Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How long should it take to build?

Are people who choose to build a Wharram catamaran, by that very choice, unable to follow plans? This thought came to me as I puzzled out the rudder hinge locations. The plan has a recess cut then 5 holes drilled, and Voila! In 10-15 minutes it done. And in less than two hours all eight are done and time to move on to other projects. Heres the point at which every builder, including me, that I’ve seen “improves” on the hinge. Mill out an oversized slot, fill with epoxy, add extra abrasion resistance, then drill out 5 holes through the epoxy. That series, in my case, gets this hinge up to the 1+ hour range. And this type of “improvement” is done over and over and over during the build. There is no doubt that I, and I’m sure other builders, think these improvements are highly desirable, if not needed. These changes all attempt to improve on the boat’s durability, strength, safety, comfort, or beauty. The key point is that these boats are not built strictly to the plan. 
So I think it’s not really fair to carp at Mr Wharrams build time estimates(900hrs for the Tiki 30) since I don’t know of anyone building a Spec boat. I’m just as guilty, right there on my side bar I say in a somewhat snarky tone “big grain of salt” about the estimate, but hey wait minute, I’m the one deciding not build to Mr Wharram plans. So I’ve changed the sidebar to be more fair to Mr Wharram. 

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