I write this sitting in the cabin
of my home built (not by me) epoxy
glass sheathed plywood catamaran
To be honest, at the moment it does look home built, but that should change by next week, as tomorrow we lift
the boat out in St Augustine for a repaint. Then it should look smart again.
The problem with ply boats is that they need maintainance, not constant, just some TLC from time to time. Unfortunately Romany's previous owner (not the original builder) did nothing to the boat under his ownership
. That wouldn't have been a problem with a grp boat.
Romany has already made one Annapolis
- Bahamas cruise
, we are part way through a second and may take it further. I don't think there is any real seaworthiness/performance/structural reason to favour one building material over another.
My other catamaran
is a strip plank cedar boat, now 16 years old yet still looks like a grp boat as it was expertly built and well maintained all its life.
One advantage of a wood boat is that it is easy to modify. Even fitting new deck gear
or running the wiring
for a new electrical
gadget can be near impossible on many fibreglass production boats with inner headlinings.
Furthermore, wood boats tend to be lighter than grp boats, especially in smaller sizes. Primarily because no one likes living in a basic unfinished grp shell. Rather they want to live in a wood interior
. So a grp boat tends to have a lot of heavy non-structural weight added, just to make it look pretty.
a second hand wood boat that you plan to "improve" makes a bit of sense. However if you just want to sail then maybe a wood boat is not for you.
Hope this helps
Richard Woods on a bouncy St Augustine anchorage on board Romany
Woods Designs Sailing Catamarans