Big beam is big.



As mentioned earlier, when not sailing, in September and October I spent a lot (a lot) of time trying to find a space big enough to build the Pahi 63. The idea was that we’d get a big shop, hire a bunch of guys and build it really fast.

That is not what happened.

What happened is we decided that the time spent looking for the right space would be better spent building the parts of the boat that we could build with the space we have, which is to say our garage and driveway. Today we passed a (small) milestone in the Montauk Catamaran Company boat shop. We moved the first two finished pieces out of the work area and into the storage area.

The photo above us akas #1 and #6 on a trestle of made of 4″x4″ pressure treated lumber. On the left is my friend Dave, who put in about 600 hours on Mon Tiki, and on the right is my wife Amelia, who’s idea it was to stop looking for a space and just start building the damn thing already.

These akas are over 26 feet long and weigh about 400lbs. The three of us moved them, which wasn’t easy, but wasn’t too hard either. Its the first chance we’ve had to just sort of look at them and think, “Wow, this is going to be a big boat!”

In the foreground are materials for akas #2 and #3. When finished they will be nearly 29 feet long, which is the full breadth of the ship. Then we’ll make two more just like them (#4 and #5) and that part of the Pahi 63 will be finished!

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8 thoughts on “Big beam is big.

  1. Awesome, David. I really mean that. There’s nothing like building shit with your own hands and sweat and initiative and bringing it all together. And this is the highest order of cool on that front.

    Btw, have you checked out the McPhee book on bark canoes Aaron suggested? It’s good! It’s McPhee!


    • After your last I looked it up, and I feel cautious about it. Like Mon Tiki before her the Pahi is not a re-enactment, or a whimsy, she is, or is hoped to be, the best match of design, material and (my) resources to solve the problem of providing for my family though work that I do not hate, and even (let’s hope) find fulfilling.

      I hold no malice to those who preserve techniques and traditions from the past, but I am contemptuous when these techniques and traditions are fetishized, and suspicious by the praises sung for this book (though not by you) the I would find this same sort of fetishization in its pages. There’s a lot to be learned from the past, but also a lot to be left behind.

      Also, who’s McPhee?


      • John McPhee. He wrote a life changing book called “Coming Into the Country” as well as “The Pine Barrens”, “Basin and Range” and a bunch of others. Good stuff.

        “The Survival of the Bark Canoe” is about a white guy who makes traditional birch bark canoes in the spirit (or more than…) of the early American cultures which utilized the technique. McPhee is good, man. Just read the first few sentences of any book and you’ll know what I mean. Coming into the Country is my favorite. About folks who very consciously go up to Alaska to live off the land.


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