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Tough Steel–Built Dix 38 Could Be Your Go–Anywhere Dreamship

22nd March 2017
Dix 38 for sale Dix 38 for sale

The South African-born boat and yacht designer Dudley Dix may now be based on the sedate shores of the Chesapeake on the east coast of the US writes W M Nixon. However, he learnt his sailing in the breezy Western Cape area of South Africa, where he was born in 1949. That would put him in the Free Bus Pass zone if he were a run-of-the-mill kind of person. But he comes over as one of those sailing enthusiasts for whom age is merely a scarcely-noticed number, and he’s bubbling with fresh ideas for boats of all sorts.

South Africa having been virtually cut off from easy contact with the rest of the sailing world for a long time, he’s one of those SA designers who deserved to be much more widely-known internationally long before proper recognition came his way. That said, “proper recognition” is maybe not a term you’d normally use in relation to Dix’s creations, as they cover such a wide range of boat and sailing areas of interest that every scan of his work produces something pursuing an entirely new line of thought.

Thus the Dix 38 is of special interest, as it is Dudley Dix’s take on a non-extreme go-anywhere performance cruiser which will appeal to a wide rang of sailors. And that interest is heightened by the overall length of 38ft, which to my mind is the ideal size for a boat - she’s neither too big nor too small.

dix 38 1The Dix 38’s rig offered sloop and cutter options

Admittedly in a dreamship of 38ft I’d expect two heads, but the Dix 38 is a more basic concept, in which ruggedness is central. She’s built of steel, but the sharpness usually inherent in this is smoothed away by having well-radiused chines, and the overall appearance is pleasing.

With the seamanlike cutter rig, if you take CBY’s vid tour of the boat you’ll note that the lines, sheets and halyards are all set up in a very well-organised style. Being steel-built with a minimum of on-deck varnishwork, there’s no mistaking the utter practicality of the layout, and calling it “workmanlike” is a matter of praising it, rather than expecting an excess of ornamental brightwork.

We could well imagine some yotties going to Crosshaven to see this boat out of pure curiosity, for Dix designs are rare in Ireland. And if our national fleet has even one boat fitted with a Nissan diesel – and a 57hp one at that – then she’s unknown to us. But you’ll find one on this 1998-built boat, which is interestingly priced at €65,000. See all the details on Afloat Boats for Sale here

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