Dix's Doings

Newsletter of DUDLEY DIX YACHT DESIGN

December 2002

IN THIS ISSUE

Season's Wishes

Didis turn 100

Didi Mini Kit Boat Project

"Ancilla" wins in Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

Competition rowing shells

Shallow draft Dix 38

Didi 40cr introduced

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Season's Wishes

That time is here again, the Silly Season. To all our friends and colleagues, we wish you all the best for the festive season and a great 2003. Please drive safely.


Didis turn 100

September last year we turned 50. In that case we had sold our designs to builders in 50 countries. One year later, this past September, we turned 100. This time it was our Didi range of radius chine plywood designs, which passed the mark of 100 sets of plans sold. They are being built all over the world and are now well on the way to their second century.


Didi Mini Kit Boat Project

Sales of our smallest radius chine plywood design, the Didi Mini, have taken off. The number of plans sold to date now stands at 28, with interest showing no signs of slowing.

The newest development was the order of two boats by two South African yachtsmen who are based in Florida, USA. They have ordered their boats from the Cape Town company that markets plywood kits to our designs, CKD Boats. The initial order was for kits but developed into complete boats.

One is to have a fixed keel with water ballast and the other will be fitted with a canting keel. They will be sailed against each other to evaluate relative performance. It is hoped that they will form the core of a proposed one-design Didi Mini racing fleet for local short-handed coastal racing.

We now have a new section of our website that follows construction progress of the Didi Mini Kit Boat Project.

Didi Mini
Didi Mini in framing at CKD Boats


"Ancilla" wins in Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

There were a few of our boats on the entry list for the 2002 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. The boat that attained the best result was the 59ft gaff schooner "Ancilla" owned by Renny Barnes and based at Solomon's Island on the western shore of the Bay.

This race is sailed annually in October. The 127 mile course is from Baltimore, at the northern end of the Bay, to Norfolk in the South, where it exits into the Atlantic Ocean. "Ancilla" completed the course at an average speed of 8.4 knots, taking both line honours and handicap win in Class B.

Congratulations to Renny and his crew on a race well sailed.

Ancilla II
"Ancilla" off Port Elizabeth, South Africa


Competition rowing shells

Last year we were commissioned to design a range of competition rowing shells by Johannesburg based Slade Rowing, to be marketed internationally under the name "Vision". Paul Slade, owner of Slade Rowing, is a young, capable and energetic builder with big dreams for the future. His plan, from the outset, was to build a top quality product that would be competitive against the top boats in the world. He gave me total freedom to experiment with hull shape features that I felt would advance the performance beyond what is achieved by the current generation of boats. He also encouraged stealth-type deck styling to make his boats stand out as different from the rest.

In March 2002 the first boat in the range, the Lightweight Single, emerged from the factory. The Heavyweight Single followed in October 2002 and others are planned for the future.

These boats are of carbon/epoxy/honeycomb construction. They are extremely stiff, so that they hold their designed shape afloat for optimum performance. The paint finish is sprayed into the mould, giving a high standard of finish with light weight. The distinctive styling of the hull and deck, combined with the bright orange and black colour scheme, makes the Vision racing shells very distinctive.

Options that are offered include a choice of either aluminium or carbon rigger. The aluminium rigger is fabricated from tubular sections and braced for rigidity. The lighter and very rigid carbon rigger is a hollow moulding, to a low-drag asymmetrical foil section, for maximum transmission of the rower's power through to the oar blades.

We wish Paul and Slade Rowing great success and many trophies.

Slade Rowing competition rowing shells
Bow view of "Vision" rowing shell


Shallow draft Dix 38

We have introduced a shallower draft version of the Dix 38 and Dix 38 Pilot. Draft has been reduced to 1.5m (4' 11") for easier access to the canals of Europe and places like the Bahamas. Stability is little different from the deeper draft version. The first boat with this keel is under construction in the yard of S Products in Cape Town.


Didi 40cr introduced

From the start we offered the Didi 38 with an option of extending the stern to make it the Didi 40. This was a racing option, for greater sailing length and more cockpit space. A few builders have asked for a more cruising oriented version of the 40 with extended cabin for more interior space and shorter cockpit.

We have done that now, with the introduction of the Didi 40cr. The layout has been changed, with the heads moved aft to alongside the companionway. The extra space up front has made a more roomy forecabin and the extra length aft has allowed a spacious aft cabin and cavernous lazarette with deck access. This layout gives more space and comfort for two-couple cruising.


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 : March 2002

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