I make no apologies for the glowing references to most of the boats in this blog - nor the qualities of the designers - they are here because they are my favourites, or at least very interesting.
This boat is a brilliant cruising design. While researching for this posting - I was interested to see it is the personal choice of at least two professional builders - including also Robert Christinger (Alumar Yachts) - who makes very detailed kits for them. The designer - Dudley Dix - is also arguably the best "design to build" man in the game, with very practical and sensible designs, all based on contemporary class-leading concepts. Kits are vailable in Steel and Aluminium as far as I know - details on http://www.dixdesign.com/.
The "Dix Range" within Dudley's portfolio represent the most sensible, balanced range of cruisers you will find anywhere. The Shearwaters (modern classics oozing style), and the Hout Bays (corinthian classics), are also in fact modern designs but offer traditional styling and rigs if one prefers. The "Dix" range however is purely contemporary - they have the fewest compromises to be the "thinking man's cruiser" in my words.
If someone were to ask me to chose my ideal cruising yacht in 10 seconds this would be it from the yachts I know . . . other more informed folk have come to the same conclusion after much more thought but there you are.
The Dix range includes four versions of the Dix 43 - the original aft-cockpit version, the standard centre cockpit version, the pilothouse version, and now also an aft-cockpit version with a hard dodger and trunk-cabin. I honestly don't know which is best - or even how to argue the case for any one of them - they are all great. Centre cockpit is great on a boat this size - I have been in this one and it has all the advantages of a centre cockpit without the usual drawbacks below - but the Pilothouse would be great as well - and the aft cockpit with hard dodger might have the best of them all? (I haven't seen this one in the flesh but surely it has the potential to have the largest cabin . . .). You can build from Steel (most of them are), or Aluminium. The one in the top pic was built of ply (radiius chine) - and is extremely successful - but is not a standard offer to my knowledge.
left-click for fullsize
this is the pilot-house version