Key moments of 2020 – Time extension and tree growth

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“I won’t haul out in the fall to fix this properly”, I decided, “work will be too busy, being boat show season, so no, we’ll leave that for spring when the weather will be better” and so I booked the yard for late March… Early 2020, we all had plans. There was my repair job, there were boats to test, and real cruising planned with the family here in France for the summer.

Another boat already sat ashore in the same yard was the brand-new Dazcat 1195, Merlin. This is a catamaran that had been bought some time back as ‘hull and deck’ kit. The owner had motored (no rig yet at this stage) from Darren Newton’s Multimarine yard in Cornwall across the English Channel to France, and then hauled out here in Brittany for work to begin on fitting out and completing this very racy, cruising multihull. Launch was planned for spring 2020. Our boats should have crossed paths in the yard – like ships in the night maybe?

For obvious reasons, none of this went according to plan. Lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions led to multiple delays, but eventually Merlin was to be splashed in September. However, not only had the virus been spreading, so too had the trees at the boatyard! Previously, the Dazcat’s 21-foot (6.5-meter) beam passed easily between the foliage. But not now!

So the master shipwrights from the yard, more used to working exotic hardwoods with sharp chisels and time-honored traditions, had to resort to little-used tools - bowsaws and machetes - to clear a path! Eventually though, Merlin was afloat and the champagne could at last be opened.

We hope to bring you a test report on this Dazcat in New Year and take a look at how buying a multihull in kit form might be a solution for you too.

Graham Shaw


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