One of the major decisions we had to make early on was weather to build the hulls consecutively or concurrently. We chose to build both the hulls at the same time. Four months in, we are glad we did. We have found that by batch processing all the various jobs, we worked faster. Each time we switch from one major job to another, we lose a day or so in setting up. To that end, we have decided to scarf the timber for the entire build now, even components that we will not need for another 12 months or so.
We have been particularly pleased about our scarfing efforts. Its a job that intimidates first time builders, mostly due to the logistics of fabricating, clamping and storing such long lengths of timber. We used the port strong-back as its straight and the right length. Russell’s tendency to never throw anything out has been a blessing for us. Tucked away in a corner of his shed, was a number of sink cutouts, from kitchens he has built. They are substantial pieces of bench top, about 60mm thick. I clamped four onto the strong-back and screwed clamping blocks aligned to the centre sting line, to keep everthing straight. In the middle is a gluing station for the joints. We are able to glue up to 9 joints at a time using Glad-wrap to separate the pieces. Two 25k lead weights applied vertical pressure on the joints, and loads of clamps for the horizontal. In total there are 14 stringers, 8 chines, 4 keelsons, 6 lower bridge-deck stringers, 4 upper deck stringers, 4 fore-beam and at least 4 main beams to laminate, ranging in length from 5 to 12 metres.
Between glue-ups we have also preparing the starboard strong-back for mounting the frames. In the photo it doesn’t look like much, but each bearer was aligned to the millimetre, and horizontal levels set up with a laser level. It tok us a full day. We may have overdone the accuracy a tad, but in a first time build it is difficult to know which measurements are critical. In this sense catamarans are more exacting than monos as the two hulls will eventually be joined with a separately constructed lower bridge-deck, that needs to match. I want to make sure they are as close to identical as possible.