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Francois van Dyk - Designer and Builder

Francois was awarded two Telkom study bursaries consecutively after Grade 12. He acquired a T3 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a T3 Diploma in heavy current Electrical Engineering since 1987, from the "Durban Technicon/University of Technology." Afterward, he started a private Power Generator manufacturing company, which ran for +\- twenty years. He has gained priceless experience in hybrid power; the Technicon approached Francois in 2002 to build, install and commission seven Post Study Projects of top students, until 2004.  Francois's family involvement in yacht building has nurtured his love for sailing from a young age. He has sailed around 43 000 nm, most of which as skipper and technical specialist. During the last twelve years, he has been involved in marine projects ranging from 8 to 45-ton vessels, transforming them to significantly improved seaworthiness. The largest of these was truly a refreshing all round challenge, on many engineering and sailing levels. It was heart-warming to see success after other marine engineers were way beyond their scope! Francois has had more than half a century under the sun spent in innovative dreaming and drawings of free and efficient sailing.

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Brian Tompkins - Co-designer and CAD draftsman

Having grown up in a workshop, Brian’s approach towards design is very much hands-on. When he puts pen to paper, he draws from practical experience to preempt challenges beyond the typical role of a designer. He believes in functionality, efficiency, and integrity above all, and we see these aspects reflected in his work. He is very progressive and strives for improvement through continuous exploration and carefully considering what is in front of him. Brian has extensive experience in the water-sports industry, having worked as a product designer for a local kiteboarding company for a number of years.cProduct development and R&D is what excites him and fuels his drive for innovation.

Official qualifications: NDip - Three-Dimensional Design, BTech - Industrial Design.

Dick Churley  (Eng.) - Mechanical Engineer, Structural Standards,

Dick Churley, a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer specialising in craft construction and one-off sailing yachts and small commercial craft. His design specialties include vessel structures and mechanical and electrical systems. He has project managed the construction of numerous new commercial and leisure boat models and established production tooling for ongoing vessel production at several South African boat-yards on time and on budget over the past 25 years.

As a past Chairman of the SA small-craft construction industry representative body, he negotiated with various Government departments for ongoing industry access to dock space, assisted with the introduction SABS boat-building standards and in the introduction of a 3 year, marine, tertiary-education course through a local technical college.


Evan Smuts,Ph.D. (Eng.) - Fluid Dynamics Specialist

"Evan graduated with a PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2015 after obtaining an MSc in Mechanical Engineering in 2009, both from the University of Cape Town. Both degrees specialised in the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to model fluid flow on a computer. Evan is a keen sailor with a passion for boating, which lead to him consulting part-time on this project. He currently works in the marine composites industry as a Process Engineer"