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Building your catamaran yourself: why not you?

Published on 15 october 2014 at 15h40

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A few decades ago, multihulls didn't escape the trend for amateur construction. Although our sailing boats with several hulls escaped ferro-cement (phew!) and rusty steel, materials which really are too heavy for boats without keels, aluminium, wood-epoxy and sometimes even sandwich have dominated amongst amateurs. Today the game is over for the dreamers who designed their boats themselves: all the builders, or almost all, order plans from an established architect. And it must be admitted, the number of constructions has melted away like the snow in the sunshine. 'In the past,' Bernard Lelièvre, architect for the Galileos, remembers, "we used to buy a lorry load of winches and thirty or so 17-metre masts at a time." But that was above all for heavy monohulls. In short, there weren't many amateur built multihulls around... The fault of a more pressing need for comfort on the one hand, which the builders met appropriately – maximum volume, load carrying capacity, plethora of equipment – and a also of a change in mentality: the multihull sailor, who gets even more of a kick out of fast passages and dream anchorages than the monohull enthusiast, more often than not wants to enjoy his/her new toy...immediately!

The amateur construction and kit market

It's no use burying our heads in the sand, it's in Australia and to a lesser extent in the Anglo-Saxon countries that things are happening. Fusion is selling 24 boats a year – the famous Fusion 40 and some motor catamarans – ...
This article appeared in issue 138. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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