Sunday, January 31, 2016

Didi Cruise-Mini Across the Atlantic

Tony Hussey built himself a radius chine plywood Didi Cruise-Mini in the UK. We have exchanged communications recently, while he has been en-route from UK to the Caribbean in his little boat. This is a cruising version of the little Didi Mini trans-Atlantic raceboat, so it is in its proper element with a cruise like this.

Tony has said that he is very happy with his little cruiser. He sailed her from UK to Spain and back in 2014. Then last year he sailed UK to the Azores and has now continued to Antigua.

From the Azores Tony wrote "Im not pushing the boat as I'm cruising and can't afford any breakages. I also slow down at night to 5 kts to help sleep. My autopilot doesn't handle the spinnakers very well so can't make good use of the higher speeds but the light wind performance with the big spinnakers is amazing for a small boat. On a beam reach in 6/8 knots apparent I'm up to 6 kts boat speed keeping up with the bigger cruisers motoring with not enough wind. Top speed so far is 12.9 but around 12 I chicken out as I can't trust my autopilot to control the boat when I take down the spinnaker."

Now that he is in Antigua and recovering from a back injury he wrote "So far I've done over 8000 miles singlehanded in the boat and very happy with it, always felt safe but never dry!! Joke. The plan is Panama this summer then out towards Australia through Polynesia."

The Didi Cruise-Mini has the same hull and deck as the Didi Mini but with a bit more headroom, more comfort and a more compact sail plan.
Under sail with big squartop mainsail and Solent jib.
At anchor in the Azores.
"Splinter" - Great name for a small wooden boat.
Seagull's view of a beamy little cruiser.
Hitching a tow from a kayak due to outboard problems.
We wish Tony and "Splinter" happy cruising, looks like they are angling toward a circumnavigation. You can follow their adventures on Tony's blog.

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