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Old 08-18-2004
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open ocean SMALL trimaran?

ok, so, I''ve been on a few trimarans (Farrier''s) and well, man. short of a motorcycle I''ve never experienced speed like that.

Now, the economics of boating keeps my boats small. Is there such a thing (can such a thing exist) as a small tri that is still safe in the open ocean?

Right now I''m on my trusty little 19'' mono sloop, and I love having a boat that I don''t have to worry about anything on, and where I can get from the bowsprit to the tiller in about 3 steps, and with dockage, sails, dockage, cost of systems, dockage, and the other costs that go along with a bigger boat, not to mention the greater hassles involved in singlehanding (I avoid motors) I''d realy like to have my cake and eat it too.

I presume it''s a pipe dream, but I''d love for someone to prove me wrong.

Thanks for the help.

-- James
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Old 08-19-2004
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open ocean SMALL trimaran?

It is hard to design a a fast small trimarran that also offers good accomodations and the kind of offshore safety that might be thought of as the boat takes care of the skipper as much as the skipper takes care of the boat. By their very nature, tri''s need to be very lightweight to gain their speed (cat''s do as well) which makes them hard to design as an under 25 footer with any kind of real accomodations and traditional offshore ability.

Back in the late 1970''s I designed a small (23''-6" foot), glass sheathed, tortured plywood trimarran for a friend who rented a carriage house on the lane behind were I was living at the time in Savannah. The tri was designed so that he could build it in his living room and store the finished parts in the hall and dining niche near the kitchen. The length was determined by the longest diagonal that we could get out the large carriage door. (We actually clamped together some 2x4''s and tested swinging various lengths and transom widths out the door.)

If I remeber correctly, I expected that the all up dry weight of Trilogy (which is what I called the design although Ted intended to name the boat ''Moe, Larry, and Curly'' with one name painted on each hull) would be somewhere around a 1000 lbs and that she could carry something like 800 lbs of payload including the two crew. We expected that she would cost somewhere around $1000 dollars in 1978 dollars and was designed to use a Hobie 18 rig (similar to the Newick designed Tremilino)

This was a pretty minimal cruiser. There was a forward and an aft "cabin". Each cabin had a single narrow coffin like canvas berth that was lashed to the frames.

Starting from the bow, there was a watertight space that also was used as a chain locker. Then came the forward berth. Then came a footwell so that you could sit on the bunk facing aft and use the seaswing stove. She had racks below the forward and aft ends of the cockpit that could each take one 5 gallon jerry can and would also would take either a milk crate or else two Rubbermaid boxes each. Some misc gear could be stowed below the bunk as well and was accessed through zippered flaps. There were no matresses on the bunks. There was a 5 foot long cockpit and a hinged centerboard that was in a slot that ran down the center of the cockpit and acted as a cockpit drain. There was a boom tent that made the cockpit a major portion of the living area of the boat. There was a huge trampolene on either side of the cockpit. Getting to the bow or stern would have been a good trick. Aft there was another small cabin with a single narrow berth in it as well. We had planned to use a British Seagull mounted on the aft cross arm for an auxillary.

Working sporatically on weekends and an occasional evening, Ted lofted the boat, built the outer hulls and laminated the cross arms in something like two months. Then he fell in love. He abandoned the project when his girl friend refused to move in unless he got the boat out of the house. I think he gave away the partially completed boat to somebody he knew who in turn sold the parts, and for a couple years, I would occasionally hear from some high school aged kid who wanted to finish the boat some day. (I was all of 28 or so when I designed Trilogy.)

Reminsence aside, I am not sure that I would call her an offshore boat. The greater beam meant that you she was more stable than a Hobie 18 but i figured that the crew would still needed to sit on the windward tramp in any kind of serious breeze to keep her on feet and would need to sail her, rather than set her up and allow her to take care of herself as you might in a monohull of that era.


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Old 08-19-2004
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open ocean SMALL trimaran?


I''ve seen ocasional emails from Farrier himself on the list, constantly going off on the plethora of reasons not to sail in anything more than 1/100000th of a knot of wind, or seas above 1/2 an inch in any of his tri''s short of the 36. I''ve put my mast in the water more times than I''d care to on my little 19'' mono, but I don''t doubt that it would safely carry me anywear I could pack provisions to make it (the boat having been to Hawaii and back before) I understand the delema of the negative absolute righting momentum, but man, those boats are just such a blast to sail.

Thanks agian for your help Jeff.

-- James
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Old 08-21-2004
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open ocean SMALL trimaran?

If you can duck bad weather a small tri is ok in the ocean. The only thing is it will be difficult to carry much gear without overburdening the boat. That will limit it to monohull speeds and lousy performance.
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Old 08-21-2004
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open ocean SMALL trimaran?

I do fine in my monohull 19'' how much less space can a boat with a cabin have?


on second thought, forget I asked that.

-- James
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