Only For Nutters – Part 9

I was not exactly overjoyed when the Editor decided to call my whole series of articles ‘Only for Nutters’, but this month I am coming clean on the many changes I have made to the original plans. You can decide whether I have taken leave of my senses or not! A yacht club acquaintance once cautioned me about making even … Read More

Only for Nutters – Part 8

In the last issue I explored some of the ways in which I continue to be motivated during this long period of construction. It has been exactly two years since I started and there is probably another year to go, considerably longer than originally anticipated. I have largely managed to avoid the subject of money, but this seems a good … Read More

Only For Nutters – Part 7

  The cold months of the year are always a problem. Epoxy has to be coaxed from the can and is often too thick to mix or penetrate glass and wood. The heaters have to go on, damp is a constant enemy and generally working in low temperatures is a pain. I had decided that as soon as the weather … Read More

Only For Nutters – Part 6

Thinking ahead, the hardest part… Building my boat on top of a hill might not seem the most sensible way of going about things, but it has had certain advantages: low rent, security, and proximity to home, which keeps travelling time and costs to a minimum so I can nip over to switch off the vacuum pump late at night. … Read More

Urgent Safety Warning

A new and potentially dangerous development in the sport of yachting has recently come to our attention. Originally devised as a design progression from the Thames barge, it should be viewed with extreme caution by any serious mariner. A number of readers have reported sightings of these experimental craft, noting their cumbersome construction, single hull, lack of lateral stability and … Read More

Blisters on hands and boat…

Warmer weather finally arrived in late April 2006, and work could begin again in earnest. Each hull was rolled onto one side to grind and glass the keel. The copper ties were simply snipped off and ground and sanded back with the ply. Parts of the hulls low down near the centre needed quite a bit of filling because of … Read More

The Dark Days of Winter

After building the polytunnel Cathedral and getting the shell of the second hull completed by Christmas, it was time to take stock of progress. Things had not turned out quite as expected, especially the timescale. Oh, and the budget… The early months of 2006 were cold and wet in Devon, simply too cold to do much with epoxy because it … Read More

Desperate Boatbuilders

September I have a new worker, Andy, hugely experienced as a university technician, a fine Finn sailor and someone who has built boats before. We also have Sam, a lad on a gap year, helping out. I have decided to put in a flare, a side extension to the hulls beneath the cockpit. This seems to be one of the … Read More

Cat in a Cowshed 

Last issue I discussed the reasons that led me to take the plunge into building my own cat. I cleared my diary so I could concentrate on it full-time for 2 years, bought in some of the materials and components when I could get them at discount rates, and booked Matt, a local builder and artist, for 8 weeks’ work… … Read More

Only For Nutters?!

Building your own cruising boat is not for the faint of heart. It is a major investment of time and money, likely to be one of the biggest things anybody constructs in their lifetime. Unlike finishing a hull or two, where at least you have the professional builders (and other owners of the same type) to turn to for advice … Read More