We spoke to Andrew Rogers, a professional boat builder from New South Wales, Australia, recently about the Schionning G-Force 1400. Andrew has built 6 Schionning Cats, he’s an active member on the Schionning Owner’s and Builders Group on Facebook.
The G-Force 1400 is one of the best known of the Schionning Designs with many of them racing in Australian and Asian regattas. The design is available in a Cruise variant (G-Force 1400 C) which carries more payload and has more space for cruising toys. If you are interested in building your own catamaran, you might also want to read our Fusion 40 article with Shane and Carmen.
Interview with Andrew Rogers
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your plans. Why did you decide to build a Schionning catamaran?
I’m a Professional Boatbuilder who has built 6 Schionning cats and been involved with 3 more, also built 2 of his mast designs.
Which model did you last build?
The last cat I built was a Schionning G-Force 14C which was set up for single handed sailing with electric drives
Were there any other brands you considered?
An Outremer catamaran, but I decided it was too heavy and slow.
Did you consider using a yard for the build? Any you would recommend?
Yes, Noosa marine or myself.
Did you consider buying a second hand yacht?
How long did she take to build?
2 1/2 years because of complications, I wasn’t there at the start and had to pick the projects up after someone that was not able to finish the project.
Can you share some of the challenges you have faced /expect to face on a project like this?
Building the boat under staffed and short on good Boatbuilders in an isolated community.
How much space do you need for a build like this?
We had a 18 metre x 16 metre insulated shed that could have been 3 metres wider to make life a little less cramped
In your opinion, what kind of experience is required to successfully pull off a project such as this?
Attention to detail and a drive to succeed
Are you completing the build on your own or do you have a team?
Completed with a team…it’s a long road, it’s about a 25,000 man hour job to complete successfully.
Can you give us an idea of the rough price differential between a self build and a comparable manufactured cat?
That’s a hard question for me, I have never priced a manufactured boat directly against a totally self built one.. but a professionally built boat that is customised for the owner will start at about 20% dearer and go up in my experience
What is the best thing about the design?
If the weight is kept out of these boats they sail remarkably well, we can sail over 20 knots in 15 knots true with code 3 and main reaching and in 5 to 8 knots we achieve 6 knots up wind, production boats don’t even come close without motoring
What are the main advantages of a self-build catamaran like this over a production cat?
Is there a design feature you don´t like? What would you change if anything?
We widen the cabin top to get better access into the holes and widen the decks to make it more user friendly.
What are the “Must Have” options for the boat over and above the essentials? eg electric winch, engine size, folding props, heating, watermaker, inverter, solar, gen set etc….
Keep things simple and light and don’t get caught up with all the bells and whistles as you will be way too heavy. A heavy boat means a slow boat. Also forget about electric winches, We use an electric winch handle made by Milwaukee Tools….This saves a lot of weight and expense and turns every winch into an electric winch
How did you configure the helm?
Twin outboard homes so we can see the sails and ease of docking. Was configured with dynema to quadrants each side with a link bar between, which gives you nice light responsive steering.
How will you configure the living space – is there room for personalisation here?
Keep it simple, light and airy, and don’t fill it full of lockers to store excess stuff for the sake of it that you will never use
What kind of average speed on passage are you aiming for?
Over 10 kts
How is the Schionning Owner´s community?
Anything else you would add to help people thinking of building a Schionning?
Don’t get conned into going too big!