Thursday, December 8, 2016

Didi 26 and Kidz At Sea Program

I have written before about the Kidz at Sea program in Sint Maarten. Guided by Garth Steyn, the program trains school children in the skills of boatbuilding then teaches them how to sail. They are using our Didi 26 design for this wonderful work, starting from CNC plywood hull/deck/bulkhead kits supplied by our CNC sub-contractor.

They launched the first boat, named "Purple Heart", last year and raced her in the Heineken Regatta as part of their program. Their sailing skills have benefitted from time spent on the water since the regatta and they recently had her doing 17 knots under spinnaker.
Garth Steyn speaking at the launching of "Purple Heart", with the woodworking teacher and his students.
Now boat #2 is progressing. Garth sent me photos today of the progress and the new boatbuilding class that is creating her. They plan to have her on the water and racing in the 2017 Heineken Regatta, with two Kidz at Sea crews competing boat-for-boat with each other.
Bulkheads and framing, ready for the hull skin.
Bottom panels being dry-fitted ahead of gluing.
Same stage, seen from the bow.
View of the radiused part of the hull framing. The third stringer from the top is where the junction will be with the side panel.
The students who are building boat #2, with their woodworking teacher.
This is a very worthwhile program and I am proud to be part of it. It is building new skills in a community that sorely needs them to expand their employment options.

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