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I would like to know if the time estimated on James Wharram website are accurate. If not what are the experience from people that did built a Wharram catamaran. 

Example I am looking at building a Pahi 31, it says 1100 hours. Is it way optimistic estimate or accurate?

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It all depends on the finish you require.The amount of money you have to buy materials outright.Sticking to the plans.And how much time you are prepared to devote to the project.Do you have a suitable build site for the duration etc.

It can be done if you apply some time saving techniques that are documented on this site.Good luck in your endeavours.

I have not heard of any project being completed within the designer estimated time. I my case it took more than double the estimated time and I am an experienced builder. As Paul says it depends on the level of finish, but I think even medium level of finish as in my case 2x3 times designers estimate. Cheers

It is all about "man hours." But not all man hours are equal.

Three people can do considerably more EXPONENTIALLY together than one man alone in the same period of time. Three of us spent 200 man hours building two sets of cross beams for two boats (8 beams), whereas it took 80 hours for one man alone to build one beam.

It took 18 man hours for three of us to glass the lower part of one Tiki 38 hull, and two of us took 40 hours to accomplish the same thing on the second lower hull.

If you have three people working, the labor "man hours" Wharram gives are accurate. If it will be just you, and you have little to no experience, expect 3-5x more hours.

I would agree with everything that has been said. I estimated I put in 700-750 hours building a Tiki 21 single handed when the plan suggested it would take 350 - 500 hours. I had a fair bit of wood working experience previous but it was my first time building a boat and working with epoxy. I also had a great workshop space and lots of tools.

I will be watching closely to see how the Mana comes together once I get started. Hanneke has stated that it took 700 man hours to build the first one and I am allowing myself that much plus 10%. I hope I am right - I want to be launched before my 70th birthday! :) 

NEIL HAWKESFORD are you the one that built GLEDA? If yes I am amazed by your built. Congradulation.!!! One of the nicest tiki 38 i sean so far. So many questions I have for you, I will send you a private message when I have a chance.
Of curse I will finish reading your blog it might answer all my questions.

It took me about 400h to build my hitia 17 instead of 250h according to James Wharram. I think it's a common ratio.

If I had to build another one I 'll need less but may be more than 250h.


Don't forget to allow for time standing back admiring what you've just done and dreaming what it will be like when it's finished and in the water.  I lose hours that way...

Chuck Valley said:

Neil's blog is good and mostly accurate on build time. Time spent on getting materials, tool maintenance, crying, getting money, taking time off to live life are not there. You might look at my blog: www.acatnameddog.com  But I don't recommend it. That's all the warning you get. 8 years for a Tiki 38.....that way, you won't be disappointed.

So true, robert!

if you are very skilled and organized and don't include any electric, plumbing,hatches, or ANY systems or extras at all and are satisfied with a hack level of finish you might be able to make the JWD time estimates. Add on from there. If you have pride in your work not a chance!

Why do you suppose so many boats take 7-10 years to complete and so many end up as dead dreams offered for a fraction of material cost? 

1. The plans are inadequate

2. The support network is very small

3. Disposable/consumable materials are not usually calculated in the cost to build. For larger boats, this can easily climb into the 5 digit category

4. If you do not have extra hands, some parts of the build require extra days to accomplish instead of hours or minutes.

5. Epoxy work is not suited for all people, especially fillets and gluing techniques can be hard to master without prior experience or someone teaching.

6. Costs exceed expectations

7. Building materials are purchased as needed instead of in bulk, which increases costs

8. Wood can be a difficult material if you do not have some working knowledge at the beginning

9. When the hulls are completed, less than 1/3 of the work is done, which overwhelms people.

10. Time is finite and builders eventually start to realize this.

An incomplete boat is nothing more than old materials that may or may not have been properly cared for. An incomplete boat is the project of someone else, which may be difficult for an amateur to take over. Very few people are suited to take on someone's incomplete project. I have taken over four different incomplete boat projects: Three had good to expert craftsmanship, and one was so poorly built that I burned it and kept the remaining materials. I never paid anything remotely close to material costs because the projects were unknowns and completing them was still time and material extensive.

boatsmith said:

Why do you suppose so many boats take 7-10 years to complete and so many end up as dead dreams offered for a fraction of material cost? 

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