We hear you ask: What’s that picture? It is the first milestone of a massive boat building project.
Some of you will remember Chris Guthrie from his paragliding activities some 20 years ago! These days, he is still attracted to weather dependent and adventurous past times, but has shifted his attention to sailing – well, when we say sailing we mean building a sailing boat… Yap, not known for going half measures, Chris and his partner Michelle are building an Easy Catamaran: a 40ft (12m) craft called “Outback Dreamer“. We are following their endeavour with great interest since Outback Dreamer is of the same catamaran stable as Take It Easy and also because we hold great admiration for people who dare to dream big.
This mammoth catamaran construction project started over four years ago and Chris is determined to complete the build within the next 6 to 12 months. How is that for determination, single-mindedness, persistence and… maybe, just maybe… a tiny dose of madness? The whole enterprise is all consuming and truly impressive. Just imagine the extent of the work: starting from countless lengths of timber and marine plywood sheets, thousands of screws, and 30 pages of plans, you launch into building the hulls, the bridge deck, the cabin, glassing the whole lot, fitting all the internals, selecting every bit of material, gear, systems, instruments… It is mind boggling! We have visited the “shipyard” a few times and are in awe. The task is just so gargantuan. By the way, this shipyard of theirs is conveniently located nowhere near the sea, since Chris and Michelle live on a farm near Shepparton in Victoria and are hiding their most unlikely farm contraption inside a huge shed.
Over the past years, we have had numerous conversations with Chris. Wade enjoys the weekly phone chats when Chris picks his brains, compares notes on particular bits of gear, or seeks a practical yachtie’s opinion on deck fittings or instrument choices. Sharing this boat building journey is fascinating and in a way enhances our understanding of our own boat’s fabrication. It would be so satisfying to build your own yacht, but so overwhelming too. Certainly not a journey for everyone!
In July, Chris and I got together to start documenting some of this journey and to look through the many photos he has taken during the build to-date. I could not resist throwing lots of questions at him and writing an article for Multihull World. The story gives readers a glimpse of the work involved, the personal commitments, the highlights and challenges. It is coming out in the September/October issue of the magazine, much to our boat builder’s delight. Click on the link or go to our Published page to read the article Dream Builders.
Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the various stages of Outback Dreamer‘s construction to date. You might also like to visit the Outback Dreamer’s website.
Stay tuned for the sequel, when the beast is completed, launched, and Chris & Michelle embark on their maiden voyage.