The Life of Boats

Dudley Dix Paper Jet Kit

It's hard to be an active observer and consumer of small boat design without running into the work of Dudley Dix.  A South African transplanted to the US, Dudley is first and foremost a sailor and boatman of vast experience, ranging from surfing to ocean racing.  You can see this deep and personal connection to the ocean in his work---high performance sailboats that are nicely balanced, fun to sail, and thoughtfully designed with amateur boatbuilders in mind.

An extremely busy designer, Dudley is equally at home with racing dinghies or with big aluminum cruisers.  He's won awards at both ends of the scale!

We got to know Dudley first as admirers, then as friends who hung out at boatshows, and now as collaborators producing his kits to order. We're awfully picky about who we work with, but we liked Dudley's designs, we liked his willingness to provide tech support to his builders, and we just think he's a nice guy with a vision for boat design that deserves respect and recognition.

And you have a lot of choices, from 8-foot dinghies to 40-foot racer-cruisers.  We'll use our computerized equipment to cut a kit comprising all of the plywood parts in the boat, shipped anywhere in North America.  We can also supply fiberglass, epoxy, solid timber, and hardware.  

Probably the best-known small boat design by Dudley Dix is the Paper Jet 14, a thoroughly modern planing dinghy with a variety of rig options to suit crew skill and agility.  In "Turbo" setup, with a trapeze and asymmetrical chute, it's terrifyingly fast.  There aren't many high-performance skiffs like this that you can actually build yourself, and the Paper Jet is by far the most accessible for the home builder.  Dudley has gone to great lengths to simplify the rigging and layout without sacrificing performance.  


Dudley Dix Cape Henry 21 Boat KitAnother stand-out is the Cape Henry 21, a handsome trailerable cruiser offering some of the space and interior appointments that our own PocketShip lacks.  Quite a few of these and the smaller Cape Cutter 19 have been built around the world, racking up some interesting voyages. 

Small boat adventurers and performance boffins will both appreciate the Didi Mini, a riff on the famous 6.5 meter "Mini Transat" designs that can be built at home by a dedicated amateur.  A slightly saner version, the Didi Cruise-Mini, retains much of the performance but improves the accommodations.

A full list of Dudley Dix kits available from CLC is here, and below.  Whereas Chesapeake Light Craft kits emphasize extravagant instructions and complete packages, kits for Dudley Dix designs anticipate a somewhat more sophisticated builder, comfortable filling in details by reading Dudley's excellent plans.  If you have specific questions about any of Dudley's designs, you can contact him directly.

Dix Didi 26 Boat Kit


Please note that you'll be ordering these kits directly from Dudley Dix.  The kits will be cut and shipped from our Annapolis factory.

Dixi Dinghy ~ Stitch & glue 3:1 dinghy and yacht tender. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull, seats, daggerboard and rudder.

Argie 10
 ~ Stitch & glue 3:1 dinghy and yacht tender for larger yachts. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull, seats, daggerboard and rudder.

Paper Jet ~ Stitch & glue sailing skiff. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull, deck and rudder box. 

Argie 15 ~ Stitch & glue 3:1 dinghy and family daysailer. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull, seats and rudder cheeks.

Cape Henry 21
 ~ Lapstrake trailer-sailer cruiser. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull, deck, cockpit and bulkheads.

Didi Mini Mk3 ~ Radius chine plywood Mini 650 racer with topside chine. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull flat surfaces, deck, cockpit and bulkheads.

Didi Cruise-Mini Mk3 ~ Radius chine plywood fast cruiser based on Didi Mini Mk3 racer. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull flat surfaces, deck, cockpit and bulkheads.

Didi 26 Short Cockpit ~ Radius chine plywood trailer/sailer cruiser/racer. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull flat surfaces, deck, cockpit and bulkheads.

Didi 26 Long Cockpit ~ Radius chine plywood trailer/sailer cruiser/racer. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull flat surfaces, deck, cockpit and bulkheads.

Didi 28 ~ Radius chine plywood maxi trailer/sailer cruiser/racer. Plywood kit comprises all plywood panels for hull flat surfaces, deck, cockpit and bulkheads.