by Jim Betts
The world's amateur boat builders
will have their own race program in 2004. Unlike the usual format,
the race will take place wherever there are boats, racing each
other or in the case of only one boat — race against the
clock. There will be a series of events; short races and longer
ones with a crew of two and single-handed events. Boats will
be scored on each event and also on the quality of construction.
Boats must be amateur built using
either the cold-molded wood or one-offfiberglass methods. The
boat is 18 ft. 9 in. (5.7m) LOA and 8 ft. (2.4m) beam. It has
a retractable keel and is self-righting and self- rescuing.
The program will take place in
2004 and will be held in various parts of the world based on
One major factor, is that the boats must be usable as small
cruising boats when not being raced. The boat must have an after
life, unlike some of the upscale racers that have little value
after the race program."
The International Amateur Boat
Building Society publishes a bimonthly magazine, sells boat
plans, conducts research on boat designs and building materials
and methods and offers technical advice to amateur boat builders
For more information, contact IABBS, PO Box
1309, Point Pleasant Beach NJ 08742-1309, USA.
MERMAID is the one-design boat
for the IABBS program. The boat is sloop rigged, and is 18 ft.,
9 in. long and 8 ft. beam. It has a retractable ballasted keel.
The boat sleeps two, has a galley and head. Headroom in the
cabin is five feet in the sitting area. Note that the after
part of the cabin (where the after window is) is actually in
the cockpit. This is a "ready station" where the crew
can sit out of the weather and still be in the cockpit. The
boat is self-righting and self-rescuing. Foredeck work is done
from the hatch. There is no need to go on the foredeck and it
is, in fact, prohibited. Our mermaid swims alongside and points
to the next mark on the course.