Kelsall Upset

I see that Derek Kelsall is on another tear at somebody. Usually it is aimed at me, but it says that he is ruffled by something that someone published. I have been too busy to publish anything in ages. Dying to find out what it is though.
It went “Derek Kelsall asked a serious question to the public.”What happened to the first rule of honest business – never knock the competition ?” “.
It is a fascinating concept, and I couldn’t disagree more. This ancient interface of sailing is far from formulaic. It is incredibly complex, and always changing. An assertion that there must be no comparisons nor questioning seems absurd to me. If you have an ego as big as Madagascar, any question is a knock I guess.
And I’m amazed that people, especially what one of my builders calls “the octogenarians at Steamradio” (a multihull blog) would demand no comparisons. How do you find out things? There is no Consumer Reports for multihull design. No Snopes. And unless you attended Reichard’s MACM marine composites conferences, where actual research was done, you just have sea stories.
It is all open to discussion, or should be.
I say that Kelsall often has demonstrably bad engineering. Going from memory, a few; the 1/8” thick rudder shaft walls, to a composite mast with only a fraction of the fibers in 0 degree, to clinging to polyester; ignoring the data, in favor of sea stories. And he should thank me. He used to split, then bond, those KSS hulls in half, front and back. I reminded people of the Reichard/Nuyen/Wolf study,  and he changed. That is a great example.  And it is uncanny how much the KSS hulls wired up now resemble the wired up CM hulls that I have been doing for 34 years now.
One would think getting all sides would be a goal of builders, not, keeping it secret or not upsetting the master, being the deciding goal.
And I am happy to be involved in any comparisons. If I can ask questions, I have to also get them.
People, we should be asking about and comparing everything.

6 thoughts on “Kelsall Upset”

  1. Some years ago I visited Derek at his home where his office is in New Zealand. I had an appointment to see him.
    When I arrived, there were 3 adults on the ground floor and I was shown up to a mezzanine floor where Derek had his office and there a second guy worked too.
    I was somewhat put off by the whole experience as the air was full of marijuana smoke and I know it would have been impossible to work there with a clear head.
    Needless to say my interest in Kelsall designs stopped there.

  2. Thank You for sharing the informative link. Has anyone ever questioned the suitability of secondary bonding in daggerboard construction?

  3. As someone, who knows how much work and skill goes into a yacht design, I have a lot of respect for the achievements of both Kurt Hughes and Derek Kelsall.

    Both giants in the multihull design and sailing world.

    Neither needs to sling off at the other.

    There are different construction methods. All have advantages and disadvantages. Robust discussion about them and design features is good. Personal slagging matches get tedious.

  4. You do know that that most people who follow your blog do so because we think you are the best source of modern catamaran designs and don’t care about Kelsall. Right?

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