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It's all new! New moulds mean new boats soon

14 September 2010 Phil Smidmore

The lines of an Etchells

"The lines of an Etchells"

The Building of new moulds to give our boats a new look, especially in the deck tread and deck layout areas is very exciting. The new deck will feature a lighter weight deck tread, deck recesses for tracks and some fittings. There will also be a hull to deck join about 40mm in from the gunwale, where the deck will sit into a rebated flange, rather than joining it at the gunwale, such as is the case presently. We have moved from all the paperwork into the actual building of our new moulds and whilst the first boat is a little while off yet, it will be going to Ian Crisp in Melbourne, soon enough.

No stone is unturned in our endeavour to produce significant advances over the current boat. A big part of the new builds will be even greater attention paid to the foils, as we are very aware of the demands of the market in this area. A tremendous amount of effort has gone into the Mark II moulds to get where we are now and the next couple of months will be really exciting, as we get to see all the effort come to fruition.

Today's technology has been brought in to assist us in the design and manufacture of these new moulds. Four years ago, the original plug and a boat from each of the current three moulds built off them, were completely scanned. The results of the scanning showed very little difference between the four. Additionally, results from an array of races, shows that boats from all the builders compete very evenly, with all of them winning various championships, including Worlds. Indeed, from the World Championships in Ireland last month, to the 2006 titles in Perth, boats from each of the three moulds filled the first three places. Our new moulds are being built using these very same scanned figures.

For a number of reasons, I suspected 2009/10 would be a quite year on the building front and unfortunately, this proved to be correct. Only three new boats have been constructed in the last 12 months. Parts sales also slowed, but we did sell over 20 masts, including nine to overseas customers. We are currently building a batch of masts, which will include mast No.500.
We will soon move into 1400 numbered boats and with the Sydney Worlds now only 18 months away, I look forward to producing new boats and delivering them around the country. As in the past, the aim is to sell our new boats complete, ready to win races, straight out of the box. We will be using only the finest quality fittings, cordage and other equipment to compliment the work that has gone into the new moulds and the hulls we will be building from them.

Good Sailing,
Phil Smidmore.


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