Friday, April 15, 2016

New Life for Hout Bay 70 in Charter Work

The Hout Bay 70 "Spirit of Malverne" was built by a farmer on his wine farm in the beautiful Devon Valley, in the foothills of the Helderberg mountain range east of Cape Town, South Africa. She is a steel gaff schooner that I designed for the owner in the 1990's, as the biggest of our Hout Bay range of traditional gaff-rigged designs. She was 70ft on deck, 82ft overall (including bowsprit), 19,2" beam and 6'7" draft, with displacement of 48 tons.

She is a big and powerful boat and did extensive cruising in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans under her first owner. He told me of surfing her at 19 knots on large Atlantic swells en-route to St Helena island and of how she steered herself  without anyone touching the helm for 10 consecutive days, hard on the wind, on the return voyage.
"Spirit of Malverne" at her launch, at Royal Cape Yacht Club.
Saloon of "Spirit of Malverne". That champagne bottle is a Magnum, giving scale to the cabin.
Hout Bay 70 "Spirit of Malverne under sail.
After two changes of ownership she was bought by Trevor Appleby, who had big ideas to modify her for high-end charter service in the Andaman Sea and surrounding countries. This week he sent me photos of the very modified result, a beautiful schooner of 99ft overall length. The extra length has been introduced by lengthening the hull aft to form a counter stern. Aside from the change in aesthetics, the large aft deck creates a large flat dining area for outdoor dining in quiet anchorages.

In the process of modifying her hull, much of the skin plating was replaced to bring her up to like-new condition. To do this, the interior was gutted then rebuilt after the completion of the structural work. The end result is a beautiful and luxurious boat that will give very special memories to anyone who charters her.
"Dallinghoo", the Hout Bay 70 reborn for charter work.
Elegant modified stern of "Dallinghoo"
Dining on the aft deck .
The decks were stripped and new teak decks laid.
Rebuilt interior. The other half of the original saloon is now a luxurious cabin.
One of the luxurious sleeping cabins.
En-suite bathrooms.
Profile and accommodation of "Dallinghoo"
A holiday on "Dallinghoo" will be one to remember but most of us will just have to dream about it. Visit her website at for more info about her and the charter rates.

To see more about the Hout Bay 70 and our other designs go to our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dix 43 Pilot on BBC Treasure Islands

BBC 4 (British Broadcasting Corporation) is currently airing a series of programmes about the various islands around the world that are British territories. Titled Britain's Treasure Islands - Ocean Odyssey, one of the episodes features a sailing trip by explorer and naturalist Stewart McPherson on a sailboat to Chagos Archipelago, the largest atoll in the world. Chagos is 310 miles due south of the Maldives Archipelago in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and is the world's largest marine reserve. See more about the series of programmes.
Dix 43 Pilot "Jerrican" sailing alongside a Chagos reef during filming.
The sailboat in this program is the steel Dix 43 Pilot "Jerrican", launched in Cape Town in December 2013. "Jerrican" is owned by Jeremy and Anita Bagshaw and has logged considerable mileage in ocean voyages to participate in this programme. This has been a shakedown cruise for "Jerrican"and her crew, in preparation for long-term voyaging to faraway places. On the scale of shakedown cruises this is a big one, requiring 6 weeks of sailing just to get to the Maldives to pick up the film crew, then sailing back home again to the Cape of Good Hope after three weeks of filming had completed. Their cruising was planned to be in the other direction, into and across the South Atlantic until a chance meeting with Stewart McPherson at the False Bay Yacht Club set the gears turning to send them east instead of west.
"Jerrican" launch at Royal Cape Yacht Club in December 2013.
Jeremy writes a blog, SVJerrican - The Travels of a Robust Steel Vessel. It has some interesting writings, including how they came to be sailing to Chagos and the pressures of squeezing many months of preparation into a few weeks to meet their commitments for filming the program.

To read more about this and our other designs, visit our main website or our mobile website.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Didi 26 & 40 Projects in India

I wrote in February about the wide-stern version of the Didi 40cr that is being built in Australia. That post drew good interest and has resulted in various enquiries.

In a parallel development, we have been working with XS Marines in Mumbai, India on introducing new boats to their range of sailboats. This started with the owner of XS Marines, Sheri Bamboat, buying plans for the plywood Didi 26, as well as rights to build that design in fibreglass. Construction is now starting on that plywood boat, from which the moulds for GRP production will be made.
Bill Richards' plywood Didi 26  racing in New Zealand.
XS Marines will now take a similar route with the Didi 38/40, after having signed a buyer for the first boat that they will build to that design. They have requested to be able to build their boats with the newer wide stern, instead of the original stern that I built as "Black Cat". They also wanted to build the first plywood boat as a CNC kit. That required me to develop a revised 3D model and extract the modified hull and deck panels so that their kit could be cut. Under tight time pressure, it required some compromise from both sides but the job was done and the boat is now being built.
Didi 40 plywood hull being built at XS Marine in Mumbai.
This one is being built as a Didi 40, ie with the extended stern that increases sailing length and smooths the wake a bit. These differences translate into increased performance. The hull is the same as the Didi 40cr being built in Australia but with a shorter cabin and longer cockpit.
Pat Boase's Didi 40cr "Nimrod" racing off Durban, South Africa
Out of those moulds XS Marines will offer boats to both the Didi 38 and Didi 40 designs. We wish XS Marines the best of success with their new venture.

To see more of these designs and our full range, go to our full website or our mobile website.