Friday, December 16, 2011

Canadian Gothic

Trevor has been working on the gaffs in his shop.

More cabin top progress

December 16... my new favourite day! We do not yet have the top of the cabin, but we do have the starboard, port, fore and aft pieces dry-fit, and the holes for deadlights cut.

It looks absolutely amazing. Even without the top, we can get a real sense of what the chart room will be like. It may not be obvious from the pictures, but this boat is definitely getting closer to the tropics every day.
Glass templates screwed in place for marking. We confirmed the glass size with the templates -- BudgetGlass did a great job. The deadlights are perfect.

Looking aft, with the holes cut. The channel in front of the cabin top is the beam trough.

Starboard side

Looking aft. No windows in the aft end of the cabin top, since the cockpit sits right behind and there would be something blocking the view. Of feet. Since the cockpit's there anyway.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cabin top

The cabin top is well underway. Today Robbie and Trevor cut and dry-fit the forward and aft panels. Yesterday I went to Budget Glass and ordered the seven deadlights (Okay, I call them windows. But I do know what they are really called.)  They are laminated glass, the kind used for cars.

Astute observers will realize that somewhere as we crossed the wasteland of undone blog posts, Robbie and Trevor glued the decks on, including the tiny side decks. Here's proof!


The rudders are laminated plywood, with purpleheart rudder cheeks. They went together tremendously quickly. Trevor is working on them in his shop, where it is warm, instead of in our boat shop, where this time of year it distinctly is not.

The pieces

The sophisticated clamping system

With the cheeks, attached with Sikaflex and bolted

Primed. We chose to paint the rudder cheeks. We'll leave the purpleheart lashing strakes as is, or oil them.


What can you say about the ramp that goes at the stern, between hulls? It will make it easy to get on and off the boat, of course, and it will be absolutely wonderful for going swimming in the ocean. The warm ocean. On warm days. And now we have a ramp, more or less, though not yet the ladder and netting that goes between the sections.

We are missing the warm ocean and warm days.

Something to tie to

Any Anne of Green Gables fans out there? One of the characters in one of the books had a lovely expression -- if you could really rely on something, she'd explain it and add, "And that's something you can tie to!"

We now have something to tie to, in the shape of two purpleheart lashing strakes.  

What's a lashing strake? Well, we're using the Tiki upgrades to make this Narai, and that means the beams and the two hulls will ultimately be lashed together. The beams are lashed to blocks on the side of the hull, and the lashing strake is a single long piece of wood that connects the blocks. The astute observer will realize immediately that this means the ropes don't actually go around the lashing strake. Instead, it's what keeps the ropes from popping off the blocks. So technically it isn't something you could tie to. We will be able to tie dinghies, ladders or whatever to the lashing strake itself, though, so it seems to be within the meaning. 

Here it is, on the port side, with our beam mock-up and bit of string in position to show how it all works. (You can see two of the real beams in the picture too -- they're the white pieces at the bottom of the hull.) At this point it's just dry fit and bolted into place. It won't be finally attached until we've painted the hull, and we won't be painting the hull until the weather warms up.

Pre-strake, there was some work to be done on the workshop. We bought lovely purpleheart for this project, once again from West Wind, and it came in 17 foot lengths. Lovely! Except that the shop is 20 feet long, and it just wasn't going to go through the bandsaw. Lots of discussion ensued, and finally a customized solution was achieved.

The shop now has three new windows -- one strategically placed to allow sawing of long pieces on the band saw, and two to allow the same pieces to work their way through the jointer/planer. It all works beautifully. And the tools, from Grizzly, did a wonderful job on the purpleheart. 

An additional benefit -- should they so choose, Ziggy and his friends will now be able to look in the workshop from their meadow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Deck! No, really, deck!

... or at least the deck jigsaw for the starboard hull is completed! And in truly exciting news, we're into the second bundle of plywood!

This step is really exciting -- definitely worth all four exclamation points.

Beam troughs

The beams that hold the catamaran together rest in beam troughs as they pass over the top of each hull. The beams are ultimately lashed to the hull; there will be lots of posts upcoming about the various bits and pieces that the beams rest on and are lashed to.

For the moment, here are the beam troughs. All four are now glassed and faired and look lovely -- lovelier to those who know what a painstaking process it is, of course!

One of the most exciting days was when Trevor cut the openings on the hull sides where the beams will emerge. Definitely a "beginning to look  lot more like a boat" moment.

Then came much sanding...

... and glassing.

We're delighted to get this done before the weather gets colder. It's all cured now, and lots more sanding has occurred.

Since we have cold cure hardener, we are able to glue things using epoxy during cooler weather. Glassing at low temperatures feels a bit stressful, though. Somehow the thought of "What if it doesn't..." creeps in! All cured now, so no panic.

Friday, October 14, 2011

More deck supports

One week on, and more deck structure has appeared. This part goes fast!

From the stern,  you can see the aft hatch opening.
Looking over the bow, you can see the palm trees...  you do need a fairly good imagination.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Well, deck supports, really. Yesterday we arrived home from an afternoon spent working with friends in the Gabriola Commons garden, and discovered that Trevor had built the deck supports over the forward berth.

From above. Hard to see in the picture,  but essentially there are boards going from one side of the boat to the other (the deck support beams), crossed by pieces going between the bulkheads (the deck stringers). The spaces between deck stringers are filled in with packing pieces. The wood is beautiful Douglas fir. All will be glued with expoxy, and screwed with bronze screws. 

Looking forward from inside the chart room. This looks mostly like a picture of a much-used clamp collection and is Much Less Exciting than the actual sight.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


In 1978, Woody Allen released a movie called Interiors

I don't remember the plot; all I remember is that things moved slowly, and everything was painted white.

Catamarans are sort of like that. Trevor and Robbie are working away on the interior of the starboard hull. Many of the pieces are in place. We have a companionway, a chart table with three shelves underneath, lovely little triangular shelves for holding glasses in each of the berths, berth supports... 

The head is still under construction (it's going in the aft compartment) and there will be some shelves and possibly a small workbench in the forward compartment. All in all, though, the interior is coming along beautifully. 

And it isn't all painted white. The interiors of the bilges are indeed a very bright white. They're intended for storage and are covered up with sole panels, and we thought the brighter the better when it comes time to look for things. Above the sole all interior spaces will be Hatteras off-white -- an Interlux Brightside polyurethane paint. Two coats of primer, two coats of top coat, with time to dry between each coat... this is not the quick part. 
Beam support blocks. They support the beam ends in their troughs,
and connect to the lashing strakes outside.
The companionway. Boots by Aldo. Maybe.

Looking down into the bright white bilge. This section is under a berth.
Resemblance to an enamelled bathtub is coincidental.
Looking aft, through the chart room into the aft berth.
Easy to see the contrast between bright white and Hatteras off-white. 
Shelves at the end of the berth. These will be painted -- wait for it! -- Hatteras off-white...
but edged with oiled Douglas Fir. These shelf edges (in three berths) will be the only
unpainted wood in the interior. The goal is to launch rather than varnish.

Dreaming of the tropics... though once the deck is on
the berth won't be quite this bright...

The chart table, dry fit, with coffee cup already installed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A visit to Piggy

On the deck
Piggy, an Ariki built in the 1970s by Tom Hembroff and his brother, is moored fairly near us. Piggy is still Tom's boat, and this summer he had her up on the beach for maintenance. We went for a visit. Tom was very kind and welcoming and amazingly patient with our excitement about seeing his boat. (This is Piggy! Tom and his brother circumnavigated the world, "and then some," on this boat. And rhere's a story about Piggy on the Wharram website! She's famous!)

An Ariki is not a Narai, of course, so things will be different on our boat, but we really enjoyed the opportunity to explore the interior. And we especially enjoyed the opportunity to talk to Tom, and to stand on the deck and daydream. Piggy has some lovely touches, and we both hope Tiger is as lovely and well cared for in 40 years.

Nice sliding panels in the galley
It was absolutely fascinating for us to see this lovely boat, partly because she is the first Wharram we've seen who has actually been all around the world, and partly because she looks so great after forty years of sailing, and partly because Tom's made some really interesting choices. Since we've decided not to build the deck lockers for mounting outboards, we were especially interested in Piggy's auxiliary power. (Tom uses his inflatable dinghy with an outboard, hauled up to push against a purpose-built point under the aft deck.) We will write more about this as we think about it more.
Testing the berth

Once we got home, we realized we had many pictures of Piggy details, and not even one of Tom. Oops! Obsessed is maybe a harsh word...
Between the hulls

In this between-the hulls picture, you can see the spot where the dinghy nose presses. (We're looking aft in this photo.) Tom's also working out ways to sling the dingy under the deck, between the hulls, for sailing. Really interesting ideas! In the picture below, you'll see the outside-hull addition of a bracket where at one time Tom had a dagger board. The additional tracking the board provided sounds very impressive. 
Ready for bottom paint. 

Welcome home, beams

Beams arriving home. Yay Matrix! The oddest load yet.
Finally, a post! And finally, the beams are home in the boat shop. Robbie and Trevor moved them from Trevor's shop on our trailer, two at a time. The three of us, with help from Richard, our neighbour Rick and Rick's ultra-cute puppy Molly, got them moved into position. (No photo of Molly available.)
Tucked under the cradles


Robbie and Trevor are at work on the interior of the first hull. We see dramatic progress daily, but since the dramatic progress involves gluing small bits of wood in and painting things white, it might not look as dramatic for spectators. Here are some photos, anyway. Soon we'll burst up out of the interior and on to the deck and cabin top, and there will be lots of more visual progress.

Trevor beginning his life's work. Four coats... yikes.
After coat two.
Fillets. And more fillets.

Chart table mockup
Painting is a slow process -- two coats primer, two coats top-coat, all while poised on the verticals and stringers. We're using one-part polyurethane and it looks amazingly white. In the bilge and the stern and bow compartments we've chosen bright white. The rest of the interior (above berth level) will be Hatteras Off-White. It's -- well -- off-white. No decision yet on the hull colour.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First hull turned!

Almost there! Photo by Carol Martin

The first hull is turned!

We had a wonderful afternoon. At 1:30 people began arriving for our two o'clock start. They kept streaming up the drive way until we had a total of about 80.

Over it goes! Photo by Aileen Adam
Watching the hull turn was amazing. Trevor gave clear instructions to the teams on either side of the boat, there was a brief pause, and the hull seemed to float up from the floor. Trevor, Robbie and John Carlson positioned the pre-made cradles, and the team gently settled the hull down on to them.

After the success, people stayed around for coffee, lemonade and apple turnovers -- the event-appropriate snack promised in the invitation. We made 120 of them, and they were gone, to the crumb.

Thanks to the following... and to those who came, turned, and left without writing their names down.

The hull, ready to turn

Part of the crew ready to go -- Photo by Carol Martin
Trevor Henderson, John Carlson, Naomi Melnyk, Shelagh H., David S., Grace D., Alisa P., Helen C., Stewart L., Christine W., Dave B., Patsy T., Regina, Matthew, Richard H., Claire H., Don T., Neil, Aileen, Carol M., Hiromi B., Richard B., Miriam C., Gwen S., Joke M., Kimm N., Barbara H., Raymond T., Heide B., Q. Goldman, Judy S.,  Zephyr, Frid, Leif, Lisa, Pollen, Kyron, Luke, Jim D., Linda P., Kyla S., Frank Stevens, Elisa B., Shawn G., Victor A., Bev, Paul T., Patrick R., Phil H., Judith R., Nancy, Steff, Claire, Jackie, Kevin, Hayden, Kristin, Christine, Ken D., Rick S., Raymond, Susan Y, Randy, Richard A., Jan E. Phyllis F., Cathy H., Lynne & Randy Y., Vic F., Frank B. Ursula M., Jackie D., Rick M., Mitch B, Allister M., D. Davenport, Trish N., Al B., Louise A., Iain L.

Off the floor!

Almost too high -- touching the next hull's bulkheads, hanging in the shop rafters.

Over it comes

Ta dah! Carol Martin photo
Braced and waiting for cradles Carol Martin photo

Ready for the next step! Photo by Carol Martin