This is the first of a series of tutorials about a catamaran I built back in the 90s. Building a boat, something big enough to live on and sail off over the horizon is a dream I had for years. My original idea was to build a monohull, in fact I bought plans for a little 21 footer.
That i was going to weld up and sail around the world in. The plan got postponed for a number of years and in that time I come across a couple of books that changed my ideas. It was back in the early 90’s First book was the Gougeon Brothers on boat building, all about building with epoxy and wood.
And the other book was the cruising multihull by chris white. The two of them together made sense Building a multihull, that didn’t rely on tonnes of lead to keep itself upright and building with wood, epoxy and fibreglass, all made sense to me. I found plans I liked from a local multihull designer, Tony Grainger. I then started preparing the place to build it,.
In the bush on my parents property out the back of noosa heads. Queensland, Australia. The original shed was only big enough to build the 21ft boat that I originally planned to build. So I lengthened it with the idea of building the boat in 3 sections.
2 hulls separately and then the centre section. Which I ended up doing. Building of the hull starts with a strong back. It’s a ladder like construction that I concreted into the ground. I cut out temporary frames in chipboard. to make the cross sectional shapes of the hull.
Using full size contours on mylar sheet that I laid down on the wood and traced out with a dressmakers wheel. Each temporary frame is set up on the strong back. and lined up. It’s worth spending a little extra time to get everything spot on at this stage Getting it all lined up perfect.
And the contours cut out perfect. made for an absolutely fair hull. It saves you a lot of time down the track. The construction was strip plank western red cedar. Basically a wood cored fibreglass boat. My reasons for building it this way.
Were that its a simple system for a one off boat You don’t need to build a mould before you can make it. produces a very fair hull. It’s strong, its light. The cedar strips were 14mm thick and for the majority of the boat 90mm wide.
Boat Building in Winterton Newfoundland and Labrador
Man: even as a child, i could draw and paint and sketch, but when I went fishing with my father, and first started with the boats, I realized, because I could build, that that offered a very creative way to make a living, in a way that actually worked in a functional way.
And when fishing came along. and boats in particular, I just knew that was an answer for a way to live. My name is Jerome Canning. I’m born on the island of Merasheen, but my growing up was in the town of Placentia. Well, growing up there was like every kid, I suppose, fun.
We would borrow dories and flats. What we would do, of course, is go rowing and diving and fishing from that little boat. There’s a lot of boat builders I know who, actually, their fathers were boat builders. But, when I learned boats, I did learn from the older gentlemen.
Most of these people, they were boat builder fishermen. And the way they learned how to build boats, was looking. Their whole boatbuilding knowledge was really just what was passed on out on the beach or in the shed. They never had plans.
No one worked from plans. They carried on the tradition of shaping the boat by their own eye. One good thing about boat building is there’s two sides of it. There’s the side that you build alone, and there’s the side that you build with a lot of other people.
Here, the wooden boat museum in winterton, I was hired for the skill of teaching workshops. There’s something about generosity that happens naturally in a workshop. There’s a certain generosity that comes out of people. Sharing their lives, and sharing their stories,.
And that, to me, i think is the most enjoyable. What’s important to me is that I do realize that I have a part to play in passing on knowledge that I learned from my parents’ generation, and they had learned from their parents’ generation.
I want my son to build a boat with me, I think for all the same reasons that I came into becoming a boat builder. I think they’re still valid today. If I can work with my son on it, I know that he would say, I learned to build with my father.