Tomaz works on the Slowenian television. So he can work only in his spare time on the boat. He started building the boat in May of this year and here are two letters from him after his holiday with his family on the Kroatian coast.
I am glad to inform you, that my DUO JIGSAW is on the sea. It is registered in Slovenia, town Izola. One of your Manta's is used as a diving ship from Croatia. I worked on it for almost 2 years. Manta survived 100-120km/h storm in Marina Koper. Not all the other boats were so lucky. They had pulled out cleats (big boats from high-class EU ship-makers, I will not named them), broken masts and everything that follow these. I made the basic DUO JICKSAW now, without windows. My idea was to test the boat with family crew and find out exactly where and how I needed support and comfort.
We made a longer cabin that parents with two kids can sleep in and it is 5 cm higher so you can sit without bumping your head on the ceiling. There is no shutter entrance. There is a 10mm okume wall along the middle to split the cabin in two. This gives separate cabins and supports the cabin top.
As the sun is very strong in the Adriatic, the bigger cabin is often what we need. I found out when sailing for more than 1 hour, my wife and older girl went into their cabins and enjoyed reading their books. When I build the lockers for anchor, ropes and fuel tank the cockpit will be empty and there will be more space. When motoring, the steering is better with rudder than with the outboard motor, but when the speed rose more than 4 kt, the rudder should be a lot smaller. Tack is 25 degrees into the real wind. Very good. Not fast, but it will tack.
Unfortunately, except for one day, I had very low wind - 3-5 m/s, with occasionally some stronger refules. One of these refules on my first day, when I didn't know how to sail parallel, gave me some kicks and I later saw on GPS that the max speed was 14.2 kt! I remember I did hear some more noisy water behind the stern, but there was 1-1.5m waves and I was too busy with 2 sails and the rudder to observe the speed. I was a bit shocked
(positive) later when I saw the GPS statistic. Monofilm in one sail got a few bigger holes. It was too much for this old monofilm. But I expected this and because of this I used cheap second hand sails.
Every one who sees the boat has many questions.
Motoring - I found out that short shaft is OK when at least 200kg is in the cockpit. So we were motoring with this one. With fixed outboard and rudder, it reacts excellently. If turning the rudder and outboard synchronously, it turns anywhere - reminds me on Russian Pancer PT-76 on which I served 30 years ago in Jugoslavian army. You could do anything you want, even cross directions and have different maneuvers. Very usable.
All in all, I like this cat. It is better than I expected, especially loaded - even overloaded beyond specifications. It is a perfect young-family vacations boat, you can tow it with car, 4 people can put it in the water, you can live for a few days on it. With this big cabin-top terrace you have far more places to enjoy the water than in a 20' sailer. It is under 5m class - this means no taxes (in SLO) and a lot less expenses for registration, insurance and even marina costs. Marina in Koper (SLO) costs me 24e per day - with electricity, water, WC, bath, usage of work-shop. Half cheaper than the usual camping fees on the seaside with much more support. Surprising for me is how much money I wasted in all those years for coastal vacations.
Again, yours JIGSAW is very good and cat and I am happy I chose it.
About speed - 14.3kt was not achieved with exactly the same sails from the picture - I sailed with green 7.5m2 sail and another one 8.5m2. This big sail got many serious long fractures in monofilm after the wind refuls which gave me few seconds of top speed. After that I sailed 5-6 average. It was first sailing with only 2 of us - 170kg together, 15kg outboard with gasoline and 5kg anchor. Maybe 2 kilos of life jackets. We jumped trough and over 1-1.5m waves wondering when the boat will fall apart. The sound of front beam when wave splash into it at this speed is a bit scary for first-timers. The water noise behind the stern become louder, then comes a loud flopping sound when wind hits the sails, the rudder becomes harder, you don't know what to do with the sails and you are just in the enterance of Koper port with a big container ship coming out directly at you and you don't know how to turn the little cat away. There is no time to turn on the outboard. At one moment you are going backward, next moment you nearly fall into the see when another flop in sails comes and boat the accelerates. Some kind of knowledge comes from deep dark hole in the brain. Now I know enough to get back to marina, with sails, of course. Forget that you have to motor with 2kt max. I know how to avoid boats in just a few meter corridor with 3 turns when the outboard don't want to start. There are a bunch of people at the restaurant watching your space-ship like boat coming thinking you are first class transatlantic skipper but you are just trying to hit the cheaper boat. At the moment you think that the cat knows how to port by itself, like a cowboys horse. It did know! Ok, release sails, fasten fenders, look at the GPS and when you see number - oh boy - you have to go in the bar and drink a beer smiling. After that I put on a smaller, 6.5m2 sail - 8.5 was destroyed. In the next days wind was very light and max speed was 9kt, average only 2kt. But we were learning how to handle this starship.
L.o.a. 4.80 m
Beam 2.30 m
Beam c/c 2.06 m
Empty weight 180 kg
Weight max. CWL 450 kg
Sails 2 x 8 m²
L/B ratio hulls 1 : 13,55
Construction plywood/glass/epoxy composite
Quick building system
Construction time about 300 hours
Pictures by Tomaz Hogevar, Slowenia.