In the Summer of 2006 I decided to build a boat that I’d dreamed about for over 20 years, a Polynesian catamaran designed by James Wharram.

The design I chose was the Tiki 38 –  38ft long, 22ft wide, big enough to live on, big enough to cross oceans safely, small enough to sail single-handed if necessary.

In August 2014 after 5000hrs of work I finally had my sailboat.

“I plead productive insanity m’lud”

Falmouth 3

I knew it’d be a challenge, Wharram boats don’t come as a kit, you buy paper plans, plywood, timber and epoxy, you use basic woodworking tools and off you go. Oh, and I was going to be working on my own, just to make it a bit more interesting.

Watch the video slideshow below to see seven years condensed into two minutes

The following photos show some key stages in the build. I’ve documented every hour and every detail so if you’re interested you can dive into the blog. TOP TIP: Use the archive widget in the right sidebar, you can search by year and month. But if you just want the highlights then just scroll down this page.

Finding somewhere to build was the first challenge, I found a barn just a few miles from the geographic centre of England, it was big enough, just. Weatherproof enough, just. So on 12th December 2006 I cut the first two pieces of plywood.


December 2006


February 2007


368 Hrs – Ready To Glass | The Gleda Project

DECEMBER 2007 (629Hrs):

December 2007 629Hrs

JUNE 2008 (Nearly 1000 Hours of Work)

996Hrs – June 2008

AUGUST 2012 (1989Hrs)

1989Hrs – Aug 2012

SEPTEMBER 2012 (2063Hrs)

2063Hrs – Sept 2012

NOVEMBER 2012 (2188Hrs)

2188Hrs –November 2012

JANUARY 2013 (2324Hrs)

2324Hrs –January 2013

FEBRUARY 2013 (2448Hrs)

2448Hrs – February 2013-1

2701Hrs – May 2013

JUNE 2013 (2848Hrs) 

2848Hrs – June 2013

AUGUST 2013 (3133Hrs)

3133Hrs – August 2013

DECEMBER 2013 (3371Hrs)

Dec13 View Fwd

Dec13 View Aft

JANUARY 2014 (3438Hrs)

Deck Bearers Aft

Portside Strakes

JANUARY 2014 (3462Hrs)

Gleda View Jan 14

FEBRUARY 2014 (3588Hrs)

Aft View Feb 14

Forward View Feb 14

APRIL 2014 (4000 Hrs – Moved out of the barn & ready to go)

2 Hulls Outside

MAY 2014 (Gleda is loaded onto 2 wagons for the trip down to Plymouth)

Hull On Wagon 1 Hull On Wagon 2

June 2014 (After final assembly at Weir Quay boatyard on the river Tamar, Gleda is manoeuvred through the yard and craned into the mud basin…… Scary!)

Weir Quay Lift

Weir Quay Basin

The masts are stepped

Mast Stepped

JULY 2014 – Gleda moves out to a swinging mooring and is finally properly afloat

WQ Mooring

AUGUST 2014 – After another approximately 300 hours of post transport work Gleda is finally sailing

Sailing 1 Sailing 2 Sailing 3 Sailing4

During 2015 & 2016 we sailed from Falmouth UK to Cartagena in Spain – Nearly 2000 miles. We’ve only just begun.

See the Route Map page for all our ports of call