The first step to building your dream catamaran begins with a strongback – this is a square frame used to position the temporary frames that will be used to form the hull shape. This frame will be set up and must be square and accurate, a string or laser level can be used to achieve this.
Once you have released the pre-cut frame panels, they are erected along the strongback in sequence. The hull panels will be laid over this framework to form our hull shape.
Here we can see the hull has now been taped and glassed, ready for turning soon. Once this has been completed the hull will need to be rolled over and the process repeated to produce the second hull. The use of flat panel construction techniques and the time-saving element of pre-cut kits really becomes noticeable. Having this head start is invaluable and could save almost 1000 hours on your build. (Wilderness 1100 design shown.)
The fairing is now complete, this is done using a filler compound mixed with our West System epoxy resin and applied to the surface of the hull. This process is to ensure that when painted the boat will have a smooth and glossy appearance, and as a general rule the more painstaking the paint-job and fit-out, the higher your resale value.
Now comes the turning of the hull! There are many different ways to do this, some involve cranes or complex equipment, however the smaller designs can simply be turned with a few extra pairs of hands, or a block/pulley set-up. Once both hulls are turned the tops of the bulkheads will be used to join the two hulls, and then the bridgedeck component will be installed underneath.
The hull now turned, the second must be positioned and aligned before the large bulkhead panels are used to fix these together. Once this is complete, she will start to look like a catamaran!
The forebeam is now installed along with the striker attachment fitting, as shown above. The bridgedeck is installed shortly after and taped onto the bulkheads with webs installed, this now completes what is a quite stiff and strong platform to work on.
Now that the bridgedeck is in place, the forward webs and dash will be fitted. At this stage, all furniture and internal work begins, with the main panels left off for ease of access when working.
The internal furniture is now installed, if you chose Kit Option 2, this furniture will be pre-cut to your previously decided upon layout. If you chose to receive blank panels, this is the period in which your internal living areas are to be built. This construction uses paper-honeycomb Duflex panels, as these are superior in weight when used non-structurally. Cabin soles, engines and daggerboard cases are also now installed.
The transoms and cockpit area are now completed, along with the targa bar, if you’ve chosen this option.
The next step is our hull-to-deck joins, side decks and close the shell. As you can see strip planking methods are used here to ensure a pleasing design to the eye. This technique is not difficult and the planks are once again glassed in place to ensure again stiffness and strength.
The cabin roof will have been built seperately from the boat, and dropped onto the bulkheads when needed. The cabin sides are then installed and we have a cabin. The next step is to carefully mark our window lines and get cutting.
Cutting of hatches, portlights and your saloon windows is now done, edges must be cored. Interior and exterior painting can now be completed after fairing.
Fairing is now completed and your final finish needs to be achieved. How extravagant you want to get with paint choices and decals is up to the owner and the project budget.
Fairing is finished up and the shell is ready for painting. This is as far as the Schionning kit will get you – from this point on the finishing touches, rig and deck hardware, equipment and appliances must be installed along with finishes such as carpet, roof linings etc. We can supply you with a rough sail away estimate based on other finished projects of a similar size when enquiring about a design, so don’t hesitate to email us if you’d like to investigate further, the build process can take a while to get your head around and we certainly understand that.
Once installation of major systems and finish has been completed the boat can be launched. Again this is something that should be planned beforehand however our designs can safely be loaded onto a flatbed semi-trailer sitting solely on their bridgedeck without any problems. So as long as you’re within a reasonable distance, a simple truck hire should be sufficient for your launch.
Once the mast is stepped, its time to go sailing!
Building your own boat is a rewarding experience and you’ve built a valuable asset on which you can make a considerable profit. If you have any questions regarding build options or designs, please contact us.