As mentioned many times on this blog concerning boats, everything’s a compromise.
But there are aspects to what James Wharram has done which the cruising multihull sailor really should take note of on a tight budget. His boats are proven at sea and he puts it down to configuration and relatively slack rigging, low tech, which militates against the western yachties’ perceptions of precision something awful.
One thing he designed in and then went away from is the tied-down beams across two pontoons, something the Pacific yachtsmen have been doing for millennia as voyaging canoes. He added between-hull infrastructure for comfort and left it there, as he never needed to demount in his case.
However, a boat which can go both on the English canals and to sea will rely heavily on this ‘foldability’, with the infrastructure on the platform needing to be detachable and using much in the way of awnings and canopies.
Why the need to demount? Because I am in a unique position where I live.
In this country, it’s possible to do 6 months on canals [C&RT fee structure] and 6 months on the river and at sea, either coastal or otherwise. Plus one can go across to France. I can come down a canal to the sea easily from here, so both options had me designing a boat which would do both. No fantasy, just a design.
Let’s say a cat configuration is chosen – this sort of thing is the simplest and best available which can be built in wood.
Notes on that pic. Each hull has its ends as storage and then three compartments in the middle with full headroom and yet the roof still low to the water. Note the centre pods on the platform though – they’re the key.
The for’ard one is the galley, the aft is the steering station/wheelhouse/chartroom. The way I’ll have it, the middle compartment in each hull is semi-open, with false sole [floor] and storage below that. One is the wet area with loo and shower, clothes washing etc., the other is the galley while on the canal. At sea, the galley moves to the forward pod and the ex-galley becomes whatever for the summer – a salon.
The way Wharram has it, all dangerous items are in the two pods under the platform away from the heat, with no combustibles in the hulls. If there’s a fire, he’d lose the two inner beams but the hulls remain intact. However, with him extending the wood all over, he’s lost that advantage. I’m leaving a ‘moat’ around the pods.
With the decking only in the middle of the boat, the whole structure is lighter and easier to demount too. On the canal, the masts store between hull roofs, the pod sides stack at the stern and bow, the awnings go below.
Here is what the galley pod might look like – I haven’t got to it yet and it’s not an immediate concern:
It’s sitting room only but that allows the roof to be lower to the water, with less windage.
Below is an idea of what the cabin space would look like. [Mine is 40″ x 10′ x 6’3″.]
The white paint has much to do with it. The key is also decluttering, having only what is necessary in the open and the rest stowed away in plastic boxes in awkward spaces.
Privacy is pretty important in my book – thus there are four cabins in four corners of the boat.
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