Copyright 2017 - Woods Designs, Foss Quay, Millbrook, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL10 1EN, UK
  • home built Flica 37

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

From a letter in the Sept 2000 Practical Boat Owner

"I brought a friend of mine (who'd damaged his hand in an accident) back from Weymouth to the Solent in my Woods Merlin.
We ran all the way with spinnaker and furled mainsail in a F3-4 westerly, which perfectly demonstrated the wonderful downwind stability of a catamaran. My friend, lying pale-faced clutching his painful hand, said "My God, this is a wonderful boat!" Tracking as if on rails, we averaged 8 knots without any effort at all. My friend was right: the catamaran, particularly the Woods lightweight designs, makes a terrific cruising boat"
MC, Brundall, Norfolk

"Top speed so far is 20 knots (reaching in a F5 under main and genoa). I am very satisfied with the boat" Wigo, Sweden

"We have sailed twice with good results. Today we maintained 10 to 12 knots for about 24 miles in 3 foot seas and the boat remained flat and true (and dry!). We get a lot of closely spaced "chop" here, so it was truly a good ride." John, Canada

MOCRA newsletter dating from December 1993 which included the following article

"All monohull sailors should be forced to sail a multihull sometimes in their lives. My wife and I have been well and truly converted, hesitation has now turned to enthusiasm. All our lives our family has cruised and raced in monos, from ferro, wood, glass to strip cedar we built, sailed it and sold it. Each boat was going to fulfil the dream of the perfect boat, but as we approach 50 we realise that perfection is an illusion, and satisfaction is only reached with compromise.

So why did we build and sail a multihull? Our families last boat was a fast cruiser racer designed by Ron Holland to the IOR rule. We built her in strip cedar with a varnished finish - it took three years. Having campaigned on the UK's East Coast, completed a 2STAR and taken part in Cowes Week, we finally threw in the towel. The sheer pressure of organisation and high cost forced a re-think of sailing pleasure. On the 2STAR we watched helplessly as cheaper multihulls disappeared over the horizon ahead of us with far less effort, knocking almost a week off our transatlantic crossing. There had to be something in being level and fast. We had to try it.

We fitted out a strip plank Merlin. We were amazed how easy she was to sail, no furious sail changing, no hordes of crew clambering over the deck. My wife and I alone sped along at 8-15 knots with minimum effort. Soon we were thirsting for more speed, a taller mast and taking out surplus weight produced more power. We were hooked. Every monohull friend who came to sail was amazed at how easy it all was - all glued to the speedo - willing it to hit the stop at 20 knots.

We sold the Merlin and built a Javelin. Sailing her for the last three months has been wonderful. We have had the worst summer for years but nothing takes away the thrill of sailing and tuning a new boat you have built. Surprisingly nothing has broken, bent or groaned (maybe we built her too heavy?) In some heavy weather she powered to windward with little fuss at about 8-10 knots, making short work of steep seas."