Didi 38 – Black Cat – Test only
Reference Number: YMON038-0012
Design: Didi 38
Launch year: 1996
Total Berths: 5 Engine(s): 1 x 50hp Yanmar
Electronics include: SSB, GPS, radar, compass, chart plotter, echo sounder, log, battery management system, bob solar panels, 220v inverter, 110v inverter, and more.
Hull Material: Cold rolled marine ply Deck Material: Marine Ply Rig: Sloop-Fractional Sails: 9
Dudley Dix 38 Black Cat For Sale in South Africa. Who better to provide insight into this now well known vessel other than Mr Dudley Dix as he designed her, built her and sailed extensively. Here are his words on the matter:
I started on this design while sailing the 1993 Cape to Rio on Nick Taylor’s Shearwater 39 “Ukelele Lady”. I wanted a fast and light boat that I could build myself in the 3 years between races. I sometimes suffer from seasickness, so I took great care to design a boat that would be comfortable despite being light. That meant that it had to be fairly narrow to have an easy motion.
It was to be cold-moulded wood for economy and to be suitable for me to build as an amateur. It took a year before I had money to start the project but 2 years was not enough time to do it, so I had to come up with a way to speed up construction drastically. I fell back on my staple radius chine metal designs and adapted that hull form to plywood construction. Aside from speeding up the build it also pulled the material cost way down.
SV Black Cat proved to be very fast off-wind and a joy to sail on all headings, with a light helm unless pressed very hard. The slippery hull and tall fractional rig make her very fast on all headings on flat water in light breezes. It is a design that likes to be pushed hard rather than treated gently. In common with many modern designs, the flattish bottom forward of the mast doesn’t like to be sailed upright in lumpy water, powering her up to generate heel softens her ride and makes her more weatherly.
I have sailed her through a few storms in mid-Atlantic and in extremely rough seas as only the Cape of Storms knows how to generate. She has always felt safe and solid despite having a 12mm lightweight plywood skin throughout. Of her 4000kg displacement in measurement trim, a full 50% is ballast in her deep bulb keel. This, combined with her high cabin structure, give her stability characteristics that will right her from the worst of knockdowns.
To date we have sold plans for nearly 70 boats to builders from South Africa to Siberia, USA to Vanuatu.