The Build Process of a Custom Carolina Yacht
Designing Your Hull
The build process begins by sitting down with our client and determining what his / her needs are. How many staterooms and heads are needed, do they want an express or bridge, what is the budget. By determining what our client ultimately needs in their boat, we can determine how large a vessel they will need. The next step is determining what type of speed they want in their boat, which in turn will narrow down the engine choices. Now we can start to fit the boat into their desired budget by adjusting the options they will require and the options that are on their "wish list".
Once we have determined what size boat, what type of engine package , fuel needs and potential options, we turn over the info to our design team of naval architects. The Naval architect will then CAD design the vessel from the bottom up, do a 3D interior layout and side profile drawings. These drawing are then reviewed by Ritchie Howell Yachts and the client , and any changes are then made by the naval architect for final approval. Once the drawings have been approved, the CAD design is sent out to a CNC router shop that will precision cut the jig that the boat will be constructed from.
Though there are different approaches to cold-molded construction the basic application starts with a wooden-framed jig - thus the term mold is a misnomer. The hull, house and bridge are all built on separate jigs and the hull is built upside down.
Three layers of marine grade okume plywood varying in thickness are stacked one on top of the other in alternating directions. Each layer is bonded together using epoxy and chemically stitched fiberglass, forming a very strong , lighweight composite. This composite is then glassed on the outside and the hull is now ready to be flipped.
Flipping the Hull
The hull is then flipped, jig is removed and interior of hull is glassed with epoxy and chemically stitched fiberglass. Next, internal bulkheads are added and exhaust layout begins. The engine room gets an interior wall and prep for paint begins.
One other aspect of a Ritchie Howell where there is not compromise is the finish of the engine. Significant time is spent fairing out and finishing the engine so that it is a nice as most exterior hulls on the water. Of course a nice looking engine room needs even nicer engines and now is the time to install your engine package and generator.
House & Bridge
Once the engines are it is time to secure the molded house and bridge.
From the moment you decide to go custom you have to start thinking about you interior. Shortly into the build process the bulkhead walls will go up and then the rooms will begin to take shape. Whether you go with standard showers or custom they will be installed first as the rest of the cabin below will fall in place around them.
For any true fisherman - this is the place to be. It is where all the action takes place. It is yours to design from start to finish. Do you want to go with mezzanine seating, a huge fishbox, livewells, day boxes, cockpit controls and so on. Make it the cockpit you've always dreamed of so when you are 100 miles offshore trolling the edge everything is where you want it to be.