It all started on the 29th of October 2015. Peter Jacops, a specialist CE inspector for the certification of yachts, posted a small note on his Facebook page asking If any designer would be willing to help him create a low cost sailing boat specifically for disabled people and make it freely available to all.
Alex Simonis and Maarten Voogd of Simonis Voogd Design took up the challenge to design a new affordable competitive boat for people with disabilities.
One of the biggest problems is that there are only a small number of boats available, which are nearly all at a price level that puts them out of reach of many potential sailors. As the market is small for boats for the disabled, their price is inflated and there are hardly any available on the used market.
So the idea was born to design a modern looking, easy to handle, stable and safe boat which could be sailed by either one or two persons and which, above all, had to be affordable. How to make it affordable?
So what is the alternative to this? The answer lies in getting people to build the boat themselves. So we came up with a DIY kit which would allow anybody to build the boat. But we did not know if this would work so again we went on Facebook and asked for people to build the prototype. Soon the S\V14 were built in New Zealand, Thailand, South Africa, California, Belgium and The Netherlands. So over three years these boats were built and tested and we got feedback out of that which proved to be very promising but it was hard to get traction, it took lots of time and for some countries, it was difficult to find good marine plywood. On one of his trips to Fareast, Maarten Voogd spoke to Demolar (CEO of Fareast) about the charity project and Demolar said she wanted to be part of it, she said she wanted to give something back and be part of this wonderful project. So a deal was made to build 1000 boats at the same price as the building kit being 3000 US$.
The plans for the plywood kit are however still available in open source should anyone choose to build one.
It should require no more skills than that of your average DIY guy and no expensive tools. The beauty of this concept is that the materials are available everywhere, the plans and cutting patterns can be downloaded at no cost via the internet and 2D CNC cutting is so widely used that this can also be done all around the world in a place near you.