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Sailors test PiXel at Milford Yacht Club

On Sunday, November 21, 2004, Bruce Kirby and Wes Oliver brought a new sailboat, the PiXel, to Milford YC for review.  This boat is designed by Kirby (the designer of the Laser, Ideal-18 and Sonar, plus many others) as an alternative to the Blue Jay class sailboat for junior sailing.  About a dozen MYC members took the time to look over the boat and several were able to get in some sailing time in the 3 knot winds.   

For more information about the PiXel, you can contact:
- Bruce Kirby - W: 203-853-1899 - e-mail:           
- Wes Oliver - W: 203-855-8923 - e-mail: wwoliver@optonline.netSome answers about the boat from Bruce Kirby:

  1. We will have a different,  slightly bigger and more rugged deck edge on the production boats.   We believe it will  solve most of the problems.  I agonized over that type of construction and finally decided that the advantages outweighed the problems.  It is a very strong way to construct the boat.  It adds some free beam for sitting out. It makes a comfortable turn for the butt. And it provides a good handle for lifting the boat. Boats that don’t have tat type of gunwale are very hard to lift.  With the new deck edge extrusion I think the boats will be easy on each other, and the dock will not be able to beat them up. 
  2. The mast got firmly stuck in the mud at Norwalk YC a few weeks ago, as did masts on two or three other boats.  The 420 came up with a bent spar;  the PIXEL came up with a dirty main and an intact spar.   That material is very rugged . The rigger at Hathaways says you could bend it double and it wouldn’t break (like a pole vaulting pole.)   It is slim and trim,  but there’s nothing delicate about it.
  3. I think the cost of a replacement mast will be just under $300.   We are going to get a few bucks off the price by reducing the laminate in the top half of the spar.  It’s not bending quite enough.  Nearly the total cost of these masts is in the material,  so a bit less carbon makes a difference.  And they are so strong I would expect little need for replacement.  Cars in the parking lot would be the big hazard.  All that said, we will be sure replacements are readily available.
The expected price with sails (main, jib & spinnaker) but without trailer is $6,000.

And yes, there is every hope and indication that the PiXel will be used for frostbiting. Here are some previews...

© 2005 Gregory Geiger - Professional Event Photographer Contact: 203-795-8651    e-mail:

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