Construction Update #14

The big news this week is the teak deck has been installed in the cockpit and transoms! This is one of the options we chose, and even though it adds weight to the boat, we just love the look and feel of teak when living aboard.

There was a bit of a mix up on the mast pictures for the last update. They were actually not of our mast, but a mast for one of the other boats under construction. There are 8 boats being built right now! The construction team assures me they will make sure they put the correct mast on our boat 🙂

Support pillars for the dinghy davits

Support pillars for the dinghy davits


Teak deck installation, demonstrating an impressive use of weights to keep the surface flat and even while the adhesive sets!


Decking extends from the cockpit down the transom steps and up the steps to each of the wheel helm stations.


Each transom holds 28, five gallon drums. An important fact that will no doubt come in handy one day!


4 blade folding propeller. The really nice aspect of the turbo charged engines is they provide significantlymore torque for the same engine size and weight. This allows us to fit a 4 blade prop instead of the smaller 3 blade. The 4 blade delivers more power at lower revs.

4 blade folding propeller. This is a nice aspect of the turbo charged engine option, which develops a lot more torque for the same engine size and weight. This allows us to fit a 4 blade prop instead of the smaller 3 blade. The 4 blade produces more power at lower RPM, which means less stress and wear on the engines, less vibration, less noise and more available peak power when needed.

Prop in folded position.

Here’s the propeller in folded position, which reduces drag when under sail with the engines off. Also note the mini skeg in front of the drive shaft. This is a standard feature on Outremer yachts. The skeg is sacrificial, and protects the drive shaft and propeller in the event the boat runs over an object in the water. It can’t really protect against a submerged shipping container, but it does a great job of protecting against logs, branches, trash, fishing platforms, and sleeping whales.


Rotating mast base is now installed along with the traveller cars for the self tacking jib. The anchor windlass is also installed (bottom left of photo).


Side deck and with lifelines installed. There’s an option to use Dyneema lifelines to save weight, (Dyneema is a very strong, thin synthetic line) but we decided to stay with the standard stainless steel lines, because they are more comfortable to lean against and are easier to use to tie on the fenders. The weight difference wasn’t enough to justify the inconvenience.




Port bow


Salon settee. Air registers for the air conditioning are installed and wiring distribution is complete. The layout, easy access and neat organization of the wiring panels is important. It makes it easier to maintain, and find and fix problems that for some reason always seem to happen at 2AM in 3 meter seas! It might seem obvious, but there are not many boat builders that do as nice a job as Outremer with their systems layout and installation. Our last boat had panels all over the place, and many were in locations that were were very difficult to access. It meant that some faults underway had to be postponed until calmer conditions, which made running repairs more complicated than they needed to be.


Bathroom washbasin


Port master suite companionway looking forward.


Stbd companionway looking aft.


Lindsay’s cabin (stbd aft) all finished!


LED strip lighting in salon ceiling.


Port companionway looking aft towards master cabin, with office desk and fold out seat to the right.


Salon kitchen.


Salon. B&G instruments fitted at chart table.


Port side of salon.

10 thoughts on “Construction Update #14

  1. hi Doug, just wondering how much additional weight the teak decking adds and what would have been used if you had not gone with teak? thanks David

    • Hi David,

      The weight penalty for the teak decking is 180kg, which is a lot for sure, and it’s why this was a painful decision (for me at least, it was a no brainer for Robin 🙂 ). It does feel great and look awesome though. As far as I know, there are three alternatives:

      1. Use a synthetic decking product. Outremer have used this on some of their other boats, but we didn’t like the look and feel of it compared to teak. I don’t know if there is a weight difference, you would have to contact the Outremer folks to find out.

      2. Install teak on the transom steps and the steps leading up to the wheel helm stations and have plain gelcoat everywhere else. This is what most 5X owners have done. It will still add some weight, but obviously a lot less, and it looks nicer than bare gelcoat. I don’t know what the weight difference is because we didn’t consider this.

      3. No teak at all, just use the gelcoat, same as the rest of the deck surface.


  2. Hi Doug,

    Couple of questions on the skegs, how are they attached to the hull to be sacrificial? Recess in the hull and glued? Break away bolts? Also, can the skegs support the weight of the boat and will the rudders be protected should you want to beach the boat?


    • Hi Gary,

      I couldn’t recall the exact details on the skegs, so I talked with Francois at Outremer to be sure I answered you correctly.

      The skegs are glued to the hull in order to be sacrificial, but still strong enough to support the weight of the boat. When resting on the skegs on a flat surface, the rudders will be 30cm clear of the ground.

      When on the hard, Outremer advises to spread the weight over a larger area than just the skegs, which is standard practice for all boats.

      When beaching, it’s important to make sure the skegs don’t sink too deep into the surface, which could allow the rudders to contact the ground. This is particularly important when beaching on sand. The easiest is to rest the skegs on some wooden planks to spread the load over a larger ground area.


      • Thanks for the response Doug. Just a short follow up, did your Catana have skegs as well? If not, did you have concern with the exposed sail drives and rudders? Any knowledge of other Catana’s having rudder or sail drive damage from collisions?


  3. Yes, our Catana had skegs as well. While they are supposed to able to beach on level ground, there was only a few inches clearance under the rudder when we tried this, so we were never able to do it, although there were times I would have liked to.

    We had several incidents where the skegs on the Catana protected us. We grounded in a very shallow anchorage in Indonesia. Nothing serious, but the skegs lightly scraped the rock bottom as we were trying to get as shallow as possible for some lunchtime snorkeling. No damage.

    We ran over a log when we were motoring east of Bali, the log hit the skeg and rolled under the boat. I was able to cut the throttles in time, but there was no impact to the saildrive or rudder and no damage to the skeg either.

    We ran over one of those FAD (fish attracting device) platforms in Indonesia one night (the damn things are everywhere). It was just some branches and plastic containers for flotation. Nothing major and no damage.

    Based on these experiences, I am convinced that sacrificial skegs are effective and are a necessary item on cruising catamarans.


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