Saturday, May 10, 2014

Didi Mini Mk3 Kit from CKD Boats

I would have to dig deep in my files to find when CKD Boats first started cutting kits to our plywood designs. Owned by Roy McBride, this Cape Town company has the longest history of cutting our kits and has shipped kits for our plywood boats to many countries around the world. They also have the most experience with packaging large or small kits securely enough to arrive at their destination without damage or loss.

The most remote was a Didi 38 kit sent to Johnston Atoll in the North Pacific. It was a very comprehensive kit that included all plywood, complete rig, keel, engine, sterngear, galley equipment, deck hardware, pulpits, sails and even pre-cut window panels and all the cushions pre-upholstered. This was all packed into a standard 20ft container and had to be shipped via New Zealand and Hawaii, all expertly managed by Roy, his staff and his subcontractors.

CKD Boats has just completed cutting a kit for the Didi Mini Mk3 for a customer in France. It will be packed next week for shipping.
Didi Mini Mk3 sheet fresh from the CNC router.
The plywood components are held in place in the sheets by thin tabs that are left between the full-depth cuts. They are released from the sheets by cutting through the tabs with a box-cutter or jigsaw. This system keeps the plywood as full 8x4 sheets for easy packaging and protection of the components from loss or damage.
Didi Mini Mk3 hull skin panels with jigsaw joints.
The Didi Mini Mk3 is one of the first boats that I converted to jigsaw joints instead of the stepped scarph joints that we used previously. This results in easier assembly and is easier to cut, with less machine time involved. These two panels both show a narrow cut on one side and a wide cut on the other. The wide cut is at the junction between flat and radiused panels, so it has a half-depth rebate pre-cut full length of the panel for the structural joint of the radius panel to the flat sheet.

When this kit is out of the shop, the next will start cutting. This is for a Didi Sport 15 to fill an order from a South African builder.

To see these designs and others in our very broad range, please visit