Dix's Doings


March 2002


Didis, Didis and more Didis

Metal Boat Festival 2002

Cape Cutter 19

Echo 38 in GRP

International sales expanding

Photos of projects




Credit Card

Boat Sites


Didis, Didis and more Didis

Our radius chine plywood concepts, in the form of our Didi designs from 21 to 40ft, have become our biggest sellers, with over 80 boats on the go.

Didi Mini - To date we have sold 14 sets of plans

Didi 26 - 29 Sold

Mount Gay 30 - 8 Sold

Didi 34 - 12 Sold

Didi 38/40 - 18 Sold

Aside from more normal locations, the Didi 38/40 is being built in two very isolated spots on our planet. One is Johnston Atoll, a US Air Force base 750 miles SW of Hawaii. Materials are a problem so practically all that is required to build her, including rig, sails, hardware, timber and keel, is being packed into a 6m shipping container by Commercial Lumber in Cape Town for shipment to the builder in the Pacific. This is being done at less cost than if supplied form USA.

The other is our newest order for this design, received through our Russian agents, MK Design, who are based in Vladivostok. This one is to be built in Irkutsk, close to the Siberian Lake Baikal, just North of Mongolia. This is a place of climatic extremes, thousands of kilometres from the nearest ocean, but the sailors are very dedicated.

Didi 42DS - This is our newest design for this construction method but please don't pressure us for plans, they will not be available for a long time yet. It is a very modern and sleek pilothouse concept that has been commissioned by Finnish client, Eirik Naese. He will start construction after completing his current project, a Didi 26. Those of us in less extreme climes don't appreciate the conditions that builders in high latitudes endure to complete their projects. Eirik tells me of near freezing temperatures in his heated workshop. I will think of him and consider myself lucky when I have a low of 10C outside in mid-winter.

Metal Boat Festival 2002

The 15th Annual Metal Boat Festival will take place from 9th to 11th August 2002 at the Red Lion Hotel in Vancouver WA, on the banks of the Columbia River. I will again be a speaker and exhibiting our designs at the Metal Boat Show, running simultaneously in the hotel's exhibit hall.

This year my presentation will focus on maintaining momentum and motivation through a large boatbuilding project as well as how to restart a stalled project. After three large boatbuilding projects and a few smaller ones, all as an amateur builder, I have personal experience of most of the highs and lows that can be experienced in a large project.

Metal Boat Festival
Our booth at the 2001 Metal Boat Festival

Cape Cutter 19

The Cape Cutter 19 has been selling very well in UK, since its introduction in August. The order books are full and a waiting list is now in effect for future boats. These are built in Cape Town and shipped to UK on their trailers in 20ft containers or two to a 40ft container. This makes them ideal for economical shipment all over the world.

There is also one of theses boats being built in plywood by a boat builder in St Petersburg, Russia. He will be using it to test the waters for possible construction on a semi-production basis for the Russian market.

The drawings are now available for the plywood version of the Cape Cutter 19, for amateur builders. We have had requests for this package from amateur builders all over the world, so it will probably rival the Didi Mini and Didi 26 in popularity. The stock plan package includes full size bulkhead and backbone patterns on mylar and full size patterns of the hull panels will be available as an optional extra. A kit is also planned, for home assembly.

Construction is by the traditional glued lapstrake method but with a small twist, to simplify work for those who are new to the method. A stringer is carefully positioned at each chine, to serve as a guide for fitting the skin panels and to form a rigid structure against which to work while doing the necessary planing of the bevelled edges. This will simplify the process for both experienced and novice builders and also adds considerably to the structural strength.

Cape Cutter 19
Cape Cutter 19 "Zest" visiting Cowes

Echo 38 in GRP

Marintek, the Turkish builders of our Windy 580 and Windy 900, are based in a well equipped factory in Istanbul. They have recently started tooling for a GRP version of our Echo 38 cruising tug design. The photos of the plug show a high quality product from which they will be able to produce fine boats to extend the upper end of their classic style powerboat range.

Echo 38 in GRP
Plug for fibreglass version of Echo 38

International sales expanding

It slipped past many of you unnoticed but we threw a big party in Cape Town to mark the occasion in September 2001. It was our attaining the landmark of having our boats built in 50 countries. Since then we have added another four to our supporters and a few more are approaching over the horizon.

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.

Photos of projects

Thank you to those builders who have recently sent us photos of their amateur and professional projects. Many are now on-line in the projects and builder's pages of our website. They will be a useful resource for other builders going through the process and feeling the need for some guidance in their projects.

We need more photos please. Your photos can show off what you have achieved while also helping others.

Is your boat of our design and 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 : August 2001


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