ICAROS was born as a 6-meter vessel, made out of second-hand parts, barely-floating and very budget-concious idea.
However, details always come in the way of plans. The original design was a simple proof of concept that could be used to make very short excursions along the coastline.
As it happens, the beautiful shores of Alicante and Murcia face East, and have quite the long, uneasy waves if there is any kind of wind. This makes sailing with very small boats an unpleasent experience most days. So the length grew to 8 meters.
The original idea was to use floaters from existing cats. The fact that the length was increased to 8m made us discard the possibility. We had to make own hulls. This increased the complexity but gave us more room for design freedom.
The increased size vs. the original plan made us decide to go for a boat that would offer some real comfort for longer journeys. A real cabin was added and it was designed to lodge 2 couples easily.
Once we had also the electrical design worked out, in the summer of 2012 we started to make detailed building plans and set August as the starting point in time for the works.
First we built a platform, very sturdy, rigid, made out of Strongplank and 6 additional layers of fiberglass and resin. We decided against epoxy due to cost and its many, important, complex handling requirements.
The boat was built in a warehouse in Alicante that has been a shipyard for several years already, but had been unused for some time.
On top of the platform we built up, partly with sandwich panel, partly wood, the main structure. Most of the walls were made of panel, and only the smaller parts were done in wood. Weight is your enemy.
All walls were laminated to the structure. This is no IKEA boat, it is made to last and endure any sea condition.
Then we installed the structure supporting te solar panels, with them on top. After that, our project started to look like what we had in mind and on paper.
Next step was to make the hulls. In parallel we prepared all the electrical connections. Hulls were made of strongplank too- there is no better material for the amateur boat builder. Easy, forgiving and extremely strong.
Once the hulls were made, we laminated them below the platform. Finally our project looked like a real catamaran! Now it would float already. In parallel to the constructive part, we also added a steering wheel, the place for the E-motor, fixed all electronics to their final locations and wired it.
Heading to the final stages of the construction, we added windows, painted the boat, installed some reelings for the clumsy friends and kids, and got the paperwork done.
The boat was then ready to be taken to the sea. On February 14th, a bright sunny day, the special truck took us safely to Torrevieja, where the lift left us on the water surface. We trolled quietly to our Marina spot, where we spent the next day adjusting small issues and learning to steer ICAROS.
You can find a complete gallery of pictures of the construction phase here.
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