Passenger Ferry Study

I read last week that the washington state department of transportation is looking for new passenger ferries. Typically they will want to pay $5 million for each one. And each one will need a thousand horsepower on each side to go 25 knots. And they will look like autonomous units, designed by fishboat designers.

In the spirit of my friend Larry’s ferry, A single yes, but a nice friendly looking boat. I propose a new Mosquito Fleet looking catamaran. Friendly and traditional, but built with infused composites and epoxy plywood/core/plywood sandwich cabin.
Last saturday I did a quick study model of the vessel.  65′ x 30′.  100 passengers. 27 knots with 500 hp per side.  About 1.5 miles per gallon. Cost should be under a million.



A big mess of sources. I worked on a lot of these during the last few trips. I imagine this kind of being crowd sourced where people will add to this as it goes along.  Some to be added anyway, but getting it out for what it is now.

A sources list now is different than it was when I first did the Construction Manual.  Presently the best way to locate boatbuilding products is to go to the manufacturers website, and from there find the vendors in your local area.  This list is pretty much for North America.   And it leans toward products that I have first or second-hand experience with. Builders elsewhere, get me your favorites and I will expand this.




System 3                    


WEST System           


Jamestown Dist.     

Fiberglass Supply  

Vinylester Resin

Ashland Chemical 

Interplastic Corp    

Composite Fabrics

Fiberglass Supply  

Fisheries supply     


Composites One    




Corecell                                      grain balsa/index.htm

Divinycell (crosslinked PVC)

Urethane             General Plastics









Core Craft FRP Honeycomb

Vacuum Bagging supplies and equipment




Anchor Hardwoods


Meridian Plywood         1-800-743-1126    Lynnwood, WA


Boulter Plywood    

Joubert Plywood    


Farwest Paint          




Rigging and Masts

Hall Spar





Fisheries Supply                    

West Marine                            

Outdoor cushions that do not absorb water. Dry-fast open cell polyurethane foam ideal for outdoor furniture and boat cushions. Five Year warranty.
 I have bought some light samples from HollySolar

  The watermaker store ( In san diego has a watermaker (up to 1500gpd) with a 130A alternator on it, all based on the Kubota 6hp diesel which purportedly uses 1/8 gallon per hour.


 Masts, Battens former omohundro 775-782-6788, often called the best mast builder

 Sailing equipment

 Synthetic rigging parts seen


 Carbon tubes

 racing software and electronics

Marine computing international

 make a black box that allos wind and radar to be fitted on a rotating mast (Mike Golding on his open 60 has one)

 Composite props

 electric outboards

 A Steerable diesel electric outboard:

 Steerable raisable electric drive:

 The Azimuting Podded Prop:

 Or these amazing drives

 Plastic Mirror  TAP Plastics Inc.


Go to electric power

   For nets

 window bedding techniques


 Northern Tool And Equipment    

Fax: 1-612-882-6927  Air tools, Auto, Engines, Generators, Gloves, Hydraulics ect…..

 For info on LED lights

 comparison table for plastics and other materials

 Composite materials

 Noah’s Marine 

 A local Vancouver company, Kraft Industrial Supplies.    Lots of other nifty pultruded shapes (I

confess I was surprised how cheap these things are).

 I just had a meeting with a rep from TriStar Plastics Corp. This is the

plastics equivalent of a steel service center. They stock plastic, machine

plastic and will provide technical advice on what is best for a particular

application. Interestingly they make a wide variety of bearings which would

seem ideal for rudders etc.

 plastic boat sheds

 Carbon tubes, start with these guys:


















Jan Gougeon

Godspeed Jan.

Jan and Meade basically invented modern epoxy boatbuilding. I had the honor and privilege to meet both of them at IBEX in ’09 at Miami. We spoke a lot. They were impressed with my Post-Apocalyptic Boatbuilding article. They told me that it motivated them into getting back into the biz of boats. They wanted to help make boats available to the 10%, not just the 1%. I couldn’t agree more. That’s what I also try to do. And on Sailing Anarchy ” “It is a double loss to us. Today we lose a great innovator that found great fun in building crazy machines in unexpected ways to further some very important technologies,” wrote one commenter. “And then there is the loss of a great guy that seemed untiring in his quest to help us little guys… Fair winds.” I recently went to the Facebook page of the catamaran design company named after the candy. Virtually everything there was toys for millionaires.  It’s not right.   Godspeed Jan.  Picture I took in Miami.  Isn’t that Jim Gardiner also?



36 Cat in AZ.

I just got this picture and note from Ian Walker in western Australia. He writes “I have been the proud and happy owner of a 36ft Hughes cat for 20 years. She is raced weekly for 9 months of the year then cruised around
the NW coast of Australia in the winter. She has covered several thousand
nautical miles, sometimes in atrocious conditions, including 1 night when
the wind exceeded 55 knots, and, to the credit of your design, has never
suffered structural failure.”

36take off

Pultrusions in Buildings

Usually we think of composite structures only being found on boats. Here in Copenhagen is a composite window structure in a hotel. Probably they are pultrusions.  Horizontal one is a solid fiberglass flange.
Vertical is fiberglass box section. They are much less of a heat sink than metal framing would be. Composites go corporate!


Holiday Discount Again

Once again we are offering the wildly successful Holiday plans price discount. Matthew has had to work a bit harder at it now as robots run the shopping cart and nobody can see the card numbers. I understand it will be for all orders over $1000 and will be for 20% off as before. Party on.

Matthew here, – would have been really easy, if i had any Excel skills 😉 – it’s all set up, the discount is 20% on all full plan sets, regardless of price… when you get to the shopping cart you will see the discounted price. Runs until January 15th. Now’s your chance to start building!

Accessible Daycharter Catamaran

Got a nice little write-up on a 50′ a solar-powered hybrid, handicap accessible, daycharter catamaran that I am designing. It will operate in Florida. It will be only 49 passenger, not 75. Foam-glass construction.

Drawings posted soon. This project is why this blog and all my other work got neglected for a while. Deadline was today.

Florida Fishing Academy to Add Handicap-Accessible Hybrid | Fort Lauderdale Magazine