fad that works in favour of the frugal sailor is wooden boats. I'm talking about ply boats that are clad in GRP. In conversation with sailors you will see many throw up their hands and say "oh no not a wooden boat!" I tend to just smile and carry on. I'm not a traditionalist who likes planked boats that require caulking, but I have no problem with well-made fibreglass sheathed vessels.
These boats will be cheap. Especially catamarans simply because the modern trend is for solid glass or cored boats. If you take the time to look through boatyards
you will find many many examples of well designed and well built boats in ply which will be cheaper, much cheaper than you could expect in its full glass counterpart. For example, boats built to the designs of Richard Wood under the watchful eye of a boatyard, will have lots of space, strength and durability for a modest price
I recently took a look at a Diamond 24 Catamaran
that a friend just purchased, made of ply, GRP sheathed and in absolutely superb condition. Had the vessel been solid GRP I think it would have been in the £12-£15,000 range. However he paid just over £4500. He had crawled all over the boat prior to purchase
, made his decision and paid for it without the survey
. He invited me to explore the vessel and I spent an hour looking everywhere and was amazed at the quality and careful attention to detail in every aspect. Whilst I was there, we pushed it into the water
from the trolley and motored out of the marina and threw the sails
up and went for a 30 minute run. Neither of us being used to the boat, we did not get to fine trim but were more than happy with the responsiveness and motion. He wants to change the colour of the hulls so it is now laid up and he will work on it over the next couple of weeks.
So don't be afraid to look at ply boats.