The "KDI": Deer Isle Koster
Kit status: CNC cut plywood kit Ready to cut and deliver
(left) KDI Hull #1/2 owned by designer Bruce Elfstrom and daughters, Deer Isle, Maine.
(right) KDI hull #5 built on Whitbey Island, WA. Launched in 2012.
102 Sq ft.
The KDI is a gem plain and simple. She has more character than any boat kit out there on the market, hands down. Hull #1 and #2 of the KDI are owned by Bruce Elfstrom the designer of the KDI. Bruce drew the boats for his daughters to sail and row off Deer Island in the summers. What we have is a Scandinavian style "koster" boat crossed with a Beetle Cat, a boat that can sail like a witch and row like a feather with its lightweight construction. The hull is 6mm Okoume plywood planked over 9mm bulkheads. The kit includes a precut, laminated stem and sternpost and special alignment battens that make set up very straightforward and highly accurate. One builder had the boat set up and planked within 6 weeks of working nights and weekends after work. The boat has two optional sail rigs, a single lugsail of 102 SF and a combination lug with jib at 106 SF. The sloop version or lug version points remarkably well due to the NACA shaped foils on the centerboard and rudder. The sloop will out point the lug, but the lug will be faster off the wind. The hull has a deck which makes her dry and safe. Flotation chambers are integrated into the ends of the boat, accessed by water tight hatches. The mast is birdsmouth-hollow construction making unstepping of the mast easier for extended rows. Being a light boat, she rows effortlessly. The rudder swings up for beaching. Bruce and I did some sailing in total comfort which says a lot about the interior space in this small boat (we are 6'4" and 6'6" respectively) and we would have had not problem with a small child or two aboard for a sail. The KDI is a family boat at heart: build one with your family and sail with your family. Or, get your friends involved. It will be blast.