2 metre catamaran build

No lay it up all in one go, you’ll get a much stronger shell as the matrix (the epoxy) will be a single chemical/molecular structure. If you layer as you describe you’ll only have a mechanical bond between the layers. Mechanical joints are inevitable somewhere and I use peel-ply inside and out to give lots of key surface.

To see the CF just use a good clear resin and layup as above. You can cut back the peel ply finish with wet and dry abrasive and restore the finish with a very light coat of finishing epoxy or polyurathane varnish (there are some available specificcally for this and they also offer UV protection to slow down the slight yellowing of the eopxy that occurs after prolonged exposure to sunlight.

To join the halves of the shell i lay up the second halve to overlap the first and use the overlap as the glue seam. The shell laminations are very thin, well under a millimetre, and I don’t bother to fair it in.

Yes, a female mould gives you a finer outer finish but you have to put the effort into getting a perfect finish on the male plug. Moulding over a male plug means that you don’t have to go the final mile with finishing it to a mirror surface as any minor imperfections in the surface won’t be seen. Whichever way, you still need an accurately shaped plug. Another consideration; with the size of the mouldings (even more so with boats smaller than a 2metre) a female plug represents quite a constrained area to perform the lay-up in and I find it easier, and am more confident of getting a good result, to layup over a male mould than inside a narrow female one.

Happy to help.


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Hello Ray - More questions from a beginner:

  1. What do you mean by “Peel Ply”?
  2. I assume your finish, after the resin dries, is smooth and rough(dry spots).
    To achieve that glass finish, do you wet sand without cutting fabric, then
    apply the thin finishing coat. Is this coat always brushed? What keeps the
    resin from flowing down the sides of the mold?
  3. If you final finish is paint, what type of paint do you recommend -
    polyurethane? Do you use any filler or primer paint before the finish coat?
  4. Do you use resin to join your hull halves? Do you use filler for the transition at the overlap?
  5. I saw your earlier post and do you vacuum bag each hull shell? That was a wild finish. Very cool!! Wher do I learn about this process and the layers required?
  6. Different topic - What size and type RMG winch do I need for the 2m Midnight Oil? How many? What type of pulley?

Thanks again Ray. Don’t give up. I am learning.


Trent -

there are a lot of good sailmakers here in the US as well.

You will need to provide them with basic size dimensions, and remind them it is a multihull and sails need to have less camber (flatter sails) than a monohull, due to faster speeds and apparent wind differences.

By now, you have read the 2 Meter rules and know (??) that there is no specific sail size for the class. The sail areas are governed strictly by the mast height - and the length of your jib and main booms. Whatever amount of sail you decide to “hang on her” is legal. I would suggest you defer to a smaller sail area to begin with, giving you more opportunity to sail in stronger winds. Seems like new builders always go for max sail area and wonder why the boat is hard to control when winds pick up.


Thanks Dick. The Midnight Oil plan sheet(one) I have provides sail dimensions. Not knowing much about what hardware I needed, I went to the Sailsetc. website and found you could purchase all rigging and sails as a package. This was appealing to me since I did not have the knowledge of all parts required. I have not followed through with this, but would like to make purchases of needed parts before long. I am open to any other vendors and suggestions.

We are currently making CAD drawings(3D) for Midnight Oil and developing more detail. We would like to develop at least as much detail as we found on the Freight Train plans.



Trent -

not to tell you anything you don’t know - but the mast on the 2 Meter is 110.236 inches or 9.186 feet (2800 mm) maximum in length. You will need something of minimum diameter of 1 1/2 - 2 inches. Think about the cost that you will pay for freight alone. I wouldn’t recommend a two piece mast, althought it is possibility - so like the F-48 Class - try to buy your stuff here in the US and reduce import fees, tarriffs, international shipping, etc.

Just another reason why the class isn’t that popular here. It’s too big, although you might be able to source/find an aluminum mast from an old dinghy (Laser, Force 5, etc.)


ADDED: My big (> 3/8" ) carbon tube I get from Rock West Composites, Just took a look at their standard products:

Uni-directional tube 1 5/8 diameter x 70 inches = $165.00 plus shipping
Filament wound 1.63 OD x 9.2 feet = $198.00 plus shipping

I didn’t bother with the tapered tubes, plus they do offer connectors.

Hi Trent,

I have an interest in RC Multi hulls also and really like the developing threads here on this forum, so much a builder can learn from others, with more talent and knowledge than myself. I am currently building a F-48 , Nightmare design as my first project, which should be on the waves this spring. A 2 Meter Trimaran is to do on my next RC Sailboat project list. I noted your work project goal on developing the Midnight Oil plans to further detail. I have the Freight Train plans as well as the Midnight Oil one, and the latter plan is sorely lacking in details compared to the smaller trimaran as you well know, it will be of major interest to see what you come up with.

I have also given some thoughts and did some research into some of the parts for my 2 Meter build. For the winch, the RMG 380 EH will be my choice, it should handle both the main and jib sailshttps://www.rmgsailwinch.com.au/rmg/pages/Features.html
For a mast, I am going this routehttp://www.ludwigrcyachts.com/large_class_spars.htm
Both the winch and mast have been used on the J-Class boats and they have even bigger sail areas than a 2 Meter Trimaran/Cat will have, so they should be both up to the task.

Ray keep your build info coming. Your doing a first class construction, there is much that all of us viewing can learn from builders with your knowledge and skills.


Hi Trent, no worries, keep asking.

  1. Peel ply is a product that is wedely used in laminating. It is a woven (nylon I think) fabric that has been treated with a release agent. You use it as a layer of lamination on the very inside and outside of your mouldings and when the epoxy has cured you can peel it off leaving you with a fine keyed surface that will make a much stronger bond with any fittings etc. that you might need to bond to the shell. If you know you don’t need to bond anything to the outside of a shell you could not use peel ply band - if vacuum bagging II would then look to use a perforated release film that will give you a smooth finish and the perforations allow surplus expoxy through to be absorbed into the breather cloth. Peel ply is commonly available from suppliers of laminating materials.
  2. For finishing I generally gut back gently with wet abrashive sheets and return the gloss finish by applying a very fine coat of finishing epoxy with a foam roller. The epoxy coat is so light that there isn’t enough epoxy to run.
  3. When I have used paint I’ve just used car spray paints. I always use a primer (normally there’s one specifically for plastics that seems to do a good job). I also apply a laquer over the paint and, before the paint/laquer is completely dry I spray on a leveller - this softens the surface of the paint and ‘pulls it tight’, reducing the usual ‘orange peel’ finish that you get from aerosol paints. Always practice first too and don’t be in a hurry, lots of very light spray coats will give you a much better finish than a couple of heavy ones.
  4. To join the halves I use the same epoxy as I used for moulding the shells. You add a little thickener if neccesary.
  5. I learned about the cloth finsih method from some of claudio’s posts; I think it was under his americas cup boat build.
  6. A 2metre boat will have a lot of sail area so I suggest the largest RMG winch. You’ll need one. Fittings, such as pulleys, will need to be up to the job so generally avoid the small items designed for mainstream RC sailboats like one metres and marbleheads.

Hope that helps.


Absolutely agree, learn small, learn and grow bigger. Remember, there’s no lump of lead underneath these multihulls and whilst that helps to make them fun and fast it also means that they stay upside down. When learning, although its ugly, tapimg a sealed plastic bottle to the top of the mast will prevent a multihull going right over so it should then be able to drift to the downwind shore of your sailing lake - useful if you don’t have a rescue boat.


I wouldn’t recommend this approach. As I recall the packages offered by Sailsetc are intended for the mainstream monohull classes and I don’t think they’ll be up to the job; they’ll be too small (note Dick’s comments about the size of a 2M rig) and not strong enough.

I would look at perhaps using A class boat fittings if you need to purchase. Note that sailsetc can be a bit pricey and it might be worth shopping around - I now regularly buy from Peter Wiles here in the UK; his products a well-priced and he’s also very open to conversations about equipping ‘unusual’ boats. You can find him here www.pjsails.co.uk but as Dick says there must be suppliers on your side of the pond?


Dick -who do you recommend for as a sailmaker? Windjamin?



Hey Ray, Dick and Tory - thanks for the comments and suggestions. When we finish the CAD bulkhead sections,plans and sideviews, I will place on the Forum for anyone’s use. If you sketch any detailing, send it to me and we will add to the documents for further enhancement. Once all the input is incorporated, maybe we will all have something good for reference to be used by all. I should have the base drawings done in a couple of weeks, if work does not get in the way.

More questions:

  1. RMG 380EH - understood. What type of pulley? There are multiple to
    choose from on their website.
  2. Should I use the recommended sail size(as indicated in the plans for
    Midnight Oil) or something smaller?
  3. How do you size or select jib and main boom sizes? Is here some rule of
  4. Does anyone have a recommendation for a minimum torque for a rudder
    servo for this size boat?
  5. Dick - you mentioned that the sails would need a flatter profile for this
    type boat. Does any sailmaker know what that profile is or are we
    supposed to provide that information? Ray, maybe your friend at PJSails
    would know?
  6. Has anyone used SKYPE before? We can talk on the computer all around
    the world for free. If your computer has a microphone and speaker, Just
    sign up on a SKYPE. You can also buy a cheap($15.00) pair of
    headphone/speakers. As long as you talk computer to computer, it is free.

Thanks again everyone.


Bob Sterne did the original rig and sails for F-48 # USA 05 but Bob has retired. Gordon Stout in Canada also made great sails but has retired too.

Carr Sails
Black Sails
Mariner Sails
GRP (ODOM builder - but can ask who his sailmaker is)
Vision Sails

AMYA Website discontinued a list of manufacturers so I am not sure if they will reactivate a list once the redesign of the site is done. You can always try yor hand at building your own - and at this sizze, maybe a big boat sail loft would consider an order. I’d check with Jay Glaser on that.

I’ve lost track since I have done my own, as no regular r/c sail maker wanted to build sail blocks for a sail design with such limited appeal.


Trent, assuming that you’re talking about Midnight Oil, remember that the plans are sold commercially so don’t belong to you; posting CAD drawings may infringe someone elses intellectual property rights.

  1. Sorry, I misunderstood when you mentioned ‘pulley’ before, I now see that you’re talking about the winch drum. You’re choice of drum will be influenced by your approach to sheeting. Their spiral drums could give you finer sheeting control when close-hauled but, as I understand it work on a single sheet line that is tensioned. Their self-tensioning drums are interesting too.
  2. I recommend you learn the basics on a #2 or #3 suit, i.e. smaller.
  3. Work to the sort of size that an ‘A’ class monohull would use would be my suggestion, but also remember that you need to build the multihull light.
  4. More torque is good but more weight is bad. I would also look for ball-raced output and metal gears.If cost is not a problem I would look for something like a Hitec HS 7955TG.
  5. Peter at PJSails is an excellent sail maker and understands multihull sails. There are two other guys here in the UK who specialise in multihull sails, windpower and dragon.
  6. yes, I’ve used web-hosted telephony before but I have to say that with time differences and this just being a hobby I have found discussion forums less intrusive. Happy to use private messaging and e-mail too.


Hi Ray -

After Andy McCulloch - (not sure of spelling and too lazy to go look) left for Southeast Asia for his job with Orange Telecom for several years, everyone I know lost track of him.

Is it possible to hit up Robbie Nevitt or Mike Friend to see if they may know his whereabouts and how to contact him?

While the “sale” of Midnight Oil plans are subject to copyright - his revenue cannot be that great since there are so few of them sailing - so perhaps with a request he might consider as “open” the plans at best. At worst, he could ask for royalties for any the Trent sells in CAD format. I did that for “PULSE” (Mini40/F-48) through Mike Howell before he passed away, and he passed them on to Mike Friend. Was only about $8.00 (US) and when I caught up with Mike Friend (through you I believe) Mike indicated just send them out free - no royalties needed or expected.

Would be appreciated if, when building slows down, you could do some checking over there, for Andy, for the rest of us?

Many thanks for your consideration of this request.


Hello Ray/Dick - I understand intellectual property rights and do not want to get into any trouble. We will still rework the plans for our benefit, but not advertise availability. I never had any intention of selling this work. Just wanted to help others advance the plans with their ideas.



Dick/Trent, the Midnight Oil drawings are distributed by Traplet Publications; they are one of the UK’s major specilaist interest magazine publishers. I suspect they would have a view on one of their products being made freely available.


All depends on if they own the rights or if Andy retained the rights to the drawings… at least that’s how it would work over here in the U.S. Thus the request to see if we can track down Andy to find out, since (as I recall) his name is on the drawings as designer. :wink:

Dick, I’ll ask some of the UK multihullers if the know of Andy’s whereabouts, in the meantime it would be unwise to publish the CAD drawings in a public place.

I don’t think there could be a complaint if the CAD drawings were to be shared with someone who had actually purchased the Midnight Oil plans from Traplet, as long as it was on the basis of building one boat and for commercial exploitation. The plans aren’t expensive.

Trent, I assume you’ll produce AutoCAD format drawings as an output? How are you vectorising the drawings into your CAD package - there are packages that will convert a raster scan to vector, though my experience with using one with the quality of image like that of the Midnught Oil drawings wasn’t to good (the linework just wasn’t sharp enough).