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Old 22-05-2011, 07:14   #1
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Catamaran in the Philippines

My 43' catamaran has just been put in the water for rigging and engine testing. My builder is Nigel Roberts and he has a boatyard in Tombobo Bay on the central Philippine island of Negros - near the southern tip. This is my first boat (actually two boats as I had a sailing dingy built as well). After I retired and before I left California five years ago I got a certificate in sailing 30' keel boats (first Lido 14s and then the Shields). My plan is to live aboard with my Filipina girlfriend and circumnavigate the major islands of the central Philippines - sailing within sight of land and anchoring every night. Currently I think of the catamaran as a movable apartment with an ocean view - perhaps later I will become more adventurous. I suspect that a steep learning curve lies ahead and all the experienced sailors out there are vastly amused. Clearly I have many questions - and I probably have not yet thought of the really important ones.
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Old 22-05-2011, 08:53   #2
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Welcome aboard the CF Bruce,
You certainly came to the right place. Theres lots of experienced cruisers out there who will gladly and freely provide you great advice. Ask away. And do keep us posted on your journey.
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Old 22-05-2011, 13:01   #3
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Sounds like you will need some sailing lessons. The Phils are an ideal place for a cat & tri. Especially a tri with the shallow waters, and with over 7k islands you will never run of places to visit & drop the hook.......lessons, lessons, lessons........i2f
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Old 22-05-2011, 13:41   #4
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Love to see some photos
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Old 23-05-2011, 04:04   #5
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Sounds awesome!!
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Old 26-05-2011, 21:56   #6
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Bruce, you about one year ahead of me. Because I expect to return to the PI next year for retirement and intend to live aboard, I am most interested in the details of what you have done. I have too many questions and do not know where to start.

Tell me about your boat and can you post photos? Did you stay on site during the construction? Have you visited other boats built in that yard to judge how well they hold up?
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Old 27-05-2011, 02:28   #7
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

The boat is hand built from wood and fiberglass - it is probably more rugged and slower than most commercial boats similar to it in size.

The mast is only 42' from where it sits on top of the bulkhead that separates the salon from the cockpit. This is a bit far back but Nigel gave me a choice of where I wanted it and I didn't want the mast (support) in the salon. This means that the mainsail is not as long as it might be - but since Nigel rigs his boats without a mainsail I didn't see this as a problem. If you compare with other commercial boats the mast is about 10' shorter - Nigel explained why but you have to ask him - safety and rig tension. Nigel says that they are 'downwind' boats and primarily designed for comfortable living rather than sailing.

Originally the boat was going to be rigged to sail with a half height jib on the centerline and a genoa from each forward corner stay. Nigel has since changed his mind and is planning to rig the boat with a single genoa (or some such) on the centerline along with the jib (I think). Stays go to all four corners and there were originally plans for some side stays (shrouds?) - I will know more when I see it rigged. I figure that once I have some experience I can experiment with the sail plan and try the double genoa rig from the corner stays. I also think that it would be relatively easy to mount a small (200sqft?) mainsail using a bolt rope or hoops and leaving it footloose. My only experience has been sailing with a Bermuda (jib & mainsail) rig so I will just have to learn how to sail all over again.

The boat has four double berths and two singles (if you do galley up) but on my boat one of these is the galley and the other will be a workbench. Of the four double berths, starboard-forward will be the owner berth, the starboard-aft will be storage, port-forward will be guest/storage, and port rear will be for the maids.

There are three heads - one in each hull and one opposite the helm station in the cockpit - but the port hull head will not be finished immediately. The shower is in the cockpit head - its main function - and also gives the girls some privacy to pee.

The cockpit has a hard cover that goes back to the forward side of the rear box beam - the aft side of which is the transom. The transom mounts a 'duckboard' between the hulls and supports the dingy davits and the LPG tank. Both hulls have swim steps leading down to the water.

Three large box beams connect the hulls - one has storage, one has/is the water tank, and the third has the diesel tanks and more storage. Storage is everywhere - under the seats, in the steps, and along the hull bulkheads.

Alll of the windows are tinted plexiglass that are sealed and do not open. For ventilation there is a large hatch above each of the two forward berths - to which I am going to add air scoops. The salon on the bridge deck also has two ventilation hatches that will also have scoops. Air will exhaust via the rear double berth hatches and the salon door. Since an anchored or moored catamaran tends to have its bow into the wind I am hoping this will give good ventilation. As a backup I have 32 12 VDC brushless 5" computer fans that are being deployed singly, in pairs in the berths, and in quad arrays (galley).

The foredeck goes quite far up the bow so the trampoline area is only about 5' deep. There is a flotation compartment just aft of the bow and a number of chain and sail lockers up there. I will know more when I start stowing stuff.

The helm station is on the starboard side and has a hatch above and a large sliding plexiglass window so one can see out the front windows. Lighting is all white 12 VDC LED with red LED also at the helm and cockpit head. Steering is by cable to a rudder under each hull - I believe that these have a core stainless plate welded to a stainless rudder post and then covered in fiberglass. The tops of the posts have been squared off to take an emergency tiller.

There are no dagger-boards, just V hulls with a short vertical extension for the boat to rest on if it is beached.

There is a 22 hp Volvo Penta marine diesel in the port hull. This will help charge the battery bank nearby and Nigel says it will push the boat at around six knots. The prop has some kind of cage around it to keep debris from fouling it (if not, that is what the AirLine hooka is for) . I guess this is how one goes upwind. I was thinking about solar panels over the davits but so far this year there has been precious little sun and these things are expensive. Once I have some experience living aboard I can evaluate getting a wind generator - I would like to find a vertical axis mag-lev unit (totally wishful thinking - I can't even get an HX-750s VHF here). Until then I will likely live with a small 'suitcase' genset for supplemental (or main) charging.

Electrical requirements should be minimal - there is no refrigeration, no appliiances, and no radar (or SSB, chart plotters, and such). I do have a navagation program on each of my laptops but no experience with them. My depth sounder and GPS run on 'AA' batteries.

I had Nigel build me a companion wood and fiberglass sailing dingy (cat rigged so no jib). It has oar locks so it can be rowed (although Liza is pushing hard for an outboard - more money, more weight, more gas). The original thought being that I could brush up my sailing skills while the catamaran was being compoleted - but the little boat only has a main and the big one no main at all, and the big boat is likely to be rigged before the small. Likely I will use a local paraw rig with the mast and boom 'permanently' inside a fold in the luff and foot of the sail. I think that I can just fold the boom up against the mast and wrap the sail around the pair prior to putting a cover over it. Who knows - things change.

As far as I know, all of Nigel's boats are still in use. If you can send me an email I can forward a file on one that is/was on offer some time ago. Nigel's resort is just a stone's throw from the boatyard and I did stay there for three weeks (P400/night), and I anticipate going back soon. It has taken Nigel 2.5 years to build the boat so I have been traveling about and not pestering anyone (the build might have gone faster if I had but the area is somewhat isolated and my pinay gf gets bored quickly. I keep telling her that when you live aboard a boat there is always something to do - but she doesn't believe me.

I have a fair number of pictures but I am new to this site and don't know how to post them yet. I have sent pictures to others who have asked when they sent me an email that I could attach pictures to on a reply.

If you have specific questions, I will try to answer. Have a good day.
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Old 27-05-2011, 03:46   #8
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Bruce,
Kudos for leaving Nigel to control the build. Too many people that have a boat built interfere in the building process & the result can be a compromised build. As you can appreciate, during my previous time in The RP, I longed to have a sailboat & even put a sail rig on a banka at one point. While I am bringing a monohull - or,more correctly, she is bringing me - obviously, a multihull is perfect for those waters. Looking forward to meeting you in the future &, because I may not have said it on the other thread, Welcome to CF!
Mike
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Old 27-05-2011, 05:49   #9
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Your boat sounds like the one in the website? Can't wait to see some pics. The rig sounds a wee bit unusual. Although I have seen pics of such forward sails on each corner.

There is a lot to be said about your simplicity. I have (2) 185 watt solar panels, a Honda 2ki inverter, and a KISS wind generator to cover our needs. We have a small fridge, (2) electric windlass, (2) laptops, auto pilot, fan per cabin, and our running lights.

I believe you will find the wind scoops will push tons of air through the boat. We have no a/c while on the hook. Although we did have 2 window a/c units over hatches when we lived in a marina in northern Floriduh. I built boxes that seperated intake, and exhaust out of foamboard covered in a reflecting skin, silver. This kept the boat very cool on the hottest days of Floriduh.

We keep shade over the dark plastic windows to reflect heat. As well a shade over the cockpit that with zippers extends to the rear of the boat, and out too the sides. Shade is your friend in keeping the boat cool.

Imagine is also wood, and built with the West System. She has an outerr skin of cloth to give her added protection. The system is called cold molded which makes her light & strong. She has 4mm mahogany in 3 directions wrapped around her stringers, and bulkheads. How is your boat built?..........i2f
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Old 27-05-2011, 07:55   #10
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

When I am not sailing I expect to have reflective (silver sided) tarps rigged to shade the upper deck/roof. Every banka of any size in the PI has two poles to support a fore-aft pole or rope to support a tarp of some kind. This will hopefully provide shade without windage and help keep the boat cool.

Other electrical things I don't have are winches or aircon or an autopilot. There is an electric shower pump and I built a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine for my sleep apnea out of a 12 VAC bilge blower. My pinay gf expects to power various kinds of radio/CD/DVD/and speakers - and perhaps a small 12 10" VDC TV. Eventually I will have to figure out the size of my battery bank and decide if I can charge it. There are mostly no marinas here so I will be anchored most of the time.

As I recall the hulls are framed in a grid of about 2' square with marine ply on both sides - then fiberglassed. I work in steel not wood so the expert here is Nigel. My original thought was to build a catamaran out of corten steel - but: catamarans need to be light, and corten steel was hard to get and *very* expensive ("rust never sleeps"). When I found out that I could afford to have a catamaran built by Nigel I let him do it all.
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:25   #11
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

You did a nice job of describing your new boat, but the invitation for photos I can not pass up. I am new to the forum scene so have not attached photos either. That being said, I see there is a little icon above where we type that when the curser is on, it says insert images. Try that, or maybe another writer can give us advice. If all else fails, my email address is lmccarstle@gmail.com. Pleasse get in touch with me.

The boat building time shocked me. I am slowing down with work as I approach time to retire, but 2.5 years to build means I am late. My Pinoy wife wants a house built, too, on a beach property she has on Leyte. I had hoped I could live aboard the boat while doing the house.

Tell me, will this boat be registered in the PI? As as a follow up, do you know how long a visiting yacht can stay in the PI before having tax issues?
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Old 27-05-2011, 22:54   #12
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

OK, I clicked the 'insert image' link and it says "Please enter the URL of your image:" - but the image is on my hard drive, i.e. no URL.

I spent a month in Ormoc last year - my gf has an uncle in a small village near there - Merida (?) where the family home, in which my gf stayed as a child, is now almost completely gone to ocean. He lives in a corner near the road and has placed scrap over the corner too keep the sun off. You need to carefully look at the elevation of your beachfront property - where is the water level at astronomical high tide, or even at a spring high tide? The cat4 typhoon that just went by had a projected storm surge height of around six meters - so if you take a typhoon strike at high tide, and add the storm surge, and add the wave height (around 12 meters in this case) - will your new house bo OK?. Where was the shore when your wife was a child, and where is it now?

Some months ago, one of Nigel's boats was on offer at P2M - I can forward the file that the broker sent me if you want. My boat was already under construction so I was not interested.

I expect to register the boat in the USA. I have a permanent SRRV so i don't need to leave. If the boat needs to leave, Kota Kinabatu is just a short hop SE of Palawan - I think one can clear out at Boone's Point. Sabah on Borneo, Malaysia is very nice - I spent a week there.

Since you are married to a pinay your visa status is different so I have no idea what the tax status is, Nigel may be able to help - he has a pinay wife and is building himself a 50' catamaran. Have a good day.
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Old 28-05-2011, 00:45   #13
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

Bruce626, you are too right about the URL. Has me stumpted. Maybe ve can figure that out. I will see if I can get sme help on that.
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Old 28-05-2011, 01:55   #14
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Photos in posts...

When you click on the blue "Post Reply" button you should get taken to the Title/reply box.

If you scroll down from that box you should see a grey "Manage Attachments" button. Clicking on that pops up a separate screen with a column of "Browse".

Clicking on a "browse" button should take you into your own computer's desktop, that you can go into and select a photo. Saving the photo should cause it to start uploading. This can be repeated for each photo the you wish to include in your post.

Using small (in memory use, under 1Mb) photos should keep the time to upload and download your photos reasonable. There are various methods of resizing available, some are difficult to use. The one in "Paint" under Windows 7 works but is not particularly intuitive. There's one that you can download from Microsoft for XP that works well, but it doesn't work under Windows 7.

The "Insert Image" icon above the reply box can be used if you have saved the location of an image elsewhere on the internet. I doubt that it could be used to display images from your hard drive.

Don't forget to put some text in the box to keep our software happy.
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Old 28-05-2011, 03:18   #15
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Re: Catamaran in the Philippines

If you really want the image in your message, and not as an attachment at the bottom, then you can use an online photo storage facility, such as Flickr, to get a URL for your photos.
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