Copyright 2023 - Woods Designs, 16 King St, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL11 2AT UK
  • production Strider 24

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

"GYPSY is a solid, safe yet remarkably nippy and budget conscious cruiser" - Multihull International.

You can see the full test published in Multihull International on the Boat Test part of the left hand menu, or click HERE

Practical Boat Owner also tested the boat, again see the LH menu, or click HERE

You can get a full report from the magazine, but the tester wrote

"Of all the multihulls I've sailed, GYPSY presents about the strongest case in favour of cruising on two hulls"

One of the first Gypsy's launched was in Australia and the owner reported:

"We are off to the Whitsundays for Christmas. We hope to start serious cruising next year. The boat is going well! Considering the short chop we get inside the Great Barrier Reef the only slamming we have had has been on the rear of the nacelle and this has not been with much force, just the odd bang - even though we have had the bows under"

"We find the three cabin setup no problem for 2 or 3 as one still retains privacy, not so easy on a boat of this size.
All up the boat has cost us £10,000 including a new outboard. This I find very reasonable, considering it took only 17 months part time(nights and weekends only). I feel a lot of this is due to the single chine design. I have had no significant pounding of the hulls."

"Thanks for being able to build this cat to your design. The simplicity, phone help etc has enabled this very amateur builder to finish his Gypsy. It has been a short, worthwhile project."

I sold my own Gypsy in 2000 to pay for the Eclipse I was building. Sadly it was neglected for several years, even I believe to failing a survey. So I was very happy to get this email

"I left the Isle of Wight end of September 2013 with my son as crew reaching Muros, North Spain, in about ten days or so. I left her there until just before Christmas and returned with my brother to continue south. We were stuck there for several weeks with the weather but left early Feb ’14 with the intention of reaching the Canaries and then a big hop to Safi, Morocco.

At that point I decided to head back to Portugal. I did several over night hops to Gibraltar and then day sailing from there to the river Guadiana which is where she is now. I’m heading back there in a few days to have a break and do some work on Gypsy in preparation for hopefully another trip.

PS, I have managed to stay on or even a little above the waterline, depending on how much fresh water I have on board."

And the owners of the BC Gypsy Lightwave wrote

"Thank you for the wonderful design and the support you have given us. The boat sails so well and we get compliments where-ever we go. Your boats are truly buildable, and in a reasonable length of time (28 months part time). The fact that you build your own designs shows your confidence in them"

"Your advice of "build the smallest boat you'd be happy with" was crucial as it steered us clear from getting into a project that might have been too big and too long to complete for us.
We look forward to meeting you one day when you are sailing round the world and stop by in Vancouver! Thanks again"

A UK Gypsy builder wrote from Sardegna, Italy

..."During the summer my wife and I sailed around west Europe and North Africa through a wide variety of weather conditions (good to b*****y awful) to get here.

The sail across the Bay of Biscay was enlivened by the biggest electrical storm we have ever seen (not forecasted) which was accompanied by gale force squalls. To miss the worst of it we sailed out into the Atlantic for hours.

Galicia and Portugal were an absolute delight with good sailing, good anchorages and good food, although a trifle windy at times. Ceuta and Morocco was an exciting experience. The Costa's were beautiful in the undeveloped areas and looked like shanty towns in the developed areas and the Balearics were an absolute delight.

Gaea performed superbly, it sailed well in all sea conditions and nothing structural broke, although sadly I cannot say the same of Tiller Pilots (I broke 3).

We found that living long term on Gaea was comfortable with plenty of space for the two of us"

From a forum post by an Australian Gypsy owner

"I purchased Vela in March 2012 in Brisbane and having been having fun with her ever since.

This Gypsy was launched in 1996, and may have been the first one home built in Australia. The builder  built the hulls out of hand laid fibreglass panels. Very Solid!

The result is an overbuilt, but very strong and forgiving little cat which sails beautifully. Vela drives well to windward, and is responsive without being skittish. It has cruised the Queensland Coast and served as a liveaboard for myself & my partner, with our little dog and ship's cat.

I'm on the handstand now for the second time, and am pleased to report there has been no osmosis in the boat to date. I've done one or two repairs and am in the process of doing upgrades and improving the paint system. Will post photos shortly. "

Mike Appleby is well known to regular visitors to my website as he is the one who started building his 28ft Gypsy catamaran in the UK. Then moved to Belgium where he did more work on the boat. and finally to Holland where the boat was launched. So a well travelled boat even before it touched the water!

I just received this email, written after many years cruising in Holland.

"My wife and I have been sailing our Gypsy "Water Music" on the inland lakes and rivers of the Zeeland region of Holland since 2006. Zeeland is a fabulous place to sail with its fresh and salt water lakes, wide river estuaries, many small islands, and dozens of fascinating old seafaring towns to visit and enjoy.

Water music is the perfect boat for this region as we often sail in areas of very shallow water and can therefore get to places that the deeper draft vessels can't reach.

We have had every summer holiday since 2006 afloat, and since our retirement in 2013, we spend 4 or 5 months every summer living on board. Water Music is a very simple but comfortable boat for two people, but since we tend to live and sleep exclusively in the cuddy, there is plenty of room for guests in the hulls when they turn up.

We have day-sailed with 9 people on board: 5 adults and 4 children; it was quite hectic, but the guests (especially the children) found all sorts of places to park themselves on deck that we had never thought of using.

We have many great memories of building and sailing this marvellous boat, and when we are on passage, I often find myself looking up at the rig and the passing miles and thinking "God! did we really build this amazing machine". For me, it truly is a love affair.

Mike has a great youtube channel, videos constantly being added. See here