Thursday, January 31, 2013

First Kit for Didi 29 Retro

CKD Boats in Cape Town, South Africa, has supplied the first CNC pre-cut plywood kit for our new Didi 29 Retro design. It was delivered to owner/builder Mike Kopman at his home in Hout Bay.

You can see more information, including photos, on the  CKD Boats Blog . CKD Boats can ship a kit to you anywhere in the world. Our kit suppliers in other parts of the world will also be able to cut for you.

You can watch a video of my PechaKucha presentation about the design and how I developed it from the Didi 26 design.

For more information on our full range of designs, go to .

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chesapeake Light Craft

In August I wrote about the change in supplier for our plywood kits . That new supplier is Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis MD. They are the most experienced plywood kit suppliers in North America, with a great reputation for quality of both their kits and their customer service. The CLC Newsletter, "Boatbuilder Update", of January 22nd announced the new association between CLC and Dudley Dix Yacht Design.

Extract from CLC Newsletter "Boatbuilder Update".

Our new association was also announced on the CLC blog The Life of Boats where owner John Harris wrote a very flattering review of Dudley Dix Yacht Designs and our boats. Thank you John for your kind words.

The first kit to be supplied by CLC was for a Paper Jet and was to a builder in South Carolina. He reported back to me that he was very happy with the high standard of the kit and how impressed he was with the helpfulness of the staff with whom he had dealings.

You can see the designs that are currently available on our USA kits page . This range will be increased as needed, so please email Dudley if you would like a kit price for one of our plywood designs and it is not yet on the list.

We look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with Chesapeake Light Craft.

To see our full range of designs go to

My PechaKucha Video

I posted last week about the Proboat Design Concept Craft Online PechaKucha that was broadcast on January 17th. This innovative event was a success and you can still view the full event with all presenters .

My presentation was about developing the classically-styled Didi 29 Retro design from the very modern Didi 26. For those who only want to see my presentation, here it is.

You can see the Didi 29 Retro, Didi 26 and our other designs at .

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Brokerage Site

We have many supporters worldwide. We have no idea how many nor do we have any way to estimate numbers. Many just like our boats, without ever having any intention of cutting and joining bits of wood or metal to build one themselves. For them, to buy a complete boat is the only option.

Then there are those who would love to build but are unsure of their ability to create a strong and seaworthy structure to withstand the ravages of the ocean wave. For them, buying a partially-built boat or "semi" is the right way to go. They can buy a boat at hull/deck/bulkheads stage or whatever is available, then do the less critical fitting-out work that is needed to take it through to completion.

And finally there are those crazy people like myself who just do it, whatever it is, then figure out how to do it as we go.

We have a small brokerage section on our website, which can help out people in the first two categories. If you fall into the last category, we have a wide range of plans from which you can choose. Our design list and prices are at .

Our current listings cover the size range from 14ft to 61ft and boats from wood, steel, aluminium and GRP. If you are interested in buying a used or incomplete boat of my design, go to .
Teak decks of the newly listed Dix 38 Pilot
The newest listing is for a semi-complete Dix 38 Pilot that is being built from aluminium in Sicily, Italy. The work has been done by professionals and gives a beautiful and very solid structure for a less skilled owner to finish a very desirable cruiser to sail anywhere in the world that he wants.

Aluminium Dix 38 Pilot Semi for sale.
Please visit and view the boats that we have listed. They include some capable, speedy and gorgeous Shearwaters.


OK, I heard that. You asked what the heck is a "PechaKucha"?

A PechaKucha is a Japanese concept for short and snappy presentations. You can read about it at the PechaKucha website . It is "the art of concise presentations" and was devised in 2003 for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public.

It can be used in any industry for people to showcase what they are working on or what is in development. I was going to be presenting on one of my boat designs at a PechaKucha night  in Louisville, Kentucky in October last year. This was to be part of IBEX 2012 but it fell through due to too many other functions putting pressure on the available time. The organisers promised that we would have it as an online event instead, in the coming months.

Now that time has come and it is happening tomorrow, January 17th (or today for my readers just West of the International Date Line). This is the first time that a PechaKucha event will be done online and my presentation will be part of this historic event. I won't say what it is that I will be presenting, please tune in and watch/listen to the presentations and you will see what I am showing.

You will need to register to attend the ProBoat Design Concept Craft Online PechaKucha . It is free, so no fee to pay, no credit card info to provide. Do it in good time because you will receive an email with the login address to use for the event. It is happening at 13h00 Eastern. If you can't watch it live, you can watch any time later that suits you.

I look forward to any comments after you have seen the PechaKucha. FYI, the word "PechaKucha" has played havoc with the spell-checker on my blog editor.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Tiny Voyager

Many years ago I was commissioned to design a boat for a young guy who wanted a very small cruising sailboat that he could build for small cost. He was going to sail the world on this little boat, so it had to be capable of crossing oceans. That is a tough ask for a small boat because the smaller it is the slower it will sail, the longer it will be on the water for trans-ocean passages and the more weight it must carry in stores and water. She was to be named "PIEPOWDER", an old English word derived from the French for "dusty feet" and meaning wanderer. See more info on the Piepowder design.
Piepowder "Nano" on launch day.
 As it turned out, his father found him before his plan came to fruition and hauled him off back home, put him into a suit and absorbed him into the corporate world. As far as I know he never did get to build his little boat. We have sold a few sets of plans for it over the years but it isn't one of our amateur-friendly designs, so the numbers have been low.

Joachim Fontaine in Muster, Germany, has launched a new "Piepowder" that he built for himself. He named her "Nano" because of her tiny size, as in nano-tubes being minute carbon structures.

""Nano" on the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, England
She is a very pretty and rather cute little boat and he is delighted with her. He launched her in April 2012 and a month later set off for a 3-week cruise to England and back. Joachim sent me the following report on the sailing qualities of his little boat.

"She is a very good sailor and always absolutely dry, there is rarely water on the deck. Three Meter waves and wind blowing with seven Beaufort in the channel has been no problem for this small boat. On the way back through the Netherlands inland waterways she sailed in calm water conditions just under genoa only a fraction over 6 knots. We sailed her around 50 nautical miles a day and we calculated (with her 5 HP Motor) an average speed of 5 knots. We hadn't any difficulties at all with this small boat. It is a tough little traveller - well a piepowder."

I don't think that I could expect a better review of this little cruiser. It is always a pleasure to know that an owner is so very happy with his boat.
"Nano" in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands.
 It appears that Joachim has made a good job of building "Nano", so he has a strong and capable little boat. I don't know if he has intentions of crossing oceans with her but I think that they will have many adventures together in the future. Thank you Joachim, for building her well and enjoying her. A designer cannot ask for more. Now I look forward to some sailing photos of "Nano".

See our full range of designs at

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Boatbuilder Tips Blog

I have started a new blog today, titled Boatbuilder Tips for Amateurs . I won't say much about it here because it is all explained on the new blog. So, please visit to see what I intend with it and please return regularly to see if there is anything that may be of use to you with your projects.

To see our boat designs, please visit