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Thread: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

  1. #1
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    Default Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    i think there is much to these Dix designs. Here is one of my favorites of his.

    I keep returning to this retro boat as a faster build for local racing here in the SF bay. Whether i ever build a new boat with so many great old ones that need help - i do not know. There would be a few ways to go - Ply & epoxy or combo composite construction. I think a hull with an integrated interior cabin could be made over fall and early winter. If I didn't complete internal finishing, had made carbon spars & sails (the value of the 80 percent of the boat) - she could be doing last of the mid winters. The only downside is the head room which is 4' 3" which makes it just a little more than sail storage or a hardy weekender.

    I think she would a solid little boat for big racing. She would be a gun down wind with good uphill performance. at 29 feet with 550 feet of turbo gaff rigged sail she would be quite impressive. But once fitted out - she would be a contender for a Transpac with the right down wind dresses.

    http://dixdesign.com/29Retrodidi.htm

    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Why not just lose the gaff and go for a fat-head main with battens, you could have the same sail shape without the gaff. Im not entirely taken with a lot of "spirit of tradition" type designs. I thought "Adela" looked silly when out of the water, but no doubt the modern foils and rig tech made her a fast boat in comparison to what most people would think should be under the waterline. Totheir own. each

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Why not just lose the gaff and go for a fat-head main with battens
    this!
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    Why not just lose the gaff and go for a fat-head main with battens, you could have the same sail shape without the gaff. Im not entirely taken with a lot of "spirit of tradition" type designs. I thought "Adela" looked silly when out of the water, but no doubt the modern foils and rig tech made her a fast boat in comparison to what most people would think should be under the waterline. Totheir own. each
    This is true. But how often does one get to see a Gaff rigged boat plane.

    As i see it, i am a good sailor but not a great one. There is more luck to my victories than skill. A nice photo and complements underway competing are almost as good as winning.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Even with a flicker I can't see how the backstay will work, and I can't see how you will keep the tip on the mast without it. I would love to sail this boat, though.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    I think she would at least want full battens.
    Twin running backs I recon , but do they need to go all the way up or all the way aft?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    They certainly wouldn't have to go all the way aft, but yeah, running backs would work. They may not have to go all the way up, but 7/8's of the way, at least (I'd think).

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Looks nice.

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    I am going to order study plans from Dix. Heard he was quite helpful.

    I love his style and the fast builds. I have this idea that i can have a new boat every 3 years. Love this guy building this hull in 12 days!

    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 07-31-2014 at 07:11 PM.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    A Tabernacle on a race-worthy vessel. That's cool. Opens up the mooring and marina options dramatically. The sprit pops back in, btw, so LOA for docks is the LOA of the boat. And as for the "Spirit of Tradition?" I love Ted's response, but DD points out that the sq ft of the gaff rigged racing version puts acres of sail up where the breeze is. With a C0 out on the sprit, you can fly with full hoist on the gaff. As the wind pipes up, the staysail becomes the first sail change, and then a reef in the main. Only now do you have the same sq ft as the version with a Bermudan rig. Each successive reef of the main reduces SA by 80 sq ft. There is a "Cruising" rig for those with simpler aspirations, btw.

    Oh the sprit? It articulates for deeper angles downwind.

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I think she would at least want full battens.
    Twin running backs I recon , but do they need to go all the way up or all the way aft?
    I think so. They seem to me to be there to support the masthead spinnaker.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Hi All,
    I'm very interested in all the comments here about this design, because I'm the guy that went to Dudley and asked him to design it! I'm currently building it in my garage in Cape Town using Dudley's radius chine ply method, for which it was specifically designed.
    To answer a few questions:
    As wizbang suggested she will have twin running backstays, much like a modern Volvo 65 or IMOCA boat. Yes, there is a period during which the top mast is unsupported, but this has been the case on gaff rigged boats for eons, and is now quite normal on many modern performance boats too.
    As for the gaff rig, it is true that a modern fat head main will probably be faster. Certainly upwind. But part of the motivation behind this project was to do something different. Like Ted says, how often do you see a gaffer on the plane? I am a professional yacht captain and I generally run modern boats, but I have raced on some classics and I love the look of a gaffer. I also love modern sportsboat performance. So I thought how about doing something that combines the two? When people ask me about my boat I generally describe her as a 'spirit of tradition melges'!
    Dudley has actually designed a marconi rig for the boat too, but there is a lot going for the gaff. At any angle off the wind I think she may actually end up being faster because I'll have more horsepower (sail area) with more control (lower center of effort).
    Anyway, we'll all have to wait a while to find out: I'm currently working in Europe so building is on hold for now!
    Thanks for all the comments and enthusiasm. I wanted the boat to attract attention and it seems she's already doing that!
    Cheers,
    Mike

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    I like the design, the idea that it would be improved by fitting a fat head mainsail is missing the point. True it might increase performance a little but the gaffer will be easier to sail as you have more options to shorten sail fast if required. For example by dropping the peak of the gaff to scandalise the main.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    I dunno keith, this is a race boat first and always.
    Scandalizing is really mostly a trick to turn downwind quicker or to jibe safer or to ease reefing .
    It is not really for shortening sail.
    maybe in an emergency, MOB situation , but regular sailing, mmm, not so much

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    I am going to order study plans from Dix. Heard he was quite helpful.

    I love his style and the fast builds. I have this idea that i can have a new boat every 3 years. Love this guy building this hull in 12 days!

    Yes, but a proper job of filling and fairing will take another 12 days at least. And a few more for epoxy and glass, if required.

    I like it, except that I have this attitude that a boat that size should be able to be single handed by someone my age. I've got my doubts on that score, at least tacking up a narrow channel.

    On the other hand this would be a treat at the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta.

    Yes the runners are for flying the Spinny in the trades, as well as tensioning the forestays, so all the way up and all the way out are called for. Short tacks they are not needed as the side stays are run aft enough to keep the mast up, even if the jibs shape isn't perfect.

    Allan
    And the Binnacle-bats wore water-proof hats
    As they danced in the sounding sea.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    I really like Dudley's new fat head main rig for this design, and might even be tempted to go that route when I get closer to the end of the project, but there's one other advantage to the gaff. With it's shorter mast mounted on a tabernacle, it is a one man job to step and unstep. The gooseneck is mounted on the tabernacle, not the mast, so the boom stays exactly where it is. The boat was designed to be very verstaile and portable, even allowing for self launching from a trailer at a boat ramp if need be. It's narrow and light enough to be towed by an SUV. The gaff rig means you could be sailing within 20 minutes of floating. That wouldn't be the case with the marconi rig, which at the very least will require a few strong hands in no breeze to step, more likely the use of a crane.
    I've always liked the idea of doing a bit of canal cruising on my boat when not in race mode. The gaff rig can literally be 'folded down' in a few minutes to pass under bridges etc. It really makes the boat a lot more versatile.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    This radius chine method is really interesting. I see it as a blend of the stitch-and-glue method and the cold-molding technique. The speed and ease of SNG with the ability to create nicely curved shapes of cold-molding. It's interesting to see the radius chine method can be applied to this boat and the much smaller DS15.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    YouTube presentation by Dudley Dix on how the 26' became the 29' Classic.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gB9NaFuOF0Q

    Brian

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    I am going to order study plans from Dix. Heard he was quite helpful.
    I built an Argie 15 last year. I can attest that Dudley Dix is very helpful and quick to respond. I have emailed him numerous times regarding building, fitting, finishing, and handling the Argie 15. Even though the plans for the Argie 15 are very inexpensive (about $55) and net him very little income, he still treated me like a VIP with swift, thorough answers to my inquiries.
    Last edited by capefox; 12-04-2014 at 11:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Quote Originally Posted by Insolent View Post
    Hi All,
    I'm very interested in all the comments here about this design, because I'm the guy that went to Dudley and asked him to design it! I'm currently building it in my garage in Cape Town using Dudley's radius chine ply method, for which it was specifically designed.
    To answer a few questions:
    As wizbang suggested she will have twin running backstays, much like a modern Volvo 65 or IMOCA boat. Yes, there is a period during which the top mast is unsupported, but this has been the case on gaff rigged boats for eons, and is now quite normal on many modern performance boats too.
    As for the gaff rig, it is true that a modern fat head main will probably be faster. Certainly upwind. But part of the motivation behind this project was to do something different. Like Ted says, how often do you see a gaffer on the plane? I am a professional yacht captain and I generally run modern boats, but I have raced on some classics and I love the look of a gaffer. I also love modern sportsboat performance. So I thought how about doing something that combines the two? When people ask me about my boat I generally describe her as a 'spirit of tradition melges'!
    Dudley has actually designed a marconi rig for the boat too, but there is a lot going for the gaff. At any angle off the wind I think she may actually end up being faster because I'll have more horsepower (sail area) with more control (lower center of effort).
    Anyway, we'll all have to wait a while to find out: I'm currently working in Europe so building is on hold for now!
    Thanks for all the comments and enthusiasm. I wanted the boat to attract attention and it seems she's already doing that!
    Cheers,
    Mike
    Mike - please keep us posted on your progress. I got into a restoration but that hasn't taken me away from this design. I am eager to see your progress and take notes from your expereince.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Hi all,

    Well it's been a while and no, the boat's not in the water yet! I've been away working on other boats so that I can make my own a reality! I've been back in Cape Town for a month or so and have finally got my teeth into the build. After four weeks I have all my bulkheads up and the strongback going in. That guy that built his Dix designed hull in 12 days must've been really going for it, though I do have a three year old daughter now that seems to be the cause of lower productivity!

    So it turns out my design caught the eye of another builder who already has his in the water. He's made a few changes, particularly to the cabin and cockpit, but the hull is the same. https://www.flickr.com/photos/230396...7631074824814/
    I was really hoping my boat would be the first one in the water, but proud owner Bruce Mierke did me the courtesy of giving his boat sail number 02!

    I will try and post some pics of my build so far. Really enjoying the project!

    Cheers,

    Mike

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    The Didi 29 in the photos is the Arabella and currently is on the hard about one mile from my home. It is certainly an eye catcher regardless of what is thought about some of Dudley's decisions of the design. I think it is beautiful, superbly built and finished by an obvious craftsman. I detected Arabella as a Dix design at first sight without knowing any of its history. Some designers have a signature that is recognizable in many guises. Arabella does not have running backstays that go to the stern but stop well forward of the transom. There are many well engineered details that will tend to make for performance in shallow water such as the vertical lifting rudder cassette, lifting keel and horizontally swinging bowsprit to reach clearer air with the asymmetrical spinnaker. One item confuses me and that is that the mast base is surrounded by a fife rail that appears to prevent the tabernacle from operating normally. Perhaps the builder does not intend to use the tabernacle more than occasionally.
    Tom L

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Super cool.

  24. #24
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    Default

    A few pics of the build so far... maybe it’s time to finally move this thread to ‘Builds’ now!














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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Nice boat etc...

    More importantly, is the rest of that bus as nice as this corner?
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Dudley Dix Retro 29, a turbo Gaff Rig Sled

    Hahaha yeah, I guess it is, though it's far from mint. That's another project of mine, Ive had it for about 10 years, started as an empty rolling shell and is pretty close to being ready for some road tripping now. 1962 11 window, made in Germany.

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