Hartley Trimarans are designed to be built in modular form. You can complete the beams and hulls structures in you backyard. Most of the interior and finish work can be completed beforehand. The modules are then moved to a coastal boatyard for final assembly. The work remaining will be bolting the beams and hulls together, installing the main cabin deck, installing the wing undersides, building the outboard cabin lockers and filleting the beam hull joints. Most of the interior finish painting can be done and the hulls primed. Final painting of the exterior will have to be done in the yard. If you are lucky enough to be close to the coast, you can obtain road permits. These usually have hour and day restrictions. The first trimaran I built had to moved 35 mile to a ramp on the Savannah River. I was lucky enough to be friends with the Chief of Police, who loaned me a two-way radio with which we could communicate, while he provided an escort. He lead the way stopping traffic at all intersection and alerting me to traffic situations. We were able to make the trip in less than an hour.
There are many reasons. But first let me dispel the myth,
that flat sided hulls are quicker and easier to build. The long runs of side plywood must
be scarfed and cut to fit to the chine logs. The chine log must be constructed, and
strings added to the frame to support the plywood planking. All other things being equal,
you have cut and setup the frames, install the keel and stem post, fiberglass and fair the
hulls after planking. Let me point out that you will hate every corner on the boat,
corners have to be double fiberglassed for protection and strength. When fairing and
sanding out, it will seem you are always nicking corners, which then have to be repaired.
Please note that I have eliminated as many corners, in my designs as I thought
All my designs are meant for extended bluewater cruising.
They are for sailors, who want to live on the sea not in a marina. Check the slip prices
of most marinas, they are close to a mortgage on a condo, it would be cheaper to buy the
condo with a view of the marina. It is my opinion folding umbrellas suit their
purpose fine, but once in a while they do fold the wrong way when hit by a gust of wind
(This in no way meant to deride any folding designs, for none to my knowledge have folded
at sea or malfunctioned, which is indicative of good design or luck)
This is similar to the question, how long is a piece of string. I would have to know all about your situation, tools, building facility, skills, resources, and commitment. Let me say that I do have estimated time for construction, based on averages. Most of these times are based my first building experience, and at that time I definitely was average in all the categories. To help you along the way toward fast completion, I have tried to eliminated most of the time consuming factors. To start with you need a good set of plans accurate and with as much detail as possible, you don’t need to become a designer to build the boat. Full sized patterns where possible, this is extremely helpful for building keel, rudder and skeg. (Templates for fairing can be taken off these drawing). Next a lot of knowledge is a good thing, before you cut the first frame, read and learn the easy way. My first frame (Not one of my design) went in the scrap heap because I used a full sized pattern drawn on ordinary paper, I checked it against the table of offsets and it was 1/2 Inch in some place, so much for full sized frame patterns. From then on all used dimensions were from the table of offsets. [Note most blueprint paper is dimensionally unstable and grossly effected by humidity conditions] . Next a craftsman is as only as good as his tools, don’t scrimp here (Industrial only), buy the best and as many as you can afford, you can always sell them later, especially if of good quality. You have heard of those who built without a shelter, don’t try unless it never rains and the temperature is always above 70 Degrees F., where you live. If you start to apply a coat of epoxy and it rains or the moisture settles on the boat before it cures, you will have to scrape it off ( It will never harden). Have you ever built anything, if the answer is no, a boat is hard place to start. If however you are reasonably handy and have a quick grasp, and proceed at an unhurried pace (measure it twice cut it once), the unskilled boatbuilder can soon become a boatwright. The beauty of building your own boat is you don’t need all the money for completion in the beginning. You should however have enough money for completion of the boat structure. Most of the expense comes toward the end, outfitting, hardware, engines, sails, electronics, etc. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a boat, by spreading the cost out over the time of construction, the bit is not quiet a severe. As to commitment, don’t start if you can’t do the time. Once started there will be agony and ecstasy, the agony of long hours of work and the ecstasy of accomplishment. After unloading and piling up my first load of boat materials, I stood back looking and said to myself, "hiding in that pile of lumber is a boat, all I have to do is find it".
In today world of mass manufacturing, there are few things
you can build cheaper. A house and a boat are some of the few remaining. Building a
boat is one of the few experience in my life of cherished value. Sitting on the boat, I
see unfolding again in my minds eye, each and every part, the flaw and perfection only
known to me. This thing brought into existence through years of travail, is a part
of me forever. Under sail, I realize the peace that surpasses understanding.
Marinas are generally out of the question, unless you can find an along side berth. Marinas have a minimum charge for slip size and in the case of trimarans boat length is usually not the issue. The best solution is to find a mooring, or some friendly waterfront owner who will allow you to put in your own. This need not be in deep water, it could even be in a tidal zone. Hopefully the mooring location will have some protection from bad weather and there must be room for you to sail up on the mooring, just in case the motor has failed. Be fore-warned, if you try to leave the boat on the hook, trimarans will sail-up on their rode in strong wind, which could dislodge the anchor. This can be prevented by putting the tiller over to one side and tying it off. This will cause the boat to fetch-up.
All my designs are supplied with the
half-breaths tables of offset, for all surfaces. Stations per say are not used, as is the
typical architectural layout for boat design. Instead sections per foot (SPERF) are used,
there can be as many as 12 or as few as 2 SPERF, depending on the size(LOA) of the design.
Generally for print-outs 4/2 SPERF are used, mainly to limit the size of the design
manual. (Note. The design program allows for the maximum number of SPERF to be printed
out, that is if the design SPERF was 8 then 8/4/2/1 SPERF could be print in the table of
offsets). These accurate dimensional tables, are printed out in
(feet-inches-sixths-plus a 32nd).
My question to you is why would you want to. Yes you could put a well in the lazerette for the outboard, it would have to be an extended shaft with electric start. Hopefully it will be a four-cycle like the Honda so you don’t have premix to fool with. You could save some money on the purchase of the motor and you could take it for repairs. The skeg would have to be shorten for the well to fit. Now to the negative factors, gasoline is very dangerous, outboard are not as reliable as diesel, they are effected more by moisture. Gasoline is corrosive as well, it will eat up an aluminum tank over time. Overall a motor is there to save you and your boat in an emergency, I had an outboard on my first boat, it never started when I really needed it, once I had to sail into a crowded harbor and round-up to drop anchor. Then the stupid thing started after we were on the hook. Tip: Learn how to sail up on a mooring or anchor site, practice this when it doesn’t count, for the times it will.
Yes, contained in the manual are the table of offset for all surface, the material list for each element of construction and related engineering data. I do not provide a step by step tutorial for building, but the manual is laid out in sequence of completion. For building instructions or a how-to, there are many good books on strip planks and cold molded construction, of which I have listed a few in Wet Links. All my plans are very detailed and noted with information. But it is impossible to provide all the wood working knowledge required for construction in only the plans. You must dig this information out by reading as many books as possible. The best technique is to break the project down into simple steps or elements of completion and concentrate on these solely until completed. Don’t become confused and frustrated by trying to conceptualize the entire completed boat, as you build the visualization will unfold in you mind. On the construction drawings are references to related drawings that must be referenced to for planning the next step, e.g. if you are building the amas you need to know how they tie into the beams and deck structure. So you must think ahead only to the next related elements. For anything complex the technique is a divide and conquer approach, the division must be on a level that you can grasp.