Copyright 2022 - Woods Designs, 16 King St, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2AT UK
  • production Strider 24

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran
















We made a lot of changes to Tucanu this spring. Changes that have been outlined on the website since last year. Because I want to race Tucanu in local BC events the most expensive change was to fit carbon racing sails from GM Sails in Australia. They seem to be very effective in light winds, as this photo shows. The red dinghy hides the deep mastbeam which stiffens the rig and adds lots of crew protection.










The second major change, also well documented elsewhere on this site, is the addition of a small removable cuddy. Here it is sitting on our truck ready to take down to the boat. I made a launching ramp for it so it only takes Jetti and I thirty minutes to convert from cruising mode (with cuddy) to racing, open deck mode.












The mast beam is as shown on the sketches found elsewhere on this site. To support the cuddy and cockpit floor we fitted 75mm (3in) dia aluminum tubes fore and aft from mast beam to aft beam. Fitted into simple plywood sockets. We added ply and timber ledges to the aft face of the mast beam to take the forward end of the cockpit panels. (Note, the gooseneck on the mast beam is for the racing rig which has a low boom)












To prevent the mast beam twisting we extended the mast beam hull chocks. The cockpit panels are bolted to an aluminum ledge along the inner gunwale, slotted into the mast beam and lashed to the fore and aft tubes. Chocks on the cockpit panels stop the cuddy moving sideways. Holes in the mast beam bottom ledge are for the net lashings and forward cuddy lashings.












Because we now sleep and eat in the cuddy we are able to reserve one hull as a galley. A place for everything and everything in its place. The whole assembly is easily demountable when we convert back to racing and need the forward bunk. We fitted a hand pump so we know how much water goes in the kettle and thus we save water and propane. Water tank is under stove. Rechargeable velcro backed LED lights are fitted in all cabins.












The cuddy has a convertable dinette and forms a comfortable double bunk. Note drawer (from an old fridge) under the table. Just for fun we pretended Tucanu was a powerboat owned by a successful used car salesman. So the cushions are leopard skin, sleeping bags are kept in gold silk bags and the stowage bags are purple. Don't worry, no animals were harmed, the cushions are actually made from polar fleece material - a tip given us by the Hennigan's of Lightwave fame. Soft, warm, comfortable and drip dries when wet.












We fitted a solid nacelle, the lifting hatch has perspex side panels to give extra headroom. Note, we deliberately fitted dark tinted windows so that we could sleep longer in the mornings! The 6hp Nissan/Tohatsu replaces an elderly 8hp Honda which we found over powerful and was 30lbs (12kgs) heavier than our new engine.












Washboard stowage is often a problem, here is our solution. The five halyard bags keep everything tidy.

















Sailing at last! we cut about 300mm off the mainsail clew so the boom is angled up giving more headroom. Compare this photo with ones we took last year. It is very much easier ducking under the boom when tacking (maybe we're getting old). The jib is cut high, partly to sheet to the cuddy, partly for better visibility. Only a bit of sail area and speed lost.












Just visible in this shot (bottom left) are the new aluminum crossbeams which are about 1/2 the weight of the original ply timber beams. That weight has gone back into the deep mastbeam with anchor lockers on the forward side, also just visible, above, more obvious below.

In mid May we entered our first race, in a local multihull meeting. Held in torrential rain, little wind we all got very cold and extremely wet! So it was a good thing we kept our cuddy fitted, even though it meant we had to use our cruising sails. We overtook a Supercat20 beach cat on the reach and were just beaten over the finishing line by a well sailed F24 but we won on handicap! It was Jetti's first ever race.












As I said, it has been a cold and wet spring in the Pacific NW, but sometimes the weather changes and we can enjoy anchorages like this. Narvez Bay, only a mile from our house by land, a good bit further by water. Snow covered Mt Baker in the US is in the distance