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.