A Scow-with-a-bow. This 550 is intended to be the last I’ll build for myself. A couple of years ago I ripped my Achilles tendon in half. Apart from 3 months on my back not walking, I had plenty of time to dream. As a result of my injury I’ll never hike out or put my ankles under kicking /toe straps again. So, with that in mind I needed a boat with some performance, maximum form stability and coaming so I don’t fall over the side. Being a fan of the open 40’s and following their design development the scow hull form was the go but being so short she needed a bow to punch through any chop. I could have built the design I did for Mick Unwin but boats are like their owner’s, individual, and with “Fuzzy Logic” you need to hike. I built “MissUnderstood” beside my house which presented its own challenges not the least of which was some of my, unidentified, neighbours’ bad attitude and space restrictions. So, she was built in two halves down the centreline as they do with some multihulls. Given she was built in a sand pit, under a tarp I was pretty pleased to get within 2mm error. Given the tight budget and my belligerence and enthusiasm for plywood I built her in plywood and glass.
She is actually 5.80 metres overall. The transom is at 5.50 metres but I continued the hull aft so it ends even with the aft edge of the rudders. The centreboard swings up and has only about 80kgs in it. The beam is maximum with vertical topsides. Interestingly the waterline beam is considerably narrower than Micks 550 whilst the canoe body is deeper. When sitting in the huge cockpit up against the coamings you are as far outboard as if you were hiking. The rig is designed around an aluminium rotating Tornado mast with a single set of diamonds, no true spreaders. A true multi-hull rig.
Having weighed both Micks 550 and “MissUnderstood” I know “Miss..” is 80 kgs heavier. Upwind she is amazing drops on to her single chine and climbs to windward out pointing most boats. Down wind she is slower to get up on the plane and I’ve now solved the drag issue of the long centre case slot and have moved the previously cassetted twin rudders to kick-up shaft rudders as per the open 40’s/60’s. She has full sitting headroom and two large berths which convert to a double with an insert. The cockpit is huge at 2.7 metres long to the aft bulkhead/transom.