The building of Tokyo Express

Tokyo Express is a 40ft (12m) sailing catamaran that I built starting in late 1994 and launched on the 15th August 1997.

She is a Grainger design which I modified, creating a new bridge deck cabin that I could stand up in. With a standing headroom of 2 metres and wrap-around windows giving all-around visibility, she has an airy feel inside.

Tokyo Express (TE), has one large “mega-board” of my design, replacing the original daggerboards. The hull construction is strip-plank western red cedar.

The cedar core is fibreglassed inside and out with epoxy resin. Interior floors and bulkheads are all marine plywood. The external finish is 2 pack Polyurethane paint with acrylic windows bonded to the hull.

She sports a fractional rig with a fully battened mainsail. Engines are two (2) 9.9hp 4-stroke Yamaha outboards. One of which doubles as a 120 amp alternator.

Speed under motor is 9 knots with 2 motors, 7 knots with 1 motor. Speed under sail was excellent with this lightweight catamaran. She is an easily driven boat and after fitting the single, very large daggerboard, goes up-wind like no other cat.

The beginning

The original shed was constructed years before with the idea of building a 21 foot keel yacht in it.  I lengthened it with the intention of building the cat in 3 parts.  To be assembled at another location.  It was a start. The first hull was built in the extended shed with the deck on, as a complete unit, to be trailered to another location to be assembled together.. Building in sections like this added quite a bit of time to the build.

The launching

Construction of the bridge deck, or centre section. In this phase of the build I down tools on the boat and built a new shed. To enable the whole boat to be built on site. After assembling the port hull and bridge deck in the new shed, the starboard hull was built next to them.  This went considerably quicker than the first hull. Things were coming together.  Here, the final assembly.  Connecting the steering, installing the engines etc.  Painting the boat. Bonding in the windows.

The build

Construction of the bridge deck, or centre section. In this phase of the build I down tools on the boat and built a new shed. To enable the whole boat to be built on site. After assembling the port hull and bridge deck in the new shed, the starboard hull was built next to them.  This went considerably quicker than the first hull. Things were coming together.  Here, the final assembly.  Connecting the steering, installing the engines etc.  Painting the boat. Bonding in the windows.

Cruising

Construction of the bridge deck, or centre section. In this phase of the build I down tools on the boat and built a new shed. To enable the whole boat to be built on site. After assembling the port hull and bridge deck in the new shed, the starboard hull was built next to them.  This went considerably quicker than the first hull. Things were coming together.  Here, the final assembly.  Connecting the steering, installing the engines etc.  Painting the boat. Bonding in the windows.

Life aboard Tokyo Express

TE was home, for nearly 5 years.  I sailed her many times up and down the east coast of Australia, from Sydney to Lizard Island at the northern tip of the Great barrier reef, as well as into the Pacific as far east as New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Following the sun and the seasons, living at anchor. Noosa Heads was home port in those early days. I used to cross the bar and anchor up the river, opposite the sailing club, whenever I was passing through.

Like a migratory bird, moving with the seasons. There is something magical, about being free to move as you wish, and take your home with you.

 

The Book has the complete story

The building of Tokyo Express, was a nearly 3-year journey, with many twists and turns before it got started.

Here, on the website you can find photos and a description of the build, but the Book has the real story, of those 3 years in the shed.

Join in the adventure. There is a lot of practical information on how I went about building this boat. The book also give you a look into life in the bush in Australia, on the Sunshine Coast – Queensland. 

Tim Weston Boats

This website is all about boats, home boat building and other DIY projects.  A place for the do it yourself builder and anyone interested in boats and making things.

© 2016-2019  timwestonboats.com

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]