One hull on its side...

Although the hulls were 'faired' at the boat builders in Thailand they were not at an acceptable standard, but to be fair I did remove the hulls whilst they were still working on the final stages.

The builder in Christchurch had a novel idea and that was to lay the hulls on their side for fairing and undercoating. This was a good move as it made the work a lot easier not only for the hull sides but also the deck.

They have only been working on them for a few days but the fairing and undercoating should be complete in another few days.


Building has resumed...

Good news at last.  Yesterday the project that  had been tying up a number of Davies staff and thus preventing my project getting underway has finally been completed.  The delay has been due to the owner adding a LOT of unplanned extras.

Anyway, tomorrow the hulls are going to be laid on their sides and the fairing completed and by next week the final undercoat should be on.  They will then complete the fairing and undercoating of the interior.

I have had our architect working on completing the drawings for the cockpit area which I think will be very practical and comfortable.  I have put a lot of thought into this area over the last year.  I will post these drawings up within the next week.

I also have him working on the galley design so I can be sure that every item has a place to go.  To be sure I bought all the galley equipment so everything can be measured before the final drawings are complete.

The genset has been here for a while as has the watermaker and other bits and pieces.  The electric motors should be here within a couple of days.

Unfortunately I have to go to Shanghai tomorrow and then on to Thailand but I expect photos each week showing progress.  I will post these now on a regular basis.

We are aiming for a launch sometime in November which is only a little later than I had planned so the delay is not a major problem.  Its been really cold here lately so not exactly sailing weather.



An idea for the swim platform...

When I was in Thailand last a few weeks ago I visited Maxim in Phuket who runs a bareboat charter operation called Siam Sailing

I had met Maxim a couple of years ago when I charted one of his Tiki 30's.  He has a couple of these and also a couple of T38's.

Maxim had offered his advice on various aspects of my build so a thought that I would go down to Phuket to visit him and get more first hand info.  Maxim was extremely helpful and I spent a very enjoyable and entertaining evening with the number of empty beer cans would indicate.

Anyway, what was interesting is that I had earlier decided that I wanted the aft deck planked and the swim ladder underneath the decking.  Well lo and behold Maxim had already thought of that and was using that concept on his T38's. 

The ladder pulls up and tucks underneath the decking and the part of the decking which covers the ladder simply hinges over when the ladder is not in use.  Great idea and I will use it.


The Delay is last!

'Natural High'  did arrive in New Zealand as planned at the end of February.  I knew that I would have to wait until the beginning of April before any work could be started because Davie Norris of Davie Norris boatbuilders had already told me that it would be April before he could even look at my project.

He had a number of large vessels due to be completed at around that time so his focus was getting these done before taking on any more work.

Davie is a very much hands on boat builder and never advertises for work as he always has a queue of people wanting him to build boats.  He has a substantial operation but one that he can manage and keep under control.  He builds boat because he loves building them.  That certainly appears to be his main motivation and as such has an enviable reputation for building a good product and taking care of his customers.

Click to read more ...


Back on Track...

A few days ago I did an entry about why I shipped my boat back to New Zealand from Thailand. There were also some follow up posts related to this.

Unfortunately, my entries stirred up a lot of emotion with some people and as a result the blog got ‘hi-jacked’ by some people and was starting to degenerate into a slanging match. I do not moderate this blog and I do not have time to monitor every comment.

Because of the dozens of comments it was getting away from the objective of the blog which is to monitor the progress of the construction of my Tiki 38, not to be a forum for people with personal agendas I decided the best course of action was to simply remove these entries and ensure that the blog moved back ‘on topic’.

The hulls should arrive in NZ within the next week and after they do I will resume reporting on progress.


'Natural High' sets sail...

Well...not quite!  Earlier this week the two hulls, beams and rudders along with some timber were loaded into 2 x 40' containers and are now on their way back to New Zealand where I will have the vessel finished.

Although I am in Thailand frequently it will be more convenient for me to have it in Christchurch, New Zealand where I can more easily attend and observe all the 'non standard' items such as the electic motors etc. 

The hulls should arrive in NZ around the beginning of March and work should recommence towards the end of that month.  With a bit of luck she will be ready for sea trials around August.  


Lithium Phosphate Batteries?

I have been doing some research on battery options to run the electric motors, and of course the rest of the electrics on Natural High.

I know that the lead acid batteries are tried and proven, but they sure are heavy and with all the recent research that has been going on with electric powered equipment I was sure that there would e something better...and I think that there is.

It seems that lithium phosphate batteries could be the answer so that is what I started focusing on.  I have found a manufacturer in China that seems to produce a very good product.  I will be over there at the end of next week and will be making more enquiries of this manufacturer through my contacts there although I may not have time to visit them during that trip.

I am still getting together all the facts but at this stage it seems that these batteries may be viable...and there would be a significant weight saving.  Based on initial calculations it would seem that I would only need about 60kgs of these batteries to equal the 224kgs of the lead acid batteries...a saving of around 160kgs!

There are still a number of unanswered questions such as how to recharge them using the 48V 100amp genset, plus the solar panels and of course the regeneration properties of the electric motors themselves.

If the answers are all viable I will be delighted and will mean that having the luxury of the genset, watermaker and air con unit will still collectively translate to less weight than staying with conventional low tech alternatives.

I will let you know how it evolves and if viable I will post links to the battery manufacturers. 


Thirsty at sea!

I really like a good supply of fresh untainted water when I am at sea...and of course being able to rinse down with fresh water at the end of the day.  Yes, I know that some Wharram sailors will scoff at that...but what the hell I am going to do that anyway.  I had my share of roughing it when I was commercial fishing and also logging in the bush...I now like my little bits of comfort.

Anyway, I am going to install a watermaker.  The one I have a preference for is the DC unit called Little Wonder produced by Village Marine in the USA.  I used to buy some of their equipment about 15 years ago and it was excellent.  The one that I am interested in is the 24V LWM-200

Just waiting for final prices and then I will make a decision.

By the way, progress on Natural High has slowed a bit over the last week and will remain slow for the next 2 - 3 weeks.  This is because some of the crew have been allocated to my friend Creed O'Hanlon's Tiki in order to give progress on that boat a boost and ensure he gets into the water next month.  Creed is now back in Thailand and driving things hard towards completion.  That's OK with me as I am keen to see Creeds boat in the water so I can see how all the rigging works.  A few weeks delay on my boat doesn't worry me at all.

I understand most things about boats except the sails and rigging.  This will be the first time I have owned a boat with sails so I am really keen to see Creeds boat in the water and have a sail on it.