Nov 14, 2012, 4:12 PM
Post #1 of 1
Comments by Pixel (and Laser) designer Bruce Kirby:
Pixel - the 'other' junior doublehander
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The boat was designed in 2003-4 but had a rocky start with the Chinese builders. After some builder errors and false starts we got going properly in about 2006 with very good boats.
The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound chose it over several other boats as the new junior vessel to replace the Blue Jay. There were 84 boats at our first Larchmont Race Week, and now Long Island Sound has 200+ boats for the post-Opti, pre Laser kids.
The builder replaced about 70 boasts in the early days because they had changed the structure without telling me and sent over some flimsy hulls. Since solving that problem, the boats have been particularly good - strong, stiff and down to design weight. The Chinese plant is very high tech and the hulls are injection molded so consistency is not a problem.
The mainsail has a foam headboard which works very well. While it does not prevent turtling, it discourages it which has made it a good safety feature. We also have a carbon mast which helps with stability and reduces pitching, and as the mast is plugged at both ends it also discourages turtling. Under the side decks are open flooding lockers which fill when the boat is on its side, thus allowing it to sink a bit lower and again reduces the turtling tendency.
At the time I was very pleased to be doing an all new boat because it gave me the opportunity to introduce features that helped a lot with safety without getting in the way of performance.
ALL SHOTS BY PHOTO BOAT
Karen Duffy and Kerwin Sickinger demonstrate the Pixel’s unusual ability to plane upwind as they take the opening race of the Pequot Y.C. Invitational. The PIXEL is one of the very few non-trapeze dinghies that can accomplish this.
With its carbon mast and modern rig, the kids find the boat’s light weight and high stability the perfect platform for spinnaker reaching.
Hiding behind a breakwater a fleet of PIXEL’s heads out to the regatta’s opening race. This 13.9 foot junior trainer easily matches the speed of the Club 420.