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.
Making A Boat Fender Cover
Eric: This tutorial will show how to build afender cover. We’re going to build it from a Boat Blanket Protection Kit from Sailrite.This material’s tough enough to be used as a fender cover, but also soft enough toprotect your boat. The kit includes enough material to build several depending on thesize of your fender. Let’s get started and show you how.To cut the Boat Blanket Material to size, measure the length minus the eyes. Then measurethe circumference of your fender plus 1â€�2â€�. Now take the Boat Blanket Material and cuta rectangle with those measurements you just took. You can use a soapstone pencil hereto mark the fabric. If you don’t have that,
you can use a pencil. Mark on the backside.Then cut it with a simple pair of shears. We’ll next be installing the hooked Velcro.We want to install it on the rough side, not the soft side. This hooked Velcro should bepositioned down the length of one side of Boat Blanket Material along its edge, notthe circumference. Cut this Velcro equal to the length of the Boat Blanket Material youcut out. Then take it over to your sewing machine and sew a straight stitch down bothedges, remembering to reverse the beginning and the end of your stitches. Make the stitchlength as long as possible with your sewing machine. We’re sewing it with a Sailrite111 Sewing Machine here. There we did some
reversing.We’ll now create darts, or pleats, along the top and the bottom edge. Each dart willshorten the edge by about 2â€�. The edge should be shortened and totaled about 23rds of itslength. Here’s an example for you to follow. Divide the length of the edge by the numberof darts plus one. The example here we have 5 darts. You would divide the length by 6.If your top and bottom edges were 29â€�, you’d divide that by 6 equaling 4.8â€�. Each dartshould be spaced approximately 4â€�5â€� apart. Then mark it on the fabric with a soapstonepencil or with just a regular pencil. When finished, the edge will be about 23rds ofits normal length. We’re marking on the
inside of this fender cover; this is not thesoft side. Now mark at each one of those positions 2â€� with the mark that you made for the dartin the center. Then measure from the mark in the center down 3â€�. We’ll create pleatshere. So we’re making little triangles. There’s the center line and now we’lljust match up the end of that center line with a mark at the top 1â€� away from thatcenter pleat line, and obviously on this side as well. We’ll do that at each of the darts.We’ll obviously have to do this on the other end as well, but we’ll start here. Now we’lljust fold the material together down the center line and sew, reversing at the beginning andthe ending of our stitch. Fold it together
like this, take it to the sewing machine,and sew a straight stitch with the longest stitch possible, reversing here at the beginningand reversing here at the end. That’s all there is to it. Do that on every one of thosepleats. Let’s show this just a couple more times and then we’ll be moving on. Alright!Here’s what it looks like when you’re done with the end. Now we’ll take shearsand cut off the excess material approximately Â¼â€� from the stitch. Do that on every oneof those. Now let’s do it to the other end. We’ve already marked it, now we’ll sewit, and now we’ll show you what it looks like complete. This is your fender cover madewith the Boat Blanket Material. This material
is a solutiondyed polyester so it’s resistantto UV, chemicals, and mildew. It will remain soft and very abrasion resistant. It definitelyprotects your boat, rather than just the fender against your boat.An option that’s not included in the Boat Blanket Protection Kit is to add 1â€� acrylicbinding to each of the edges to dress up your fender cover. We’re using the 1â€� SwingAway Binder here, but you can also do it by hand as well if you don’t have the binderattachment. By utilizing the binder attachment, it makes it easy to install binding to almostany edge of any fabric application. Now we’ll cut it to size and do it obviously to theopposite end and you’re done. Let’s show