9-10 knot range dead down in 20-25 knots a good puff would actually see us break thru the wave ahead into the 12-13 knot range. When loaded the sterns drag slightly at around 8 knots but when above 10 knots the rig seems to push the bows down and the rudders unload quite a bit with more speed.

    Quite good all around. I have a GPS pic of 12.4 but did not have the camera ready for the 13. Also the GPS is a fair ways from the helm so I need to see if I can set it to log the max spped? should have some decent wind tomorrow on the way from Ft laud to Miami.
    1 person likes this.
  13. cookiesa
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    cookiesa Senior Member

    The trailer sailer I had was great for recording "maximum" speeds :)
  14. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    Just a word of caution about using a GPS for recording a maximum speed. These days I usually rely on the GPS function of a smartphone or Ipad and I dont think the apps on those usually record maximum speed, but some years back I had a handheld GPS, one of the Garmin models, and that could record improbably high maximum speeds. This is probably the result of occasional 'spikes' occurring in the data. I certainly recorded some unlikely maximum speeds for my heavy sailing dinghy and when I went out jogging with the GPS I got an olympic record.

  15. Boatguy30
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    Boatguy30 Senior Member

    For anyone interested in doing the math. We transited the 17th causeway bridge in Ft Lauderdale at approx. 11:10 am. Hoisted sail in the turning basin and motorsailed to the first green daymark. Sailed from their and into the key Biscayne channel. Dropped sail when near abeam the entrance to no name harbor. Was at anchor in the harbor at 3:30. Something better than a 8 knot average including hoisting/ dropping sail and a few icw miles at less than 6 knots. Only saw 11 knots a few times. I believe this is a mush faster boat that either Richard or I would have imagined.
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