2013 March 8


Here is something completely different from my pal Kevin Dibley down in New Zealand. Kevin worked with sailmaker and professional sailor Scott Beavis to put together this design. The target was a family boat for "fun sailing, not weekend cruising." So what you end up with is a boat with sportboat performance features coupled with some very unusual styling. To my eye this is an outstanding new design.

When I first looked at this hull I thought, "That's weird." But I am well acquainted with Kevin's design work, so I let it go as weird and I continued to study the design. The reverse rake to the bow is not unusual these days. I've been sketching cartoon boats for years with bows like that. Today we see "wave piercing" bows on many high performance craft.
What struck me as odd was the tumblehome. Why tuck the topsides in when you can use the beam there to get weight outboard? The tumblehome starts amidships and increases as it goes aft terminating in a very elliptical looking transom. Then as I leafed through the various sheets I had printed I came across a faint sketch showing how the DB30 would fit inside a standard 40-foot container for shipping. To fit in the container the hull has to be heeled 32 degrees.

Increasing the beam on deck by eliminating the tumblehome would have meant reducing the volume in the topsides and beam at BWL (beam at waterline). This would mean less form stability. This is a family boat so there will not be six 200-pounders on the rail. The shape was beginning to make a lot of sense. By using tumblehome Kevin put the "meat" of the boat down where it would do the most good most of the time. Max beam aft is at the apex of the tumblehome. Far from weird, it was very clever. Given that shape feature this is a very shapely hull with a fine entry showing some hollow forward at the DWL. The D/L for the 30 is 90.6. L/B is 3.75 with max beam at 8 feet and that works for trailering as well as the container. I see no mention that the keel is retracting.

There are no accommodations below. This is a pure daysailer. The "accommodations" are the cockpit, there are long seats on each side, and it appears that forward the seat might be wide enough for a nap, almost. The seatbacks are very low, but there are padded pipe-rail seat backs that will give the effect of more backrest. The mainsheet traveler spans the transom on the cockpit sole aft of the tiller head.

There is a wide door in the transom that opens to become an extension of the cockpit sole. The mainsheet runs forward from the boom end, through the boom, down through the mast and back up to a console box in the middle of the cockpit. Traveler and vang controls exit in the console also. Convenient line bins are just aft of the clutch banks forward of the winches. The highly cambered foredeck is covered in teak and is high enough to provide sitting headroom below.

The rig is pretty unremarkable save for the SA/D of 35.00. That's a lot of horsepower per pound and this boat should rocket along in the light stuff. The first boat is going to Lake Geneva in Switzerland where light air prevails.

I like the look of this boat. There is an element of aesthetic electricity in the combination of the reverse raked stem and the traditional transom. Throw in the tumblehome and I'll bet you that this boat will be a head turner anywhere. This will be a superb looking boat.

The DB30 uses an Oceanvolt electric drive system to power its saildrive. This avoids diesel fuel and comes in around half the weight of a diesel engine system.
The next time you dream about a new daysailer you might try dreaming about the DB30.