When Jibetech opened its doors in 1989, there were several Snipe builders in the US. More than two decades later, Jibetech continues building boats for sailors both in the US and overseas. Here’s a look at the company’s history of Snipe building.
Andrew Pimental started Jibetech to build one design boats and parts and quickly found a home in the Snipe class. With help from national champion Ed Adams, Andrew built a modern hull shape that attracted attention in the parking lot and was noticeably quick to jump onto a plane.
The all-new Jibetech sported sleek low-windage rails, deep floors, custom stripes, and not one splinter of teak. In 1990 the new design made its Nationals debut in Annapolis. Results quickly followed: 1st at the 1991 Nationals. 2nd at the 1992 Nationals. 1st AND 2nd in 1993, as well as a win at that year’s North Americans. Orders trickled, then streamed in. A new era in the sixty year old class had arrived.
By 1998, the Jibetech molds had produced almost forty boats for fleets around the world and were in need of replacement. After consulting with crews tired of the “firehose reach,” skippers looking for something a bit easier to steer downwind, and naval architect Paul Cronin, Andrew built a new set of molds with wider chines, a fuller bow, and (the most obvious change) a rail that ran the entire length of the boat. Not only did crews stay drier but the boats were much easier to pick up and load on a trailer. Again, orders followed results. And in 2004, Andrew finally won the Nationals himself.
Top finishes, distinctive colors, innovations in rigging, and a carbon fiber splash rail make the more than 130 Jibetechs built to date easy to spot at regattas around the world. Over the years, they have gained a reputation as a crew-friendly and family-friendly design that will keep us all sailing Snipes for a long time to come.
For JIBETECH’s twentieth anniversary, the molds have once again been upgraded. The 2009 model is maximum width at the chines, resulting in better control and improved speed. As with previous models, the results and orders are sure to follow. Here’s to Andrew and another twenty great years of Jibetech Snipes.