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Tiki 26 - Technical data
Do it yourself Catamaran

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Montenegro - Albania
1000 miles Adriatic


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Plan for Tiki 26 – No. 362

Catamaran in made 100% of plywood, pine, wild pine, oak wood and epoxi.
For years I had been longing for my own boat while sitting at the sea or in the docks. I had bought literature and magazines with a scent of sea, I went diving, fishing and sometimes I drove a boat. I even bought 2 plans but I never had the guts to start. One day, in a magazine called YU NAVTIKA I read several articles about catamarans, I was the most inspired by Milos Delac’s article describing a DIY 8 meter catamaran (YU NAVTIKA, 1988, pg. 83). It was love at first sight. I wrote to the constructor and he sent me a brochure. And after that I could not decide to build it for another long 15 years.

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To choose a boat is no picnic
There are many questions and the choice depends on several things, the aim and the area of sailing included. A boat should be easy to carry around, it should not sink too deep, there should be a lot of space on the deck, it has to be fast and of course it has to be low-cost and easy to maintain.

The other day I was sitting at the end of a dock in the town of Izola watching boats sailing by thinking how it is all about three primal wishes: luxury, speed and low price. I was thinking how to join all of them and I was comparing boats along themselves. A luxurious and fast boat costs a lot of money. A luxurious and cheap one is usually an old fart that gets you nowhere and there are high costs included and unforeseen. Well, a quick, luxurious and cheap boat… with a large deck… that does not sink to deep while sailing… even the transport needs to be easy. That can only be a catamaran!

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I got all the DIY material in Slovenia.
In the summer of 2003 it has all started; I sent 385 GBP to the constructor in Great Britain. After a week I got a huge envelope with construction plans in it. The next day I have already caught myself buying wood.

The most I was wondering how can an amateur that knows nothing about building boats can build a DIY catamaran. Probably it was because of this question that the majority never thinks of DIY. Well, it was not difficult, I just started and somehow it went. The constructor adapted plans to be easy-to-read for those that have no clue what DIY means in the first place (DIY = do it yourself).

The DIY construction plan is actually a comic book including all of the instructions on how to use tools and materials. It is meant as a construction of playwood, wood and epoxy. So the boat is easy, flexible and strong.

I got all the material without a problem in Slovenia. I got oak wood and ocume playwood in a Slovenijales store in Šentvid near Ljubljana that is usually imported by the Javor company from the town of Pivka. Even this company has its store in Ljubljana, however they want you to pay immediately. In Slovenijales they gave me wood in advance and I had it transported. I bought epoxy in Mitol in the town of Sežana, all other extras for mixing fillets and fabrics I got in the Mirnik company in Ljubljana and some of it in Trieste.

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Serial production on our home backyard
We started to build the catamaran in the beginning of July on our home backyard. In three weeks the rough construction of the first boat was peaking out of our home garage. It was finished in a month and a half, afterwards we started to build another one. This scared our “good neighbor” so that he called the police. They came to demand that all of the works be stopped. Of course we ignored them and continued with our work in front of them. A week afterwards when we were in the middle of the upper part of hullside on the second hull, we were visited by a marketing inspector and he demanded the documentation that allows serial boat production.

“So he came because somebody said we are involved in illegal stuff here?”

“Aha, there are two boats here I wonder how many of them are already completed!”

“We have 10 orders until the end of the year” I said and the inspector believed it. Uh how hard it was for me to convince him we were only building a catamaran.

Until the middle of October both sides of the catamaran were completed, all the three beams, cockpit and mast. The day became shorter. Temperatures went down. No more hot and long summer. We had to work with epoxy and that is why we needed a dry and at a warm place. We loaded a truck and drove our boat to a deserted factory.

In the next two months we made all the details, inner equipment, lids, mast, gaff and steerings. Catamaran was laminated and colored. At the end of December we drove it towards the sea. There it waited for the summer; olive trees were keeping him company, not far away from the shore.

My family, neighbors and several friends helped me to build the catamaran. It would not be finished so soon and that smoothly without them. The whole process of building took us five months, approximately 2000 work hours from July to December of 2003.

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Putting the Catamaran together and its furnishing
In the beginning of July 2004, catamaran was brought to Yachting center in Izola. It took us 6 weeks to build the catamaran, to bring 12V electricity on it, to place the instruments and do some other necessary things. Again, several old friends and new ones that I have met in Izola helped us a great deal. The catamaran was built so quickly and finished thanks to sponsors, especially to Boris Šolar from the Četrta pot company who contributed the complete solar system, special thanks goes to Jan Rihar from the Loka Trend company for all the instruments and a VHF station; special thanks goes also to SR d.o.o. company from the town of Preddvor who furnished the catamaran with sails, trampolins and awning and many other people as well.

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And finally there came the great moment when our catamaran got its name: ARIKI. In Maori language it means the firstborn child and even the head of the tribe. Maori people live on islands in the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Polynesia, and their traditional boats are catamarans.

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First sailing
We set out for a gray day, past old boats in the shipyard. We slided through a flock of auks that flew further away screaming. Five adults on board. The old Tomos 4 roaring, Ariki gliding from the bay with its 5 knots per hour. The wind for a good 3, almost no waves. Afterwards we lift the main sail and we tighten it. The wind blowing and makes the catamaran glide on. The foot of the motor rises from water. The propeller is searching for wind but the foot is not pushed back into water. I turn it off. The jib is pulled to the mast and we sail into the open.

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In the following days we were wandering along the Slovenian shore, we had our first storm in the unprotected Strunjan. We had fun in Trieste, we sailed to Grado and wandered across the lagoon. On our way back, only a couple of miles from Izola, a storm caught us and hit into full sails. The last days we sailed with a great speed and in the sea behind Ariki there were traces of foam. In the next 15 minutes, in a heavy shower, we set foot in the dock of Izola

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Costs of building, motor and equipment: approx 15,000 EUR

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