I have been building , designing and cruising 11 months a year in steel
boats since 1976. Origami boatbuilding techniques have enabled me to pull together 36 foot hulls in as little as two days from the time the steel arrives and tack together 36 ft shells ( hull , decks , wheelhouse, cockpit
, skeg and rudder
) in less than a week.My book"Origami Metal Boatbuilding" is a manual on the method.I've built over 33 steel boats . I lost
my first boat ,a ferro
cement 36 footer, in Fiji
in 1975, in conditions that would have never even dammaged a steel boat. My boats have survived everything from 16 days pounding in 8 ft surf on the west coast
, pounding accross 300 yards of Fijian Coral
reef, colision with a freighter in Gibralter, winter passage
down the Oregon
coast, pounding overnight on a rocky BC lee shore in 35 knots of wind
with 100 miles of fetch, all without any major dammage .
I have crossed the Pacific many times in my boats. In my current
boat I made two trips to Tonga
and back since 1999. Sailing on a dark moonless night , thinking about all the cargo containers that have gone missing and are still floating out there , is much more relaxed in a steel boat. Collision
with one would probably sink a fibreglass boat , but would be extremely unlikely to seriously damage a steel boat.I wouldn't even consider going to sea in any boat that wasn't made of steel. I couldn't relax enough to enjoy it. Cruising the BC coast , collision
with rocks is a minor inconvenience.
I use a 225 amp buzzbox for building, which is all I have ever needed.This enables one to work outdors in rough conditions saving both money
and time in the buiklding proccess. i've used a propane
cutting torch for most of my boats, but the few times a good plasma cutter
was available it saved a lot of time. It takes a big compressor
to run one. I once built a boat with too small a compressor
for the plasma. It was quicker with the torch , than waiting for the compressor to catch up.
I'm looking foreward to trying the new steelcutting skilsaw blades . They will drasticaly reduce the time and make for better results, especially for first time metal workers.
Alex Christie ( firstname.lastname@example.org
) has made a DVD
of the origami building process.