Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DH550 Catamaran Video

Today I saw a rather nice walk-through video of the DH550 "Cheetah", posted by Wiley Sharp. This boat was custom-built for her owner by Peter Lane in Trinidad, to a gorgeous standard. She has beautiful veneered finishes throughout, unusual for multihulls. Click on the link to watch the video.
The layout of "Cheetah" is a bit different from our standard layout, modified by her architect owner to suit his needs. The normal arrangement is four equal cabins, two in each hull with a large shared heads with shower between the two.

The other big difference between "Cheetah" and the other boats built to the DH550 design is in the powering. "Cheetah" has a pair of electric drives powered by large battery banks charged by solar panels backed up by a diesel generator. Each of the other boats has a pair of 50hp diesel motors.
DH550 "Cheetah" on launch day.
"Cheetah" and most of the other boats have daggerboards but the design includes a cruising keel option, as fitted to "Friends Forever". The drawings also show the option of dual steering, one inside the saloon as used on "Cheetah", and the other in the forward cockpit. The two wheels share a common shaft that passes through the bulkhead that separates the two.
DH550 "Friends Forever" under sail.
Cheetah was built from scratch, using plans only. There is a company in UK, Exocetus Marine, that has developed a very comprehensive CNC kit that includes all plywood components that go into the boat, to speed up construction of amateur and professional projects. Boats are being built in Australia, Germany and South Africa using their kits.
DH550 being built from an Exocetus kit in South Africa.
More recently we have introduced the DH550 Charter, with interior layout more suited to charter service, as well as aft elevated cockpit for helming and all sail handling.

See more info on these and our other designs on our main website or our mobile website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Bilge Finishing in the 26ft Sportfisherman

I haven't posted about Kevin Agee's 26ft sportfisherman project for awhile. Since we turned the hull over, he and Michelle have been doing the rather awkward work of cleaning up then glassing all of the compartments inside the hull, below wet deck level. With a skin condition that does not get along well with lots of laminating and sanding epoxy/glass, I have stayed away from this work.
Sportfisherman 26 hull in its cradle. All the work is going on inside it now.
All of these bottom compartments have been sanded, glassed and sanded again. The inner hull sides have also been sanded smooth, ready for glassing.
The wide compartments on centreline will serve as the bilge, also housing the tanks, batteries and pumps, so will be finished smooth. The outer compartments will contain foam flotation sealed in, so will be left rough.
Inside the engine bracket has also been glassed.
This photo shows the detail used at the break in the sheer. The two laminated sheer clamps overlap and intersect as they do to give proper control over the shaping of the hull side surfaces and tying in of the sheer clamps with the frames.
The pain of glassing the bilge compartments could have been reduced by glassing both sides of the bulkheads and girders below wet deck level before installing those items into the structure, likely cutting the awkward work in half. But that is the value of hindsight and we know for future builds of this and other power designs that will follow.

This design is not yet on our website. To see our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Paper Jet Skiffs in Siberia

Siberia, Russia, counts Lake Baikal among its natural treasures. Lake Baikal contains the largest single volume of fresh water in the world. Irkutsk, on the shores of Lake Baikal, is the home of Ivan Vasilyev. He bought plans from us in 2009 for the Didi 26, which he built for himself and now races in the local fleet.
Ivan Vasilyev's Didi 26 "Orca" racing on Lake Baikal.
Ivan and a group of friends plan to build the bigger sister, the Didi 38, in the future. But at the moment they are working on a project with smaller boats and for a different purpose.

They are building a bunch of skiffs to our Paper Jet design, for sail-training at their yacht club. Our design was selected because of its versatility, able to be used by sailors of widely differing abilities due to the designed-in variations in rig configuration. Three basic rig configurations plus other options are possible from the modular rig components, without needing three complete rigs per boat. The Paper Jet can morph from a docile una-rigged single-hander, to a single- or double-handed sloop, with or without trapeze, through to a full trapeze skiff for two juniors or one adult, with fathead mainsail and asymmetrical spinnaker.
Paper Jet basic rigs and deck plan.
Ivan and his group have bought plans for six boats to date. Some are being built from plans only, others are from CNC kits that have been cut by our kit supplier in Irkutsk. The boats are progressing nicely, most of them being built in the same location.
The first Paper Jet starts, with bulkheads and backbone set up on the building stocks. The boat alongside is Ivan's Didi 26 "Orca".
Hull skinned and turned upright. On top is one of the hollow wooden spars, built using modified birdsmouth details.
Three of the boats taking shape, with another starting in the foreground.
Paper Jet with deck and wings skinned and cross-beam structure in place. This X-frame adds versatility to the design by supporting the two mast positions.
Three of the boats with deck and wing skins being completed.
I look forward to photos of this growing fleet, teaching new sailors of all ages how to sail and also doing class racing.

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