Home>Buiilding the hull of Crazybird
Origins of the Caledonia Yawl design The Crazybird crew Go to the Discussion Forum

Building the hull of Crazybird

Scroll down to see the hull under construction and completed. Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them. A number of errors in the plans are detailed at the bottom.
The hull of the Caledonia Yawl is built from 10mm marine ply using the modern epoxy clinker planking method. Initially frames are made up from particle board or the like and then the hull is built over these, upside down. Once the basic hull is completed it can be lifted off the frames, turned the right way up and then the inside fitted out.
Building Crazybird 1 - click to enlarge
Building Crazybird 2 - click to enlarge
In the case of Crazybird a fore and aft deck has been built just below the gunwale. A box seat has been built right around the inside, divided into five separate lockers on each side, four of which are watertight and serve as additional buoyancy in the event of capsize or swamping.
Building Crazybird 3 - click to enlarge
Building Crazybird 4 - click to enlarge
A full set of plans and comprehensive building guide is available from Iain Oughtred who can be contacted at:
Struan Cottage, Bearnisdale, Isle of Skye, IV51 9NS, Scotland
Building Crazybird 5 - click to enlarge Building Crazybird 6 - click to enlarge
Ballast: The left hand picture shows two of the five lead pigs used as ballast in Crazybird. There is a matching pig on the other side of the centreboard, and two pigs forward of the centreboard matching the one aft. All are held down with stainless straps. Also shown are the drain plugs and bilge pump feed pipe.
The right hand picture shows the floorboards in place and the sheeting arrangements (looking forward)
Picture showing lead ballast
Sheeting arrangements
Crazybird at the Melbourne Boat Show, July 2002.
Left hand picture - looking aft
Right hand picture - looking forward
(Click any picture to enlarge)
View looking aft
View looking forward
Wei Ming Wu and Neville Roberts initiated the building of this Caledonia Yawl back in 1992. Her family in China were business associates of Neville and she came to Australia to study and further their joint business interests. Her fascination with sailing led to the boatbuilding project.
The hull and decks were built by a local boatbuilder Richard Munt. Wei Ming and Nev built everything else. "We kept her very simple" Nev says, "No stainless and no fancy fittings." Her current owner, Nick Grainger, is less of a purist, but trys to keeps things in character.

The boat's name was undecided until someone commented that the Chinese symbols used for Wei Ming, were sometimes called the Crazybird characters. "That's it!" thought Nev,"perfect in more ways than one".
Mistakes in the Caledonia Yawl Plans
A current builder of a Caledonia Yawl, Todd Endicott, advises that he has found a number of mistakes in the current version of the plans....he writes....."I've found a couple of mistakes on the plans for those in the early stages of building (molds & backbone).
First of all, the keelson, which is 1" by 4", is said to be 1-1/4" by 4-1/4" in one place on sheet 2. Of course, the proper dimensions are given in many other places, but I can just see someone looking at the wrong numbers just before going out to cut the keelson.
Also, on the lines plan, the shortest height offset for mold 7 is written 0-6-2 1/2. It should be 0-8-2 1/2. This of course would not affect those who are cutting out the molds by laying the full-size patterns on top of plywood and making pinpricks.
Finally, there appears to be a general discrepancy between the full-size patterns and the offsets given on the lines plan. It's as if the FSP got stretched out in both dimensions. For example, I measure the width of mold 4 to be 36-14/16 inches on the FSP, whereas on the lines plan the figure is 36-10/16 inches. Everywhere it's like this, with 3-4 foot dimensions being off by about 1/4 inch, down to 1-foot dimensions off by about 1/16. The Whilly boat plans are the same way. Theories, anyone? "
Thanks Todd.
If anyone has any questions on building please raise them on the Discussion Board - there are a number of regular readers who are currently building CYs who will be pleased to share their experience.
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