Saturday, 27 August 2016
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Woods Designs

Woods Strider
Woods Designs
+44 (0)1752 823301

Richard Woods, full-time designer of multihulls for over 20 years, is one of the most versatile designers. The boats which Richard co-designs with his wife Lilian, include beach cats, open and bridgedeck cruisers, racing and trailerable craft. Designs range from 14 to 70 ft (4.3 m to 21 m) and can be built in a variety of materials including sheet or moulded ply, strip plank cedar and foam sandwich.

Plans for both home and professional builders are sold through Woods Designs Limited, which the couple founded in 1981. By 2003 over 1200 boat plans and 200 production catamarans had been sold and Woods designs are built, raced or cruised all over the world.

Richard Woods has expressed his lifelong passion for sailing, particularly in multihulls, in his studies, as a sailor, and as a boat builder and designer. He studied Yacht Design at Southampton College of Technology, UK (the only full-time course in yacht design in the world at the time) where he graduated with distinctions in design structures and stability.

During his student vacation he worked for James Wharram on the vanguard multihull designer's Pahi design. This lead directly to him getting the chance to cross the Atlantic on the Wharram’s own 51’ Tehini.

On returning to the UK Richard Woods worked for a year for Derek Kelsall which gave him the opportunity to design and build his first catamaran, the 9m Cockleshell Hero. The success of the boat gave him the incentive to start designing boats for others.

A keen competition sailor from an early age, Richard Woods won his first National Championships in the children’s Poole AB class (similar to an Optimist) before moving to the Mirror and coming 9th in the European Championships while a junior. Before his studies at Southampton, he sailed International Moths and placed 10th in the European Championships.

In the 1980s Richard Wood initiated and co-developed the micro-multihull class, a class of cruiser trailerable multihulls under 26ft (8m), that became popular especially in the UK. He raced regularly in this class and won the National and European Championships on different occasions. Richard Woods has also raced and cruised extensively in larger craft including the 35ft (10.7m) Banshee which he and Lilian Woods designed and built.

A firm believer that a very practical approach augments a theoretical background, Richard Woods builds and sails his own products. Since 1980 he and Lilian Woods have built 18 of their own models. They also value sailing boats from other designers. Together with their enthusiasm, all these experiences and practices contribute greatly to the success of their work and enable them to evolve and prove ingenious solutions to the enduring challenge of designing yachts that are both fast, have lots of living space and are very economical to build and own.

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