Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mini-Transat sailor Radek Kowalczyk

Radek Kowalczyk is sailing his little boat "Calbud" in the Mini-Transat single-handed race that is currently being sailed between France and Brazil. He is the third Polish sailor to sail in this event. His boat is built from radius chine plywood, to the first version of our Didi Mini design. Radek is proving to be a resilient sailor.

Radek Kowalczyk arriving in Madeira

Radek was unlucky, on the first leg, to hit a whale. The inpact damaged his keel, necessitating heading into a small harbour in Portugal to make repairs. The damage appears to have been primarily delamination of the carbon skin that he applied over the outside of my aluminium keel design. The repair kept him in port for a few days before he could resume his voyage.

Radek and "Calbud" arrived in Madeira yesterday to a massive welcome from fellow competitors, family and friends. He and his boat were both given a clean bill of health by doctors and the Mini 650 class inspectors respectively. Today they set off on the second leg of the race, more than 3000 miles to Brazil.

"Calbud" undergoing inspection in Madeira.

Radek is a great example of what this race is all about. He is resilient in the face of adversity and does whatever is needed to achieve his goal of sailing this race. He is part of an ever-growing group of single-handed sailors who treat each other with great respect. They support each other like family, to help each other through these events.

Radek, you have earned our respect and I wish you the best of sailing for the rest of this race.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sneak Preview

We have a new small sailboat taking shape in a remote workshop in rural North Carolina. It is a performance dinghy with a twist. It will be an exciting boat with a trapeze or two, or a ballast bulb can be added to the daggerboard to make a more docile small sportboat or family funboat. This is the first time that we are showing it anywhere public because it is not yet ready for plans sales. The design has taken a backseat due to pressure from other designs, so it has gone rather slowly

This hull shape was requested by my client, in preference to a simpler hard-chine or multi-chine hull form of stitch-&-glue hull construction. It is a direct development of the Didi Mini Mk3, scaled down to a smaller size.

This is a project that is suited to builders who have already built a stitch-&-glue boat or two and want to develop their skills further. It is built mostly with sheet plywood, to a shape that comes very close to those used for the latest breed of Volvo and other high performance raceboats, with a chine above a rounded bottom.

In these photos we have clamped the flat sheets to the framing on one side of the hull, to check that all fit correctly. This is a CNC kit, so we need to be sure that it goes together properly. The turn of the bilge will be skinned with two thinner layers laminated together to form a compound curve.

This first boat should be ready for the Wooden Boat Show in June 2012, at Mystic Seaport. Make plans to be there if you want to see her in the flesh.

See our design range at .