Boat building progress.

I sold my successful pedal powered dinghy to build a new boat. It is intended to still be pedal driven but to be stable enough to use a sail for additional motive force. It’s proving to be quite a task to build. I decided on a catamaran so immediately this means 2 hulls to build but to add to the complexity it will split in half. This is so that it’s easier to transport, principally by hand, and will also aid storage at home. This means that I need to build 4 hull sections which I’ve chosen to make with aluminium skins. To give them buoyancy I’m filling the hull sections with a waterproof foam, usually used for building insulation, which will mean that it is unsinkable. So far I’ve built, but have yet to paint, a steel frame to link the hull sections together. I’ve built the 4 aluminium skins and cut the foam for 2 of them. To be absolutely certain that the foam can’t absorb water, even with long exposure, I’ve painted the foam blocks with a waterproof PVA glue.

Today I fully assembled one hull section and tested it on the nearest water, one of our two garden ponds. Yes, it’s cutting edge boat building. It floated with only around 2 cm beneath the surface and when I applied as much body weight as I dared I sank it to 12 cm which would have displaced 36 litres of water. This would weigh 36 kg due to the joys of the metric system. The boat with me on board will weigh about 135 Kg so this is the kind of depth that I expect it to float at. When I took the section out of the water a cupful of water ran out as expected. I’ve made no attempt to seal the hulls and will rely solely on the foam for flotation.

I need to finish the other hull parts, paint the frame, cut a seat, rudder and paddles for propulsion. I will separate the steel frame from the aluminium with rubber buffers to prevent electrolytic corrosion, then I’ll be ready for testing.

Screws will drive into the wooden blocks to hold it all together.

1 Comment

  1. Chelle Heart says:

    Can’t wait to see it upon completion as well as under sail! So cool!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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