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How to Add 5 Feet to Your Cruising Catamaran

The Surgery is Over

Now that our major boat extension project (from 32 feet to 37 feet) is finished we have finally got around to a adding a documentary video on what and how we did it. It is not often you cut your boat right in half! See our “Cutting Light Wave in Half” video on YouTube.


We just got back from an 11 day winter cruise in our recently streched Light Wave. It was a little cold out there (next project ==> forced air heating!) but we did come across a super pod of several hundred pacific white sided dolphins and made a special video of the experience.


About Author

Garett Hennigan

Garett Hennigan is a mechanical engineer who in partnership with his wife, Carllie, built a 28 foot catamaran, Light Wave, in 1999. He has sailed extensively with his wife through Mexico, Hawaii and now back in the Pacific northwest with over 20,000 sailing miles and over 5000 hours of boatbuilding experience.


  1. When you streched your boat, did you change balance for and aft? Was there a change in handling?

    Thanks, BAW

  2. I am almost finished building a Richard Woods Eagle 24 catamaran Garrett and can also recommend his designs for home builders, not to mention his support and encouragement. I’m 78 years old and decided to opt for an unstayed wooden mast mounted in a tabernacle and a single balanced lug sail of similar overall size to his standard mainsail/jib configuration. I moved the mast beam forward somewhat to try and offset the difference. I hope the lug sail, albeit less efficient to windward, will prove simpler to manage. Unless I have missed something, it seems that despite stretching your hulls by about 25%, you did not alter the position of the mast. Is that correct? And if so did it not dramatically affect steering, tacking etc? Thanks for giving us the benefit of your experience, Steve

    1. Hello Steve,

      with stretching out boat 5 feet, the mast effectively went forward. If anything it removed some of the weather helm as you have moved the centre of presures of the sail forward. So in your case it should work out fine. Best of luck on your project. Your to be commended for your efforts at 78. I am 67 now and sure glad we built the boat when I was 40 to 42! Take care and happy sailing. Garett

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