We spoke to the highly influential Richard Woof about him, his company RMW Marine, and his role in the world of International 14s
In the world of skiffs there are few greater movers and shakers than Richard Woof. It is he who is the brains behind RMW Marine, top International 14 builder in the UK at present as well as being the driving force behind Rob Greenhalgh's yellow all-conquering (well, almost) 18 footer campaign. Aside from this, RMW's bread and butter is obviously building the RS range for LDC. Woof's boatbuilding heritage was drummed into him as a child. His father Don was notable in National 12 circles for breaking the double curvature rule with his Warlock design "which is why National 12s have a smooth skin today, unlike the Merlin which is still clinker," explains Woof. He studied naval architecture at Southampton in the same era as the likes of Ed Dubois and Bill Dixon and subsequently spent around 10 years working in industrial reinforced plastics before setting up RMW Marine. The history of his company is very much bound up with LDC and came about following a case of great minds thinking alike. In 1993 he, with his old chums Phil Morrison and Spud Rowsell were developing a boat called the Gemini. "LDC came along to Phil and Spud with a brief, which barring one point was exactly the same as the boat we were currently building," recounts Woof. "It seemed pointless attacking the market with two boats. "The only difference was that Martin and Nick [of LDC] wanted an asymmetric and we were in two minds as to whether it should have one, so it ended up with an asymmetric. The project got redivided in that Spud and Phil got the design and development royalty, Martin and Nick did the marketing and I did the build…and the rest is history..." The Gemini became the RS400 and was followed two years