Monday, March 11, 2019

Sportfisherman Fish Box & Centre Console

After a period of laborious filling/sanding/fairing/sanding/fairing//sanding/painting, when it seems to the outside observer that nothing much seems to be going on, Kevin Agee's boat is back into a phase when progress appears to be going apace. Various projects are going on simultaneously. The foredeck has been glued on, the fish box lid has been formed, the rubrails have been glued on, the intermediate rails have been dry-fitted to fine-tune final position and the centre console is being assembled. See the captions under the photos for explanation.
Nicely faired and sprayed interior of the cuddy cabin. The foredeck has been glued on and is still to be filleted around the edges. The bright white interior will help with keeping this area clean and habitable. It will have a small seat each side and a WC between them.
The fish box lid has been made from multiple layers of Coosa Board, formed to the camber of the aft deck. The lid will be in two halves, hinged at the centre.
View of the underside of the lid. The white lines are epoxy filling the kerfs that were cut into the lower surface to help with bending to shape while gluing it over a former. The cover will be glassed top and bottom. The rebate around the perimeter allows it to lie flush in the aft deck.
In the foreground are the sides of the aft unit of the centre console, formed with plywood sides and laminated plywood radiused corners. This will form the seats and the live bait well. In the background are the sides of the forward unit, which will house the steering, engine controls and instrumentation.
Pre-formed corners of the console are laminated plywood to 15mm total thickness. The flat panels are 9mm plywood, so rebates have been cut 9mm deep and 20mm wide for gluing the flat panels to the corners.
Aft unit of centre console in position in the cockpit. This is the "leaning post" or seat unit. The forward side is the elevated helm seat, above storage. The aft side is the live bait well with an aft-facing seat over it.
The rubrails have been glued on and must still be shaped, then glassed along with the sidedecks. These are all Coosa Board, a lightweight board for the decks and a more dense board for the rubrails. The intermediate rail is oak and has been dry-fitted for fine-tuning for best aesthetics.
This design is not yet on our website. To see our full range of designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Cape Henry 21 & Kits in Australia

The most recent Cape Henry 21 launch was in Adelaide, Australia. "Sealion" is beautiful, built by Ron Jesche, and painted a very pretty blue. Ron is a professional boatbuilder with other boatbuilding projects behind him but most boats to this design are built by amateurs. With more than 100 afloat or in build around the world, this is our most popular plywood traditional sailboat design.
Ron Jesche exhibiting "Sealion" at the Geelong Wooden Boat Festival.
 Ron made a lovely job of the build, both inside and out, with quality joinery. The bright-finished details against white surfaces are traditional finishes for classic boats and create a bright and airy interior.
Pretty detailing, nice finishes. The slatted liners are comfortable backrests for the settees.
The raised sheer and flush deck give a comfortable and spacious interior.
Afloat and waiting for her sails.
Ron made some custom changes to his boat. One of them was to add a small diesel motor under the front of the cockpit to replace the standard outboard motor in an outboard well. It fits in neatly, with access through hatches in the cockpit sole and bulkhead. Although the diesel motor is a bit heavier than the outboard that it replaces, it is closer to the centre of gravity of the boat, so has little effect on flotation.
Cockpit hatches to access engine and shaft seal.
Access openings in bulkheads around the engine.
Ron launched on Christmas eve and had the first sail as a Christmas present. Since then he has sailed her in a wide variety of conditions on all points of sail and tested her for heaving to. He had previously sailed the smaller sister, Cape Cutter 19, and declared them both to be fast, capable and without vices.
"Sealion" romping in a friendly summer breeze, sailing as a cutter with Yankee and staysail.
A few days ago he sent this photo, taken while sailing in light breeze. It was his first outing with Genoa and main, sailing as a sloop. He discovered just how fast these little boats are in light winds.
Reaching at 6.1 knots boat speed in 7.8 knots apparent breeze.
While building his Cape Henry 21, Ron Jesche agreed to work as our agent in Australia and since then we have expanded it to include CNC kits for our plywood designs. He is well placed to represent us at boat shows and in the plans and kit markets. To contact Ron Jesche, go to his Stainless Boatworks website at

To see more of this design or others in our wide range, go to our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

26ft Sportfisherman Stern Detailing

Cockpit work continues on Kevin Agee's 26ft sportfisherman project. The photos tell the story.
Gluing in the cleats around the top of the fish box to support the lid. Many operations in boatbuilding demand hoards of clamps. This is one of them because the cleats must be bent into shape during fitting and held there until the glue cures. The cleats were glassed on exposed surfaces before fitting.
The cleats all done and the Coosa Board deck panel and fascia glued on.
In the corners of the transom, outboard of the fish box, are lockers. In this photo the opening for the door has been cut. The boxing on the left is the duct to take water through the locker to the transom drain. The ball valve is the drain for the fish box and will connect to the hole in the vertical face of the duct, to drain the fish box directly into the drain.
View of the fish box and lockers nearing completion. The doors are dry-fitted and will be installed after painting is completed.. The Coosa Board fascia has been glued on. The cockpit drains can be seen at each end of the toe recess.
The corners are rounded to soften the look of the cockpit and also for comfort when leaning against the decks while working fish. We accomplished this by cutting layers of Coosa Board to equal the height of the fascia. They will be glued in, then glassed over and faired along with the decks and fascias. This is the intersection of the side deck with the fish box.
Same detail at the intersection of the side deck with the foredeck. The foredeck will be fitted after completion of painting the cuddy cabin. The deck has already been glassed and painted, ready to be glued in place on the framing.
Deck stringers seen from below, showing how they are framed into the sheer clamp. These stringers are curly maple and have been precoated with epoxy and will be clear-finished with varnish. The underside of the deck is white-painted.
Also in the cuddy cabin, this box has been glued to the bulkhead to form a step. The opening takes a single drawer tackle box.
Work is about to start on constructing the centre console and leaning post. I am busy on that drawing and the cutting will start next week. A 200 litre live bait well is incorporated into the seat aft of the leaning post.

This design is not on our website yet but you can see our other designs on either our main website or our mobile website.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

26ft Sportfisherman Fish Box & Side Decks

The fish box of Kevin Agee's 26ft sportfisherman is progressing nicely. When planning this part of the boat the conflicting needs for efficient cockpit drainage, storage lockers, access to seacocks and maximising fish box capacity must be worked out and different solutions might be settled on for different boats. For Kevin's boat we have constructed the insulated fish box across most of the transom width, with a locker at each and and a toe-kick recess at the bottom.

The choices for the cockpit drains were going through the sides of the hull forward of the fish box, fitting drain pipes through to the transom or building ducts for the same purpose. We chose to build ducts as a good way to have large capacity drains while also being able to shape them to go around the access covers over the compartments below. This also allowed us to hide the drains under the wings of the outboard engine bracket on the outside and in the toe-kick recess of the lockers on the inside.
Basic fish box structure roughed in. The gaps at the ends of the toe-kick recess are for the drains.
Plywood components forming the ducts to feed water through to the transom drains.
Completed drain duct. The large hole will be covered by an access cover. The ball valve is for the fish box drain and will connect to a spigot into the duct.
Fish box constructed with plywood liner and foam slab insulation. Epoxy filleted at all corners.
The side decks were next on the build list. This started with fitting the light framing that defines the shapes of curves of the upper and lower edges of the side deck fascias. With these glued in and held to their required shapes by the side frames and gussets, the fascias were cut and fitted first, followed by the side decks. I was designing for this work to be done in marine plywood but this can be replaced by Coosa board. Kevin has chosen to do the decks in Coosa, fibreglassed both sides.
Cleats at top and bottom of the fascia define the shapes of fascia and deck. We added two gussets between frames, to shape the sheer break and to hold the cleats parallel to the sheer curve where it turns in aft due to the tumblehome.
At the sheer break the relatively straight aft cleats (glued in first) must be held firmly in their correct positions, so that the heavily curved forward cleats can be trimmed to come in at the correct angle and position, then glued. This is done with the gusset seen in the photo, which stays in place as permanent structure.
Coosa fascia and side deck dry-fitted to test for it. The fascias were cut as straight strips then flexed into place. The side decks were cut to the required shapes. All panels were then glassed on the back face before fitting.
The fascia is already glued on. The side decks have been glued, held in place by clamps along the inner edge and by screws with fender washes along the sheer.
Lots of clamps needed for this job. Screws with fender washers do the job on the outer edge where clamps cannot work. Kevin is cleaning up the excess glue on the underside of the deck. 
The foredeck has been cut to shape and is ready to be fitted. That will happen after painting of the cuddy cabin has been completed.

This design won't be on our website until close to launch time, so that any decisions taken during the build will be shown on the drawings that we sell. See our other designs on our main website or our mobile website.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Dix 430 Catamaran

A long time ago I drew the basics of a design for a 43ft wood/epoxy catamaran for a professional builder. He didn't have the resources to build the boat, so the design went no further. Ever since it has remained on our website as a teaser, hoping to entice another builder to commission the completion of the design. A few people did ask me to carry on but those requests somehow never coincided with a gap in my design schedule, so it went no further.

I did get to design the bigger Dix 470 and DH550 cats for radius chine plywood construction. A few of the 55 footers have been launched and others are in build to both designs. Both boats are also offered as comprehensive CNC-cut kits of all plywood components, by Exocetus Marine in UK.

Exocetus Marine wanted to expand their kit range down to smaller cats as well, so they commissioned a new 43ft cat with a similar aesthetic to the bigger boats. This has replaced the design that has been languishing on our web pages for so long. Exocetus Marine will have the programming for cutting the Dix 430 completed during the second quarter of this year.
Dix 430 sail plan
As with the bigger sisters, the new design is also radius chine plywood construction, the build method that I developed for my Didi 38 prototype "Black Cat". That boat is now 23 years old and is still racing competitive. That design has been followed by a stream of smaller and larger designs of similar or derivative construction.

In addition to the kit option, the Dix 430 can also be built from plans or from plans plus Mylar bulkhead patterns. They can be ordered through our stock plan pricelist.

The new boat is a good size for family distance cruising and lazing around the islands. Initially available with cruising keels, a daggerboard option may be added later if there is demand for it.
Dix 430 accommodation
Dix 430 cross-section
See more of this and our other designs on our main website or our mobile website.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Didi 27 Retro

It has been a few years since we introduced the Didi 29 Retro, a gaff-rigged cruiser-racer based on our popular Didi 26 trailer-sailer sportboat. Bruce Mierke of North Carolina built his "Arabella" to this design with a modified (shorter) cabintop. Sisters are also being built in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Didi 29 Retro "Arabella", built by Bruce Mierke.
Inspired by "Arabella", another client commissioned a boat on the same basis but heading in a slightly different direction. The new boat is a classically-styled day-sailer with enough horsepower for exciting sailing.

The hull is based on the Didi 26, with some modifications. It has a plumb bow and aft the lines have been extended for a clean and powerful stern, ending in a radiused vertical transom. Along with that it has bulwarks forward, which taper aft into a normal toerail. The result is a more springy sheer curve.
Clean flush deck and centre cockpit
Bulwarks, bulb fin keel and spade rudder.
Being a dayboat, it has a clean flush deck with centre cockpit and no cabin structure. My client wanted only two settees down below with sitting headroom but I included a double forward berth to add the option of camp-cruising. A Porta-Potti and camp stove can be stowed under the cockpit and a boom tent can extend sleeping space to include the cockpit.
Powerful Marconi rig.
The rig is a powerful fractional Marconi sloop configuration, with square-head mainsail. The asymmetric spinnaker is flown off the end of a retracting and pivoting bowsprit. The deck-stepped mast is supported by double swept spreaders and there are also runners to help with the loads from the asymetrical in strong winds.
Camp-cruiser accommodation
My client wanted a fixed keel and a lifting keel will also be available. The foils are wood, sheathed in uni-directional glass, with a cast lead ballast bulb. The rudder is in a cassette that allows it to be lifted for servicing and for the lifting keel boats to get into shallow water.

We will be offering CNC kits for this boat, including the interior components. Plans are available immediately and kits in the near future.

To see our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.