Dix's Doings


August 2001


Metal Boat Festival

Didi Minis in build

Windy 900 launched

Cape Cutter 19 introduced to UK

Cruising rig for Didi 26

Project management service

International sales expanding

Websites for amateur projects

Photos for our projects pages please




Credit Card

Boat Sites


Metal Boat Festival

This month saw the 14th running of the Metal Boat Festival, in the USA Pacific North-West, under the auspices of the Metal Boat Society. Held previously in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, this year the venue was the Red Lion Hotel in Vancouver WA, on the banks of the mighty Columbia River.

This event was of a very high standard. We congratulate the organising team, led by Lynn King, for an excellent and very professional Festival. It comprised a series of seminars on issues relating to metal boat design, construction and maintenance as well as more general boating and cruising subjects, lasting two days.

Dudley was the opening speaker, addressing the delegates on the strength advantages of metal boats over those built from other materials. After Canadian designer John Simpson spoke on power boats and stability, Dudley and John jointly spent an hour fielding questions from the floor on design related issues.

Also forming part of the Festival was a three day trade show in the Hotel Conference Centre, which drew quality visitors. Our display drew a lot of interest despite Dudley leaving important metal boat display material back home in South Africa.

Dudley's attendance at the Metal Boat Festival was well worth the effort of travelling nearly half-way round the world to be there. We would like to thank all of our many supporters who took the trouble to travel from the far corners of USA to listen to Dudley's talk and to chat to him about designs and metal boat issues.

The annual Metal Boat Festival is set to grow into a valuable resource for all who are interested in metal boats worldwide. We would encourage anyone who is interested to watch for this event next year. If it is as good as this year, it will be worth the effort of attending.

Didi Minis in build

The Didi Mini, our radius chine plywood design to the Mini-Transat 6.5 rule, is finally seeing the light of day. At time of writing, we have sold 8 sets of plans for it to Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.

Commercial Lumber in Cape Town is setting up to produce kits for this design, including CNC cut bulkheads and backbone structure. The first kit is due to be cut next week for supply to a Cape Town amateur builder.

Windy 900 launched

The Windy 880 was renamed the Windy 900 by builder Marintek prior to her unveiling at the Istanbul Boat Show this year. Since then, the first boat has been launched in Turkey and is now being enjoyed by her new owner. She is currently participating in the Turkish Navy Cup series, where she has proven to her crew that she is comfortable, seaworthy and fast, despite being fitted with the shorter of the two rigs that we drew. We wish Marintek good sales for the future.

Windy 900
Windy 900 "Akademi"

Cape Cutter 19 introduced to UK

The Inspiration 19 was renamed the Cape Cutter 19 before the first one was launched in December 2000. She has proven to be a very quick and able little gaffer while sailing in Cape waters. Boat No 2, "Zest", has now been shipped to UK and is sailing on the Solent. Her introduction to the British market has gone well, with an excellent sail test in the September issue of the prestigious magazine, Practical Boat Owner. She can be seen at the Southampton Boat Show in September. Owners Nick and Lyndsay Voorhoeve are available to take prospective owners for trial sails on the Solent by appointment.

Two of these boats are also destined for Holland in the next few weeksfor showing on the Dutch boat shows over the next few months. Construction is by Manuel Mendez in Cape Town, the builders of many high quality J22s and J27s for the South African and European markets.

This design will also soon be available for construction in plywood. This can be from scratch using plans and patterns supplied by us or from a pre-cut plywood kit supplied by Commercial Lumber of Cape Town.

We now also have a marconi rig for this design. It uses the same headsail arrangement as that of the gaff rig, making the two rigs inter-changeable. The sail areas of the two rigs are identical so it will be interesting to compare performance by sailing the two boats alongside each other.

Cape Cutter 19
Cape Cutter 19 "Zest" visiting Cowes

Cruising rig for Didi 26

We have introduced an alternative smaller rig for the Didi 26. It retains the same foretriangle and boom as the tall rig but uses a shorter mast and smaller mainsail. The masthead spinnaker is gone but the fractional asymmetrical spinnaker and pivoting bowsprit remain unchanged.

This rig is well suited to strong wind areas and for family or short-handed cruising. It is also interchangeable with the tall rig.

Didi 26
Didi 26 cruising rig

Project management service

We can now offer a project management service for those wanting to have a boat built to one of our designs by a builder far from home. This service is being supplied by Charles Reynolds and his company Corporate Management Associates. Charles is well qualified to undertake this work, with many years of management experience in the UK boatbuilding industry.

International sales expanding

We continue to expand our international market. Those who frequently visit out website will have seen that we now have boats being built in 47 countries spread all over the globe. Our next target is 50 countries, which we hope to reach by the end of 2001.

Most of our international orders are received through our secure ordering facility. This allows clients to place orders on-line and pay by credit card, with transmission of the details in encrypted form to keep them safe from prying eyes. Our clients are very happy with the system and the safety features which we have incorporated for the protection of both them and ourselves.

Websites for amateur projects

Another website has gone on-line showing one of our designs being built by amateur builders. This one is to our Mount Gay 30 30 design, being built by Tamas Csaba in Budapest, Hungary. You can visit it at http://www.concordia.matav.hu/hajo.

Tamas is building her with the stern extended as a scoop and with a drop keel arrangement designed by a local designer. She will be raced under a rating rule rather than in the Mount Gay 30 class.

Photos for our projects pages please

We need your photos please. We have many hundreds of boats out there but very few are represented on our projects pages. If you have built or are building one of our designs, we would love to show it off for you at dixdesign.com..

Is your boat being built by a professional builder? If he has a website then we would like to put in a builder's link to his site. Please send us the web address so that we can make contact with him. If he has no website, please send us what info you have and some project photos so that we can build a page for him at dixdesign.com.

Read earlier newsletters : November 1997 : August 1998 : January 1999 : May 1999 : September 1999 : January 2000 : February 2000 : July 2000 : November 2000 : December 2000


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