Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Didi 950 Downunder

I have shown the Didi 950 project of Fred Grimminck in Queensland, Australia, in previous posts. Since then he has progressed nicely and is now well into the fitting-out phase. This, of course, had to start with turning the hull right-way up. Fred used a similar method to the hull turning that I showed recently in Ohio, except that he replaced one of the engine hoists with a tractor-mounted forklift, to lift the hull and pull it out of the building shed, then push it back in. Here is Fred's video of the operation.

The fitting out is moving along, as can be seen in these photos.

Starboard water ballast tanks
Port water ballast tanks and double quarter berth.
Building the saloon settees.
Same area, from above. The open area where the vacuum cleaner is
standing is where the engine is located in the fixed keel version.
This boat has a lifting keel, which will pass through this area.
Looking forward at the foredeck, with deck beam flange being laminated.
This is the second boat of our design that Fred has built. Five years ago he built a Didi Cruise-Mini that he sailed for a few years, then sold recently. Watch this space for more photos of the progress of Fred's project.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

New rig for Didi 29 Retro

The Didi 29 Retro was commissioned by a client in Cape Town, to build for himself for competition in the classic yacht races in the Caribbean. He wanted a boat with modern underbody and appendages but with a large gaff rig of classic configuration, to race in the modern classic division.
Underbody of Didi 29 Retro
Last year I was asked to draw a more conservative cruising gaff rig for the design, to better suit those who have no aspirations to race with a big crew or simply want to cruise. That resulted in the cruising gaff rig with about 20% less sail area on the same foretriangle height.
Didi 29 Retro racing gaff rig at left, cruising rig at right
This year I was asked to draw a more modern rig for it, which developed into the squaretop Marconi rig. This one will better suit most sailors, being easier to handle and easier to understand for those who don't know gaff rigs. On sail area, it fits between the two gaff rigs and it will be interesting to see how the three compare on the water.
Didi 29 Retro with squaretop Marconi rig
The squaretop Marconi rig suits the aesthetics of this hull rather well. It would be my choice if I were building this boat for myself. Should be an exciting boat to sail too, able to take advantage of the power of modern stable sail fabrics.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Didi Cruise-Mini available in UK

The Sail 4 Cancer charity in UK has a Didi Cruise-Mini that has been donated to their cause and is available for sale. This is a cruising version of the Didi Mini Mk2, with a lifting keel and reduced rig, as well as more headroom. It is a small performance cruiser in the image of the Mini 650 trans-Atlantic racers.
Didi Cruise-Mini, a sleek little performance cruiser.
I sailed one of these boats recently on Puget Sound when I was there for the Wooden Boat Festival. She proved to be a speedy little cruiser with delightful manners. She handled beautifully, carries her rig very well and has comfortable accommodation for weekending or short holidays afloat. We sailed past everything under sail that we saw on the water, sailing higher and faster. This was despite towing a clinker dinghy that was almost as long as she was. We had no desire to tow the dinghy but it was also destined for the Wooden Boat Festival and dragging along behind us was the simplest way to get there.
Twin rudders and lifting keel give access to shallow anchorages.
This boat that is available is in the Hamble yard of Boatshed, in the charge of Peter Delbridge. Anyone interested in it can contact Peter at the email address (peter at boatshedhamble dot com). It was built as a rehabilitation project by a man who was recovering from a serious illness. He completed the boat, sailed it once then donated it to Sail 4 Cancer when he moved abroad and could not take the boat with him.
Lifting bulb keel, excellent stability with shallow draught.
It is a complete boat, with all hardware and sails, ready for coastal cruising. The lifting bulb keel and twin rudders will get her into shallow anchorages that are inaccessible to larger or deeper-draught boats.
Swept spreader rig for easy handling, less complication than a Mini 650 rig.
100% of the selling price will be donated to Sail 4 Cancer (less yard fees etc), a UK charity that provides water based respite services for families affected by cancer. This is an excellent opportunity to buy a boat at a very affordable price and benefit a worthwhile charity at the same time.
Efficient cockpit with cuddy for shelter when on watch.
She is priced to sell, at £6,000 and well worth a look to see if she may suit you.

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