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Samoa 28

How the Samoa 28 is built: the Samoa 28 is an ocean sailing yacht designed for custom or amateur construction specified to be built following the strip-planking sandwich method of construction. When we decided to produce these plans, we had in mind to offer a yacht of composite construction that could be built without requiring expensive plugs and moulds, a fundamental requisite for one-off construction.

Primarily the Samoa 28 is specified to use wooden strips as core material, but, if preferred, it can also be employed PVC foam strips cut in relatively narrow bands (slightly larger than wooden strips). Marine plywood, considering its practicality, since producing bulkheads and partitions from this material is just a matter of cutting it to shape, is the chosen material for bulkheads and furniture. Optionally foam sandwich panels may substitute plywood, even though, despite saving weight, it also represents an increase in labour and cost. Deck, cabin trunk and cockpit are defined for the ply-glass method of construction, which means sheathing the deck with plywood and then applying a fibreglass lamination over it. The superstructure may also be constructed in composite with the consequent increase in cost of fabrication and a slight increase in working hours. In a cost/benefit analysis we consider plywood/fibreglass construction to be the best choice for the superstructure, but employing P.V.C. foam as core material saves a considerable amount of weight, which is appealing if the owner intends to do some club racing.

The building manual: this guide is an important tool in the hands of the builder, be he/she novice or initiated in boat building. The illustrated manual covers all phases of the construction, and together with the detailing contained in the plans, provide a  sure way of surpassing each challenge involved in the building process, giving tips on how to make each compartment of the boat and also explaining how to install the various systems on board. The main purpose of the manual is to allow the amateur or inexperienced to produce a high quality construction minimizing the chances of mistakes for lack of specific knowledge. We use to revise the text of our manuals from time to time, keeping their contents updated with novelties in the market and improving explanation whenever our clients find difficulties in interpreting information contained in them.

Building the hull: The construction of the hull begins with the pre-fabrication of the transverse moulds which will produce the hull shape. These can either be made by the transference of the lines at each station from the full size pattern plans provided with the project to the plywood or MDF sheets which will be used for the moulds, or from CNC file for water jet or laser cutting, both options being part of the standard package.

The strips are attached to the moulds with temporary nails, which are removed as soon as the epoxy glue that bonds one strip to the other is cured. This system is so simple to be accomplished that amateur and professional builders alike feel great pleasure as their work advances, and while the strips are being laid in place, the job begins to represent an important achievement for them. This may be the reason for the existence of various blogs maintained by Samoa 28 builders with links to our site, (Samoa 28 Furioso, Caprichoso, Sirius and Baleia), where they proudly report their weekly, sometimes daily, progresses. We think the pleasure of seeing their hulls taking shape becomes reason for an indescribable infatuation concerning their future boats. 


Samoa 28 hull being sheathed with fibreglass

Since the strip-planking will be the core in a sandwich construction, its outside surface must be sheathed with fibreglass, the same taking place inside the hull. The process generates immensely strong hulls of long durability, requiring very low upkeep, the boats remaining in good conditions indefinitely.

Once the lamination is completed, before turning over the hull, its outside surface must be sanded, plastered and painted with primer. The application of the inside lamination is as straightforward as the outside one, and when it is completed the hull is already as rigid as a rock.

Building the interior: In spite of the tremendous rigidity already obtained, now the internal structure, consisting of floors and bulkheads are added to the hull interior, this way becoming stiffer yet, being considerably more rigid than ordinary single-skin construction.

Floors firmly attached along the central area of the bilge

After integrating the floors to the hull bottom the next phase is installing the transverse and longitudinal bulkheads in place. These parts are bonded by means of filleting, and, when being structural members, are enhanced by fibreglass tape lamination.

The superstructure: This part of the work transmits already a feeling of anticipation of the nearby conclusion of the construction. The process consists in sheathing the deck and cabin structure with plywood and then laminating the whole superstructure with fibreglass saturated with epoxy. The lamination overlaps the hull topside at sheer-line in 50mm, making the whole boat a seamless, watertight mono-block, a warranty of no leaks inside the cabin and of tremendous structural integrity. Deck fittings are installed after completing the anti-skid installation and the paint job.

Samoa 28 Sirius being launched in the River Plate Delta, Argentina