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

I am proud to design "simple" boats. I don't consider them "crude" just because they are easy to build, generally from single curvature panels. Solving a problem is easy. Finding a simple solution to a problem is much, much harder. Just because a boat is difficult to build that doesn't make it a "better" design. Look at other disciplines.

In house architecture people prefer simple flat shapes. You rarely see houses with curved roofs, and never see them with double curved walls. The Gothic style went out hundreds of years ago.
In fashion, simple clothes are called "elegant", people don't rubbish them as a result.
Ikea have made a fortune designing simple flat pack furniture that anyone can put together.
Cars no longer have fins, chrome strips and other unnecessary features.

In fact it seems that only in yacht design is "complex" design considered "good" design. I look at Wooden Boat magazine and I know that I could never ever build the boats featured there. I don't have the skill, the patience or the time. I prefer to sail not build. A local builder spent 500 hours simply fairing the main hull of his 26ft trimaran. I built almost a complete Strider in that time. Some so called home builder designs are now so complex the designers insist that the beams, for example, are bought, clearly they are considered too hard for amateurs to build.

Having said that I know I decided that I would not sell hull plans of the Transit. Builders have to buy those. But that is not because they are hard to build, rather because big boats take so long to build and I feel life is too short for boatbuilding. That's also why I no longer design boats over 40ft, but that's another subject.