It is almost five years this fall, since I received my plans from James Wharram Designs and cut the first plywood panels. I realized it with terror last week, as I was looking at some older photos of the project. Undoubtedly it was a voyage with storms and calms, with many disappointments but also with the happiness that the fulfillment of a dream gives you!
When you get involved in a project like this for the first time you can't possibly realize it's actual size and extensions. Early enthusiasm is a bad advisor and the designers estimations about building cost and man working hours required are far from true and totally disorientating, even if you want the "basic" yacht. In my case though inexperience in handling a boatbuilding project and a lot of unexpected changes in my personal life (good ones fortunately!) led me to a lot of wrong choices which have cost me a lot of extra money, effort and time. It is true that in some moments during these five years the thought of giving up passed through my mind. Then, something always happened and this bloody 31 emerged through the waves again!
Now, as anyone can see in the photos below, I am closer than ever in finishing the boat. The starboard hull is upside down, being glassed and prepped for painting. The port hull is ready up to the deck level as I write these lines. Crossbeams are ready, waiting to be measured, cut to length and installed as soon as the beam throughs of the port hull are ready as well.
At the same time though, the end of the project still seems so disappointingly far away that makes the last drops of motivation inside me to evaporate. My family and I have moved to another city, about 80 km away from the building shed. This led to the elimination of my own boatbuilding time. Vassiliadis bros turned out to be another wrong choice as they need constant supervision and guidance to keep up with the standards I demand on a boat that I pay to be prof finished...! All the above led to a lot of delays and a lot of extra money, way out of the original estimations. Furthermore, a dreadful economical situation in Greece at the time makes the future of the project even more uncertain. It is time for some hard decisions if this Wharram cat is ever going to be launced....