Monday, July 13, 2015

"Black Cat" Launch Video

In November 1997 we launched our Didi 38 "Black Cat" after 2 years of building, only 2000 hours for an amateur-built ocean-crossing sailboat. That boat launched a whole series of designs and new developments in plywood boat construction.

That was 20 years ago. I had video of the occasion that was recorded off the TV with a VCR. It was bad quality and it was recorded on the PAL system used in South Africa. Attempts to convert to the NTSC format used in USA were pretty disastrous, resulting in unusable files.

Today I have received a good copy of the video, in a usable format. Watching the video now reminds me just how long ago this all happened. I didn't even have much grey hair then, now it is totally silver.
This video shows the shape of "Black Cat" very clearly. So many people came to me at that time and would not believe that this beautifully rounded shape was a plywood boat. Nobody had seen a rounded plywood hull before and they would only believe that it was not fibreglass after going inside to look at the structure.

Now my radius chine plywood designs are well-known and have been built in many countries. "Black Cat" is no longer unique but she remains the leader of an exciting time for plywood boatbuilding.

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