Sailors cruising Puget Sound the last few years may have caught a glimpse of Bella Darya, an unusual-looking, 33-foot rigid-inflatable schooner designed and built by George Kurzman of Doriak Designs.
Kurzman’s goal was to create a vessel that combined the safety and performance qualities of a search and rescue boat with the practicality and aesthetics of a custom-made wooden boat. The Washington-based boatbuilder spent eight years designing and building Bella Darya, and the result is an unconventional sailboat that combines traditional wood-epoxy construction techniques and modern air tubes on the topsides.
Kurzman has tested Bella Darya in high winds and rough seas on several occasions, sailing as far as British Columbia on a five-week voyage. He has been impressed with Bella Darya’s handling so far, but still considers the boat a work in progress. With a little tweaking, insists Kurzman, Bella Darya will be ready and seaworthy for some serious offshore cruising.
The boat is powered by a 20-hp inboard diesel and features comfortable accommodations such as a forward cabin with head and V-berth, two pilot berths, and a galley in the aft pilothouse.
With its radical, bulbous topsides, Bella Darya turns a lot of heads and prompts many questions from curious onlookers. Despite all the attention, Kurzman has yet to receive a request to build a sister ship.
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