Interested in Bob Hinks’ Cirrus? Contact him to arrange a date to sail her

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Bob Hinks, who graduated from the Boat Building Academy a little while ago, is looking for commissions to build up-market day-sailors along the lines of his widely admired Cirrus.

He explains:

Cirrus was conceived as a classic gentleman’s daysailer, designed to be fast, sail beautifully and look a picture. A miniature J class yacht is what we set out to achieve, and I think we got pretty close.

‘She was designed with a particular sailor in mind – someone who might have a larger boat but who wants to get back to the fun and excitement of sailing a smaller boat on offshore and inland waters. She is unashamedly a luxury item built to exacting standards in everything from her teak decks to her purpose built fittings.

‘I think her market is Poole, Mylor and Chichester Harbours, the Norfolk Broads, the Solent, Western Isles of Scotland, the Caledonian Canal, Lake Windermere and many other beautiful locations worldwide. With a lifting keel and rudder, and a minimum draft of only 500 mm, she can easily be moved on her trailer from one sailing area to another.

‘The price of £40,000 might seem high – but she cost £20,000 in materials alone, and took 2400 hours to build. If I took the drive system out of the equation she would be £7000 cheaper – but it is such great thing I don’t want to. The electric motor just makes the boat very easy to control. Getting in and out of a harbour is quick simple and nearly silent. When motoring up a creek to the pub there’s no smelly fuel or exhaust, and the quiet engine is blissful.

‘I enclose some pictures of Cirrus at the Beale Park Boat Show, which was a great success. She was sailing most of the time and looked wonderful – we had as many as five and a dog on board at one point. The pond is only just over a meter deep so we had to sail with the board and rudder up but she still performed like a dream. She was described as the belle of the ball, and I spent my time doing interviews and sailing, and dealing with many interested enquiries.

‘There are various changes I plan to make on the next boat, including a slightly heavier keel with an electric winch, repositioned bilge pumps and a modified rudder lift device. If the orders come in, I’d like to build two or three boats, one of which would be similar but a bit longer and with a small cuddy.

‘I hope to sail the boat in the South of England this summer starting with Mylor harbour in a couple of weeks – if anyone is interested in the boat and would like an opportunity to sail have a go at sailing her, I’m sure we can arrange it.’

Bob can be reached by phone at 07785 346072 and by email at

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Cirrus publicity material

Bob Hinks and Ray Holmes build fast, shallow-draft dayboat Cirrus at the Boat Building Academy


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Launch day views of Cirrus


Designer and boatbuilding instructor Mike Broome, photographed with Cirrus

Boat Building Academy principal Yvonne Green has sent us some more photos from the big student launch day at Lyme in December.

Bob Hinks and Ray Holmes built Cirrus, a 20ft western red cedar strip planked, epoxy glass sheathed day sailer designed by Academy instructor Mike Broome.

‘She was designed to be shallow draught, equipped with a ballasted centreboard and lifting rudder to enable use either under sail or using auxilliary power.

‘She mixes traditional style with modern systems, and is equipped with an electric sail-drive with a two-blade folding prop. Batteries sit either side of the centreboard case to provide ballast as well as power for the prop. She also has a traditionally-laid deck and bespoke steelwork on chainplates, rudder and centreboard.

‘On her maiden voyage Bob, who was formerly owner and MD of  special effects company Asylum and electronic engineer Ray achieved 5.5 knots sailing in light airs.

‘Bob and Ray worked long hours, and Cirrus is a testament to their focus and determination.

‘Since the course ended in December, Bob has hired space in a yard near the Academy and over the next few months is going to refine and perfect Cirrus before going into production.’

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Cirrus in the workshop