About: Diane Selkirk

Diane Selkirk
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Diane Selkirk /
I love to travel and have spent the past seven years sailing with my family aboard our 40 Woods Meander catamaran - traveling from B.C.'s north coast, to the west coast of the US, Mexico, the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, across the Indian Ocean to South Africa and on to St Helena, South America, the Caribbean and Central America.

Posts by Diane Selkirk:

Interview with Hanneke Boon of Wharram Catamarans

Diane interviews Hanneke Boon who is a long time partner of James Wharram and designer of Wharram. She gives a historical recount since the 1938’s of catamaran design and sailing! She talks about her opinion of modern cruising catamarans and how Wharrams are different and really better for cruising. She and the team at Wharram are still busy selling plans to people all over the world! Wharram’s book of memoirs ‘People of the Sea’: www.wharram.com/shop/books/people-of-the-sea Please enjoy the recorded interview available below and the transcript with many photos. Today, we’re really happy to be here speaking to Hanneke Boon, head of James Wharram Designs. Hanneke also co-designed the boats alongside the legendary multihull pioneer and designer, James Wharram. Hanneke, welcome. I’m wondering if you could tell us a little bit about yourself, and your role at Wharram. I’ve spent most of my life with James, actually. I first met him when […]

Interview with Erik Berzins of Morrelli & Melvin / HH Catamarans

Diane interview Erik Berzins, the lead designer of HH Catamarans. He works for Morrelli & Melvin in California, USA. He touches on his personal story to becoming a designer, some basics about M&M, and a lot about performance cruising catamarans. He covers the current state of innovation in performance as well as near future developments. He talks about eco-friendly designs too and how that constrains design and performance. Please read on or sit back and watch this excellent interview with our second M&M designer. Please see our prior interview with Ferdinand Van West also of M&M. Another interview from CatamaranSite. I’m with Eric Berzins, he’s with Morrelli & Melvin, so we’re gonna learn a little bit about what he does there. Eric, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with Morrelli and Melvin? I’ve been in their business, basically straight out of university. […]

Interview with Ferdinand Van West of Morrelli & Melvin / Rapido

Diane interviews lead designer of Rapido trimarans at Morrelli & Melvin. Morreli & Melvin is a famous design studio out of California which has designed America Cup winners, Gunboats, H&H catamarans, and Leopard catamarans. Please go to www.MorelliMelvin.com for more information about M&M and inquire about their design services. The Rapido 60 trimaran is well known as the choice of YouTube superstars, Sailing La Vagabonde. Trimarans like catamarans are becoming more popular, and Ferdinand covers how they compare in terms of performance and accommodations as well as what he sees as the future in multihull design. Read on below to hear about the Rapido 60, 50, and 40 foot models. Welcome to another CatamranSite interview. Today I’m with Ferdinand Van West and he’s with Morrelli & Melvin. Ferdinand, can you tell us a little bit about your background, and how you ended up with Morrelli & Melvin? I’m actually originally […]

Tips on How to Sell Your Catamaran For Sale By Owner

Diane interviews a couple brokers, Melanie / Marcy of Sunshine Cruising, for tips and tricks on how to best sell without a broker and also common pitfalls that lead you to listing with a broker for help. They discuss market conditions since Covid and how the market has changed recently. They talk about quasi-broker deals where the costs are less, but you get the fiduciary and legal security of the brokerage. We were hesistant about interviewing yacht brokers as this website is an advocate of the FSBO approach, but Melanie and Marcy provide excellent, helpful information. Sunshine Cruising has a catamaran specific program and is headquartered in St Augustine, Florida, USA. Website: Sunshine Cruising Cats Transcript Welcome to another CatamaranSite interview. This time, I’m with Melanie and Marcy, and they are going to talk to us. They’re from Sunshine Cruising, and we’re going to talk about brokers, which is a […]

Interview with Naval Architect Mathias Maurios of VPLP Design

Diane interviews Mathias Maurios, Naval Architect and parnter at VPLP Design in France, about designing catamarans and in particular the Lagoon series. VPLP has designed all the over 6,000 Lagoons ever built. He has very interesting comments on the future of catamaran design. You can find out more about VPLP Design on their website and email Mathias at ( m.maurios@vplp.fr ). We’re here again with another CatamaranSite interview. This time with Mathias Maurios. Can you tell tell us about yourself and how you became involved with VPLP? My name is Mathias Maurios, and I’m a naval architect at VPLP Design. I started with VPLP in 2000, so that will be 23 years ago in April. Today, I am a partner in the firm, and I’m responsible for the cruising activity. I am based in the Paris office. Tell me a little bit about the company itself. What you do, what […]

Interview with Kurt Hughes of Multihull Designs

Diane interviews legendary multihull designer Kurt Hughes. It is a huge honor to talk to him. This discussion is quite technical, and everyone will enjoy and learn from Kurt’s knowledge. He gives an excellent history of his experiences in design and how Hughes designs are special. Read more from Kurt and get in touch via www.multihulldesigns.com and www.multihullblog.com. This is Diane we’re at CatamaranSite doing another interview. This time we have designer Kurt Hughes with us. Kurt can you give us a little bit of background about yourself? I first found out about multihulls reading Arthur Piver’s books and I got my degree in architecture. But when I started architecture school, I started building my first boat, and actually I sailed it the week I graduated. It turned out to be the fastest boat in Seattle, which blew everybody’s mind. It was a 31-foot trimaran. I was still working as […]

Factors that Affect Catamaran Insurance Rates with William Coates

Diane interviews Bill Coates on the factors that affect catamaran insurance rates such as age, value, experience, cruising range. They also cover ways to prepare your resume for the best rates and how the process works. Please listen and learn about the knitty gritty on getting insurance for your catamaran. You can contact Bill of​​​​ Offshore Risk Management at via phone at 305-743-7711 x2202 or email to ( wjc@offshorerisk.com ). Apply for insurance online here. I’m with Bill Coates today from Offshore Risk Management. Thanks for spending time with us at CatamaranSite. Can you tell me a little bit about who you are and what Offshore Risk Management is? Yes, my name is Bill Coates. I am a marine and aviation insurance broker. I’ve been in the business since 1972. So it’s been a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of very interesting things. Our business was established at […]

Misconceptions about Learning to Sail a Catamaran with Tim Geisler of Nautilus Sailing

We interviewed Tim Geisler of www.NautilusSailing.com about his week catamaran sailing school. We cover how much experience you need to take his course, common misconceptions, and the big takeaways you gain from the week. Please enjoy and contact Tim via the info@nautilussailing.com email. He also has an excellent educational YouTube channel and is launching an online catamaran-sailing master class in the coming weeks. Good morning Tim, it’s nice to be here to talk to you for catamaransite. I’m wondering if you could tell everybody a little bit about who you are, and what you do at Nautilus Sailing. Morning Diane, It’s an honor to be here this morning. So, Nautilus Sailing. I learned to sail in Southern California many, many years ago. It took about two years to learn how to sail, going every Sunday for a couple hours. At the time, I was a teacher in inner city Los […]

PDQ 36 Review with “S/V Desert Star”

This is another episode of our reviews of common cruising catamarans. We spoke with Eric and Bonnie who own a PDQ 36. They contacted us because they enjoyed our PDQ 32 interview with Aurora and Dennis and agreed to tell us about their boat, Desert Star. Very thankful for their interest in our project and to all of you watching our videos and reading these transcripts. We welcome those who own catamarans and want to see them reviewed to please contact us to setup a Zoom call at your convenience. Eric, do you want to start off by telling us a little bit about your background and who you are and how you came to choose a PDQ36? Eric: Sure. I’m a semi-retired systems engineer. I’m a licensed captain. I do some boat deliveries, run a little video production company, and trying to live a semi-retired lifestyle, wintering on the […]

Seawind 1370 Review with Nick & Terysa of “S/V Ruby Rose”

We talked with Terysa and Nick of Ruby Rose, and they have an interesting story about how they are coming to their catamaran. They are working with Seawind Catamarans to design the first Seawind 1370. They have a tremendous following on their YouTube channel, so please check their videos out and subscribe. They video taped their search for their catamaran and reviewed many different catamaran models on the market. Could you start off with telling us how you got into cruising, and then what took you from monohulls to catamaran? We started sailing back in the UK. Nick started about 15 years ago and I started when I met Nick, so 10-11 years ago. We were just weekend sailors. We used to be part of a club and we would do weekend cruises and races, and it was all very low-key, just fun. We were, at the time, thinking about […]

Catamaran Daggerboards and Keels – Woods Interview # 9

I am with Richard Woods, and we are talking about catamarans. He’s a legendary catamaran designer and experienced catamaran sailor of many different designs. This is one of several interviews we’re having on different topics. Today, we’re talking about daggerboards versus keels. Richard will tell us a little bit about how daggerboards work, how keels work, and what some of the benefits of each are. For more from Richard Woods, please go to his website. Richard, can you start off with what dagger boards and keels do for a boat? There’s the three basic ways of preventing leeway, which is what you’re going to be doing with a multihull. On a monohull you’ve got the keel. Essentially, it’s for stability to balance the heeling, to stop the boat heeling too much. You don’t have that as a problem on a multihull. You are just trying to stop leeway. You can […]

Catamaran Helm Position – Woods Interview # 8

We talk again with Richard Woods, catamaran designer and very expert sailor. We’ve been having a series of discussions about aspects of catamarans that you might not be familiar with. Right now, we’re talking about helm position and some of the unique attributes of where the helm positions can be on a catamaran, and also some of his thoughts about where the helm position ends up. For more information from Richard Woods including purchasing build plans for one of his many affordable designs, please see his website. Why are we talking about helm position? Why is helm position important? People start by saying, “Do you want two helms? Is it hydraulic steering or wire steering or cable push/pull or whatever?” But I think most boats and most designers seem to put their steering and the helm as a very much last resort afterthought. “Oh! Well, we’ll do the saloon, we’ll […]

Leopard 47 Review with Brioni and Iain of “Red Seas”

We interview new Leopard 47 owners Brioni and Iain about their catamaran search and why they chose the Leopard 47. They share their finding from 2 years of online research as well as their time living aboard so far. We talk about performance issues, layout considerations, and design flaws. Follow and support Brioni and Iain in their travels! https://youtube.com/redseas Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @realredseas www.red-seas.com www.patreon.com/redseas If you enjoy this review of the Leopard 47, please comment and let us know. We love to get feedback from others thinking of purchasing a Leopard 47 or current owners. Key Takeaways for the Leopard 47 Many to choose from as it was a popular charter model in the early 2000’s. Usually quite a few to look at in the Caribbean. Affordable for its size compared to other newer catamarans over 40 feet in length. Better performing also than some of the newer more comfort focused […]

Catamaran Upwind Performance – Woods Interview # 7

We spoke with Richard Woods, a catamaran designer and sailor based in the UK and famous worldwide. Today, we are talking about pointing and whether or not catamarans can point because there’s a myth about catamarans and their inability to point. Having sailed around the world on one of Richard’s designs, I can let you know that we pointed, probably better than a lot of the monohulls we were with. We’ve been having a series of conversations about elements of catamarans that you might not think about. We’ve had quite a few great conversations, so feel free to look through our Woods Design Advice page. You can read more about Richard Woods on his website SailingCatamaran.com and purchase build plans for many different designs. Can you explain why some catamarans point and some don’t? You’re not really interested in pointing ability, per se. What you’re actually trying to do is […]

PDQ 32 Review with Aurora and Dennis of S/V Serenity

We spoke with Aurora and Dennis who have a 1998 PDQ 32 named Serenity that they bought in 2017. They tell us about why they chose the PDQ 32, the strengths and weaknesses of the model, and why it has been the perfect catamaran for them. They compare the PDQ 32 to Geminis, Maine Cat 30, Seawind 1160. Please watch the interview below and read on for a transcript with additional photos to illustrate the features spoken about. Key Takeaways of the PDQ 32 Inexpensive, simple learning catamaran that allows for weekend sailing with kids and longer travels as a couple Light and small enough that you can manhandle at docks which lowers stress and likelihood of scratches. Powered by twin 9.9 HP outboards which are inexpensive to maintain, easy to repower, and can be tilted up to gain 1 knot of speed. Wonderful simple sailing. Loves going downwind and […]

Catamarans vs Monohulls – Woods Interview # 6

Welcome back to a new episode with catamaran designer and sailor, Richard Woods. We’ve had a few conversations already, about a variety of topics. Today we’re going to be talking about monohulls versus catamarans, and some of the attributes that make catamarans especially nice for cruising and living on. Please watch the video below and see the transcript and photos. I assume that you design catamarans because you think they’ve got some definite benefits. Do you want to start off on what you’re thinking is as far as why they make good places to sail and live? I think it’s fairly self-evident that the catamaran has a lot more interior room and a lot more deck space. That seems to be the main appeal to people these days. I’ve actually spent 20 years cruising on catamarans and only recently moved ashore to a house. It’s a very nice, comfortable two-bedroom […]

Lagoon 450F Review with Caroline of “S/V Fizzgig”

We spoke with Caroline who lives aboard “Fizzgig” a Lagoon 450F. She and her family have been aboard for about a year and currently are in Wilmington, North Carolina. Caroline tells us a little bit about the Lagoon 450F and what their plans are. She tells us about their former catamaran, a 2006 Fontaine-Pajot Lavezzi 40 and why they made the transition to a larger catamaran. Please see more from Caroline on her blog Sailing Fizzgig. Key Takeaways of Lagoon 450F Lagoon 450 is very comfortable and voluminous loaded with amenities and excellent separation of spaces for couple, daughter, and dog. This is owner version with three cabins. Headroom to accommodate 6′ 2″ person unlike the 40 Lavezzi where there were only a couple places her husband could stand up in. Lots of space and power for equipment such as air conditioning, washer – dryer, dishwasher, etc Excellent deck space […]

Lagoon 500 Review with John of S/V Wicked

John and his family are aboard a 2009 Lagoon 500 called S/V Wicked. He and his four kids and assorted pets and spouse have lived aboard boats for quite a few years from monohulls to a power catamarans. We’re going to learn a little bit about the Lagoon 500. Key Takeaways of Lagoon 500 Enormous salon with multiple places to sit. Galley that four people can stand in. A pantry. Many small cabin spaces for many people. Was the flagship of the Lagoon fleet in her day, so they invested all their resources as a company to show off what they could do. Built 150 hulls of the Lagoon 500 so there is good availability on the used market and many have crossed oceans or circumnavigated. Likely find one anywhere in the world. She will do seven and a half knots sipping fuel at 1800 rpm all day long. She […]

Lagoon 380 Review with Toast of S/V Don Quixote

Diane talked with Toast for a review on the Lagoon 380, a well known design that was a workhorse of charter fleets for the last two decades. She and her family sailed a 2001 Lagoon 380 Owners Version named S/V Don Quixote for about six years. They started in Seattle with three little children and then ended up in New Zealand several years later with much bigger children. It felt really tiny in the beginning and by the time we moved out the kids were willing to move into basically a fender locker. They’re like wow look at all this space, so we did change our understanding of what it was like to live and what you need to be happy. Toast on size and one of her daughters choosing to live in the starboard bow locker. You can read about her latest adventures on her blog. Key Takeways of […]

How old of a catamaran should I buy? – Woods Interview # 5

We talked with Richard Woods, well known catamaran designer and seasoned catamaran sailor, about catamaran ages. Is there an age where the fiberglass wears out or the structure of a catamaran breaks down? Also we talk about what to keep in mind when you’re looking at buying an older boat. For more information or to purchase build plans from Richard Woods, please go to his website at www.SailingCatamarans.com. Please see Episode 1 for an introduction of Richard, Episode 2 to learn about galley locations, Episode 3 for a primer on why cruising catamaran bows are an important purchase design decision, and Episode 4 about bridgedeck clearance. What kind of ages do cats come in? I always think of them as sort of a newer type of boat. How old are the production catamarans? How far do they go back? Oh much. We actually own a catamaran that was built in […]

Broadblue 38 Review and Owner Interview – “WorldTowning”

We talked with Will and Jessica of WorldTowning who bought their Broadblue 38 Prestige called S/V Friendship via CatamaranSite.com’s for sale by owner listings. They bought her in France in September 2020 and are fairly new to cruising, but they already have some strong opinions about what life is like on their catamaran. We moved from a 21 foot RV. This is a palace! Will and Jessica on life aboard a 38 foot sailboat as family of four. They have great enthusiasm for travelling and share their adventures across their website, WorldTowning.com and number social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. You can become a Patreon for special access to their adventures. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and about your boat? We have been traveling full-time since 2014, and we have now become newly indoctrinated into the cruising lifestyle. For the first six years,we were […]

What “good” bridgedeck clearance is and why is it important? – Richard Woods Interview # 4

Editor’s Note: These videos are meant to be introductions to basic catamaran design considerations. For more in depth discussions please contact Richard Woods via his website or comment below on this article. We welcome questions and suggestions. In this interview, we talk to Richard Woods about one of the most important characteristics of cruising catamaran design – bridgedeck clearance. It is a feature that is often too low especially on small catamarans. Richard explains that while bridgedeck clearance seems like a simple yet elusive measurements, it is in fact a very complicated design characteristic that catamaran architects have to thoroughly think out. Can I get an inflatable dinghy underneath? A question Richard Woods suggests asking to determine if a catamaran has enough bridge deck clearance. For more information or to purchase build plans from Richard Woods, please go to his website at www.SailingCatamarans.com. Please see Episode 1 for an introduction […]

Catana 431 Review and Owner Interview – “S/V Morning Glory”

In today’s interview we talk to Amy who sailed around the world with her family on their 2001 Catana 431 “S/V” Morning Glory from 2009 to 2016. Her enthusiasm for not just cruising but pure sailing comes through so clearly in this interview, and it is a wonderful thing to see. She tells us about what she likes, dislikes, and what surprised her about the Catana 431. Thank you so much to Amy for taking her time to sit down with us and share her experiences. Key Takeaways Loves the exposed helm position because of visibility and lack of clutter in cockpit. Was surprised because the helm position worried her pre-purchase. Loves the owner version with kids in one hull and parents in the other with large master suite and separate stall shower. Size was perfect, and she would not want any larger catamaran. Kevlar skin underwater is great protection […]

Why Catamaran Bow Shape is Important: Woods Interview # 3

Richard Woods, catamaran designer and sailor, talks to us about bow shapes on cruising catamarans, and why bow shape should be an important consideration to buyers of catamarans. You might not have thought about bow shape yet while looking for a catamaran. Richard clues us into how designers think about bow shape while they are designing a catamaran. Specifically he addresses the drawbacks of reverse bows in regards to seamanship while docking or hitting flotsam offshore. Please visit his website SailingCatamarans.com for more information from Richard and build plans for his designs. This is Episode 3 in a series of interviews with Richard Woods covering topics to educate those looking to purchase a catamaran. Please see Episode 1 which is an introduction video and then Episode 2 covers galley location considerations. Stay tuned for additional videos in the coming weeks. Can you define what a vertical bow is? Vertical bow […]

When is Galley Up or Galley Down Better? Woods Interview # 2

We talked with Richard Woods, catamaran designer and sailor, about galley up versus galley down. The main advice is to consider how you will actually live in the catamaran and what size salon you need. If you are considering staying small in terms of catamaran length, then galley up configurations can lead to numerous compromises you should be aware of. Can you sit up, put your feet up, and read a book or watch TV? Richard Woods on galley up leading to space restrictions in salon. Please see his website for more information about him and to purchase plans to build Woods catamarans. This is the second in a series of interviews with Richard Woods. If you missed it, the first one was an introduction of Richard with his general thoughts about the current state of catamaran design. Please stay tuned for additional episodes with Richard as well as other […]

Introduction of Catamaran Designer Richard Woods – Interview # 1

Diane spoke with Richard Woods, a long time catamaran designer. Richard designed the catamaran that Diane circumnavigated on with her family, a modified Woods 40 Meander. Richard has been designing for a very long time all the way back to the 1970’s when working with Derek Kelsall and James Wharram. He has designed more boats than he can recall mostly in the 8 to 40 foot range. You can find out much more about him on his website SailingCatamarans.com. You can purchase designs to build your own Woods catamaran from his website here as well. We will be doing a series of interviews with Richard Woods about different catamaran design features to help educate buyers and broaden their understanding of models beyond the traditional charter catamaran experience. How did you end up in catamaran design? It is really difficult to answer. It has been my life. It started with my […]

Catalac 8M Review and Owner Interview “S/V Chateau Cat”

In this episode, we interview Simon who owns a Catalac 8M called S/V Chateau Cat. He’s had it for two years. Simon came to catamaran sailing after growing up with a monohull, so we’re really curious about how it’s been to have a catamaran for him. What kind of experiences he’s had. A big thank you for him in participating and generously sharing his stories and photos! Executive Summary Chose catamaran for space and larger solar footprint. Used to have a solar panel business and has 2 small children. 44 years old. Grew up on a 24 foot monohull with 2 brothers. Inspired by a sail on a Dazcat, he decided a catamaran would be more comfortable with better performance. The Catalac 8M was an affordable option that met his criteria. Built in 1980 (an 8m Mark II which as skegs in front of the rudders) in Chichester, South coast […]