Saturday, December 19, 2009

Philip Harvey

Phil Harvey and I worked together to design the DH550 cruising catamaran. It was for a personal boat for Phil, his wife Laura and their children. Phil is a professional boatbuilder and built up a yard in Cape Town, run jointly by Phil and Laura, where they built a range of composite production monohulls and custom catamarans. Eventually they opted out of the business world and went cruising.

A growing family led to them needing a larger boat, so they approached me to design their next boat. They had seen my radius chine plywood boats for years, including racing against me and "Black Cat" on Table Bay and offshore around Cape Town. Phil wanted to build a large cat using this system. The features and level of detail that we supply for the radius chine plywood designs take a tremendous amount of time to draw, much more than an equivalent composite design. I did not have the time needed to do such a design by myself, so Phil agreed to work with me long distance, to design the boat together.

Phil built his boat in Trinidad and named her "Wild Vanilla". She is a very pretty boat with lots of space and comfort. Phil, Laura and family have cruised much of the Caribbean on her and are currently in Grenada.

"Wild Vanilla" in Venezuela

Phil and I intended to continue the line of DH catamarans down into smaller sizes and started work on the DH470 as the next in the line. After long delays it became clear that Phil's life is filled up by family and other interests, so he did not have the time needed to work on the cat design projects. Reluctantly, Phil stepped out of the process and involvement in the future designs. He remains available to advise builders when needed for the DH550.

I have gone forward on my own with the 47ft smaller sister to "Wild Vanilla". The design is now named the Dix 470 and we are ready to start selling plans for her. You can see the Dix 470 here. I will continue to work on this range of designs when time permits. I think that the next in the range will be about 43-44ft.

I propose to expand the range down into the 35-40ft range as well but that will need some changes to the concept, to make it work visually. I will let the design problems work themselves out in the back of my mind and eventually a good concept will come to the surface.

View our complete range of designs at our website.


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