What a disaster for New South Wales today with another record number of Covid Delta cases and no sign of a tempering in the transmission rate. I don’t blame anyone but the virus itself as it has skillfully mutated from a manageable infection to an insidious sneaky version. One could not think of a more sinister plot than to mutate in this way so that all the lessons learn from the first wave prove useless in the second. Who would have thought that the Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia would prove to have the best strategy and all the compassionate jurisdictions proved to have a failed approach. Now I think the old adage that you have to be cruel to be kind is reasserting itself and will be etched in the minds of the citizenry after this is all over.

In this new age of isolation I need a new hobby to take my mind off the world as there has to be more than life than waking up late in the morning and waiting for Gladys to deliver the daily dose of bad news. In the absence of a new hobby I have turned to an old one and committed to building another yacht. This had been a thought lurking in the back of my mind and I was actively exploring ways to supercharge Passion X. After professional advice we settled on a new deeper keel at 2.7 metres draft and 300 kg heavier. That needed a larger fat head main to push it along in the light breeze and a plumb bow for more waterline length. Thinking of the cost of those options I decided that a new boat was a better option.
My initial thinking was for a leisurely design development and a phased construction so that when Passion X was ten years old I would have a new yacht to launch.
The Covid 19 Delta variety has changed all that and I am now looking to lurch headlong into a building process for something to do if this pandemic proves to be an enduring phenomena.

The specification for a new build was to be within the 40 ft limit for Greenwich Flying Squadron but with longer water line, wider beam, deeper draft and more weight on the keel. The original idea for the rig was to have something like the Sydney 38 but after the design consultation process I have opted for a taller genoa and slightly taller mast to avoid the need for a fat head main.

Initially I wanted to keep the draft to 2.6 metres with the extra beam providing more stability but that did not work out so I think it will be the same specification as the keel proposed to be added to Passion X. That is 2.7 metres draft and 2300 kg weight.

It is early in the design process with version D or is it E under development. Unlike Passion X the radius chine will have a variable radius and give an appearance even more like a production yacht. The V of the bottom will taper off at the transom where the wide boarding platform of Passion X will be sacrificed to the speed gods and added in front of the bow for the same overall length and longer J.

It is too early to share shapes with you but I am getting excited about the project which under the circumstances is a very good thing. Last time I had a boat to build it was great for my general level of fitness and weight control so I am hoping to shed some Covid Kilos in the next few years.

In anticipation of the project starting soon I have ordered almost the whole Australian supply of high quality marine plywood which is in transit as we speak but I cannot start anything until the design is finalised. Perhaps I will see something in a few weeks

In the meantime you can wonder at my stupidity or envy my determination. It’s your choice.

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