It has been a frustrating few weeks because we have been unable to finish the Matrix (A-Class), due to the shortage of paint stock, from our suppliers being unavailable because of the Corona-virus pandemic. However, opportunity has put the spotlight on finalising our other projects within our expanding ‘Parts’ section. Progression on finishing our US1m Fin and Rudder moulds has been swift. The prototypes of which will be seen on my new US1m design ‘Pringle’ in the near future. In addition, Damian will be finalising his new IOM Fin and Rudder moulds, of which the prototypes will be installed in our IOM’s ‘Maiden’ and my wooden ‘Rubix’. The month of May has been a time to work on those small items which become important parts of all construction projects.
The Matrix (A – Class) construction blog has dominated this month’s news, which follows Damian Ackroyd’s continuing progress when constructing this yacht to compete in vane sailing regattas. This 2 part series will continue over the coming months. The first part of the series will be completed once the yacht is ready for the installation of the rig and vane steering system. Once Matrix is ready for launch we will start the second part of the series, describing key elements of the rig, followed by future testing on the water and leading up to the yacht’s first race. (Pandemic depending). In future, there are plans for a ‘Matrix Build Report’, this will feature within the ‘Yachts & Yachting’ magazine website. The report will include the moulding process of the A – Class build, which wasn’t described in this blog, plus numerous pictures describing the design from an image on the computer screen, to a physical yacht being launched.
So keep an eye out for that!
This month saw the completion of our new 36′ Class design ‘Remix’. Produced as a 3D printed yacht, this design is our entry into the class. Unfortunately, with the ongoing Corona-virus pandemic circulating the UK, the boat’s launch has been delayed until such time it is safe to recommence sailing. ‘Remix’ will feature in the vane sailing series at Fleetwood, but in the future we plan to produce moulded versions of this yacht, suitable for skippers who wish to compete in either vane or radio class regattas.
A £4000 investment into our design software has been achieved during this month. Purchasing the latest version of ‘Maxsurf’ will guarantee a more improved product into our designs for the next 10 years, whilst remaining compatible to other computer programs our customers may wish to use.
The software allows to create new designs using many more modelling functions. More scrutiny into the different features will aid to a more improved product. Maxsurf recognises other software programs such as Rhino which supports 3D printed hulls. Therefore, we remain committed to progress and the continuing shift in design technology.
The launch of our prototype 6 meter design, ‘Sea Bird’ took place today at Fleetwood. Designed by Dave Hollom and constructed in a 3D printed format by Damian Ackroyd, this yacht produced a lot of interest at the lakeside.
Over the day, numerous skippers took their turn racing ‘Sea Bird,’ with some good feed back on the boats performance witnessed. During the course of this year, Damian and Dave will continue to test and race the ‘Sea Bird’ prototype hull. A decision at the end of 2020 to produce carbon hulls will be taken, but this design is a welcome alternative to other 6 meter yacht designs.
2020 will see two new designs
Remix to the 36r class. The first hull has been digitally printed and will be launched as a vane boat at Fleetwood, This design will compete within the growing UK 36r class series. The future plan will be to have separate Vane and Radio versions of this design.
A new ‘Vane A – Class’ hull will be produced for the Nationals at Gosport in 2020. Learning the lessons from the Matrix concept, a version 2 of this yacht will be under construction throughout the winter. Testing will begin in the spring.
2019 has been an exciting year.
Using our existing designs we have launched two new boats and upgraded our existing Marblehead ‘Astrix’. At the start of the year we decided to concentrate our efforts on qualifying for the World Championships in 2020. Therefore, Damian moulded a new Sonix (10r) with John beginning his campaign at the class Nationals. Despite the slow start, the progress made throughout the season has been significant, resulting in qualification to the (10r) World Championships during the last ranking event in Milton Keyes.
The next new yacht constructed this year by Damian was the improved ‘Drisky’ (6 Meter Class). Historically the design has attracted some critics despite finishing 2nd in 2008 and 3rd in 2012, in the class Nationals. Fresh with a new keel concept and a lowered rig configuration, Drisky achieved 4th in the Nationals this year, despite having only sailed for the second time since its construction.
However, the biggest challenge this year has been the campaign for qualifying for the Marblehead World Championships using the Astrix design. Damian has continually invested his time into the development upgrades for the Astrix. The fin and rig positions are located further forward than previously and the lead ballast has been increased in overall weight. Despite the invested time and the improvements seen, John and Damian have suffered some indifferent results. When changes to the boat have been completed, this has been to the expense of preparation time prior to a race, resulting in some basic lessons learnt. Our challenge will continue and hopefully Astrix will show more improvement in the new year. The effort in developing our existing designs with each race, has been well received by other skippers, who continue to show their support for our enthusiasm. John and Damian’s focus remains towards the forthcoming Worlds in 2020 at West Kirby.
In the background several new items have been tested throughout 2019 and the first of these is the radio pot with an under deck mounting ring, incorporating a radio plate.
A new IOM called ‘Maiden’, designed by Damian has been tested through the year and is now available to order. All this keeps John and Damian moving forward within the sport.