Copyright 2022 - Woods Designs, 16 King St, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2AT UK
  • production Strider 24

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

General Building Notes

General Procedure for Building Gypsy
Gypsy has been designed from the outset as a modular boat. The hulls, cuddy, cockpit and beams can all be made individually with final assembly not taking place until near the end of the building process. Furthermore, much of the construction can be done in an ordinary garage with a 8' (2.4m) wide door. This is a great saving in time and money as much can be built at home rather than in a boatyard.

These can be built using one of three techniques, but in each case the cuddy, cockpit, hull decks and beams are identical and are built in plywood and timber.
1) Hulls built in strip cedar, glass sheathed inside and out. This technique is only used for those building round bilge hulls. Such hulls are significantly harder and more expensive to build, but do result in a slightly faster boat.
2) Flat panel plywood hulls, glass sheathed.
3) Flat panel GRP hulls - either solid glass with foam stiffeners, or foam sandwich.
Option 2) is more familiar to most builders, but there is a lot more sanding, painting and finishing than with option 3). In addition, the grp hulls have better impact resistance and require less maintenance.
Resale values of the three types will vary depending where the boat is sold, but it is likely that option 2) is the cheapest to build but will also result in the lowest return on resale.

This is built from the bottom up, but to simplify building and cleaning, the nacelle is not fitted until final assembly. The interior layout can be modified to suit own preferences, or galley equipment. However, the furniture is structural and care must be taken to ensure that the cuddy bottom is well braced. If necessary, the cuddy can be joined to the anchor locker 100mm forward of forward end of cabin at a later date.

The mast beam is made in three sections so that the cuddy can be built separately from the  hulls. The sections are joined together during final assembly. The two main crossbeams hold the boat together and so must be made carefully! Try to avoid bolting unnecessary fittings to the beams to avoid the possibility of rot starting or the beams being weakened.

The  design of the cockpit is determined by the engine installation. We recommend the 4 stroke 8 or 9.9hp Yamaha outboard and this is best situated in the port side of the cockpit.

These are built upside down, using the same building frame for each hull so that they should be identical. Keels can be fitted to the bottom panel of the grp boat after assembly of hulls and cuddy. Wood boat keels are fitted in situ. Hulls should be  sanded and painted before turning over.

Final Assembly
Decks can be fitted to hulls before final assembly, but it is easier to fit beams before decking. Hulls are set up square and level, so that centrelines are 4200mm apart. Ensure that hulls are vertical and that diagonal distances are equal (otherwise one hull is in front of the other). Brace well and fit aft crossbeam. Fit cockpit. Fit cuddy and mastbeam. Fit aft beam to cockpit. Note: If hulls have been decked, beams will have to be slid into hulls and so it will be harder to line up the separate pieces.

Gypsy Materials List

(Approx, excluding waste)
All plywood to be best quality Marine grade Gaboon ply. Sheet sizes are 8' x 4', 2440 x 1220. But the hulls can be built using 8' x 5' if available to save making butt joints.
All timber to be at least "Joinery Quality". Unless noted otherwise all timber is softwood, eg Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce, Yellow Cedar or similar. All timber is "PAR", or "Planed all Round".  Thus sizes given are nominal, ie 2" x 1" has a finished planed size of approx 45mm x 20mm. (Note: It is usually cheaper to buy 2" x 1" and cut it in half to create 1" x 1").
Epoxy glue is recommended for all glue joints as it is the strongest and most watertight glue. However, it disadvantages are cost, toxicity, waste and slow mixing times. Thus, except for high stress areas (beams etc) glue joints can be made with polyurethene glue (eg Balcotan) or similar.

Sheet Ply
9mm ply 24 sheets if 8' x 4' or 16 sheets 8' x 5' and 4 sheets 8' x 4'
11/2" x 3/4" 120m, 2" x 1" 80m
300g glass cloth  20Kg, Epoxy 30Kg, Polyurethene Glue 15Kg (or use more epoxy)
1" x 14g "Gripfast" nails 5Kg or st steel screws 1in x no6
Flat Panel
600/300g or 600/225 Biaxial/mat 165Kg, 300g (CSM) 30Kg, 600g Chopped Strand Mat (CSM) 60Kg
Gelcoat 35kg, Laminating resin (Low Styrene recommended) 400kg, Bonding Paste approx 20Kg
10mm scored/contour foam  (eg Termanto , Divinycell etc) 45m2
Strip plank
10mm Western Red Cedar 50m2
600g Biaxial glass 100kg, Epoxy 150Kg, Polyurethene Glue 10Kg (or use extra epoxy)
CUDDY & DECKS (All Versions)
4mm ply 2 sheets (or use 6mm ply instead)
6mmply 15 sheets
9mm ply 20 sheets
12mm ply 1 sheet
18mm ply 1/2 sheet
2" x 1"  250m
1" x 1" 30m
3" x 2"  8 off 5100mm
Polyurethene glue 10Kg,  epoxy glue 35Kg plus fillers to suit
600g biaxial glass 5Kg, 300g cloth  25Kg
2Kg  1" x 12g  "Gripfast" nails or 1in no 6 st steel screws
1Kg  3/4" x 14g "Gripfast" nails or 3/4in no 6 st steel screws
paint, fillers as required