Assembling the Catapult Catamaran: 2: the hulls 

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The next split in technique is around the stage where the hulls are pulled onto the frame along the channels under each main beam.. Chris and Alastair delay this until the mast is up (to give less total weight and a lower platform during the mast manoeuvres, see later)

  Chris, below left, first lifts one side and inserts the wheel in the centreboard slot. leaving the other side on the ground. The hull tube is then pulled along from front to back. (Chris' technique is to  softly inflate the hull tube before pulling it along the track. Usually it is pulled on deflated, and the bowboard attached when the tube is nearly on.)

   BELOW: Gareth (with help from Stuart, aft) is following the tradition of pulling on the hulls (completing a whole "boat") before rigging the mast. This stage is one where having a second person makes a difference in the speed of rigging, as demonstrated here----with Stuart pulling the tube backwards along the channel in the mainbeam, Gareth can feed in the bolt rope and finally push the bowboard straight onto the end of the main beam. Singlehanded, there is usually a need to make one or two extra trips to the bow to adjust the bowboard into position to be finally pulled on.

The bowboard is attached to the hull tube by the slide attachment (probably the most awkward part of assembly.) The cord should be at a length to keep the two snugly together when on the mainbeam, and may need adjusting (or the two pulled tightly together when on the beam, before inflating the tube.)

catapult catamaran

  (The photo above, in the sunshine at Bala Lake also demonstrates the advantages of handling this stage on grass or any surface protecting the hulls and bowboards (particularly singelehanded, when the hull has to drag on the surface) although the deflated hull will readily handle being pulled over loose shingle

Some bowboards fit so tightly on the beam that gentle bashing with a rubber mallet is needed to finally get them home.

Pulling the hulls along the channel is helped by the sprayed-on silicone lubrication (also used for the sail boltrope.)

 RIGHT: The hulls are then inflated as shown. Before attaching the pump, the valve in the endplate of the hull is turned clockwise with a finger to close it. (It is embarrassing to have a loud deflating bellow across the dinghy park when the pump is removed)

(The inflating of a hull has been timed at 65 seconds by a neutral observer.)

The process is then repeated on the other side

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