Kelsall Powercat Sinking

I just got word yesterday that this 61′ Kelsall powercat Twin Coves sank and was lost at sea.  I see no mention of it online.  I will know a lot more after a meeting tomorrow. I would not have felt safe going out of the harbor with that much windage on a sled that small.   I always declare that whatever the sea can’t hit, it can’t hurt.  The inverse that it will hurt what it can hit is true too.  I feel badly for the owner.

twin coves


36′ Charter Cat in a Box Price Reduced

OK, several people have inquired but nobody bought it yet.
Its now priced down to $90K. With USCG stamped plans to carry 24 passengers out to 20 miles.  This 36′ x 24′ daycharter cat is for sale.   Owner hopes to sell soon.   Get it now and have it working by Labor Day.

Built using CM plywood epoxy construction with cored decks.
pair of new Honda 15 hp high thrust with 20 hours each.  Electric tilt.
Lefiel mast, boom and bowtube
Teleflex steering
Harken hardware
Staaf sails
Kick-up rudders
Portabote tender
KED lights
Life Sling                                                                                                                                   Lifelines                                                                                                                                           2 Bruce anchors

It is demountable and does all fit into one container except the mast. Is here in Washington state but can be shipped anywhere.  Contact me at 206-284-6346 or at





Unusual Conjunction

I have realized lately that there was a kind of unusual and I think singular conjunction going on in Seattle in the late 80s. Naval architecture had just started to go digital. It was new and expensive. Macsurf had just come out and I seem to recall it was $6K a seat. Autocad was $3K a seat. A giant HP pen plotter was $10K.   What did a Mac cost?  Going from memory here.
Suddenly, here in Seattle there was an explosion of innovation. I always thought that was going on everywhere else, but now I’m not so sure.

Microsoft helped make the PC a less costly alternative to Mac.  Dave Vacanti here wrote Prolines hull design software for PC that did Macsurf at 10% the cost.  Generic Cadd, also here,  for PC was one step behind Autocad, also at 10% of the cost.  Zericon did a pen plotter for $2.5K.  The guy at plotter accelerator wrote a batchfile that made the Zericon plot in one smooth sweep instead of in the order drawn.  Generic also output a flavor of EPS file that Adobe (also down the street) could read easily and with even now, unmatched resolution.  So we could all start doing high quality publishing.  And all these people knew each other.  Dave wrote output specifically for Generic and so on.  By ’86 or ’87 I was doing everything in CADD, with files downstreaming from Prolines to Generic.  I recall being at a design conference in Southampton in maybe ’88 or ’89.  I presented slides of this process and the designs.  John Shuttleworth, the then famous as the most digital catamaran designer in the world, told me, “How you do that is great.  We can’t do that.”

The only other person I recall seeing do CADD back then was Gino.  I was watching him playing with it back at R&D Boatworks.  Cam Lewis was there also.  His comment was, “Its like an etch a sketch”

E-Study Plans Workaround

Part of reorganizing this business so I don’t spend all my time in the post office was to raise to price of print study plans so they finally pay their way.  And to introduce e-study plans. The first part was done, but not the second yet I see.

I thought of a workaround until it is done. If you want an e-study plan, order the design book and declare that you live somewhere overseas like Botswana. Then email me noting that you did order book but that you want a particular study plan. I only need your email address to send them to. There are only three designs that have no e-study plans but they will be phased out soon with all the time I will have now.

Howard Apollonio

Most people consider Howard Apollonio to be a naval architect most known for sober and reliable large power yachts. Few know that my friend Howard was (and probably is still, but hidden) a catamaran crazy. He designed and build this back in 1966. Pretty wild.  Find Howard at  The text parts are not online and longish so cannot be included now.

Howard was also the PE tasked with structural review of my lunar lander project.  The building department agreed that there was probably not a single civil PE in my state that knew anything about composite construction.  They did accept that Howard would understand everything about my building at a glance, and he is a PE.  One funny side story.  In his letter about the project he noted that the lunar lander could tumble some distance and survive.  And it turned out it actually did.




Fiberlay Classes

Again there are composites classes available at Fiberlay in Seattle. Basic Composite & Mold Making Training Classes!
Saturday, March 22, 2014
9am – 3pm
Fiberlay – Seattle

In the past my builders could get in for free by registering as one of my builders.  Then Fiberlay began hiring the instructors from corporate and it had to cost.  Not sure status now but give it a try.

Panama City and 2 Cats

I got this wonderful picture from Vision Winter in Panama City now. I assume that is Panama and not the panhandle. Two of my cruising cat designs meet while out cruising. Nice image and nice thought. A stretched 53′ on the right and a 60′.  The 53 is Durakore and the 60′ is foam/glass construction.


Teachable Moment-Paypal

I just spoke to PayPal on phone. Very different than when the bot services you. Decided in my favor, but for an unexpected reason. It was not the I had emails proving he got the e-plans; which he specifically requested. It was that the plans were emailed. “Intangibles are not covered by a claim.” Damn. I did not know that. I have always said that IBEX needs seminars on e-commerce, but they always ignore me.

Why Even Try

I should probably bag it and get a job at Elliot Bay Design. Design office is already is lucky to get to zero every month and have more work than I can possibly do. Then this. Paypal came back and took full plans funds from last year away from me. One fellow from Greece bought plans for a foam/glass powercat last year. He decided he wanted to build it from timber. I told him was unwise for high speed powercat but he could do what he wants. He later demanded that I revise the entire planset to meet his requirements at no cost to him. I told him that would be bad practice. He got Paypal to give him all his money back. So he has the plans and paid nothing. I am wiped out here. Some 6 jobs say they will start soon, but not yet. Maybe time to get a real job. There is really no defense aginst thieves. If anyone comments that is unprofesssional to share this; too bad. It affects everything else in the office. Look where being professional has gotten me. I will have to re-appraise this for a while.

Already reeling from a sudden rash of people demanding more than 60% stock plans price discounts or the project will not go forward.  Where does this come from?  Do I over charge already?