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

All plywood to be best quality Marine grade Gaboon ply. Sheet sizes are 8' x4', 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.

General Procedure for Building Romany

Romany 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.

Romany hulls 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 foam sandwich GRP hulls.

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.

Cuddy 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.

Beams 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.

Hulls 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 boat after assembly of hulls and cuddy. 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 4600mm apart. Ensure that hulls are vertical and that diagonal distances are equal (otherwise one hull is in front of the other).

Cuddy 6mm ply 3 sheets, 9mm ply 12 sheets, 12mm ply 5 sheets

1" x 1" 50m, 2" x 1" 55m, 3" x 1" 35m, 3" x 2" 3m

Beams, kingpost 9mm ply 9 sheets, 12mm ply 4 sheets

3" x 2" 8 off 6m lengths 12 off 2.5m lengths, 6" x 2" 2.4m

Cockpit/wings 6mm ply 3 sheets, 9mm ply 9 sheets, 12mm ply 1 sheet 2" x 1" 40m, 2" x 2" 5m

Hull planking 9mm ply (8' x 4' sheet size) 37 sheets, or 9mm ply (8' x 5' sheet size) 20 sheets plus 12 sheets (8' x 4')

11/2" x 3/4" 200m, 3" x 1" 80m, 4" x 1" 15m

Decking 9mm ply 14 sheets, 12mm ply 1 sheet 2" x 1" 100m, 11/2" x 11/2" 20m

Interior 6mm ply 2 sheets, 9mm ply 7 sheets, 12mm ply 1 sheet 2" x 1" 50m (note: some can be ripped into 1" x 1")

Bulkheads 6mm ply 2 sheets, 9mm ply 10 sheets 2" x 1" 20m, 3" x 1" 70m

Gunwales 2" x 1" hardwood 20m

Glass joints 600g biaxial glass 75Kgs, glass sheathing 300g cloth 50Kgs epoxy 250Kgs

Polyurethene glue eg balcotan 20Kgs (or use more epoxy)

Paint and fillers etc

Nails barbed ring nails eg 8Kgs "Gripfast" 1" no 12g ( or, preferred, use st steels screws), 2Kg 3/4" no 14g. Stainless steel screws 1" x no 8, 3/4" x no 6