Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Happenings with Radius Chine Plywood Projects

My agent in Italy, Leo Giammanco of Nautikit, sent me photos a few days ago of a new Didi 40cr. Many of these boats in the Didi 38/40/40cr series have been or are being built in Mediterranean countries, including 6 in Italy. This one is named "Mia" and was built by Stefano Consolini. She was launched at the Marina di Ravenna, east of Bologna on the Adriatic Sea.

Stefano appears to have done a really nice job of creating "Mia". He has built her as a nicely-detailed comfortable cruiser with 18mm skin and concentration on strength, rather than lightness and performance. Stefano started the project in 2006 and worked as a lifeguard to finance the build.
"Mia" gets wet for the first time.
Nicely finished as a fast cruiser.
Meanwhile, in Russia, Vitaly Ghazarayan of Krasnodar has stepped the rig on his Didi 34, with the help of a group of friends. They did this without a crane, showing that with a good dose of resourcefulness, amateur builders can do almost anything. Those of us who launch where yacht club cranes and derricks are readily available, wouldn't dream of doing this.

This series of photos shows the process that they used.

Moving the mast into position.
The lift starts, using a pole fastened to the cabin roof as a spreader to gain mechanical advantage.
Up she goes, nearly there.
Securely in place, sorting out backstay, halliards, electronics etc.
To see more of these and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Wooden Boat Festival, Port Townsend

That season is coming around again, time for the Wooden Boat Festival in the beautiful little Pacific Northwest town of Port Townsend, WA. This is the 41st edition of one of the most popular wooden boat events in the world, with hundreds of wooden boats on show and dozens of presentations on a wide range of subjects of interest to boating people. Dates are 8th to 10th September 2017. The festival website is not yet fully functional but that will come soon.

Among those many boats will be three of our 21ft plywood sailboats, all different, which can be visited on the docks.
David Blessing's Didi Cruise-Mini "Segue". This is the detuned cruising version of our Didi Mini single-handed trans-Atlantic raceboat.
Michael Baccellieri's Cape Henry 21, "Slough Coot". She was built with some deviations from our design but the current owner is working to get her closer to the original drawings.
Mark Paterson's Didi Mini Mk3 "Voodoo Child". This is the full racing version of our Mini-Transat racer, with the newer hull shape and rig. 
I will also be taking part in the presentations. I will participate in the Designers' Forum, along with other boat designers, moderated by Jay Benford. This is from 12h00 to 13h00 on Friday 8th in the Cascade Room. Bring your boat design and construction questions to this session and observe how diverse the range of opinions and solutions can be among designers with different backgrounds and design styles. This is normally a very interesting gathering.

I will have my own session in the Cascade Room from 09h30 to 10h30 on Sunday 10th. My presentation is titled "Surviving a Capsize on the Ocean". Nobody can guarantee who will survive an ocean capsize but this presentation is aimed at making boaters aware of the many factors that are working together to reduce their chances of escaping alive from a capsized boat. Armed with that knowledge, they will be better prepared to choose the best options if they do ever have the misfortune of being inside or under an inverted boat.

To see our range of boat designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Two New Steel Boat Launchings

Steel boatbuilding has been in a slump for a decade or so, with not many new builds starting, either as professional projects or by amateur builders. It has even become very difficult to find any professional boatbuilders who are still working in steel, in many countries. Most of the steel boats currently being built are the work of amateur builders.

I think that this was due to a combination of causes, mostly related to the state of the world economy squeezing disposable income. Fewer people able to afford spending years cruising the oceans of the world has changed cruising dreams to smaller boats of their own for coastal or trailer-sailer cruising, or chartering bigger boats for a week or two at a time from others in the islands.

That may be changing though, we have recently seen an increasing interest in our more serious cruising designs, including those of steel. There still remains the problem of a dearth of professional yards that will build in steel but it does seem that the interest in steel boats may be returning.

The past few weeks have brought two new launches of steel sailboats to our Dix 43 Pilot design. These two were built many thousands of mile apart, in different hemispheres.

Ian Edwards built his boat in Caernarfon, Wales. A 10-year project, she is now in the water and ready to start cruising.
Ian Edwards built his boat in Caernarfon, Wales
Ian turning his hull using the spit-roast method.
Andre Siebert built his boat in Gauteng, South Africa, then had her trucked 1000 miles to Cape Town for launch. I have a few more photos of Andre's boat than Ian's, so apologies to Ian for showing more of Andre's boat.

Andre's boat about to hit the highway from Gauteng to the ocean.
Andre Siebert's launch of "Sea Bird" at Royal Cape Yacht Club, Cape Town.
Beautifully finished pilothouse of "Sea Bird".
"Sea Bird" with her rig stepped.
Congratulation to Ian and Andre for their impressive projects. We wish you happy cruising.

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