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”
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 2007 (629Hrs):
JUNE 2008 (Nearly 1000 Hours of Work)
AUGUST 2012 (1989Hrs)
SEPTEMBER 2012 (2063Hrs)
NOVEMBER 2012 (2188Hrs)
JANUARY 2013 (2324Hrs)
FEBRUARY 2013 (2448Hrs)
JUNE 2013 (2848Hrs)
AUGUST 2013 (3133Hrs)
DECEMBER 2013 (3371Hrs)
JANUARY 2014 (3438Hrs)
JANUARY 2014 (3462Hrs)
FEBRUARY 2014 (3588Hrs)
APRIL 2014 (4000 Hrs – Moved out of the barn & ready to go)
MAY 2014 (Gleda is loaded onto 2 wagons for the trip down to Plymouth)
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!)
The masts are stepped
JULY 2014 – Gleda moves out to a swinging mooring and is finally properly afloat
AUGUST 2014 – After another approximately 300 hours of post transport work Gleda is finally sailing
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