Capetonians Mike Mollat and Mark Algra are realising a dream. One that transfers skills and with a bit of on the job training finds work for many in the boat building industry.
Mike and Mark teamed up with the Izivunguvungu Sailing School in Simons Town and built the first BlueEyes-20 as a project to train young South Africans in the skills and disciplines of building a boat from scratch.
As Mike says; “Several of the youngsters who spent time with us working on BE20 at Simons Town showed above-average interest and aptitude and went on to find permanent employment. The response from their industry employers – North Sails in particular – was enthusiastic to the extent that we were asked to send on more of our learners as they became job-seekers. Other learners sought and were granted places of further learning at the Boat Building Faculty within False Bay College. It is significant to remember that these youngsters came from disadvantaged backgrounds and that having been exposed as learners to boat building, they were able to offer their new-found skills to prospective employers, thereby fairly quickly becoming useful breadwinners.”
The BlueEyes-20 is a versatile new Sport Day Sailer from the drawing board of world-renowned Dinghy and Sports Trailer Sailer designer, Keith Callaghan. The new BE20 Sports Day Sailer is ideal for Club sailing and racing as well as active day sailing and cruising.
The challenge for clubs around South Africa is to have a boat to introduce youngsters to sailing to that is fast, fun and safe.
A development of the Trailer Sailer built by the BE20 Boat Building Project in Simons Town, the BE 20 Sports Day Sailer has no cabin but boasts a massive safe self-draining cockpit with an open transom.
Weighing a mere 400 kilograms, the BE20 is easy to launch and retrieve from the purpose-built cradle trailer and it can be towed by a standard domestic motor vehicle and stored safely at home.
The BE20 Sports Day Sailer floats in just 250mm of water and boasts a fully retractable centreboard, making her ideal for estuary cruising and sailing. She is fully beachable so her crew can go ashore without a tender.
Sailing performance can be adjusted to suit the crew. High speed planing in the double digits, with the Retractable Bowsprit and Asymmetrical Spinnaker, or a gentle cruise around the bay with 6 to 8 adults. She has been designed not to intimidate beginners and is also the ideal platform for Sail Training.
Sea Scouts, Yacht Clubs, Schools and wood-working groups can start boat-building projects and use them as the perfect platform for technical skills development amongst young sailors and students alike.
The next part of the project is to get other clubs and organisations involved in building their own BE20’s – transferring skills and stimulating interest in boat building and sailing as a viable exciting sport that continues to contribute to South Africa in a meaningful manner.
The Whisper Boat-Building Academy has been busy manufacturing moulds for both the BE20 Trailer Sailer and the BE 20 Sports Day Sailer and the manufacture of glass-fibre “Home Completion Kits” is ready to go. These kits are ideal for group boat-building projects whose aim is to promote boat building as an interesting, exciting and rewarding activity.
For further information contact Mark on 082 974 0797 / markalgra5[at]gmail.com or Mike on 073 311 0268 / mollatt[at]telkomsa.net
Length Overall: 6.55 m
Length on the Waterline: 6.0 m
Beam: 2,10 m
Draft (Centreboard raised): 0,21 m
Draft (Centreboard down): 1.72 m
Main Sail: 16 m²
Jib: 5.1 m²
Asymmetrical Spinnaker: 20 m²