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More radius chine plywood concepts

Didi 26

Mount Gay 30

Metal fishing boats for Africa

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I have been told by my friend John Titterton that it is high time that I post a more up to date newsletter than November 1997. He is correct, of course, so I am taking some time away from designs and emails to let you all catch up with what is happening.

"Sabbatical II"

The 50ft ketch, "Sabbatical II", is now progressing apace in Howdy Bailey's yard , Global Yachts, in Norfolk, Virginia. She is being built for Ann and Scott Ripley of nearby Virginia Beach. Her hull was turned over last month and the deck and superstructure are now nearing completion. Her owners are ecstatic about the standard of construction being turned out by Howdy and his dedicated team.

Howdy and his crew are, in turn, very impressed by the standard of detailing supplied to them for the construction of this boat. But then, this is the 6th design on which we have worked with Howdy, 5 of them having been commissioned by Howdy, or his clients on his recommendation. Bear in mind that this relationship has developed across about 6000 miles of ocean.

The design was supplied to the builder as a full package of paper drawings. This was backed up by additional drawings prepared to allow Howdy to make full size patterns for all framing, tankage etc. We nested the frames as well for most economical material usage. These were all sent to Howdy by email for plotting in-house. The whole process went smoothly and proved a very satisfactory way of doing it. These computer files can also be used for CNC cutting of components if the facilities are available.

By all reports received, Global Yachts are producing an excellent job.

Sabbatical aluminum cruising ketch

More Radius Chine Plywood Concepts

Interest in my radius chine plywood concept continues to increase. The Didi 38 is now being built on 4 continents. One of the builders, in UK, is making a video of his construction project with a professional cameraman. He anticipates that this will be available for sale in the 2nd half of next year.

We have received confirmation from Wooden Boat Magazine that they will be featuring this construction method in their excellent publication within the next 6 issues.

With each new design which we do in this method we fine-tune it or adapt it a bit more to offer more versatile products. The latest ones are moving us deeper into kitboat territory, the goal being to enable commercial kit suppliers to sell flatpack kits of all components ready for assembly.

These designs now include a 22 page guide on the procedures of building boats to this construction method. This will be expanded to accommodate new designs.

Didi 26 radius chine plywood trailer sailer

All of these designs are fully detailed on CAD. Standard packages are for construction from plans and offsets in the traditional manner. Being computer faired and very simple in hull form, they do not need to be lofted, only for the bulkheads to be drawn full size from the supplied diagrams. CAD files are available as an optional extra, to allow the bulkheads to be plotted or CNC cut at the builder's location. Another optional extra is for us to supply the full size patterns.

Plywood, although a manmade material (assisted somewhat by nature of course) is the least costly boat building material in my country and probably most others. Even when bonded and protected with costly epoxies, it remains well below the material cost of GRP composite construction. When combined with construction over permanent bulkheads, (ie using the permanent features of the boat to give it shape rather than using temporary framing which takes time, money and effort then is discarded) the cost of the final product is pulled way below that of a comparative one-off article in other materials.

Didi 26 Radius Chine Plywood Trailer-Sailer

The Didi 26 design is complete and the first boats are being built in Sweden and Australia. There is strong interest also from Europe and USA.

She is to the Australian Level Class 800 trailer-sailer rules and has weekend accommodation which includes a vast double berth under the bridgedeck. Much of the interior can be ommitted if a stripped racer is preferred. A possible alternative for the future will be a pair of quarter berths and an extended cockpit well.

She has a bulb dropkeel and transom-hung rudder on a performance hull. The rig is double swept-spreader fractional and uses asymetrical spinnakers on a pivoting and retractable bowsprit.

This design inorporates a plywood backbone which is shaped from full size patterns which are included in the standard package and allows much of her structure to be set up in self-jigging egg-crate fashion. The cabintop is multi-chine stitch and glue using panels cut according to clear diagrams.

Didi 26 radius chine plywood trailer sailer

Radius Chine Plywood Mount Gay 30

This is the newest of the radius chine plywood designs to come into this office. She is still in the early stages of design but should be ready for construction to begin by early September.

Although aimed primarily at the Mount Gay 30 Class, the superstructure has been shaped to satisfy the requirements of the IMS Rules as well, allowing her to be used as a club racer without the optional water ballast permitted by the Mount Gay 30 Rules.

It is an extension of the concepts introduced in the Didi 26, having a multi-chine plywood cabintop for speedy and simple assembly. As the construction drawings are developed, we will be introducing further innovations into the structure to optimise strength/weight. The bulk of the construction will be of plywood, epoxy filleted together for simplified construction. Much of this will be self-jigging, eggcrate fashion, for speedy assembly.

It is planned for this design to be available in various forms to suit the wallet and/or time limitations of each owner. Intended options are:-

1) Basic design package - build from plans and offsets

2) As for 1 but with computer files of bulkheads supplied for owner plotting or CNC cutting

3) As for 1 but with full size bulkhead patterns

4) Flat pack kit of all components for hull, deck, interior, keel and rudder, with all design drawings

5) Pre-assembled hull, deck and interior ready for finishing by owner, with all design drawings

6) Complete boat ready to sail

Various keel options will be offered, to allow either professional casting or fabrication by professionals or amateurs, all delta bulb in configuration. The first keels will be to the Mount Gay 30 Rule. Later options will better suit those wanting a club racer or fast cruiser without rule compliance.

The standard rudder has a fixed blade and is transom hung on conventional pintles.This low-tech arrangement is lighter than hanging it on a stainless steel shaft as well as being less costly and within the abilities of most amateurs. An alternative shaft hung spade rudder will also be available.

The rig is keel stepped, fractional with two sets of swept spreaders. This makes her easy to handle with a small crew whether racing or cruising. Options of bowsprit for Mount Gay 30 Class racing or conventional spinnaker pole for IMS racing will also be offered.

Mount Gay 30 radius chine plywood racer

Metal Fishing Boats for Africa

A sad part of the modern world is the fact that we are running out of so many of nature's resources. This applies to good boatbuilding timber for tradidtional styles of boatbuilding in many places. Lake Malawi provides the livelihood for fishermen operating traditional wooden craft, for which they are running out of trees.

Brown & Clapperton of Blantyre commissioned a 20ft steel open boat design which they can offer as an inexpensive alternative. Styled and laid out to be similar to the wooden boats, they are built over a space frame to reduce assembly time and weight. Versatility was designed in from the start, allowing the basic framing of the 20ft boat to be adjusted easily, allowing boats of greater length and/or beam to be built from the same basic space frame, thereby improving product range commercial viability. The prototype is now off the space frame and the deck is being fitted as I write.

The design incorporates a sealed wetdeck with buoyancy compartments to improve safety. She can be built of aluminum as well, giving a lighter product of higher quality.

Click here for November 1997 Newsletter


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