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The SKUD18 (SKiff Universal Design),
The International Foundation of Disabled Sailing's (IFDS) president, announced:
"The IFDS is pleased that the Equipment Evaluation Committee recommendation presented, accepted by the IFDS Executive Committee and endorsed by the IFDS Recognized National Authorities (RNA’s). The boat used in the Two-Person Keelboat Event will be the SKUD-18, an Australian Mitchell/Bethwaite design."
The SKUD18 is the result of collaboration between B & B Technology and Innovation - Julian Bethwaite/Bethwaite Design in Australia and Argentinean naval architect, Martin Billoch, along with Access Dinghy's Chris Mitchell.
By combining 20 years of Bethwaite experience, research and technology and Mitchell's unique understanding and ideology of sailing for people with disabilities, the result is the innovative 'lead assisted skiff' (LAS), the SKUD18.
For Paralympic competition the SKUD18 will be a strict one design class with two sailors seated on the centreline.
Bethwaite, who also designed the Olympic class 49er skiff explained, 'The design evolved to be a 5.8m , 'lead assisted skiff' capable of carrying weight whilst maintaining a high level of performance and control, keeping the cost down and incorporating a range of interesting features that should allow easy stacking/containerisation, simple maintenance and general ease of use. The boat will be a challenge for able-bodied and disabled sailors alike. This boat has been designed from a performance basis, to offer scintillating, crisp and snappy response to sailors regardless of their ability/mobility.'
'The SKUD18 is very versatile and can be handled by a variety of crew configurations. The helmsman can transfer manually and be steering with tillers, or be in a fixed seat on the centreline using a manual joystick, push/pull rods, or a servo assist joystick with full control of all functions.
The forward crew can either be on the centreline, transferring manually, or using a swinging seat. Or both crew could be mobile - even riding trapeze. As its name says, the SKUD18 is of Universal Design and can be sailed by all levels of physical ability.'
Length Lengh Over All - 5.8 m Length Water Lline - 5.5 m
Beam 2.3 m
Draft 1.7 m
Weight Hull - 125kg Keel - 155kg (140 kg lead)
Displacement 550 kg. (incl. 250kg for 2 sailors and their personal gear)
Mast 7.2 m above deck
Main 10.64m2 (Reefed to 8.3m2)
Jib 4.78 m2
Spinnaker 20.78 m2
Sail Plan Sloop rig with high roach. Auto de-powering, fully battened mainsail. Self-tacking, reefable jib. Tube launched asymmetric spinnaker on carbon fibre pole.
Seating 2 x Adjustable fibreglass centreline seats
Steering Standard - Manual joystick Optional - Push/pull or Servo Assist
Hull has sufficient positive buoyancy (600 litre).
Twin rudders maintain exceptional directional control even when heeled.
Cockpit is self-draining.
Flaired topsides give exceptional stability.
Wide side-decks provide considerable buoyancy in extremem conditions.
Reefing Mainsail has slab reef. Jib has roller reefing providing 100% to zero sail area.
Construction 8mm PVC foam sandwich with bi-directional glass and polester resin.
Manual Controls Joystick or push/pull lines. Cleat console for easy sheet control. A single speed sheet type winch for easy halyard tension, mainsail reefing line tension and keel handling.
Servo Assist Controls and Winches for:Helm (variable speed optional), Main sheet, Jib Sheet, Boom vang and cunningham, Spinnaker sheets, Spinnaker Halyard (up and down)
Servo Controllers include: A wide variety of electonic joystick configurations to suit sailors with all types of disability., Sip & Puff, A wide variety of secondary control switches.
Launching Has lifting lugs for easy launching by cranes, or is easily trailer launched at a boat ramp.
Ventilator and personal equipment compartment optional.
Extremely comfortable, nimble and above all great fun and exciting.
A sailor's comments after a test sail:
I have been involved with the development of the new SKUD18 and have sailed the prototype on a number of occasions and in varying wind conditions.
My first “on the water” experience was in light to moderate conditions (8 – 12 knots) on Port Philip Bay, an open expanse of water approximately 35 miles wide near Melbourne, Australia.The boat was exceptionally well balance and responsive. To gain an indication of performance, we tagged into a Beneteau 7.5 race series. Up wind, we had a slight speed advantage and were the lead boat to the weather mark on two of the three races. Downwind the Beneteaus with their large asymmetrical spinnakers had a speed advantage and by the leeward mark we were about mid fleet. As the wind increased the planning ability of the SKUD18 boosted our downwind performance and we were then able to hold our own and sail away from the bigger yachts. Our competitors later stated they were amazed by the speed and maneuverability of this skiff type yacht.
My second experience was in extreme sailing conditions where the wind was 20 knots with gusts to 30 knots. An early “prudent” decision was made to not fly the asymmetrical spinnaker. The performance was exhilarating to say the least. Upwind the SKUD18 heeled to about 20 degrees and then stayed there. To test the righting moments the yacht was purposely beared away without easing the sheets. The heel remained constant, obviously the bulb keel was working overtime and the twin rudders enabled steering control to be maintained. Downwind, the yacht jumped onto a plane and, according to the on board GPS, speeds in the mid 11 knot range were maintained for extended periods. Although it is most unlikely that the yacht would be raced in these conditions it is encouraging to know if caught out the yacht is capable of being sailed back to safety.For background information, I have been competitively sailing for over thirty years. I have successfully raced at national and international levels winning one design championships in Fireballs, 470s, Flying Dutchman, Etchells and Thunderbirds. I have also competed in many Australian and International offshore events including 9 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races. In my “spare time” I am the principal of Horizon Sailmakers. I am also been a supporter of disabled sailing.Happy Sailing,
Frank Hammond, Horizon Sail makers
Comments from Jackie Kay:
An innovative array of equipment combinations will enable a variety of sailing configurations, so that the SKUD18 can be sailed as either a sedate training boat, or as an exhilarating, high-performance yet stable skiff for either one or two sailors.
Ballast Choices: 50 kg, 140 kg or 200 kg.
Seating: Centreline seating, transfer thwart with rails, swinging seat or trapeze. Steering options: Tiller, push/pull rods, manual joystick, servo assist winches.
Any combination of keel ballast, seating and/or steering options ensures that regardless of ability, beginners can learn to sail in forgivingly configured SKUD18 and progress to more advanced configurations as their skill, knowledge and confidence increases. Once experienced, sailors can enjoy the exhilaration and fun of flying a spinnaker, out on trapeze.
During recent trials on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne the SKUD18 was clocked by GPS reaching at 8.6 knots on flat water in a 20 knot breeze, with gusts to 30 knots.
The new SKUD18 is creating waves of anticipation and excitement throughout the sailing world and at 5.8 metres, the lead assisted skiff (LAS) is a design collaboration between world renowned Australian-based designers, Julian Bethwaite and Martin Billock of B&B Design and Chris Mitchell from Access Dinghies.
For further information and/or a quotation Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Steve on 01536 330477