Andrew builds yacht to ride the storm

Andrew Rogers on his yacht, Tididi, in the Simons Town harbour.

Simon’s Town resident, Andrew Rogers, last year fulfilled his lifelong dream of building his own yacht after 12 years of construction.

The yacht is called Tididi, meaning “I did it” when read backwards.

The yacht was launched, with great celebrations, in the Simon’s Town Harbour in December.

Mr Rogers has been living on it for the past 12 months but the first 11 months were on land as he was preparing the vessel for the water.

“I was born to live on water. It feels so natural and I sleep much better,” he said.

As a child, Mr Rogers was very interested in yachts and started building his first boat at the age of 21 but never completed it.

He describes his father, David, as a talented craftsman and attributes his carpentry skills to watching his father work.

Mr Rogers, who works in telecommunications, bought the yacht plans in 2004 and started construction in a rental home in Scarborough. “The house had a 10×10 workshop so it was ideal for me to work in,” he said.

Except for occasional help from a good friend, Mr Rogers completed the entire yacht by himself.

He said his biggest challenge was financing the construction and he had to take out a loan at one point but it was all worth it and he managed to stay within his budget.

Although the yacht is still in need of a rig, mast and sails before it is sail ready, it is functional in every other aspect.

He plans to use a junk rig, which is also known as a Chinese lugsail and is famous for its unique shape and often seen on Chinese boats.

His yacht has a fully functional compost toilet, which he designed himself. He said imports of compost toilets were extremely expensive so he did some research on the internet and built his own for R700. Another unique feature of the yacht is that it does not have a diesel motor but an electrical one which is run from two banks of 48 volt batteries.

“There is no smell, no noise and no diesel needed,” he said.

Further construction of the yacht will include a solar panel, a wind charger and a shower once the water tanks and plumbing are completed.

His aim is to make the yacht as eco friendly as possible.

He currently makes use of the five-star ablution facilities at the yacht club but limits his showers to twice a week due to the drought.

For the remainder of the time he washes his hair and shaves in a basin on the yacht every morning.

“My total water consumption on the yacht, doing it this way, is less than 50 litres a week and that includes cooking, washing dishes and my ablutions,” he said.

His ultimate goal is to sail to New Zealand and explore the coastlines there as the yacht design originates from there.

He said his only regret is that he could not share the completion of his yacht with his late father and partner, Jay Fourie, who he met in 2009 during a party he hosted when the yacht was turned upright from an upside down position.

She passed away suddenly in May 2016.

Mr Rogers said her favourite animal was an elephant and so he chose to paint an elephant on the side of the boat to accompany him on his future adventures.