SAILABILITY INTERNATIONAL
NEWS, VIEWS AND REPORTS ON SAILING FOR DISABLED PEOPLE
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SKUD18
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SKUD18
EDITORIAL REVIEW

the pics have been sent to sinews by various people
if there are any that belong to you please let us know and we will acknowlege the source


Class Association - NONE

Other sources of info ......
www.accessdinghy.org/equipment/boats/ud18.htm
www.bethwaite.com/

and for a superb owners manual
www.bethwaite.com/skud/owners-manual/
if the dinghy turns out to be half as good as this manual we are in for a treat




DIMENSIONS
LOA - 5.8 m 19 ft.
LWL - 5.5 m 18 ft.
Beam 2.3 m 7.55 ft.
Draft 1.7 m 5.57 ft.

WEIGHT
Hull - 125kg - 275lbs
Keel - 155kg (140 kg lead) - 342lbs (308lbs lead)
Displacement 550 kg. (incl. 250kg crew) 1212lbs. (incl. 551lbs for crew)
Mast 7.2 m above deck - 23.6 ft.above deck

SAIL AREA
Main - 10.64m2 (Reefed to 8.3m2) - 114.5 sq.ft (Reefed to 89.3 sq.ft)
Jib - 4.78 m2 - 51.5 sq.ft.
Spinnaker - 20.78 m2 - 223.7 sq.ft.



My judgement is that the SKUD is not a good boat for disabled people and a waste of time and money for a club boat - a skiff is designed to sail flat on the water balanced by its crew - it cannot be expected to sail well with a crew seated on the centre line and a lump of lead hung on the botton.

0/10 - As a boat for all types of disabilities - not being able to see where you are going at times make this boat potentally dangerous.

5/10 - As a boat for experienced disabled sailors - its looks and wild performance in windy conditions will attract some experienced sailors.

3/10 - As a training boat - cant reach control easily and deep draught - very wet in heavy conditions - hinders training.

8/10 - Ease of rigging - not to bad - I only drop points because I cant do it myself.

4/10 - Ease of transport and launching - the keel and physical size make this awkward to move about.

5/10 - Controls - are of poorly positioned and rudders ineffective in very rough conditions - boom hits water and you cannot dump power sometimes.

6/10 - Quality of fittings and build - not too bad.

5/10 - Getting in and out - the wide decks are a bit awkward and the gap to the seats is difficult - most common people lifts are no good.

5/10 - Sailing qualities - good in light airs but it gets progressivly worse as wind strengthens.

0/10 - As a club boat - there are many better options.

SCORES 41/100 ON THE BOAT CHART

CLICK HERE TO GIVE YOUR OPINION  



MY OPPINION.......

The IFDS gambled that a brand new, untried and tested design would work.... in my oppinion it was a serious mistake that politically they cannot admit.



Well what a fuss…. It’s a new accessible dinghy we should all be applauding that someone has taken a gamble on providing for what is after all quite a small market.

IN USE.....

Getting in and out is a bit awkward the shape of the hull is not very good for mooring against a pontoon and you will need a crane or very expensive ‘crew lift’ to get people with mobility problems into the seats. Even then the ‘crew lift’ is at the very limit of its range and you need to tip the boat a bit and have at least three able-bodied people assisting the disabled person to get them comfortably into a seat.

The standard seating is quite good and supportive for most disabilities and can easily provide strap points to support people – and this is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL because in heavy conditions this is a wild ride! It is very easy to fit your own seats and to place them where you want to balance the boat (not certain class rules allow this).

There is a lot of open space around the seats and this does not give confidence… nowhere to hang on… and unless you move the front seat right foreward its difficult to reach the controls for many disabilities.

In light airs its very nice to sail, tacking easily and responding well to tweaks and controls. The spinnaker pops and retrieves ok.

The real problems arise as the wind speed rises. The boat heels very quickly, quite uncomfortably for a seriously disabled person, and the width of the boat and hull shape means you are accelerated 2 feet in the air very quickly… and this is doubly as bad when you tack in race conditions as you suddenly drop 2 feet, stop dead and are then shot 2 feet the other way, no fun at all if you have week neck muscles or poor balance…. The bad point is that an able-bodied person hardly notices this so cannot understand the problem.

Worst of all when the boat is heeled you are sitting at 45 degrees and you cannot see over the high side. If you are disabled your visibility is probably restricted to about 270 degrees and you have now lost about a further 90 degrees you now have control of a powerful sailing boat and you are restricted to less than 200 degrees view…

Well its gets worse, much worse, you are heeled and have only half of one rudder in the water, you want to give a little left-right to improve your field of view and see who is near you, if you power up any more you can lift your half rudder further out of the water and loose your steering completely… so you dump the main.. BUT the boom is so long it hits the water and the main will not spill… but don’t worry you will not get hot under the collar because this is when the boat fills up with water and stops! The boat sails heeled at such an angle that the bow dips further and further towards water level and at any time it can dig in and flood the boat through the spinnaker chute. In any sort of chop this situation is worsened.

For the sail handler the main is quite a handful and you might want to up the gearing. The spinaker as would be expected needs practice to get it away without problem.

Given all the above if you can avoid all these problems, on flat water and good winds the boat is very exciting to sail and I absolutely loved it… lever steering is the way to go .. if you can keep the boat flat its like down hill skiing and very nearly as exhilarating. In non racing conditions you can get your tacks so precise and the changing angles of the ride from tack to tack become a graceful dance and I found myself trying to see how smooth and flowing I could get the tacks rather than seeing how fast I could go.

So the SKUD fits perfectly with the Hobie Trapseat, absolutely wonderful in light airs, very dodgy in heavy conditions, but for different reasons.

As an International race boat for severely disabled people… No

As a club boat… No

BUT and there are some very big buts, no one seems to be answering any questions about the SKUD.

IS IT UNSAFE FOR USE BY SEATED PEOPLE?

Already there are threats of legal action against Sailing Clubs who allow them to be used by disabled people as you cannot see to windward when heeled.

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

Will Insurance companies issue cover for it?

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

IS THE 2 PERSON RULE ILLEGAL

There are also threats of legal action against Clubs who put on IFDS events for this dinghy in the UK and Europe and surely the USA will follow as the 1 point and male/female rules for crews appear to break the relevant discrimination acts.

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

YOU NEED NEARLY TWO METERS DEEP WATER TO SAIL A SKUD

We cannot find any disabled sailing venues in the UK where it can be safely sailed.
Certainly none of the major UK inland waters can guarantee this depth.
Weymouth Sailing Academy – Admiralty Charts show less than this.
Cowes/UKSA - Admiralty Charts show less than this.

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

This is effectively an Australian dinghy but the Australians do not seem to be buying any!!!!! What do they know that we do not!!!

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

I understand that the brief from the IFDS for the new two person boat included…
Easy to transport to international events, and I hear stories of 4 or 6 in a container.
Now we have the user manual we see what is needed to transport the boats…..
Lift the boat at least 3 meters in the air,
Dig out all the filler on the bulb retaining bolts
Break the seal between bulb and keel
Lower bulb onto sack barrow
Remove keel
Lower boat to transport cradle (extra $800 !!!!! why does it cost this much?)
Remove mast and all rigging
Remove deck
Remove rudders
Pack all above very carefully
Do this for the rest of the boats in your container
Stack your beautiful boat underneath 3 or 4 others.
Lets assume nothing went wrong and this took 2 to 3 hours per boat
That’s your first 12 hour day at very least
Put in container and ship to venue.
Unstack boats with crane
Unless you have your cradle or a trailer only one boat is going to be assembled at a time.
Each one has to have the bulb put back on sealed and faired lets say 4 to five hours
Each one has to have its deck put back on
Allowing for lost and damaged bits and doing the fairing and filling properly … say about 3 days.
You do your racing and then you have to do all the above again to put it back in the container.
Then you have to do it all again when you get home!
I don’t think so Mr IFDS… who is going to pay for all this….

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

If National Organisations have ordered SKUDS and then sold them on to individuals

What is the situation regarding warranty?

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

You have to pay all the taxes on the SKUD (inc VAT in Europe) because it is designed for ‘anyone’ to be able to sail it, which means it is not specifically designed for disabled people.

We are advised by UK Customs and Excise (VAT) that they will consider any specially designed electric servo assist for zero rating provided it is 'permanantly fixed to the dinghy' also if the said device is fitted before purchase the whole boat may be considered for Zero rating.

AND IT GETS WORSE…..

You cannot reach the control post to get the sheets while seated.

We await your comments…… ESPECIALLY FROM THE IFDS!

YOUR COMMENTS........


31 May 06

Got to love it. You have a picture of stability tests. That is, as a sailor should know, what happens when reaching in any boat with the sails strapped in. The end result- still being able to bear away and not being under water speaks to the success of the design. Nice try at being inflammatory though.

R/ Serge
31 May 06

name=Dan - mail=dctucker@comcast.net - country=USA

Quite alarmist... Would have been better to withold judgement till you have some experience with the boat. Well, we'll be unpacking 6 from a container tommorrow. We'll be sailing this weekend and will provide more first-hand feedback soon, rather than hysterical conjecture.

Container shipping any boat is quite a bit of work. It all sounds easier than stuffing a Sonar in a container! (Which I've done a few times).


31 May 06

name=Dennis - mail=bdselah1@bdsailing.com - disability=sailing instructor and repair - country=US

Not much to say at this point only would like to see someone try to sail it in Charlotte Harbor due to depth restriction. Charlotte Harbor choosen as one of the top ten harbor to sail on by Sail Magazine.

No place to put it in with lift or water deep enough near shore.

Winter tides won't let it get accross harbor between Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.

This is the one big thing that concerns me about finding the best sailors for competition with the big hold on lakes and launching.





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