Copyright 2018 - 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

Although the Strider and Merlin look very similar on paper, I know, from having owned and sailed both designs extensively, that the couple of extra inches on Strider's hull width makes a huge difference.

However even on Merlin there is still room for a snug single berth in each "corner". The forward ones are comfortable for weeks at a time, the aft ones are narrower and have less headroom, so are better for children or occasional use.

It is really important to have "a place for everything and everything in its place". This is especially true in the galley which can either fold onto the side of the hull or across the boat, even though the latter makes access to the bunk difficult. Side entrance hatches suit this accommodation layout, but mean you can't stow long items in the hulls (like the mainsail or boom when trailering)

Net bags on the hull sides make great stowage areas, while a Portapotti toilet is best positioned under the companionway hatch where also can be used as step down.

These comments also apply to Wizzer and Skua, although both have roomier hulls than a Strider.

This Youtube clip, taken from the Day Sail to Russia video, shows a well laid out Strider hull


Of course a deck tent or cuddy transforms life on the open deck boats. A cockpit tent need not take long to put up, as another Youtube clip from the Day Sail to Russia video shows.

However it cannot really be left up when sailing and is still a "tent". So the cuddy designs make a lot of sense. The Wizard and Sango have purpose designed cuddys, but the Plan Updates page shows one we retro-fitted to our Merlin. A similar one can be used on Janus, Strider and Skua.