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Newby Hitia 17 question ... Help.... Am I mad ?

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Anonymous (not verified)
Newby Hitia 17 question ... Help.... Am I mad ?
Often, purely asking that question means the answer is ..NO,... but not always. On this occasion I'm not sure. So i'm putting it out there. I have a dilemma. I've been aware of Wharram cats for only a few years, but I heard the philosophy...which made perfect sense, I bought the book..which i loved, I bought the design book.. which inspired me, I bought study plans..which inspired me a bit more. Now I have building plans for a Hitia 17 which seems to be a good boat for my skills/ time/ resources available. My dilemma is that I was given 2 fibreglass Shearwater hulls which I tidied up over the summer (before buying the Hitia plans). I've been thinking that maybe I could modify these hulls to take the crossbeams and rig from the Hitia 17. Possibly even add a stem and stern post so that I can use the Wharram lashed rudder system. The hulls are obviously vastly different from the Wharram design...flat stern, round bottom, designed to use centre boards and kick up rudders. I'm into utilising what's avaiable in order to get on the water as soon as possible and to minimise my expenses and build time. Safety is, of course, a concern and solidly fixing wood to fibreglass is what I'm going to have to do for this to work. Any opinions on this subject would be most welcome.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Newby Hitia 17 question ... Help.... Am I mad ?
I don't know what a Shearwater is, but I think the money, difficulty and performance issues of making a catamaran out of two hulls that are not intended for that use... would make the exercise a net loss. Beam attachment in particular is a very high-load, high-stakes issue. I don't know about where you are, but in a lot of the USA, there are cheap used beach cats to be had if you look hard enough. If you really wanted to be able to sail while building the Hitia, a $700 Hobie from Craigslist sounds like a safer, more enjoyable bet. Some of the skills would transfer, and I'm sure the Hobie experience would make you enjoy the Wharram that much more when it was done. But if you do build it, I think you should call it Frankencat. :) --Rich in CO, USA
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Newby Hitia 17 question ... Help.... Am I mad ?
I think it would be very difficult to convert the Shearwater to having beam and rudder lashings, in effect a major rebuild which would be an inefficient use of resources. What you might be able to do though is fit a Tiki 17 mast and sail which you could transfer to the Hitia 17 when you have that built, this assumes that all that is needed is an appropriate mast step fitting on the Shearwater beams and you have the beams, rudders,etc. otherwise my take would be the same as above.
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Newby Hitia 17 question ... Help.... Am I mad ?
Hi Rich and Robert, thanks for the replies. Deep down, I know that you're right. Trying to combine parts which weren't designed to fit together is going to present me with more headaches than building from scratch following a very clear set of plans. Also I won't know for sure if it will work until I try it out for real. The main problems and potential weaknesses are certainly going to be in altering the fibreglass hulls. I like the Hitia 17 mast and sails on Shearwater beams idea though. That sounds much more workable. Unfortunately the beams I have are not exactly the right ones, that's why I wanted to use Hitia beams so they could be transferred when the hulls are made. I think I'm beginning to see sense now..... If I commit myself to building the Hitia hulls then I can finally bury this "Frankencat" (love the name) idea once and for all. We all know what happened to Victor Frankenstein. It didn't end too well for him...! So I'll take that as the cautionary tale it's meant to be and move on. I hope to be posting some photos as we go. Anyone need a pair of Shearwater hulls...??? Richie Frankenstein. London.
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