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By Bernd Kohler - The NetherlandsĀ

Here a ECO 7.5 from Australia. The boat sports the first home built wishbone gaff mainsail. Originally, the rig was designed for our "Pelican". I re-designed it for the ECO 7.5. The drawings are included in the plans set. The rig is very efficient and easy to handle. Setting or reducing the sail is a matter of seconds. The original design has a single dagger board in the port hull. Craig was asking me to draw anti-vortex panels for the boat. In my view they can not be as effective as on a V or trapezoidal hull. I did it anyway because I was drawing a-vortex panels for a French multi chine design some years ago and the owner reported that the boat was sailing 7Ā° better to windward than before. Tests will show how effective these are on the ECO 7.5.


The quality of the built can be guessed at in the photos. The boat had to be trailered to the port, but to get a permission to trailer the ECO 7.5 with its beam of 4.6 m (16 ft) would take years. So Craig changed his trailer to transport the boat vertically. In this way the boat was inside the allowed 2.44 (8 feet) transport wide. The load even did 60 kilometers per hour. I think a world record worthy for the Guinness book of records.

Here some pictures of the transport.

Tipping the boat and placement on the trailer. An anti-vortex panel is just in view.

On the trailer.

At it's destination.

Waiting for the travel lift.

Ready to be launched.

At last, on the water.


And ready to go.

As I mentioned, Craig did a beautiful job as the following pictures show.

Hull under construction.

First hull.

Starboard hull with the galley.

And finished.

Saloon under construction.

And finished.

Some remarks on the design. The ECO 7.5 is in my view a good example that plywood boats do not have to be squarish and ugly. Not everybody likes negative bows. I design boats with negative stems for a practical reason. It is a cheap way to lengthen the water line for a better speed potential and better movement in waves. The hulls in the bow area have to be designed for them otherwise the boat can dive and the spray from the bows can be annoying. I designed the ECOnomy cruiser five years ago so I did it not to follow a trend. It is not my fault that now some people are copying me.

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