Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Argie 15 & DS15 at Wooden Boat Show

This past weekend was time for our annual road trip to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, 500+ miles each way. We had our usual Paper Jet, slightly spruced up with a new coat of deck paint and non-skid. Normally we would take one boat on one trailer, an easy tow. This time we also needed to get the new Argie 15 to the show for Kevin Agee to exhibit in the I Built it Myself division of the show. So they had to both go on one trailer. The two boats made a neat package, more aerodynamic than the Argie 15 by itself.
Argie 15 and Paper Jet, the way we travelled to Mystic.
12 Hours aft of us on the road was Hunter Gall with his Didi Sport 15 (DS15) All three boats and our booth in the main tent were set up and ready for visitors Friday morning.
From left, Hunter Gall's DS15, Kevin Agee's Argie 15 and my Paper Jet.
This 26th edition of the Wooden Boat Show proved to be an exceptional one for us. The weather was good and the show was well attended, with a tremendous amount of interest in the two brand new boats. The high quality builds were rewarded with first place for Hunter and runner-up for Kevin in the "Owner-Built Sail" division of the competition. I extend my congratulations to both of them, their hard work and attention to detail really paid off.

Hunter's DS15 is a very interesting boat and really drew the crowds to talk about all of his details and innovations. It might be best described as stated by the head of the judging panel, who said that Hunter is like "the mad scientist of boating". I provided a clean and simple design, which Hunter used as a blank canvas onto which he applied almost every go-fast innovation that he could imagine. Of course it is his boat and the final result must make him happy and fire his passion for it.
Hunter's DS15, with red, white and blue colours achieved by staining the wood before applying the epoxy coatings.
The wet deck with open transom seemed to worry some visitors, mostly women. Surrounded by mostly traditional boats, they can't imagine boats sailing faster than the waves around them.
Hunter had intrigued the judges with his explanations of the theory of tacking daggerboards, his removable heart-shaped daggerboard foil and other add-ons, as well as the unique ways that he had executed some of the more mundane dinghy features. The judges encouraged visitors to chat with Hunter about all this and he had a ball with it. The boat has many 3D-printed items on it, including a carbon spinnaker chute that he had modeled in a 3D CAD program for printing.

Kevin's Argie 15 provided a big contrast, standing right next to the DS15. It is a big 3:1 dinghy that is outfitted for easy and efficient sailing with a minimum of fuss, able to get onto the water quickly and also to carry a family of adults and children in safety and comfort. Kevin built this boat to a standard that caused many to ask why a fiberglass boat was being seen on a show for wooden boats. The bright-finished woodwork of the boat is all two-tone in poplar and cedar, which set off the nicely painted hull and deck surfaces.
The pretty sheer and clean lines of the hull attracted many admirers to the Argie 15.
Spacious interior with minimal complication, as well as space for a bunch of people.
The Argie 15 may have originally been conceived as a 3:1 dinghy for basic family fun but it morphed later by adding seating all-round. This added 40-50lb to the weight but improved comfort big-time, also boosting safety by adding buoyancy if capsized or flooded. These are all features that attracted the lovers of simple boats.

The Paper Jet, Argie 15 and DS15 provided a nice contrast to each other, three very different boats from the same designer. Between the three boats and our display booth, Dehlia and I were kept very busy for most of the three-day show. I would like to thank both Kevin Agee and Hunter Gall for their efforts in building and showing their boats, also for their obvious pride in their own workmanship.

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