It took us three years to decide on a design and construction method. We looked at many types of boats, sent for study plans, met with designers and people building their own boats. We almost chose to build a Ted Brewer design, the Jason 35. It is a traditional monohull with classic lines. The future first mate thought the cockpit was not suitable for her and, just to make sure we hadn't missed any possibilities, suggested we look into multihulls. (She also liked the idea of not heeling so much!)

We sent for more study plans. When the plans from John Marples for the Constant Camber® method showed up, we set aside all the others. The construction method sounded like a perfect fit and, after meeting John at his home in Port Orchard, WA, we chose the CC40 trimaran.

The first step is the construction of the sectional mold. It must be very precise as its accuracy will be reflected in the fairness and curve of the hulls. The stringers are covered with the same layered 1/8" 3-ply AAA mahogany material as the hull panels, then faired. The builder must take extreme care at this stage or his boat will not be pretty!

The hulls are assembled without stringers, the panels are butt-jointed using a butt strap, then taped and filleted with epoxy. The CC40 has 1/2" thick panels, but if we'd decided to move up to the CC44, we'd have had to add another layer of 1/8" for a 5/8" hull thickness. We have seen the CC44 down in Santa Cruz, CA, and it is an attractive boat, a racer-cruiser with open wings. We were more interested in cruising and chose the closed-wing version of the CC40, slightly smaller and lighter, and less material and cost to build.

A boatbuilder must also be prepared to spend many years on his project, without wavering from the goal of sailing away. As you progress through these pages you will notice my hair graying considerably, not from the frustration of building but merely time. My youngest son shown in this photograph is now a full-fledged firefighter/EMT and is 26 years old! So perseverance is paramount.

Laying up the first panel...

This site, copy and photographs copyright Nina Courtney.