Monday 24 October 2011

Tying Up Loose Ends, Volume Three: Report from the Skunkworks

    "And possibly the complications..."
                          -Men at Work

Objectively, I know three things.
1. Owning a boat is not rational.
2. Building a boat is even less rational
3. Least rational is designing the boat and THEN building it.

Where do I sign up?

Way back in Blog Post One, I threw out this line:

"Maybe I might even find the answer to a dilemma I'm facing.",
hoping somebody might take the bait.

Alas, not even a nibble, so I guess I gotta end the suspense unprompted and unprovoked.

Here's the deal:
SWMBO and I love
Whiskeyjack. We also enjoy Legacy. We love the Dock where we spend our summers. But...

There's always a but, isn't there?

We want more space in one package, without having to leave the Dock because we exceed the max length. 26 feet(ish) is the magic number. It's great to have living space on two boats in one location, but when the dock is in our wake, we can't take both boats with us. Well, we could, but that is an absolutely overly complicated and utterly stupid solution, even for me.

So, last weekend, deep into a six pack of Neustadt Springs 10W30, I realized that if we can't go LONGER, we gotta go WIDER.  I began planning, and sketching and thinking and next thing I know I realize what we really need...

... is a catamaran!
Right then, is there a production cat that meets our length spec?
The Catalac 8M might just do it, but $30K+ is big dosh.
Or a Heavenly Twins... rare on this side of the big water. A Hirondelle is too cramped...

So, we need to build one!

Okay, let's cost this out, and then let's double it, and then let's work up a schedule and then triple it and then...

and then I bought a parts boat. Now I'm committed.

First sketch off the drawing board:

   Starting to flesh out the layout:

   Final design revision for now- sleeker lines, more contemporary appearance, and easier to build.
   Basic design parameters-
     Plywood, stitch and glue construction.
    Max 26 ft. length, 14 ft. beam, 2 ft. draft.
    Accomodation for four, five in a pinch, with a queen size berth forward, single aft in port hull, dinette coverts to another single or cozy double.
    Bigger galley.
    Head aft in starboard hull..
    Full headroom in hulls, 5 feet on bridge deck.
    Hard bimini.
   Deck stepped rig.

     Budget:  Four figures.  Low four figures.
     Schedule:  500 man hours to be rigged,  in water and sailing, another 500 hours to full fit-out and finish.

    On Friday I picked up some basswood and over the weekend  started building a 1:20 scale model. to prove the concept.  To date hulls are built and bulkheads installed.  Now, if it was only as simple as scaling up the time by a factor of 20, I'd be damn near finished by mid January!

   As always, your input is appreciated.

    Thanks for taking time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us or just tell your friends.


  1. OK, now you've really lost it, gone over the edge, off the reservation, but knowing you it couldn't have gone any other way. Thanks for the picture of Persephone. She guards the low number slips on Dock 6 with a certain grace.

  2. his and her boats isnt such a stretch ive seen hisnher motorcycles, cars, guns, once a hisnher housing situation ( dont ask. i didnt, so i dont know other than what they said and they seemed happy)so a matched pair of boats you raft up at the anchorage and sweetly race against each other isnt a stretch.

  3. Love the cat. Got a place to build it? I like the more traditional looking one, which in my opinion, looks more modern than the 2nd one you drew.

  4. So 26 foot cat with what, 12-13 foot beam?

  5. 14 feet, Mimsy- I wanted the beam to be more than 50% of the LOA, but still narrow enough that I don't need MORE than 2 slips, and it is also pretty close to the best compromise between stability and agility.

  6. When your ready to put her together call me, I'll come visit for a week and help ya puts er together