Sunday, October 5, 2014

Didi 950 Progress & Lifting Keel Option

Mike Vermeersch in Ravenna Ohio turned over his Didi 950 hull a couple of weeks ago and sent me a video of the process.  He turned the hull with the help of a few friends, using the spit roast method and a pair of engine hoists.

With the hull settled in her new cradle, Mike has settled into doing the epoxy fillets and coatings, ahead of starting on the interior joinery.

Epoxy coatings progressing on Mike's Didi 950
While builders have been making material progress with their builds, I have been doing the drawings that detail the lifting keel version for Fred Grimminck. Fred is building his Didi 950 in Queensland, Australia. He has also turned his hull in the past fortnight.

The lifting keel version uses a keel support box of identical footprint to that of the fixed keel version. The difference is that the keel has to slide through where the motor sits in the fixed keel boat, so the motor has relocated to below the front of the cockpit and has a saildrive. The keel support box for this version has the casing built into it, with a flange at the top edge for bolting the keel securely in the down position. In the raised position, the keel is at approximately the same level as the bottom of the rudders. Draft is 2.35m (7'9") with the keel down and 1.15m (3'9") with the keel up.

The keel is lifted by means of a tackle, with the tail led to a dedicated winch that is recessed into the galley counter. This is a simple system, without the waterproofing and complication issues of leading it to a cabin roof winch.
Accommodation of the lifting keel version of the Didi 950
This lifting keel offers Didi 950 owners the possibility of having a racer or a performance cruiser, with deep draft, that can live on much shallower moorings or can access shallow anchorages.

To see our full range of designs to a wide range of concepts and materials, please go to

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