Saturday, February 13, 2010

Switching from a Steel Mono to a Plywood Catamaran

There's an article in the current issue of Good Old Boat that I found of great interest, particularly with my fondness for Wharram catamarans.  This magazine is of course, primarily focused on restoring and sailing older fiberglass boats, which generally means monohulls simply because there are so many more of the them available in the used marketplace. 

New construction is not often mentioned here, but in this issue there is an article by frequent contributors, Dave and Jaja Martin about their choice to sell their steel monohull, Driver, and build of all things, a Wharram Tiki 30.  Now I've followed their writings for years and reading of their exploits such as sailing a modified Cal 25 around the world and cruising Arctic waters on Driver sometimes caused me to question my own choice of a plywood cat over a good sturdy monohull.  But in this article Dave explains his rationale and the solid reasons he chose a Tiki 30 when he decided a multihull would be the best choice for the kind of sailing they intend to do next.

Not surprisingly, his list of reasons in his choice mirror my own reasons for choosing a Tiki 26 after losing a 26-foot monohull in Hurricane Katrina.  The Tiki 30 works better for them, because they will be sailing as a family and they wanted the largest demountable cat that could be reasonably trailered and still powered by a single outboard.

In the next issue of Good Old Boat there will be another installment on this project where Dave gets into details about material choices in modern plywood boat construction. I will be eagerly awaiting it, and I especially look forward to the inevitable future articles that will likely be published in several of the major sailing magazines about the Martin's adventures on  their new Tiki 30.
"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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