Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tiki 30 Plans

Well, the Tiki 30 plans could not be confirmed as legitimate ones.  No plan number was included with them and James Wharram Designs could not verify the details of the purchaser to assign/reassign a plan number.  Fortunately, the eBay resolution services decided I could return the plans.

I will now get the study plans for the Tiki 38 and Tiki 46 to compare their relative merits with a view to purchasing full plans within the next year.  In the meantime, I will keep up to date with the building/sailing blogs of other Tiki owners.

It has been disappointing to take a backwards step so soon, but things maybe happen for a reason!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tiki 38 or 46?

If, as it seems, the Tiki 30 plans I purchased cannot be used to build a legitimate catamaran, maybe this allows a more reasoned decision on the best Tiki to build.

I have seen it written in several places that you should build/buy the smallest craft that will serve your purpose.  Larger craft spend more time ashore than smaller craft is another frequently quoted saying.  The hassle of the launch and the need for a larger crew conspire against just nipping down to the sea and going out for a few hours or days.  Smaller craft with shallower draft can go to places that larger craft may not be able to.

Build and maintenance costs also increase significantly with each foot added of waterline length.

On the other hand, additional space will always be appreciated once afloat.  Safety may be greater with a larger craft.  Cruising speed may be higher.  If it was decided to charter the craft, larger would be more desirable.  As the Philippines is made of more than 7000 islands, the local cruising grounds are massive, but what if it was decided to cross oceans?  Is the 38 sufficient for this?

The advice from James Wharram Designs is to purchase the study plans for both and decide the best to build from those.  I will also continue to check out the building blogs and sailing blogs to get a better feel for the 38 and 46.

Building will only start once we develop our base in the Philippines (seems I must build a house before a boat)!  So there is time to plan/decide

Planet fallen out of orbit

As other builders have described, building a Tiki is an enormous commitment and there will be set-backs along the way.

Few will have a set-back as soon into the build as I have now had.......

Turns out the eBay plans may not be authentic.  There is no build number and no record with James Wharram Designs that the eBay seller has purchased plans from them!  This is now being referred to the eBay resolution centre.  Hopefully there will be a refund and I can put this towards new plans direct from the designer this time.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Planets Align

Planning the ideal yacht has been a pleasant diversion for years, but with no real definitive conclusion.  Many different opinions have been given by friends, family, designers and builders groups.  As I get nearer to the time I can start spending more time in the Philippines though, gradually the momentum for planning a yacht there instead of the UK gathered.  Ideally a self-build to fulfil a long held ambition.

There is a group of owner/builders in the Philippines      http://www.pinoyboats.org
They explained how difficult it is to source high tech boat building materials and equipment.  Even if available to import, high import duties are applied.  In view of the limited marina facilities, uncharted reefs, typhoons and the advantages associated with being able to beach, their recommendation was for a catamaran.   I have a good friend in the UK (Henry) who came up with a short-list which included the Wharrams.  I had looked before at Wharrams, but been unsure if I would be happy with something not full to the gunwale with the latest in high tech materials and equipment.  Could I also forgo speed when racing and accept less is more...  I followed numerous boat building logs, but was most inspired by Neil Hawkesford and his Gleda project Tiki 38  http://thegledaproject.com 

Suddenly, a Tiki made a lot of sense.  Back to roots sailing, ideal for the beach location in the Philippines, made from materials that should be readily available.   Personal aspirations for how I saw myself sailing in the future seemed to match the philosophy of James Wharram and many of his owner builders.

OK, so a Tiki it was, but what size?

In an ideal world, the 46 seemed perfect.  Speed, space and real ocean ability.  But if I can only build part-time for the next few years, how long would it take?  Could I launch/recover such a large catamaran from a beach to dodge typhoons and for upkeep?  Having seen the Gleda project and many other Tiki 38 builds/photos, this seemed to be a good compromise.  But I was still unsure if it would be big enough to serve future needs, yet would still take some time to build.

Then out of the blue, an ebay search brought up
Maybe it would be best to build this first, see how easy it was to source materials, judge the practicality of ownership from our beach lot.  The time/risk in the build would be manageable and I would know from this whether the Tiki 38 or 46 would be best for a second build later on....

I bid, and I won!  Too many co-incidences to ignore.  All the planets lined up, decision made!

What yacht and where?

So, wanting to enjoy bigger boats after being hooked on sailing again by the Day Skipper experience, how, when and where?

Well, living on the East Coast, sailing is available locally either on the North Sea, or the Norfolk Broads.  A good friend recommended Lowestoft Cruising Club as a great base for either and I am sure I will join so as to enjoy local cruising and maybe a few races.  Maybe a shallow draft monohull could work for both the Broads and North Sea.  It still might be an option until my work commitments reduce.  Multihulls really a no no though (marina fees and not suitable for the Broads).

Our "second home" is the Philippines.  My wife Elvie is originally from the North East extremity of the main Island Luzon.  We are lucky enough to own a beach lot there.  Plenty of room for a boat.  However, it has a reef extending from the beach which means a shallow draft would be a sensible requirement for any yacht.  It is also in a typhoon prone area.  There are no marina or lift out facilities.  As we might eventually live out there, maybe waiting till then for a definitive yacht would seem sensible?  The water is certainly a lot warmer!
There is certainly space to build a boat and plenty of local help available.  We will have to squeeze a boat past a few trees, but no problem with weather being too cold for epoxy to cure!
Over the last couple of years, I must have changed my future yachting plans almost weekly. What would be a trigger to the next stage?

History Lesson and Holiday Reading

I hated history at school (sorry if any of my past teachers ever see this!).  It was only when history became relevant to myself and my own interests that it started to come alive.  Or maybe it is an age thing.....

I love the Clive Cussler books, especially those with Dirk Pitt as the lead.  He can make history come to life and there are usually classic cars and diving in the plots.  There is often part of the story relating to early voyages across oceans.

Not really history when I first read it (but maybe it is now), I also read Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon Tiki Expedition.


An attempt to prove what may have been possible with a balsa log raft.  They made the voyage, but scientific analysis seems to disprove the original theories.

Then we get to the Polynesians.  What were their origins?  How did they travel?  We now know from genetic analysis that spread was originally from SE Asia through Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand and then into the Pacific Ocean as far as Hawaii.  Of interest to me, they also travelled to the Philippines (my wife's country of origin).
Looking at their travel mode, simple catamarans and trimarans seem to be in evidence in many of the areas they seem to have travelled.  Currently in the Philippines the Banca is used extensively for local travel, transport and fishing.
Usually they have a single cylinder 4 stroke engine.  Around 12 Hp for the one shown.  Sailing versions exist, but are fairly rare.
Could boats like these, or the catamaran version of similar hull shape been the method of travel 1000's of years ago?

Maybe history can be an inspiration to my boating plans?

You have to have a dream......

This dream has been a long time in the making, and will be a good few years in completing.

I have sailed since I was 12 years old.  Mostly racing dinghies, inland and coastal in the UK.  I had a long break, then started doing some big boating completing Day Skipper theory and practical in 2011.  I was well and truly bitten by the sailing bug again, but unsure how to develop this into future sailing plans.

Completion of these courses and the friends I met during the course were a reminder of how much I missed the simple pleasures of sailing - even without the racing.