Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Of Camels, Boats, Dunes and Things

We all learn in school about the "ship of the desert", the much maligned camel. These animals and their owners are totally adapted to living on and cruising the undulating surface of the desert. We also know of the traditional boats of the Arab world, the dhows that are seen in both power and sail versions. These are very seaworthy boats and have done extensive voyages.

Not heard of nearly as often in that part of the world is the construction of a modern high performance yacht. Such a construction project is the Didi Mini Mk3 of Hugo Vanderschaegh, proceeding apace in Dubai. This is a Mini 650 racer that is built from plywood. Designed primarily for amateur builders, this one is being built by professionals. The photos below show the hull with all flat sheets fitted and the radius skin starting, through to hull turning.

This boat is being built from a CNC kit that was supplied by our Cape Town kit supplier, CKD Boats. They are able to supply kits for most of our radius chine plywood designs as well as the classically-styled lapstrake designs.
Didi Mini Mk3, flat panels completed and 1st layer of radius starting.
2nd layer of radius almost finished.
Didi Mini Mk3 hull skin completed.
Clean and powerful stern sections.
Completed hull ready to turn over.
They turned Hugo's hull right-way-up last week and recorded it on time-lapse video. They accomplished it with plenty of helping hands and no mechanical equipment. This is a wide boat, at 3m beam, so it towers above the men providing the muscle power. It worked in their situation with lots of hands but "don't try this at home". For the average builder it is better and safer to use mechanical equipment to raise one side under control then lower it again on the other side.

You can see more of his Didi Mini Mk3 project on Hugo's website and follow future progress. Also visit our website at to read more about our range of designs and available kits for our plywood boats.

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