Friday, October 12, 2007

Two Hulls are Better than One

At last I feel like I am actually building a catamaran. The second hull is set up beside the first. The disadvantage of building a catamaran, however, is that I now have to complete all those same steps I took to get the port hull up to the stage it is now. It really is almost like building two boats, but at least the steps are straightforward and the experience of the first hull will help me build the second one faster. In addition, I already have patterns for all such parts as the floors, bunks, and deckbeams so there won't be any time wasted figuring those things out.

Space is tight in the shed, which is just over 14 feet wide inside, and divided by a support post in the middle. I used the long workbench one last time to wire the hull panels together.

After wiring it together, I slid the hull off the bench into temporary rope slings to get it out of my way while I dismanteled the workbench and cleaned out a building space in this half of the shed. Suspending the hull from the rafters is a really useful technique I learned from Thomas Nielsen's Tiki 26 build. It comes in handy at many stages of the construction and makes it easy to manipulate these long, awkward-shaped deep-V hulls while working on them. In the first stages, however, the boat has to be stabilized in cradles on the ground to get and keep everything in line.

After the bench was out of the way, I put the bulkheads in while the hull was still hanging, then lowered it into V-shaped cradles and leveled it, using a string line pulled from stem to sternpost to make sure everything was in line. The hullsides were then pulled in tight using a series of Spanish windlasses, and epoxy was poured along the keel. Before I left it yesterday, I had made most of the keel fillets and tabbed in the bulkheads with small, partial fillets to hold them in position.


Chris said...

Best of luck as the second hull emerges, Scott! Also, the mast looks excellent. I'm still avidly reading your blog (much better written than several boatbuilding books that I may mention!) from my home office here in Paris, France, where I'm an English teacher.
I can't remember if you designed that shed especially for the boat build? I realise that you have another workshop, too.
All in all, a very satisfying blog and a wonderful craft is taking shape!

Scott B. Williams said...

Thanks Chris. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. Knowing that I have regular readers like you waiting for the next update certainly is a motivation factor in keeping the construction moving forward!

The shed was not designed to build this boat. I already had it available. If I were building a shed specifically for a boat like this, I would definately make it wide enough to fully assemble the boat with the beams in place. As it is, I will have to move the hulls out in the open when I get to that stage. That will be okay, as the painting is best done outside anyway, since I have no way to control the dust in the shed.


Kim said...

Very nice work, Scott. I get ideas every time I visit!