In 1978, Richard graduated Southampton College of Technology Yacht design course with distinctions in design, structures and stability. Due to this training and his track record in small boat design, Richard was asked to sit on the ISO stability committee and the UK's MCA Small Craft Advisory Group.
In spite of his dinghy racing experience, Richard was more interested in designing multihulls. While still a design student, he worked for James Wharram, specifically on the Pahi range of designs, even sailing across the Atlantic aboard Wharram's own 51' Tehini. In the years since, Richard has made many yacht deliveries and has cruised extensively, visiting 40 countries. He also worked for a year for Derek Kelsall.
Nearly 2500 plans and over 200 production catamarans have now been sold. Boats are sailing all over the world. Cruisers have made many comfortable ocean crossings in complete safety while the number of trophies won is testament to the speed of the Woods racing designs.
All these boats are designed for home building using stitch and glue techniques in plywood and epoxy. The designs vary from the sea going rowing boats Bee and Linnet to the beach catamarans Pixie, Quattro 14 and Quattro 16, not forgetting the trailerable cruising cats and the Strike Trimarans.
All are well proven designs and all have been home built by the designers. Richard Woods, chief designer at Woods Designs has been dinghy sailing for over 40 years. In that time he has raced most dinghies and won four national and one European championships, the latest being the 1998 Blaze singlehander nationals.
People are justifiably concerned about the quality of plans and the service provided by their chosen designer. Possibly the most influential home boatbuilding magazine worldwide is Wooden Boat Magazine. They chose Woods Designs when they decided to add a couple of beach cats to their list of stock plans. They have been selling plans for the QUATTRO 16 and PIXIE since the late 1980's, and have since sold hundreds of sets of plans.
One of the main reasons for choosing Woods Designs is clear from their initial review of the PIXIE when they wrote: "Another reason for the ease of construction is found in the plans themselves, which are not merely mechanical drawings, but a fully rendered guide to the building and rigging of this boat, with detailed specifications for rigging and fittings. The plans are so clear as to resemble drawings for a "how-to" magazine article, or assembly instruction for a kit-in-a-box. They are a great visual aid for a vessel that is, in fact, being made by hand"
Building your own boat is not only intensely satisfying, but it is also a great way of saving money, plus you end up with a boat that has been made to your exact requirements.