Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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Most smaller trimarans are going to have outboard engines. This is primarily due to the limited interior space that most of them have, since most of the smaller ones are folding sport trimaran designs that have very little space in the interior for an internal engine. Also, since many of the designs are made to be beachable, having an internal engine would be a bad idea... since the prop would be very easily damaged beaching the boat.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to having an outboard instead of an inboard engine.
The main advantages include: increased interior room; some what reduced complexity and maintenance of the systems in many ways; the ability to remove the outboard for servicing; ease of repairing or replacing the engine; often better steering and maneuvering under power, since the OB can be steered to help turn the boat.
The main disadvantages include: no ability to run accessories off the engine--like air conditioning, water heater, RO watermakers; reduced charging capabilities as most outboards have a fairly small alternator; gasoline as a fuel since diesel outboards are very rare and very heavy; engine is exposed to elements and weather; poorer heavy weather performance, unless the mounting system is very well designed.
I hope this helps. If you're looking for a show that has a selection of trimarans, you're best bet is the Annapolis Boat Show in October, since Performance Cruising, makers of the Gemini Catamaran and Telstar Trimaran host Multi-hull Demo Days in conjunction with the show. Multi-hull Demo Days allows you a chance to sail on various multihulls, and Corsair, Telstar, and Quorning Dragonflies are usually available among the trimarans.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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