'how we went about building a sailboat'
...we couldn't afford to buy our first catamaran, so we built one. These are our tales and tid-bits of how we did what we did on a very slender budget.
This book is 'two books in one' - A Catamaran Building Project and DIY Desalnator or Watermaking.
Together, we jotted how and why we tackled certain challenges with pointers that may assist others in jumping into this maze.
These notes are not intended to replace any building methods, rather supplement the decision-making process of those currently in use.
Our thoughts from the beginning were that this is our yacht and we need to keep this in mind throughout the build. When it comes to how many beds we should have - we planned this on our family when it came to electrical, and water requirements - again it came back to what we wanted.
We soon found that ‘what is thought to be the domain of the rich and famous’ is well within reach of those with time and a very strong drive to achieve, which is very important especially toward the latter part of the build. While we do not discuss any budgets here, it can roughly be deduced by searching the local yacht brokers for your vessel type, then reducing that purchase cost by half to two thirds.
One quickly learns that kidding yourself with this budget figure puts you in hot water, as we discuss in Electrical.
We carefully compared 'apples with apples' and discuss our views, choices, and solutions. One soon finds that for the average budget-conscious sailboat owner/builder, the design choice is confined to either ‘performance’ or ‘cruising’. Finding a design that carries ‘all mod-cons’ and sails at 20kts, is totally unrealistic.
The book does not contain boat plans.
This volume supplements and fills what most boat-building plans leave out, like anchor winches, electrical, water plumbing, navigation electronics, and even desalination (or watermaking).
It carries black and white photographs and various major system drawings that should provide and inspire many more ideas.
> Planning how to tackle a project like this,
> Locating somewhere cheap to build,
> The various 'growing-up' stages of the build,
> Our latest electronics upgrade and associated wiring,
> The electrical wiring, and steering system,
> The steering system,
> Running all the vessels electrical solely on solar power,
> Ideas on your own 'Anchor Winch System'
> Much more.
Our amateur 12vDC electrical system build runs and is maintained solely on Solar Power, it is free and very achievable.
We didn't have a wind generator but did carry a small generator for the unusual times of bad weather or high power demand days. Included are 'Pointers and Traps' at the end of each chapter, providing more food for thought during your own build.
During the build, when should one start to think about:
> Power generation and marine cabling,
> What size electrical cable you need to buy,
> How much water you need,
> Do we need a microwave?
> What about a hairdryer?
> A watermaker, do you really need a watermaker?
Understanding how the water making process works allows an informative decision for those who are moving this way.
We heavily researched the topic, then worked backward tracking down components and analysing their importance in the 'big picture'.
Depending on the output volume one needs will dictate the size. An Internet search will soon show the very steep cost gradient and there is a reason for this, which we discuss too.
There is a lot of effort required to build a unit, but 100 litres of fresh water an hour is very achievable and worth the effort in financial outlay.
We also take a peek at refurbishing a commercial unit that utilises 'ERS', an energy-saving function, reducing pipe pressures and power requirements.
This book does not provide a list of components, however, one can soon deduce what is required from the drawings.
Building Tokyo Express: Turning a dream into reality. The building of a 40ft catamaran.
It took 3 years and $70,000 to turn a pile of wood, fibreglass and epoxy resin, into a boat that became home for the next 5 years. It was the biggest task I’d tackled and the best thing I’ve ever done - Tim Weston.
Unique Sailing Catamarans from the man who invented them - Legendary Catamaran Designer James Wharram. For those interested in seaworthy boat design and development, this program documents an intimate view of the design process.
Certainly knows how to build on a budget and how to keep it simple. It's a design you either like or dislike.