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By Mike Monies - Eufaula, Oklahoma - USA

With Comments Below by John Welsford, Designer

Finally, I got a good chance to put the Kiwi through its' paces - Wow!

I left our beach at noon and sailed downwind for 6 l/2 miles in one hour and twenty minutes, averaging 5 miles per hour dead downwind.

The wind was 10 to 15 mph and waves 8 inches building to 18 inches. I stopped at a beach for lunch and then went back to windward. The wind built to 15 to 20 mph and seas to two feet with white caps.

Going downwind I sat on a cushion on the floor portside aft with the bulk of the sail out to starboard. The lateen sail did its' thing and was well behaved. Never once tried to death roll.

I arrived at my destination with a dry boat in spite of doing a lot of surfing down waves.

Going upwind was a different story. In a word, wet. However all the water came in over the bow. None over the sides. Even when the wind got up to 20 plus mph, I sat on the bottom aft corner windward side and always felt in control. No water came in over the sides.

JW--- He sails an 8ft pram bowed boat to windward in 20 plus knots of wind and complains that there was a bit of spray around? A lot of PDRs would not do it at all, let alone achieve the pointing angle and speeds that he quotes below. But that said, the point is taken and I'll be working up a set of coamings to deflect some of the water off the foredeck.

She moved to windward at about 30 degrees to the apparent wind and when eased off just a little I got speeds (even in two foot seas) of 4.7 to 5 mph to windward.

JW--- Very good performance in those conditions!

When I got her close to a windward shore I got 5.3 mph on a beam reach. Great fun!

The rudder really works. She is very responsive to the rudder. Coming back to the beach into a dying wind on the nose I was able to scull her at 1 mph to windward with the sail up. Magic!

On the subject of the rudder, I never installed a downhaul - even after you explained that the cleat goes on the bottom of the tiller. The elastic strap does a good job of holding the rudder down. However, the elastic strap does not hold the rudder up. It is just too heavy and the elastic is shorter in the up position than in the down position. Today in some very steep seas the rudder swung back and forth a little but I was in extreme conditions and it was not enough to worry about.

I think it would be a drier boat if you put some coamings on the front deck. They would not have to be very high, about 2 inches would make a big difference and it would so Welsfordian!

JW--- Yup, its a happening thing.

In summary, 5 mph on all points of sail. Total control and tacks to windward well. All very good.

The only change I would like to make is to add some coamings, which I would like to add to follow the pattern of the "pointy boat" painted into the deck.

Thanks so much for a fun boat to sail!

JW--- Thanks Mike, your report is much appreciated.

Mike Monies with comments by JW (John Welsford)


A new design is always a buzz for the designer - John Welsford

Launching day for Jackies new boat!

A new design is always a buzz for the designer, but there are always nerves on launching day. Especially when some of the theory is a little different to normal practice as was the case when I designed the KIWI PD Racer. I’d moved the centerboard forward more than would be usual and used an oversized rudder to balance the boat, plus a few other little tricks to provide more cockpit space and make the build easier. I’ve done the same in other boats, and should know better than to worry, but I’m very aware that those who build my boats depend on me to get it right and it’s a trust that I respect.

I designed the KIWI PDR for Jackie Monies, it was to suit her beginner woodworking skills, her small build and her limited experience in sailing small boats. But there was also husband Mike who is a lot more competitive and who enjoys a boat that sails well and I was sure that he’d be borrowing the little boat now and again so had to cater for him as well.

I was pleased to hear that Mike launched their new boat the other day, several projects had got in the road so she took a little longer to build than expected but she’s all done and in the water now.

Mike took over the build when the hull was all complete and the decks ready to fit, and did a really nice job of detailing, finishing and rigging her. This boat is a contender for the title of “ best built PDRacer ever!” Some one please donate a trophy for Concours D’ Elegance so he can put it on his trophy shelf, he deserves it.

My nerves were unwarranted it seems, Mikes been sailing the boat on Lake Eufaula where he and Jackie live, has done a lot more than just mooch around the bay on fine afternoons, and has sent me back some photos taken at the recent Boots small boat gathering on Lake Texoma and a report on her sailing and handling qualities.

I’m pleased, this is a lot of boat for a little boat, one that I as designer and the two Monies’ can be proud of. If you go to Sail Oklahoma next month you might just get to sail her.

I’ve included some of the pics, thanks Mike for those, and extracts from his report below.

Photos by Ethan Turpin - Edmond, Oklahoma.


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