The Shimmy Challenge
In designing the Shimmy I had one clear objective in mind: to produce a simple 12 ' family boat that was superior to anything on the market. The new boat had to be safe & stable enough for beginners, families or retirees and forgiving when they get it all wrong. Modestly rigged, Shimmy still had to sail well, yet be easily rowed or outboarded. Here, then, in no particular order, is the final list of requirements I set for my brief. The new boat had to have or had to be:
- The easiest self-assembly boat of its kind in the world.
- Available ready to sail.
- An ultra simple, foolproof, boomless, lugsail rig for safety.
- Able to be rigged and launched in under 10 minutes.
- Able to sail safely in winds in excess of 25 knots and swell of 2 metres.
- Able to seat 4 adults in comfort and have enough buoyancy to support them inside the boat when fully swamped.
- Enough room for 2 people to camp overnight under a boom tent.
- No centreboard or daggerboard to clutter the cockpit.
- Neat, efficient stowage for 2 batteries and a decent pair of oars.
- Designed for electric power as well as petrol.
- Excellent general stowage capacity and both mast and spar should fit inside the boat.
- The new GRP version suitable for commercial operators, particularly in resorts.
- Flared forward sections for a dry boat but class leading form stability.
- Self-draining at seat level.
- Easily towable with a 1500 cc car.
- Able to be rigged, launched and sailed single-handedly.
- Fitted with a folding bimini top or awning for the summer.
- Draw less than 16 inches (400 mm).
- Easy to repair and maintain.
- Last, but not least, a pleasure to own and sail.
Clearly compromises had to be made to fulfil the very demanding criteria yet all the criteria have been fulfilled and she’s come up trumps every time. She will reach all day at better than 4 knots with a wonderful steady helm and get you home safely in weather that sends lesser boats scuttling for shelter.
We challenge you to find another 12-footer anywhere in the world that will, point by point, fulfil the same demanding criteria.