I asked Mark Dicks information about the IOM Viper, fifth in the 2010 European Championships in Martin Roberts hands and he sent me the following:
” The Viper is a new Mark Dicks design, a simple vice free boat with no extreme features like flare or chines.
The plug was built by John Milne in Scotland in exchange for a set of hull mouldings.
The first prototype was made to our standard built quality, around 200 Gms of internal ballast was fitted to bring it up to weight and Mark Dicks sailed it to start with. Martin Roberts wished to try it and decided to sail it in the 2009 nationals when he placed 3rd.this encouraged us to make another boat, this time to our premium build standard, finished in grey to keep the paint weight down to a min.
The first prototype was sold and I also built a premium build boat for Mark Dicks in the standard Dicks colours of red with black foils.
Martin came second in both of the 2010 Castle Semple ranking races and placed 8th in the 2010 nats with the grey boat which was then sold to a customer if France.
In racing conditions particularly at West Kirby Martin found the grey colour was not as visible as he would like so I have built another boat for him in a dark orange colour to use in the forthcoming Euros, this is another premium build boat with around 400 Gms of internal ballast.
The Viper uses the same foil set and ballast as the Lintel and Widget, all the radio equipment and the sheeting loop are accommodated in the after deck which is the same layout as the Lintel deck, we find this allows maximum access to the equipment and any drum winch can be fitted and changed with ease.
The Viper project continues the precedent we have set with the Lintel and Widget of supplying simple, affordable boats devoid of expensive, complex gadgetry that are focussed on best performance for serious racing skippers who aim to win.
“I have been receiving some enquiries about the boat that Martin Roberts has been campaigning for the last year or two.
“The boat has been quite successful and the time has come to start moulding a production version.
“Dave creed (who has exclusive production rights for the design as a result of the development effort put in) is remoulding it with rounded deck edges to reduce windage and weight and to improve structural integrity along with some changes to the radio gear layout in the after deck all aimed at simplifying build and user friendliness.
“The new moulds will be built from the same plug so apart from the top 15 mm of the hull you can be sure the hull shape is the same as Martins boats.
“Dave has agreed that it is best if I handle all enquiries for now so he can get on with the work, at the moment we can`t quote delivery dates and exact price but if you wish to have a boat and are qualified to sail at the forthcoming Worlds your order will be prioritised
“The boat will only be available initially in Daves premium build level and rigged by Martin to ensure the performance package is the same as the prototypes.”
Is a beautiful boat.