65' passenger ferry catamaran design is designed to
passengers on Lake
Victoria . The very efficient hulls take
relatively little power and generate very
little wake. 500 hp per side gives 31
As with the earlier 85' ferry
project, I wondered why a
ferry could not be built locally in Africa
with local plywood and epoxy instead of alloy
or fiberglass from Europe? That would
be less expensive and very long lived.
My first USCG certified
catamaran design was built of plywood/epoxy in 1984
and still operates every day in Kona, Hawaii.
operation would not only remove the large dollar cash
transfer from developing countries to industrialized
ones, but it would create a local skill-
set that would allow future vessels to be built the
Only the epoxy, sheathing fiberglass
and machinery would need to be imported. It
turned out that visionary and entrepreneur Rob Smith
of the Agapos Foundation, among organizations, felt
the same way. We are colaborating on this catamaran
for Lake Victoria. Unit #1 is being built here near
Seattle. The remainder of the vessels will be built
The design could and would conform
to classing society rules and thus could be easily
insured. In appearance and function, it would
be identical to a plastic or metal one built here
or in Europe.
I see my role as not only designing
the vessels, but also assisting in design of the process
to build them.
I am by now, expert in both
fiberglass and plywood/epoxy vessel design
and construction. Furthermore, I do considerable US
Coast Guard certified vessel design. This design
could take advantage of my experience in a unique
fusion of skills.
The design is evolving, and will
be updated from these early images.
For example the design used to have balsa core, but
will now use plywood "eggcrate" grids instead,
as shown below on the bridgedeck component.
#1 ended up with revisions that will put her down
on her lines, but I intend to be more involved with
the latter units.