Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Up and Over with a Didi 40cr

David Edmiston in New South Wales, Australia, is building a Didi 40cr, in its newest form. This is with the hull flare increased aft to give more deck area and space for a T-shape cockpit. I haven't yet figured a decent name for this version, so for the moment it is the "Wide Stern Version of the Didi 40cr". David has made pretty good time building her, he is an amateur builder having bought his plans in May 2014.

Yesterday his boat made a major move, from his garden to a spot near to the water in Sydney Harbour. The start of that journey was unusual, in how the boat was removed from the building site. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
Lifted off her building cradle, this view shows the beautiful finish that David has achieved on his hull.
Up she goes.
And up some more. Note the spreader bars on the slings to relieve the squeezing loads that would be applied to the hull if they weren't there.
And over the roof. Few boats get to have such a good view of their building site. Her building cradle is at extreme right.
And onto a transporter for a quick ride to the harbour.
And away she goes, out of the neighbourhood. Being a wooden boat, her build will not have disturbed the neighbours much. Some of them may even miss watching a big project like this, which often becomes a focal point for gatherings and building neighbourhood spirit.
Her keel is delivered to the harbour. This is a steel casing with lead ballast poured in.
Then her hull is lowered over the bolts for initial dry-fit, followed by permanent bonding.
This is a slightly bigger sister to "Black Cat", the Didi 38 prototype that I built in Cape Town 20 years ago. It has the same hull but extended with a 2ft longer stern overhang. It also has a longer cabin with a bit more accommodation length.

It won't be long before David's new boat is in the water and sailing. I will post new photos when I have.

To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Friday, February 10, 2017

DH550 "Wild Vanilla" Videos

The owner of the DH550 "Wild Vanilla" sent me videos of his boat. Here are two of the best ones, courtesy of Roy Wirthlin.

This one is a drone video of her sailing in light breeze off southern Florida.

This is an onboard video, sailing at 10 knots in 10 knots of breeze, about 15 knots apparent. She slips along easily with little wake.
To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Didi 29 Retro and DH550, Two Boats with a Connection

This week two owners have sent me rather nice "at rest" photos of their boats.

First was "Arabella", the Didi 29 Retro of Bruce Mierke. This radius chine plywood monohull has retro styling and a gaff rig and has surprised some with her nimble performance and handling. She was exhibited on the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show in October then launched in North Carolina. She sailed for a week or two before going to her inland South Carolina winter home. Now she is afloat again, this time in the warmer waters of Florida.
Didi 29 Retro "Arabella" now in the warmer Florida water.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
Bruce has some sailing photos, taken this week. He will send them to me when he is back home.

The other boat is the DH550 prototype "Wild Vanilla". She is a radius chine plywood cruising catamaran of very modern styling. Built by Phil Harvey in Trinidad, she is now owned by Roy Wirthlin and lives in southern Florida. Roy is very proud of his boat, particularly the interest that she attracts. In his email today he passed on these comments.

"We have the boat located just north of West Palm Beach FL and I can’t tell you the number of comments that we get: “that is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen.”  One older gentleman made a point of chasing us down to find out what make it was, he said: “I have been sailing for over 40 years and that is the best looking cat I have ever seen … makes me think I might go over to the ‘dark side’ :).”

Even the bridge operators have given us compliments.  

“Speed of a Catana, with the space of a Lagoon and so easy on the eyes” is how I describe her."

Thanks Roy, for your comments.
DH550 prototype "Wild Vanilla".
Roy has also given me some videos of "Wild Vanilla" sailing, both from inside the boat and from a drone. I will post some of those here in a day or two.

So, what is the connection between a 29ft classic monohull and a 55ft modern catamaran, aside from construction material and method? The are close to opposites in concept but are both derived from the same earlier design, the very popular Didi 26. The Didi 29 Retro hull is the same as the Didi 26 but extended aft into a counter stern. The DH550 has Didi 26 hulls that are reproportioned to the needs of a big cat.
Didi 26 "Panic Knot". Her design is the basis for both of the other boats mentioned.
For more info on these and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.