Friday, April 24, 2015

Kit-build Dix 470 Plywood Catamaran

Assembly of the prototype Dix 470 plywood kit by Exocetus Yachts in UK is progressing nicely. This is the second hull, with improvements added into the kit since assembly of the first hull. These photos were sent to me by Exocetus.

Exocetus is able to use more advanced methods than would be used by amateur builders but the kit is set up to allow those with more basic facilities to produce comparable quality. Being the developers of the kit, they have cut all of the components themselves on their own CNC equipment. They also have a large press that they use to join multiple sheets of plywood into long panels or other large components, like bulkheads, cabin soles etc.

Sheets being joined into long hull panels by means of a press.
This long outboard hull panel was pre-assembled into one large piece before installation.
Inboard hull side fitted, with horns for major bulkheads projecting into the bridgedeck area.
Bottom panels were fitted installed.
The side panels were glued into longer lengths for convenient assembly with the equipment available to Exocetus. For my own projects and more primitive methods, I prefer to assemble skin panels in single-sheet lengths. This leaves considerably more scope for adjustment during installation to remedy any possible errors that arise due to builder error. The bottom panels were installed in single-sheet lengths, to allow accurate fitment at the centreline joint.

In the last photo above, the jigsaw joint was aligned using a strip of plywood, wrapped in plastic tape, as a temporary butt-strap. A short screw into each lobe of the jigsaw pattern ensured accurate assembly and held the joint securely until the epoxy had set.

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