Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cape May 25, Trailable Gaff Cutter

Thirteen years ago Nick and Lindsay Voorhoeve commissioned the Cape Cutter 19 design, which they built in GRP in South Africa. They marketed it very successfully in UK for a few years before selling the company to Honnor Marine, who moved production to UK. It continues to be sold by them through Cape Yachts. We also sell plans for amateurs to build this design in plywood and it continues to be one of our popular small cruiser designs.

"Tiptoe", Cape Cutter 19 built by Ian Allen in New Zealand
Time showed that there was considerable demand for a slightly larger version of the same concept. That resulted in  a client in Australia commissioning the Cape Henry 21. To date we have sold plans for 130 plywood boats between the two designs, with a slight leaning toward the bigger boat.

Cumhur Regay built his Cape Henry 21 in Turkey
More recently I have been commissioned to design two more bigger sisters to the Cape Cutter 19 . The Cape Charles 32 has been waiting in the wings for a long time and will remain there awhile longer. The design is about half-finished and there are a few people waiting for it but there are other things getting in the way (life, sailing, surfing etc). The other one, the Cape May 25, is now complete and plans are ready for anyone who wants to build her.

The Cape May 25 is 25'3" long on deck and 24'0" on waterline, with beam of 9'8". Draft is 2ft with the centreplate up and 5'4" with the plate down. Lightship displacement is 4500lb. Her weight and beam mean that she is not really a trailer-sailer but is trailable with a large vehicle and will require special permits to be towed on public roads. Her forte will be the ability to sail into shallow areas that are inaccessible to most other sailboats of her size and to be taken home for the winter to save storage costs. Another strong point that she shares with her sisters is excellent speed, resulting from the long waterline, fine bow and generous sail area.
Cape May 25 Sail Plan
My client for this design is a tall person and needs extra long berths and ample sitting headroom, so the forward berths are 2.2m long. The cockpit is also long enough for him to sleep there on balmy nights.

Unlike the smaller sisters, the  Cape May 25 has guardrails. It also has wide cockpit coamings that are comfortable for sitting out, leaning against the guardrails.

Construction is lapstrake plywood, over stringers and permanent bulkheads. This is more challenging than basic stitch & glue construction but it does result in a gorgeous boat that really shows off the builder's achievement. The smaller sisters have shown that these boats can be successfully built by amateurs with reasonable but not expert woodworking skills.

To see our full range of designs, go to http://dixdesign.com/priceabr.htm.

To see our range of plywood designs, go to http://dixdesign.com/priceply.htm.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Trika 540 Demountable Trimaran

We are introducing a brand new design, the Trika 540. It is a pretty trimaran kayak that will be a good family boat for reasonably sheltered conditions and gives good speed. It can be built at home by almost any handyman from stitch & glue plywood and can be carried to faraway destinations on the roof of a family car.

The basis is a large two-person kayak than can be paddled by itself. To convert it to a trimaran the beams and amas are added, without tools. Aside from being demountable, the beams can also be folded aft so that the amas lie alongside the main hull to reduce overall beam for easy boarding from a dock or for accessing narrow spaces.

Length overall and on waterline are both 5.4m (17'9"). Beam sailing is 3.28m (10'9") and 1.3m (4'3") folded.
Trika 540 waiting for you to take her sailing.
Trika 540 on a standard car, with amas inside main hull.

The Trika 540 is a nice concept. Much as I would like to say that I came up with it, I didn't. It is the only design we sell that I did not draw myself. It was designed by my German agent, Klaus Metz and I have added it to our design range to expand reach for his design. We serve as his agent in selling the plans and he will supply the plans and will back up all builders himself. This is best because he knows the design and construction intimately.

Please go to http://dixdesign.com/ to see our full range of designs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Update on OkoumeFest

It was a very long day but well worth the effort. We left home at 4am, arrived at the venue by 9am and had the first boat sailing by about 10:30. The two Paper Jets attracted a lot of attention and more people sailed my boat in one day than have sailed her in 6 years. Those who sailed her seemed very impressed, despite the generally light breezes and lumpy water. The lump was generated by wind elsewhere on the bay that wasn't reaching us.

Two Paper Jets nested for towing.
Paper Jet #007 rigged and ready to go.
Two happy sailors return to the beach.
 We finished the day with a visit from South Africans Terry and Greg Clarens, ex Durban but now based in Annapolis. They took the two boats out on the late afternoon breeze with flat water and possibly had the best sailing of the day.

A few people commented about the beautiful detailing and woodwork of the two boats. They have on occasion been described as works of art or sculptures. This was part of the overall design concept and is one of the aspects that make these boats so eye-catching. My aim was to create detailing that would encourage builders to be proud of their work and to strive for a higher standard. Despite being thoroughly modern in shape, the rig details include features more normally found on traditional gaff-rigged craft. These include lashings, soft-eyes and birdsmouth wooden spars that are oh so pretty.

Thanks to all who came to CLC OkoumeFest and particularly those who test-sailed our boats.

To see our full range of designs, go to http://dixdesign.com

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reminder for OkoumeFest

OkoumeFest is only a few days away, on May 18th. If you want to see or sail the Paper Jet and live within reach of the Annapolis area, this could be your opportunity. We will have two boats there, the prototype #001 and  #007, generously loaned to me by my friend, Howdy Bailey, for the occasion. My boat will have the turbo rig for experienced performance dinghy sailors to test and #007 will have the standard rig for those who don't feel up to the challenges of a powered-up skiff. See more info on this blog in my posts of April 21st and April 29th.
Paper Jet #007 - Billy Black photo.
Paper Jet #001 - Billy Black photo.
Paper Jet #007 is for sale and is in excellent condition. Come see and test her if you want a good boat but don't have the time to build. She is set up for the standard rig but can be easily upgraded to the turbo rig.

Visit our website at http://dixdesign.com/

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Short-cutting the Boatbuilding Process

Many people want to build a boat for themselves. Some are like me and just dive into a project, believing that we can learn how to do it properly during the process. Others are more cautious and will investigate everything about the process before taking the step of cutting the first piece of wood. Some of them will never even make that first cut, unconvinced that they will be able to complete the project.

Most boatbuilding projects that are started do get completed but there are others that the original builder is not able to complete for one reason or another. This may be for any of a number of reasons, from financial problems to illness in the family or even death of the builder.

These partially completed boats are an opportunity for those potential builders who don't have the confidence to take a project from that first cut through to launching the completed boat. If bought by someone else, such an incomplete project can knock the major part off the timescale needed for completion.
Didi 34 waiting for a new owner to complete her
 We recently sold a semi-completed project for a Dix 43 Pilot that was available in South Africa. The new owner is now completing the project to take him and his family cruising distant waters.

We have other semi-completed projects listed on our brokerage pages that wait for new owners to complete them. Listings that we have at present are for plywood Didi 26 and Didi 34 and an aluminium Dix 38 Pilot.

The Didi 34 project is particularly worthy of consideration. It became available after the builder succumbed to cancer. His wife needs to sell it and has reduced the price to a level that makes it a very viable project to get a speedy cruiser/racer afloat in a fairly short time and at low cost.

So, if you are interested in building a boat for yourself but want a head-start on the project, have a look at the semi-completed projects on our brokerage pages.