December 23, 2001
The skeleton of the catamaran from bulkhead 6 (at right on the picture) to the bow is finished and it is an impressive sight.
|To my pleasant surprise we did not encounter too many difficulties, although it took longer than we thought. Just think that through every frame go 61 stringers. Take 10 frames and you have 610 welding points.|
|This picture from the front shows why a catamaran designed by Malcolm Tennant is so efficient. No compromises were made in designing the hulls. There is no room for cabins to keep the width to a minimum.|
|The tunnel between the two
hulls. Note the anti slam nacelle (center keel) in the middle.
The two holes above the keel are for wires, hydraulic lines etc.
The wood above shows the wing deck, where the living spaces will be. The wood is temporary to enable us to work safely
|View of the bow from the inside. Part of the stringers are still missing.||Another view of the holes for the services.|
June 10, 2001
To celebrate the beginning of the construction of the catamaran, we had a party. It was lots of fun and in spite of a rainy day, over 100 people showed up.
Beginning of June 2001
The construction of the PH8 has finally begun. The long, agonizing wait is over. There was delay of 2 to 3 weeks in the delivery of the aluminum and the bad weather did not help during the construction of the greenhouse building shed.
The first pieces of the hull have been cut and the welding has started. In the picture the bottom part of frame 7, that will become part of a fuel tank.
The construction started at section 4 in the middle of the boat (where the longitudinal center of gravity is) and will first proceed towards the bow. It entails the construction of the fuel and water tanks. This gives more time to Malcolm and Alan to perfection the engine room, propeller and rudder, (At least that's what I like to think, as opposed of being somewhere in a long queue of other projects).
Even though I have been looking at the plans for nearly one year now, I was still impressed by the size of a frame when we erected it over the keels. Everything looks huge.
There is not much to comment about the construction. Thanks to the fact that everything is precut it is like playing with a big mecano set.
It is interesting to note how the responsibilities of producing a vessel have shifted. I the old days the naval architects and engineers had the responsibility of how a vessel looked and behaved, but besides these two professionals the yard foreman (mastro d'ascia) was of paramount importance. He ensured that the plans were interpreted in a correct way. He was also very much involved in the final look of a vessel, since he was responsible that the lines of the boat were "fair" and pleasing to the eye. Today the yard receives computer generated plans and every piece of importance is then cut by a computer with a precision of 2/10 of a millimeter. Great, but this puts a big responsibility on the computer operators. In our case Alan Walker, my companion Clara and myself.
End of March 2001
After a long (and at times frustrating) wait finally everything is ready to start the construction of the catamaran. Everything has fallen into place and I can start ordering aluminum. Lots of it. The construction will take place near where I live, on lake Maggiore, in a boatyard of a friend of mine. See "The Team" for more details.
The lake does not have a direct access to the sea, so we'll have to build the two hulls and the centerpiece separately and then truck the pieces to the seaside and there do the final assembly there. I am doing this because I want to closely supervise the construction in all its details. Also the area I am in is heavily industrialized and I have better access to suppliers here than at the seaside. Even nautical equipment is mostly manufactured around Milano, a scarce hour away from where I live (traffic permitting).