What am I doing….!!!

I know what I want to do but boy when I lift my head up from the detail and look at the size of the project it is a bit daunting. Especially when other things in life (eg work going down the gurgaler) are taking up percious CPU and causing angst to esclate. So for me its a case of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.
Another thing that is causing me grief is tiredness…we have my brother in law and his wife (from Ireland) staying at the moment and I forgot how much Irish people can drink, stay up late and chat!!! They are lovely people and I am enjoying it a lot to catch up with the news of the people I grew up with but late nights and more drinks than I usually have means that I am pretty buggered right now. That definitely helps the “all too much” syndrome. Anyway, enough bleating, time to grow a pair and get stuck into it all again…

Ohhh..and by the way the study plans for the VEGA have still not arrived…a bit pissed off about that too!!!!


The design continues…

Hello all again…

As you know I have been developing the Malcolm Tennant VEGA design using the information available on the web site. I bought the study plans but disappointingly they still have not arrived. I’ve been told that they were posted so still waiting. One of the issues I have been trying to design around is keeping the main bedroom on the main level and having lots of room there. The VEGA gave me this at the back which is one of the reasons I really like it. One of the main constraints in cat design is the point at which the mast is supported. The forward bulkhead which takes the main load becomes “untouchable” and is a main layout constraint. So I have focused on the alternate mast designs which then changes the design constraints. Two that have interested me were the non-stayed double carbon masts (see Schiolling Radical Bay setup) and the Aftmast arrangement.

The Aftmast I must say is the one that catches my eye most. There is a discussion paper here.
The key things that attracted me is that it removes the forward bulkhead constraint and creates the possibility of a forward main bedroom. Additionally it adds a simplier control rigging and I like that. I have redrawn an accommodation layout based on an aftmast.

I have started to look for Australian based designers around this concept and have chatted to Jeff Schiolling and his COSMOS 1750 could be altered to suit this need. We are just in the beginning of looking at that….still very early days.

So that is where the design work is up to.

The model is started and I will post some progress photos on that.

Not happy Jann…

Been an interesting week, I was reminded that my wife is not real happy about me thinking of building a boat. Remember in the start up threads I said that Trace is not as enthusiastic as me about building/having a boat. Well I sort of forgot how much it upsets her and got reminded this week!

At this stage of the journey I have sort of settled (for now) on the VEGA design by MAlcolm Tennant. The boat is actually too big for me but I really like the design and believe a few tweaks could make it perfect. So I decided to make a model of it. 1:20 scale so it will be about a metre long.
Anyway it was interesting what happened. The last time Trace and I spoke we agreed that I could build a model to see if I could. She is terrified that I will start and not finish…and that’s fair enough.
So I bought the study plans for the vega and have blown them up on a photo copier to the scale size. I am starting the build of the model…but that’s a different thread.
What surprised me was the instant reaction she had to me starting the model. I think she had hoped that i had given up on the boat.
So what’s the lesson for me…be careful to make sure that our thinking does not get too separated in alignment. I will try not to surprise her too much as that is not comfortable for her. As to ever winning h over to the boat side…only time will tell. So for the next 6~12 months I will be focusing on the model.


Now I’m feeling frustrated so I thought it a good time to post a “thoughts” post.

My frustration stems from the bind that i am in from a design viewpoint.

When I skecth and sketch I find myself falling into the same routine each time. I am starting from a known point or a “norm”. These norms are things like…the outdoor area is at the back, you get on to the boat from the stern transom, bedrooms are in the hulls, etc. They might all have legitmate reasons but I find myself coming back to the same point each time.
Anyway…build a bridge and get over it Mick…!

So I am designing. And when I say designing I mean using web based stuff from Bob Oram and Malcolm Tennant and scribbling all over them. My requirements are not fitting into the 40~50 foot boat and they should…at least I think so! While I write this I am realising that its not frustration, its life. I just have to be more clever about the way it fits together. Stop with the frustration and get with the creation.

I’ll start another post with the design logic i think and that might help.


Needs analysis

The nice to have analysis

All designs require a needs analysis adn here is mine. Should not be called a needs analysis more like a nice to have analysis…but here goes…
I added a usage analysis jsut to try to develop some reletive priorities. Yes I know that we could drive a truck through the gaps in this but its something for me to work with.
Also not that I have really focused ont eh accommadation side. The rigging etc will take care of itself when I talk to a designer.

Bob Oram…

So now you understand why I chose to build rather than buy…well I hope one of us does ;))

My adventure continued with me researching the various building methods and designers out there. And this is where I met Bob Oram. Before I speak about Bob I think its well worth mentioning the SCRUMBLE PROJECT. This is a fantastic cat build blog that shows in excuisite detail the creation of a catamaran through using Duflex panels. This is probably the blog that has most affected me in terms of choices in building. Well done Judy and Tom.

Now back to Bob Oram. After I researched a whole lot of boat designers I seemed to settle on Bob. I found more info on his designes and people who built with im than any of the other designers. There are many many nice designs out there but Bob’s stood out when I looked into them more and more. One of the critical factors was that everyone that I spoke to about Bob and his boats (people who built themselves, people who owned one, builders who built them) they all had a good word to say about Bob. You cant buy that kind of feedback. And then I started an email conversation with him. Talk about co-operative and patience! He slowly worked with me sketch after sketch until I understood the key factors with design and specifically the design of his boats. If anyone is considering Bob’s designs I strongly recommend you understand Bob’s minimalist pholosophy. This pervades his design and he is true to this philosophy throughout.
Ultimately Bob’s designs do exactly what he says, they sail very well, relatively fast, things are kept to a minimum and functional.
And this is where it came off the rails a bit for me. When I started to really understand the boats in design I started to realise that Bob designed the “off road camper” of the cat world, just my way of expressing it. His boats were solid but did not have any fluffy bits because they are not useful when it came to the function this boat was designed for. Minimise weight by using less materials, less flooring panels for example. When I examined my wants, I want a bit of flounce!! Terrible word but I am trying to think of a better word. Flounce for me is that extra bt of comfort level that means having some things that are not functional but comfortable. No…Bob Orams are not uncomfortable…thats not what I am trying to say, they are just minimalist.
In the last post I inserted some sketches which give you an idea of what I was doing with the 48C catamaran design. its a lovely boat, from my calcs allow about $00k to $50k to get to the on the water stage.

So that was my flirt with Bob Oram’s design…wonderful designs, wonderful person. You neven know on this journey, I might be back around again to work on a compromise design.

Right now I am looking at the Malcolm Tennant VEGA design.

See you next blog.

Deciding to build…now why would I do that?

Thats a very good question…
I think that answer starts off by looking at where I am in life right now. I’m 51 and want to do the corporate working thing until I am 55. At that time I want to ease off the workload and work in a less taxing job until I’m 60. By that time I will be able to get at my Super on a tax free basis (as the rules currently stand). Combine this with the fact that Trace and I are committed to live in our current house while Trace’s parents are alive, they live with us in an extension. So that means tht there is no real date when I will eb able to “set sail” so to speak. I feel waiting until “something happens” before I buy a boat will be very difficult for me…I am not a passive tpye person, I like to make things happen rather than leaving things to chance. So the next 4 years are work as usual and the next period after that will have some time available to do something. Co-inciding with this timeframe will be the (hopefully) graduation and independance of the kids who are costing a small fortune at the moment through Uni and other costs. So there might be some spare cash.
What has this to do with deciding to build…well four things…
– I will not be able to afford to pay out a large single sum in one hit due to circumstances;
– It will be at least 10 years before we are in anyway independent (Trace and I);
– I love building things and I beleive this would be a wonderful project for me;
– Building timeframe might suit nicely with my Stage 2 retirement.

Having re-read what I wrote above…I can see some very tenuous links and some confused timeframes. So I guess I have not really understood why I want to build…let me try again without the BS.
– I have an ego, I would love to build a boat and I think I can do it;
– I can’t afford to spend much money for the next 4 years, so this is one way of spending less money over the next 4 years and still be moving towards my dream;
– I dont want to let go of the dream and if I sit on my hands for at least 4 years I will go mad;
– I am trying to convince myself, without much luck, that building a boat will be cheaper than buying a boat, seriously I dont think it will be;

Yes, thats more like the real situation….

But can I afford it? I doubt it but heres my “logic”…

The first step is in the planning, and believe it or not I have got a lot of that thinking done. I understand the problems to be overcome and the key ones are…
– Finance and cash flow…see above;
– A place to build, dont underestimate this;
– The design, getting a designer, design and path forward to create a realistic design;
– Materials, which ties directly into the build type, from scratch, get parts supplied, etc;
– Systems like propultion, services, etc
– A place to moor that does not break the bank;

There are others but thats a start.

Timeframe…I will devote my next blog to that.

In the meantime here are some of the sketches I have been doing…

See you next blog.