Friends Forever is a joint effort between Dudley Dix and Philip Harvey. Philip is a very successful catamaran builder who is very hands on and enjoys the work he does. They came together with an idea to develop "a perfect cruising catamaran" which could be built without moulds and easily customized to suit personal preferences. Philip contacted Dudley Dix, a South African yacht designer known for his successful designs in steel and timber and plywood with a penchant towards practicality and functionality. The two then decided on a collaboration and designed the " DH 550 " which ticks a great many boxes achieving comfort, space, strength, light weight, great sailing abilities, easily customized, relative affordability and to top it the result is a strikingly good looking vessel.
Renown builders, JJ Provoyeur and Richard Bertie, took it from there. Between the two, they have built many successful boats in numerous types of materials over the past four decades and both share a passion for doing things as correctly as possible, especially in the sphere of seaworthiness and longevity. JJ has built mainly in timber, more precisely in plywood. His fast cruiser, "Lusty" , a single-hand around the world non-stop. Richard has built and project managed dozens of yachts mainly in composite construction very successfully and is sought out, so much so that since the launch of Friends Forever in May 2016, he has delivered three fast forty sailboats he started from scratch. Both Richard and JJ are accomplished yachtsmen and this is evident in the practical seamanlike way elements are dealt with on board the yachts they build. Friends Forever is an owner build so this aspect is very predominant.
The principal material used in the build is timber, Brazilian Mahogany in structural areas, Western Red Cedar for stringers and framing core areas between skins and Okoume veneer plywood from Joubert Plywood in France, a high quality product with thin veneers ensuring high resistance to elements. Complimenting this there is an extensive use of Fibreglass and epoxy, saturating and laminating and structural types, depending on application. Most joinery is also strengthened with structural epoxy filleting creating a sense of "overkill" in terms of strength but this only gives one an extra security. The finished product is epoxy painted internally and high quality polyurethane over two coats of saturating epoxy externally, result looking like a boat produced in a mould. The yacht has a fair share of custom 316 stainless steel components beautifully built by Salie Jacobs, a master craftsman from South Africa who has 50 years of experience of faultless work behind him. The main windows are custom shaped shatterproof glass 30% tinted set in Sikaflex and doubly waterproofed with an Aluminium "eyelid" also set in Sikaflex around the window edges.