Dix's Doings


January 1999




Credit Card

Boat Sites



New Website

"Sabbatical II"

More radius chine plywood concepts

Mount Gay 30

Hout Bay 70 for Chesapeake Bay

Catamarans for South America

Dinghy designs

Bobkat 22 "Sea Princess"

I had intended to write this newsletter on a quarterly basis. Didn't happen of course. Well, here is our latest news.


The newest news is also the biggest. I have completely reconstructed the website, also relocated it to a dot-com address and placed it with a USA server. Most of you will now access it faster because it is closer to home.

In reconstructing, I have put all that I have learned about web design over the past year into effect to produce a better site. You should find that it is faster loading, simpler to navigate, easier to read and more attractive. New features will be introduced over the next few months, like email delivery of orders for technical articles and dinghy designs. It will build on the reputation achieved by the old site for being a great source for boating information, accessed by boating people worldwide.

Take a look at it at http://www.dixdesign.com . We hope that you enjoy your visit and bookmark it for future use.

"Sabbatical II"

The 50ft aluminum ketch, "Sabbatical II", is now into the fitting out phase. The standard of metalwork produced by Howdy Bailey's team at Global Yachts in Norfolk VA is inspiring. Past experience with this yard gives me great confidence in the final standard of work which we will see when she is completed later this year.

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.

Sabbatical aluminum cruising ketch

More Radius Chine Plywood Concepts

Interest in my radius chine plywood concept continues to increase. The Didi 26 is now being built on 4 continents, although no boats are due to go into the water for awhile yet. Enquiries show that there is a demand for a similar size boat of the same construction method but designed for those with more serious coastal and offshore sailing in mind. I am not sure when it will happen but I will try to find space in the design schedule to fit this in.

Didi 26 radius chine plywood trailer sailer

The interest in the Didi 26 has also shown that a smaller version is needed, around 20-22ft. This one will also be looking for space on the drawing board.

Radius Chine Plywood Mount Gay 30

This is the newest of the radius chine plywood designs. The design is now nearing completion and the hull, deck and interior construction drawings can be supplied, with other details to follow soon.

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. The bulk of the construction is of plywood, epoxy filleted together for simplified construction. Much of this can be self-jigging, egg-crate 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. Negotiations are now in progress prior to selecting a builder. Options will be:-

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

Options 1-3 will be available from this office and 4-6 will be available from the appointed builder.

Included in the flat pack kit will be all of the components for fabricating the steel keel casing, into which the lead ballast will be poured.

The rig will be deck stepped, fractional with two sets of swept spreaders and runnerless. This makes her easy to handle with a small crew whether racing or cruising. The deck stepping arrangement places less stress on the hull structure, permitting a lighter yet more durable boat.

Mount Gay 30 radius chine plywood racer


We have recently received an order for the Hout Bay 70 from USA.. She will be built in a slightly down-scaled form to fit into the under 65ft category for Coast Guard approval to carry 50 passengers.

We look forward to seeing her sailing on Cheasapeake Bay and nearby coastal waters.


I drew the little Oppikat 9ft training catamaran a few years ago for Nebe Boats but they went belly-up before building the moulds. This concept has now been picked up by a builder based in Brazil. The plug is being built at the moment from strip cedar. Moulds will be made so that she can be built in GRP. Initially it will be for sale in South America but sales further abroad may follow.


Our plywood 3:1 dinghy designs are selling well through the Winter Projects section of the website. These boats are all very simple to build and are within the capabilities of first time amateurs. We have sizes to suit all needs from 8ft to 16ft. The intention is to convert these designs to a form that allows us to supply all of the info by email rather than by hard copy snail mail as we do at the moment. Watch this space for developments.

The next series of dinghies which I would like to develop will be high performance in concept while giving versatility in use. Essentially simple boats to build and sail but which will grow in performance with the improvements in the sailors ability. I will leave those thoughts in your minds but not tell you how I plan to achieve these goals.

Also planned for the small boat enthusiast is a sea kayak for plywood stitch & glue construction. This will be developed from a prototype built by Gerfried Nebe while cruising his Shearwater 39 "Gabriel".


The 22m "Sea Princess" was launched late 1998 and is now in service. Her owners, Waterfront Charters, are very pleased with her performance and functionality. During trials prior to going into service she achieved 32 knots with 45 people on board and 27 knots with 180 on board. She has been licenced to carry 145 passengers and has an economical cruising speed of 17 knots.

Her design was a collaborative effort between ourselves and the office of powerboat man, Bob van Niekerk. She is a standard Bobkat 22 GRP hull with a custom superstructure and is foil-assisted, the two foils being located in the tunnel between the hulls.

For more information on these and other designs and services, visit our website at the address below.

Read earlier newsletters : November 1997 : August 1998


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