Wharram Builders and Friends

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Hi everyone!  My husband and I are looking into building a Narai Mrk IV and I've been trying to come up with an accurate estimate of build time based on some people's recommendations that the 2500-3000 hours MIGHT become as much as 6000 hours by the end.  This is for people who have built ANY of the Wharrams --- can you let me know your end build times in comparison to the estimates given by the Wharram plans?  How accurate have these estimated hours been for YOU?

Thanks in advance!

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Wonderful replies guys.

 Boat building is a totally absorbing hobby. As such it brings it's own rewards. Many are the hours I have spent sighting along a board visualising it slicing through the sea as a kayak or in a wild surf down a winter breaker on our west coast.

So much so that I no longer draw any of my small craft / kayaks / surfskis. I cut the main panels [ the ones I judge to determine the qualities of the finished craft ] prop them in place [ by eye ] and fill in between by offering-up and marking - always with an eye to the clean flow of the lines.

This has worked well enough to win me some impressive prizes [ Well I was impressed ] but has eff-all to with this discussion.

However many people ask my advice on building a boat.

Advice I give to people who wish to build is -- NO -- Dont do it. 

If you want a SUPER HOBBY build a boat but if you want to GO SAILING think again.

This is craft/ trade work and if you are not experienced you will be learning -on -the-job. This is slow. It is a wonderful and rewarding experience but if your goal is to GO SAILING in say two / three years you should look very carefully at what you are commiting yourself to.

There is a lot of learning in boat-building. This is also what makes it such an absorbing hobby. I break this process down [ roughly ] as follows

1. First boat takes 2x times too long and costs 2x as much as it needs to because you do EVERYTHING perfect. Nothing wrong with the boat and immense satisfaction in it's completion but instead of GOING SAILING life has passed you by and you are now in a new job / house / relationship and have other plans.

2 Second boat - learning from your mistakes you use ALL the shortcuts  /money-savers you learned on build one. This will be the one !!!

Unfortunately because you are still learning  it still takes longer than you hoped still costs more than you hoped and because you took ALL the shortcuts the finished product is a heap of ++it.

3 boat three - finally you are in with a fighting chance. You take SOME of the shortcuts pay attention where you need to and dont sweat the small stuff. You might do OK.

If you do there is no hope for you. You are now addicted to something stronger than HEROIN.

This is a true story. This is the story of my life.

And I do'nt regret a day of it.


As a starter project/learning experience, start with a tender for the bigger project? It will give you some experience of epoxy and ply building and you will also see if you like it or not.
One of the advantages of building is the ability to buy as you build, thereby breaking up the expenses into smaller monthly amounts - for those who can't fork out the whole amount in one go for a secondhand boat.
Customising is another plus - as most seem to want something different .... Or is that a negative?
I know wharrams thinks its good for you to cut your own ply... But would cnc cutting be an option for many as a small addition to speeding up the process?

I was thinking about CNC, I have a friend who could set that up for me.  I had decided a while ago that making the cuts would be fast and easy for me by hand, and if you have it CNCed ahead of time there is the risk that the pieces don't fit right.  If I build, cut each piece one at a time and then dry fit before cutting the other four identical pieces there seems to be a smaller margin of error.  In the grand scheme of things it sounds like the cutting is a tiny percentage of the build when compared to the epoxying and fileting.  I would be very interested in building a small Wharram, or a nice little tender this year, and see where Kris and I are at in Spring of 2014.

   To everyone who is giving us input, THANK YOU.  There is a lot of good, logical information in this thread, now (as well as some illogical, emotional and passionate dreamings of warmer climates, blue water and palm trees. TY!)

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