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

By a Dutch owner:

And now for the 10.000 dollar question: How does she sail?

The summer of 1994 gave ample opportunity to test her light-weather performance - a dream. She starts moving on a whisper, and keeps moving under 20 m2 mainsail and 22.5 m2 flying drifter where 30 foot monohulls under spinnaker drift around aimlessly. With the foot of the flying drifter on a two feet strop, forward visibility is much improved, although a turning block is now required aft of the winches. On the other hand, by mounting this block on a rail athwartship, the drifter can be exquisitely fine-tuned for every wind angle.

With the tiller half over, she easily sailed in circles. She also sailed well under mainsail alone in winds down to Force next-to-nothing, providing that the main is fully released when going through the wind's eye. On the other hand, she really raced along under single-reefed main and 16 m2 genoa in a force 5 to 6 quarterly wind - 12 knots, more in gusts, with water spouting from her rudders with the sound of a jetfighter and just enough additional weather helm to keep the helmsperson alert, but still relaxed single-handed steering!

In a force 3 to 4 she just moves fast without any fuss. Only the position marks on the chart reveal the real speed (5 knots on a force 3 beam reach, 9 knots on a top of force 4, a honest-to God 12 knots over an 18 miles reach in a real breeze from Lelystad Haven to Hoorn and yes, we've done that several times, with independent witnesses on board too.) - no heel, no spray, only the jet engine noise from the rudders.

And under power? Under power, (9.9 hp extra longshaft, electric starter, and controls on the outside of the central well) she makes 7 knots top speed, 4 knots at a more comfortable sound level, and she does as she's told.