Introduction: Modular Wooden Catamaran

About: World-Class Suburban Explorer

Ahoy, fellow Instructables users!

Do you dream of waves running alongside wooden hulls? Do you crave the scent of salty sprays? Do you grin at the thought of striding along some foreign shore?

Well, if you'd like any of that, this probably isn't the project or century for you. This Instructable provides a brief account of a 10ft by 5ft modular catamaran I constructed and successfully sailed on a small lake.

Step 1: Draftsmanship

After poking around online for inspiration and taking heavy influence from the crafts of Jeremy Broun and Tim from Way Out West, I drafted plans for my catamaran. My design, alas, was limited by my amateur woodworking skills and my available tools, leading it to be quite heavy and boxy. On the positive side, though, the craft ended up being as durable as a brick, which would have been difficult to accomplish with thinner plywood or stitch and glue construction.

The plans call for the craft to be built in four pieces. This isn't ideal for structural stability, but, lacking a trailer, I had to constrain the total volume to what could be held in the bed of my truck. To hold all the pieces of the hull together, I later created a deck with two by sixes and 11/32nds inch plywood but chose to forego drawing plans for this so that I could account for whatever warping developed in the wood.

Step 2: Construction

I constructed the craft over a period of about two months one the basis of one quarter at a time. After constructing the first two sections, though, I realized that giving priority to the horizontal members of the frame lead to unwanted slanting, so I modified my design and gave priority to the vertical members of the frames in the latter two quarters.

In a previous and regretful experiment in boat construction, I had build a spectacular failure of a sailing dinghy. I had intended to redeem myself by fitting my second boat to sail, hence the rudder mechanism. I decided against using the wind for locomotion in the end out of a combination of time constraints, design constraints, fear of repeating past mistakes, and general laziness. Thus, I outfitted the boat with a Motorguide T42 trolling motor and 12V deep cycle battery for propulsion.

Step 3: Maiden Voyage

And so it happened: the maiden voyage. The Kaspar Röist cruised well on the calm lake waters without any leaks or structural failures. That is all for now.