documents my progress in building a Farrier F-85SR trimaran.
Why build when you can buy?
I wanted to build my own boat, even though there are several arguments for not building, like on this website. What counts are the reasons for building your boat. Do you just want to save money, or are you interested in the building process.
I have a great job. Although I’m away from home for several days in a row, I’m also at home when others are at work and my children off to school. There is one disadvantage to my job however: When I drive home there’s nothing to show, only memories.
When I started flying model airplanes back in 1999, I discovered that I liked building them even more than the flying. It’s great to see the result of your work in a flyable gadget. Soon I started to design and build my own airplanes and after some time the desire arose to build my own boat, as I also like sailing very much. I own a Nacra 500
What kind of boat?
The wish to build led to a search on the internet. There’s a lot of information out there. To sort it out, it is important to define the requirements for your boat. For me that means a fast day sailer that I can sail solo and which I later can use for cruises of a few weeks. Also I want to be able to dry out.
It can be tempting to look at boats that are bigger than you actually need. A bigger boat is more seakindly, has more space and is often faster. However, a boat that is 3 ft longer also is 1 ft wider, is heavier, needs bigger sails, bigger engine, winches etc, etc.. And is a lot more work. Maybe not so much in building, but fairing and finishing will take a lot more work. Also a bigger boat is more expensive. Therefore it is important to look for the smallest boat that can fulfill your wishes.
At first I mainly looked at monohulls and arrived at the website of Dudley Dix. He developed a great building method for plywood-epoxy boats.
search led me
to schionning designs which had just released a new design: The Radical Bay 1060 . The
studyplan left a few questions about the interior, which I wanted to
change anyway, so I decided to build a 1/6 scale model, based
on the studyplans, of the
starboard hull to check things out and develop a ‘feel’ for the size of
After this I was almost ready to order the drawings. A visit to a Farrier builder and a testsail on an RB8000. (thanks Ian!) made me doubt. I liked the design of the RB1060 and I think it will be a great sailer. The open bridge deck and the sideward facing cabin entries lack protection against the unstable Dutch weather however.
researched the internet again, visited an F-32
and an F-82
and crewed on an F-31 in a race. At the
same time a new design
brought out, the F-85SR. It's a bit smaller and an exact fit to the
most important points on my
wishlist! The F-85SR is a development from the F-82, with changed hull
bit more sail area and a more efficient dagger board and rudder. A
smaller cabin is standard. I made a longer cabin like on the
F-82. My F-85SR has sailnr. 2
Building a boat is
a great experience. In hindsight it took me quite a bit more time than
I expected. In the planning stage I thought it would take me about 5-7
years, based on the 2500 building hours that it would take according to
the designer. It turned out to take more than 4000. Also, working alone
is not very efficient, I found out. Designers are generally quite
optimistic in their build time allocation. The extra time is not a big
problem, as I had not set myself a launch date goal and I enjoyed the
vacuum is also time consuming, but does give a stronger laminate with a
more constant quality. This project is on the edge, size wise, unless
you can employ extra people for the bigger parts. Those bigger parts
sometimes had me working 8 hours in a row. Vacuum infusion will be a
bit more relaxed as your not chasing vacuum leaks with the clock
Often I worked on
several projects at the same time, so I would not be idle if I ran into
problems on one project. I also changed the build order. The (
) build book continues work on the main hull when the floats are ready.
I left this to the end. When the main hull is ready, it looks like the
boat is almost finished, while there still is a lot to do. This can be
hard on your motivation. That is why I first build all parts, like the
rudder, daggerboard, beams etc, before I started work on the main hull.
That worked out well.When you need the daggerboard case, while working
on the main hull, you just pick it from storage. this way you finish
intermediate stages and have a new goal to work to each time.