Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CNC Kits for 47ft Plywood Catamaran

There is a tremendous amount of work involved in preparing CNC cutting files for a big boat. When the boat is a catamaran, that preparatory work increases due to the two hulls and bridgedeck structures. A few people have asked about CNC kits for the DH550 catamaran. I have done panel files for the bulkheads but not for the remainder of the boat. That allows bulkheads to be cut by our normal plywood kit suppliers in various countries around the world. You can see the list of plywood kit suppliers on our kits page. For all other panels of the big cat the builder must develop the correct panel shapes by the normal boatbuilding methods then cut them from sheets of plywood.

Until now, this has also been the case for the smaller sister, the Dix 470. However, that is changing. A new company has been formed in UK to supply CNC kits for the Dix 470, available to both amateur and professional boatbuilders. Exocetus Yacht Kits has developed the cutting files in-house and is building the first boat. This gives them the hands-on experience to fully back up builders who choose to buy their kits. If a builder has a problem with any aspect of the construction, Exocetus will have already dealt with that issue and be able to answer the question.

Parts of a bulkhead ready for gluing.

The Exocetus kits use stepped scarph joints to join the parts of each panel, with the joints laid out to a saw-tooth pattern to add strength. This joint pattern can be seen in the photo above. People who build her as a one-off without a kit would do a conventional straight sloping scarph instead of this stepped sawtooth scarph.

Exocetus is keeping a complete photographic record of their build project on-line, which gives an excellent resource for builders to use for reference, as well as for potential builders to see what is involved in building one of these boats. The photo diaries can be accessed at the Dix 47 Catamaran Project .

They are developing various kits for the Dix 470, so that a builder can buy what is needed for the next stage of his construction or to suit his needs.

Stern steps, built from pre-cut components.

For information on this and our other designs and kits, please visit