About: Diane Selkirk

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https://dianeselkirk.com
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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:

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 […]