Monday, November 13, 2017

Shearwater 39 Classic Cruiser for Sale

The Shearwater 39 is one of our most popular cruising designs, a classic cruiser with good performance and wonderful manners. These boats have been built from wood or aluminium as custom builds but most have been moulded fibreglass from female moulds.

These boats don't often come onto the used boat market but last year there were a few owners needing to sell for various reasons. I think that all of those boats now have new owners, so they are once again scarce on the used market.

We do have a new brokerage listing for one, just come available. "Windward" was moulded by Nebe Boats, then completed to a high standard by her owner. He launched her in 2008 and has cruised her since then. "Windward" is now in Trinidad, convenient to the Caribbean cruising grounds and an American buyer.
Shearwater 39 "Windward"
A classically-styled and vary capable ocean cruiser.
Modern underwater, great performance and wonderful manners
Beautifully finished and maintained. A floating home with character.
Windward is very well equipped, ready for world cruising. She can take you to tropical islands, or where-else  you want to go. See her listing for more photos and info.

To see more of this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

New Photos of Dix Designs

Photos of boats that I have designed often come into my hands through various routes. Sometimes it is the owner proudly showing the boat that he had created with his own hands, sometimes it is a friend who took the photo from an interesting perspective or for some special reason. When I can I show some of those photos. Here are a few recent ones.

This first one is the steel Dix 43 Pilot "Sea Bird" that was owner-built by Andre Siebert in South Africa. She is on her maiden cruise on the West Coast of South Africa.
Dix 43 Pilot "Sea Bird" in Port Owen marina.
Ryerson and Annie Clark had Big Pond Boat Shop in Nova Scotia build a Cape Henry 21 for them and did the finishing work themselves. They launched earlier this year and have been doing short cruises as they learn to sail their new boat, named "Elvee".
Cape Henry 21 "Elvee" enjoying a beautiful Nova Scotia sunset.
David Edmiston owner-built his Didi 40cr2 "Passion X" in Sydney, Australia. It differs from the standard Didi 40cr by having a wider stern, deeper keel and more powerful rig. This photo of Passion X" was submitted to the Greenwich Flying Squadron photo competition.
Didi 40cr2 "Passion X" in Sydney, Australia.
Joop Mars built his Didi 26 "Black-Out" in Netherlands. In the photo below he is racing her single-handed and loves her sailing characteristics.
Didi 26 "Black-Out" sailing in Netherlands.
Michael Baccellieri of Portland, Oregon, bought an owner-built Cape Henry 21 that had some builder-created problems. Michael fixed the issues, did what he could to get her closer to the original design, refinished her under the new name of "Slough Coot" and went sailing. He and a friend cruised Puget Sound for 2 weeks, then exhibited her on the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend WA
Cape Henry 21 "Slough Coot" relaxing on Puget Sound.
To see more of these and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Updates on the DH550 Catamarans

Last year the DH550 "Friends Forever", built by JJ Provoyer and his team, was launched in Cape Town, South Africa. For a few months "Friends Forever" day-sailed locally, then set off trans-Atlantic (South Atlantic) to cruise the Caribbean. Then back across the Atlantic again (North Atlantic this time), headed for the Med, final destination Israel. Last that I heard she was cruising France.
DH550 "Friends Forever" on Table Bay.
Easy sailing in beautiful conditions.
While "Friends Forever" was in France, she was visited by Kevin Bream of Exocetus Marine, supplier of CNC kits for the DH550, Dix 470 and the Dix 430 (currently in the design phase). Kevin did a drone fly-around video and sent some photos and a sailing report. He said "We went for a sail for one day. We were on a close haul tacking out from Cogolin past Saint Tropez, and making better speed than all the mono hulls, tacking speed was impressive as well. Overall very impressed."
"Friends Forever" sailing off St Tropez.
Back in South Africa, Sea Tribe Catamarans is building a DH550 in Durban. They are building from a kit supplied by Exocetus Marine and are moving at a fast pace. They have a series of time-lapse videos of their project on the Sea Tribe blog, showing the build process. I wrote earlier this year about the kit that was shipped to Southern Africa.
Sea Tribe turning one of the hulls of their DH550.
To see more about this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Clipper Race & the National Sea Rescue Institute

The Clipper Round the World Race fleet departed Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday this week, starting the third leg and heading for Western Australia. The Cape of Storms was on its best behaviour, with fine weather and calms seas. There is a short sail of about 40 miles from the start line to the notorious Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point to the locals), after which it is all wide open Southern Ocean.

One of the fleet, the yacht "Greenings", didn't make it to that open ocean, instead running aground on Olifantsbospunt (Elephant Bush Point) about half-way down the coast. If the Cape of Storms had been howling through the rigging as it so often does, the sea would have been very boisterous and the yachts would have stayed well clear of the dangerous hard bits. Instead the calm seas lulled them in pitch darkness and lured them into the kelp beds and onto the rocks. We all have to wonder how that could happen in a very well-equipped one-design racing yacht, with the very best of modern electronic navigation equipment and a full crew of 18 pairs of ears and eyes. No doubt an investigation will tell us in a few weeks or months exactly what went wrong.
"Greenings" on the rocks the following morning.
There is no Coast Guard in South Africa, no state-financed rescue service. All that there is to help in a situation like this is the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). The NSRI was started by private individuals in 1967 and has grown to become a very well organised and capable rescue service, crewed by more than 1000 volunteers working from more than 30 bases around the country and operating a wide variety of powerboats, from rubber ducks to purpose-built offshore rescue vessels.

NSRI vessels and shore crews were despatched from four bases around the Cape Peninsula. Within a few hours and still in darkness, they had rescued all 18 crew from the "Greenings" and had them safely ashore in Hout Bay, my home before moving to USA. Read more about the rescue.
Crew of "Greenings" met by race officials at Hout Bay NSRI base.
This was another very efficient rescue, executed by a vary capable rescue service with very dedicated crew who go to sea at any time of night or day. This time their rescue was on calm seas with a good moon. At other times they are out in the worst weather and seas imaginable but they are always out there when lives are at risk. NSRI has always been funded by donations from private individuals and commerce. They also used to receive funding from government, which knew that this organisation supplies a critical service and has saved many hundreds of lives. That funding from government was very important to maintaining the costly craft, equipment and bases, as well as training the crew members.

Unfortunately, the current South African government has only self-interest at heart and has decimated and even plundered most of the infrastructure of the country, themselves becoming very wealthy in the process. Along the way, many very valuable programs and charities have lost most or all of their government funding. NSRI is now dependent almost entirely on private funding.

The government seems to have declared war on private business, introducing draconian legislation that makes doing business there progressively more difficult. Many businesses are battling to stay viable or are simply closing their doors. This must all be having an impact on donations to NSRI and all of the other charities. We know that the people of NSRI will keep going no-matter what but one has to wonder how long they can keep the organisation properly equipped and operating safely when finance is so difficult.

As we have seen so clearly this week, the seamen of the world need NSRI when they are voyaging around the southern tip of Africa. This applies not only to small boat sailors; NSRI has been called into service when foreign fishing vessels, tankers, container ships, cruise liners and all sorts of other craft have got into difficulties. Without them, the seamen can't even count on the now decimated South African Navy or Air Force to help them. Those are all services that were available and ready to rescue whenever needed but their assistance is no longer as certain as it was in years gone by.