Monday, June 11, 2012

More Sneak Preview

A few months ago I blogged a Sneak Preview of a new design that was developing in North Carolina. That boat will not be ready for the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic Seaport later this month as expected but it is progressing. It should be there next year.

Yesterday I received the latest photos from the owner builder, taken this past weekend. When you look at them, please bear in mind that this man is an amateur boatbuilder and this is his first ever boatbuilding project. He has been a very hesitant builder, unsure of his own woodworking skills being up to the task that he had taken on. He has occasionally needed my reassurance to guide him in the right direction or confirmation that he is doing something correctly. He has shown himself to be a meticulous craftsman, working to a higher degree of accuracy than I have in any of my boatbuilding projects.

Click on the photos to enlarge.

He has chosen to stain the colour onto the plywood and to use clear finishes. His aim was to allow the grain to show through, highlighting the fact that it is a wooden boat as well as the details of the construction, to anyone who looks at the boat. This could have backfired badly for a careless worker because any mess-ups would be highlighted or accentuated. This level of work takes time, of course, so his progress has been slow.

As you can see, his boat is looking absolutely gorgeous. He is producing a boat that is a work of art and of which he will feel very proud, justifiably so. I look forward to sailing this boat and seeing it exhibited at Mystic in 2013.

The builder is Aussie Hunter Gall. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia but is building his boat at a friend's property in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

You will not find this design on my website yet but it should be there soon. The tentative design name is the DS15, for Didi Sportboat 15. It is 4.5m (14' 9") long and 1.8m (5' 11") beam.

You can see our other designs at


  1. Spectacular work, cant wait to see more.

  2. This is indeed an amazing yacht design! A lot of boating enthusiasts as well as those in the marine paneling industry are surely thrilled with this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It is my dream to build a Radius Chine boat. This one gives me the opportunity to build a small dinghy that I can tow around. It will also not break the bank as much!
    When will the plan be available? Any hint?

  4. Thanks Eric. Most of the design is complete, with just a few details to finish, mainly deck hardware layout, rudder and daggerboard. I am having trouble fitting it in between other projects. The builder of the prototype is catching up with me now, so I have to do it in the next month or two.

  5. Very fine work indeed from Mr. Gall - I love the idea of staining plywood & then clear-coating it. I can imagine how difficult it is to pull it off!

    Excellent design (as usual, DD) - I enjoyed looking at the construction photos and am excited to see some more details. What are the other intended dimensions? (draft, displacement, sail areas/rig)

  6. Thanks Jordan. I had reservations about the concept of stained and clear coated finish because it could highlight any bad workmanship. However Hunter is a very precise craftsman and has taken great care to make perfect joints that show well. That care has contributed to the slow pace of the build project.

    It has a daggerboard with optional bulb on the board, so it can be used as a small ballasted sportboat or a trapeze dinghy.

    Draft is 4"/4'1" without the ballast bulb and 9"/4'1" with bulb.

    Anticipated dry weight is about 250lb without bulb and a final decision will be taken after launch on final bulb weight. Crew weight for racing would be in the 300-450lb range. Rig is fractional, sail area is 138sq.ft main, 75sq.ft Genoa and asymmetrical of approx 250sq.ft.