Having obtained the plans for the Tornado in November of 2002 it has been "full speed ahead" in the construction of the boat. The boat is being built in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia and since it is in the tropics, boating all year round is possible, including the building.

The boat at the moment is in the stage of just having the top decking fitted. Next step is to add some trim and mouldings for decorative purposes.

In Australia we have a problem of obtaining such timbers as Douglas-fir (here it is called Oregon). The timber we have available is called Meranti. It is used a lot for making external doors and mouldings and being a lightweight yet strong timber it is common to find it used in boat building projects. Marine ply made from plantation pine is available as well in the AA grade and does seem to be readily available.

The boat project can be addictive and I have found that all my spare time is devoted to it. When first looking at the plans and pattens it looked like a complicated project, but when the actual construction started it all came into place with relative ease. I took two weeks holidays to fair in the frame work for the bottom and side decking and I found this to be the process that took the longest. I had started a week before and as this is a high speed boat it had to have the time taken to make sure it was correct. 3 weeks at 9 hours a day with 6 days per week calculates to 162 hours of fairing. I am now an expert at a plane and blade sharpening.

I find that now the main construction is through, it is a little sad as it has been an enjoyable experience doing this project. I still have the mouldings and epoxy sheathing with the sanding and painting to go along with it. The boat is being built in the middle of a workshop with engineering and carpentry going along around it. Everyone who comes into the workshop notices the boat and not the furniture being made or the metalwork going on as the boat looks impressive even in the raw stage.

Regards and happy boat building,