Modified Tangaroa MK I Haulout Dec. 2001 Launch May 2005 Projected Completion: Spring 2006

I bought this boat 5 years ago and worked on it in the harbor. The weather on the Oregon coast is always blustery and I didn't get much accomplished. Finally the decision was made to get the boat out of the water and under a roof.

There was a building I had my eye on but the problem was hauling the boat a mile down the highway. I analysed and rejected several plans, including using two trailers on a yoke with cradles so the hulls could be dissassembled from the beams and each hull towed and reassembled. This was a time consuming and expensive plan.

After inquiring with friends, I heard of a badly rusted but big boat trailer free for the taking. After considerable rebuilding of the trailer and the installation of stout crossbeams on which to carry the boat, she was hauled in December of 2001 with "Wide Load" signs and flashing lights in the early AM.

The work to be done is extensive, but now that I can work on her full time, the target launch date is summer of 05. More photos will be added to as the project moves along.


Click on Images to enlarge
The big day. Babalul on the ramp with buddy Chris ready to tow. The modified trailer needed 12' of cable from the hitch to the tow ball on the truck to get the trailer in deep enough. An axle bent due to uneven tire pressure and a new one had to be installed in the harbor parking lot.

Babalu outside her shed, waiting for the inside space to be cleared of a mountain of junk, wiring to be installed, an office to be constructed and phone line to be run. Being just off the highway and close to town was a big plus and made the move trouble free

It's hard to see the trailer in this photo, but the ends of the transverse beams have angled uprights that helped locate Babalu on the trailer. She was balanced perfectly front to back as well with about 150 lbs on the tow ball. This was a two axle trailer, reinforced with channel iron.

The boat was towed with a wide load permit in the early morning at first light and required a lead and chase vehicle with flashing lights. I made the flashing lights from battery powered armband strobes. We had 2 way wlkie talkie communication to help keep her on our side of the road.

Here she is tucked into the shop. getting around on deck requires ducking under some of the rafters. I've since added safety railings all around the deck suspended from the rafters. It was a tight squeeze, but Chris made it inside in two tries with no scraped paint.

Looking forward from the back of the shed. It's nice to be out of the weather with lots of floor space and workbenches. The red flags from the towing operation are still attached to the rudders. The roof leaks a bit, but the sun warms the south wall and keeps things temperate

Looking forward between the hulls. This is the main woodworking area with planer, chop saw and table saw, the strange UFO looking thing on wheels. This is a 2 hp saw built in the 40's, a real antique, great tool. There's enough room to roll in my VW bus ans work on her too.

Looking forward up the starboard side. This is the assembly and metal working area. Behind the yellow door is the office with computer and design station. The deck access ladders (2) are made from 2 X 4 lumber and have PVC plastic tubing for hand rails.

Launch May, 2005

My catamaran "Babalu" is in the water after a successful launch last Saturday, May 7, at the crack of dawn. This marks the start of the "light at the end of the tunnel" phase for the 6 year long project. By this time next year I'll be getting ready to sail south to Baja California and the Sea of Cortez with the wheel in one hand, a pina colada in the other.

Jeremy, Oleh and I worked like dogs to make the Saturday deadline. Saturday morning is when there is the least traffic on the mile long stretch of Highway 101 that was our route to the Bandon Marina launch ramp. We were hoping to be there before there were many fishermen wanting to launch their boats. Bandon's marina is pretty busy, seems like Oregonians are all sports fishermen or quilters.

The operation wasn't without it's glitches. As I was lowering the boat onto Oleh's trailer, specially rigged with huge fir beams to take the width of the two hulls, the right rear side kept going lower and lower with ominous creaking sounds. Inspection of the axle area showed a crack the size of Oklahoma in the trailer frame and a broken spring bracket weld. Luckily this was between the two wheels and accessable for a quick weld repair. The outside weld was easy but the inside required the talents of a contortionist, which, fortunately I possess. With the weld completed, and my smoking welder's gloves doused in cold water, we lowered the full two tons of the catamaran onto the trailer. More creaking but the frame held, tho the trailer bed had a curve to it kind of like the Golden Gate Bridge. Any doubts as to whether the trailer would withstand the rigors of the trip were settled by the kids on a mattress bounce test. She was solid.

Next day we arrived at the shop before sunup and removed the front doors and a section of wall made to come out. The building had at one time housed a local shuttle bus service and had an offcenter center post (story of my life) so two big busses could squeeze in. This is probably the only building in Bandon that I could have fit the boat into. I wish my landlord, Leo, fertility and a bountiful harvest. It was a straight pull out of the shop and onto 101, leaving our sleepy watchman volunteer, Charlie, behind to keep an eye my precious belt sander until we could get back and put the doors back on.

We had a Wide Load permit with Jeremy in the lead car and me in the chase car with a walkie talkie so I could give Oleh instructions about where the boat's sides were in relation to telephone poles, speed limit signs, mailboxes, etc. The boat was a wee bit larger than the permit said it was, but we managed to keep her mostly on our side of the double line. I think we missed the Bandon City Limits sign by six inches. Oleh drove like he was born with clutch pedals for feet. He's the guy in one of the pictures taken at the celebration breakfast.

Once we made the left turn towards the harbor I could relax my clenched buttocks muscles a bit until the last obstacle, a sharp right turn into the boat launch lot. We missed the Launch Ramp sign by a comfortable margin and pulled into launch position at the head of the ramp. Since the boat was so long and the trailer tongue a standard length, we couldn't just back the rig down the ramp without putting the entire rear of Oleh's pickup under water, so we blocked the wheels just beyond the crest of the ramp, turned the pickup around and attached a hundred foot winch cable to the bumper winch and let her down the ramp real slow and smooth.

Slowly slowly Babalu neared her mother element and at last the hull met the water which was at low tide, um, very low tide, lowest tide of the month. Half way in and half way out, she stopped moving down the ramp. The trailer wheels had gone off the end of the concrete and were in the bottom sand. Me and Don and Jeremy tried to wiggle and pull the boat off the trailer. No dice. The sun was well up and I knew the ramp lot would be full of fishermen wanting to launch their boats. I was about to be written into the sh*t list of a dozen unhappy anglers, probably gun toting militiamen lumberjacks. We waited nervously for a half hour. Miraculously the lot stayed empty, possibly an epidemic of hangovers were being orchestrated by my autistic hunchback guardian angel.

You can see Don and me pulling on ropes in another picture, trying to coax Babalu into the Pacific Ocean. Eventually she slid free and only one fisherman was seen loading his Winchester. All in all it went well. I'm really glad we didn't meet any semi trucks coming the other way that morning.


Oleh checks the trailer hitch looking a little nervous at zero dark thirty on the day of the launch. His trailer had a broken spring mount that we welded in the shop the day before and we're hoping the welds hold for the mile trip down Highway 101 to Bandon harbor.
Babalu sits at the head of the harbor launch ramp. We want to get her launched before fishermen start showing up. The plan is to set the boat past the crest of the ramp, block the wheels, turn the pickup around and use the winch cable to lower her into the water
Another view at the head of the ramp before we turn the pickup around. Oleh is concerned that the steepness of the ramp might want to tip the boat onto its rudders. Don suggested that we tie the front netting beam to the trailer so in case that happens the boat will stay on the trailer
Carambas! We launched at the lowest tide of the month and the trailer wheels are now off the end of the concrete ramp, sitting in the basin sand. Don and I are tugging at ropes, wiggling Babalu off the trailer. We had to wait a half hour for the tide to come in a bit and she finally slid off.
She's in and sitting pretty, level on her lines. Later we moved her 200 yards out into the Coquille to the boat harbor. With the Port's skiff between the hulls, we tugged her in to the berth. She tracked true and turned tight at low speeds. Them big paddle rudders are the ticket.

Modifications and Drawings

This is the tangaroa MK I as I found her in Bandon Harbot 6 years ago. Note the radically cantelevered cabin extensions inboard and the flush to the hull cabin bulkhead outboard. She was in sad shape, rot pockets everywhere and extensive rot in the stem and sternposts.
Port sternpost replacement. I've already completed the starboard sternpost and will do both stemposts. About half of the stringers had rot in their ends and had to have a foot of new mahogany scarfed in. Luckily the skegs were in good shape tho quite wet, but salt water does not support rot fungus, so they were fine once dried out. 90% of the rot on the boat was caused by poorly bedded bolts and lag screws.
This is my system for towing strap beam mounts. The strap is looped in two thicknesses, hand sewn and mounted around two thick aluminum tubes over through bolts of stainless allthread. A strap carrying pad sits on the beam, wider than the beam dimension so that the pull on the allthread is vertical, nofluctuating lateral stresses on stainless steel! A spacer box on the cabin give the beam room for the rear allthread.
I made a double padeye for the anchor bridle of 3/8" stainless with a 3/4" pin. The inboard side will carry a bridle for the sea anchor, permanently ready to deploy and the outboard side will carry the anchor bridle. This is bolted to the stempost with 4 pcs 5/8" stainless allthread. The stempost wood was tapped & the allthread threads into the wood, bolted inside and out after tapped holes were epoxy coated. No more rot!
The netting beams are recycled lamp posts, 1/4" thick aluminum. They have pipe tubes welded in the ends and are fitted to carriers at either end, all of which ride on a 1 1/2" stainless pipe that is permanently epoxied through the stem and sternposts. A 1/2" stainless allthread throughbolt holds the works in place. This is a strong system able to carry the pulpit walkway and anchor fore and the swim ramp and dinghy aft.
The cabin hatches and washboards are Brazilian mahogany that is often available at a local plywood factory. The veneers are shipped on pallets made from exotic hardwoods! Needless to say there will be lots of brightwork touches on the boat. The vent louvers are from old closet louvers and are hinged to open and close. The hatch and washboard handles were cut down from standard teak grabrail.
The dinghy is undergoing renovation at this time so I can have a work platform for finishing the boat while in the harbor. It was given to me by Oleh, a freebie, but it was in sad shape, All the wood has been replaced by mahogany pallet wood and a storage bin has been added under the seat.
This is my first idea for a towing strap beam mount system using ylon rope insteadof strap for added flexibility. My Tangaroa is old and I wanted a strong beam mount system with more metal linking everything to the hull and no bracket mounting holes in the beams. I eventually went for the below design because I knew that the towing straps would be strong. They were sewn into double thickness loops with nylon leather craft thread. The loops had to be precisely measured and sewn so the adjuster nylock nuts would just hit the nylock when first tightening them. (I did all the sewing while listening to old Goon Show reruns)
The towing strap system is obviously not as flexible as the nylong rope system would have been, but having the beams more rigidly mounted did not seem to be a crucial issue, since the strength factor over the rubber shock absorber method is probably double. The deck under the mounts was massively reinforced with laminated hardwood pads epoxied in and pinned from 3 directions. NO deck separation worries here!
The rudders were rebuilt with the hardwood cheeks epoxied to the rudder stock. The previous owners had only bolted them to the rudder. I added 3" to the bottom of the rudder so it would sit higher above the sternposts and allow for a windvane and trim ruddre arrangement. I'll use the Gaia type dual cable tiller system with a quadrant on the port rudder with cable and motorcycle chain steering.
I recommend that Wharram builders invest a thousand dollars in a wire feed welder with stainless and aluminum gas shielding capability, about $1k US if you shop around. I made all my pintles out of 1/4" X 3" stainless strap and stainless pipe. The two top pintlse are held in by 4 1/2" stainless allthread bolts threaded into the sternpost. The threaded sternpost hole was coated with epoxy for water proofing.
The four upper female pintles were welded up as per the drawing. They are mega strong and will take anything the sea has to give. I'll probably have 100 extra pounds in metal in the boat, but the overbuild trade off will be balanced by the lack of a steering pod and spectra rope rigging. The rudders can be lifted off the pintles easily. They are held in by a 1/4" cotter pin in the top pintle.
I had the opportunity to see an Ariki that was in SF Bay and liked the way they had the bulwark stand off the hull an inch as a scupper arrangement. I'll incorporate the safety railing stancheons in that stand off concept. The railings will have square tubing bottoms where they go between the hull and bulwark, and round tubing above the bulwark. The railing will be UV resistant spectra, more weight saving.
Where the bulwarks butt together, I'll have glassed in wooden stanoffs, between each stauncheon. The bulwarks and stauncheons will be permanently installed with the hardwood caprail epoxied on last. The bulwarks will also be glassed. Any subsequent repair to the bulwarks or stancheons will necessitate the removal of at least half the bulwark from the hull, but I'll face that if the time comes.
I wanted to have a parachute sea anchor permanently ready to deploy so I came up with this anchor bridle padeye design. It is 3/8" stainless with a 3/4" pin, massively welded with 4 5/8" stailness allthread bolts through threaded stempost wood & bolted at both ends. The outer space will hold the parachute anchor cable thimble and the inner space will carry the anchor bridle rode.
I've been wracking my brain to come up with a means to dog down the storage hatches really tight yet allow them to be hinged open facing either fore or aft depending on the wind for berth ventillation. This design is complex and I may opt for very tight UV proof rubber tie straps with provision for chain and padlock for locking. I'll fit 45* angle ply side sheets under the half open hatch cover to make an air scoop
These are preliminary sketches for a simple wind vane steering rig using a trim rudder. I'd like to attach both vanes together with cables so that adjusting one for wind direction will also adjust the other. I'm sure it will work but have no idea what size to make the vane to get decent performance in light airs. The trim rudder control rod will make the rudder angle via U-bolts.
This is the preliminary sketch for the mast step. I'm making the Tangaroa into a burmuda masthead sloop rig with the mast sitting on a longitudinal beam which then sits on the two center hull beams. I may make it out of aluminum plate. An all metals mig welder means I can make all the fun metal bits for the boat. The step will be easily moveable for helm tuning. It will also be a tabernacle step.
Running the steering cables in my boat presents some problems. There will be a chain & sprocket at the wheel axle attached to the belden cables through the hull internally, emerging about 3' before the rudder and quadrant. I wanted a way to keep these cables well adjusted and fell back on motorcycle cable adjusters as the concept.