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Old 01-09-2013, 11:28   #1
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Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I have been planning on doing some cruising for about 5 years now.
About a year ago after looking for a long time, I bought a 34ft catamaran.
It was a big project boat, which is what I wanted.
I enjoy designing and building things.

I have been and continue to read and learn about boat building and it is very sobering
to see how long these projects take.
What is really clear is that having help makes the progress often 5x faster.
I also know from my experience that doing something the first time is 10x more difficult
than doing it a second time. This leads me to the idea of a boat build co-op.

The boat build co-op idea is to have say 2 others that want to build a boat also,
and work together to build all 3 of our boats.
If we believe the previous 5x and 10x speed improvements, building 3 boats together
should be 50x faster than building 3 boats individually.
And not just technical, but socially, working with 2 others keeps you motivated
to get it done and allows you to see more progress.

This approach has been taken in the past and has been successful.

Boat building is tough to justify with all the cheap used boats,
but this is not so much the case for big catamarans.

My view is that the biggest hurdle in this approach is getting 3 people
to agree on the boat to build. Everyone seems to want something different.
But for this to work, the boats need to share most of the primary structure,
at minimum the hulls, since I think the plan of multiple boats makes the overhead
of making molds worthwhile, and using molds is a major time saver.
My current boat is in a DIY boatyard in the Sac Delta
that is near the water and is very inexpensive, and has room to build 3 38ft cats.

So I'm looking for 2 maybe 3 others that want to join up.
I expect it may take a while to find the right people, but I'm not in a big hurry.

If this is something you might be interested in please send me a PM,
we can get a mailing list to discuss the details.
And I'd appreciate help in getting the word out, I know there are many boat forums
and groups, and while I read many of them, I am not members of them.

I will probably create a website dedicated to this in the near future.
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Old 20-09-2013, 02:40   #2
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I have now created a website for this venture www.herding-cats-coop.org
Not much there yet, but please take a look.
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Old 30-09-2013, 05:40   #3
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Good luck with you speed multiplier. Not quite sure it works that way, but will be a lesson learned for all if it does
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Old 30-09-2013, 11:12   #4
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Someone has beat you to it.
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Old 30-09-2013, 16:03   #5
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Can't really see it going 50x faster, but no doubt 2 people can work more than twice as fast as one on his own. I know when I was fitting cables and the like I was climbing from one end of the boat to the other. Would have gone much faster with two!

A good source for info for home builders is here: DIY Yachts • Index page
Lot's of know-how and experience there.
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Old 30-09-2013, 16:27   #6
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Can't really see it going 50x faster, but no doubt 2 people can work more than twice as fast as one on his own. I know when I was fitting cables and the like I was climbing from one end of the boat to the other. Would have gone much faster with two!

A good source for info for home builders is here: DIY Yachts • Index page
Lot's of know-how and experience there.
What is realistic is a 9x speedup. 3 boats built in 1/3 the time it takes to build one. This is entirely possible by using female molds. As I point out on the herding-cats-coop.org website, a Fusion 40 can be put together in 16 days.
Now read that again. 16 DAYS to build a 40ft catamaran. Not fitted out, but the structure built. If I said that was possible, NOBODY would believe it.
But they document the build. Of course this does not count the time to make the parts from the molds, nor the time to make the molds themselves, but is that going to take 9 years? Or 3 years? Or 3 months?
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:24   #7
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Contact Jim Brown. He did this in the 70s to build Searunner trimarans
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:31   #8
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
What is realistic is a 9x speedup. 3 boats built in 1/3 the time it takes to build one. This is entirely possible by using female molds. As I point out on the herding-cats-coop.org website, a Fusion 40 can be put together in 16 days.
Now read that again. 16 DAYS to build a 40ft catamaran. Not fitted out, but the structure built. If I said that was possible, NOBODY would believe it.
But they document the build. Of course this does not count the time to make the parts from the molds, nor the time to make the molds themselves, but is that going to take 9 years? Or 3 years? Or 3 months?
That 16 day thing is a real scam, sure you can do it, but the cost of the kit and materials is super high.

Plus the time to fit out a shell like that is huge.

Anyway, I wish you luck with your research. Best to start cutting some material if you really want to build a boat.
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Old 01-10-2013, 13:45   #9
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I've learned to not start building a big boat unless you are ready and able to finish it. And building a big boat is too much for one person.

My herd is now 2, as I've purchased a 19ft Pacific Cat that will be used for prototyping an electric drive and solar panels setup. Anyone in the sf bay area need a 27ft mast and boom, and torn up sails? I won't be needing them.

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Old 01-10-2013, 14:09   #10
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how do you post a new thread on this site please?

sorry to change the subject but how do you post a new thread on this site? I can not see a link.
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Old 01-10-2013, 14:56   #11
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
I've learned to not start building a big boat unless you are ready and able to finish it. And building a big boat is too much for one person.
Really? I built mine, and did every bit, including fairing, painting, wiring... only the gas fitout was done professionally because it was a legal requirement.
And I have several friends who built theirs, from 10 metre Easys up to a 60 foot self designed cat.

Fusions take similar numbers of manhours to complete as many other similar sized boats.

I disagree that 3 people will build 3 boats 9 times faster then one person on one boat. Each boat will take x,000 manhours to build. the three boats will each need all those manhours spent on them. Some parts will be quicker for sure, having a helping hand available, but some, I'd suggest most, jobs will take as long as normal (in manhours).

Anyway, it'll be easy to see - my 44'cat took me, by myself, a shade under 4 years to build. By your reasoning you guys should be able to launch 3 similar sized boats in well under 6 months.

IMO it's not gonna happen.
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Old 01-10-2013, 15:19   #12
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

I should add, I DO think it's a good idea. If you can find 3 like minded people, who agree on what they want to build, and can all work together well, you can definitely save money, by buying collectively, renting shed space together, etc. I also expect it WILL produce boats faster - just don't think 9 times faster is realistic..
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Old 01-10-2013, 15:33   #13
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

So if you're not ready to put in the time, why waste the effort in this thread?
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Old 01-10-2013, 15:55   #14
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

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So if you're not ready to put in the time, why waste the effort in this thread?
Is the "you" in that sentence YOU?
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Old 01-10-2013, 16:30   #15
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Re: Herding Cats -- Cat Builder Co-op

Mate, I'm doing it.

Your just think of abstractions and reasons why it might not work out that well for you unless you can come up with this super great scheme. If it takes 3000 hours to build a boat it take 3000 hours. I man 3000, 2 men 1500, 3 men 1000. I assume you can take the math from here.

Probably was a bunch of time managing it all if you have much more than 3 or 4.
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