From the TinCan blog:
Well, I had to turn back. The crossbeams that hold the three hulls together are a complicated structure that I have worried about ever since the initial stages of planning and building.
No **** sherlock... ya think???
I wanted a ladder-like design that would have low wind and water resistance and light weight. But the beams also have to be strong enough to resist enormous stresses. What I found after a day at sea was that although the beams themselves, the primary structure, were still intact, the secondary support structures I had added—five vertical compression posts where the beams meet at the main hull—were cracking out. The entire structure was flexing too much in waves, inadequately braced.
It might have something to do with the really dumb x-shape aka design, when almost every trimaran ever built uses parallel crossbeams, so the forces are more evenly distributed over the three hulls and the amas don't have a huge leverage advantage over the main hull as they do in the TinCan's design.
I could still sail the boat back to San Francisco, but in a storm the entire structure would be at risk of failing. In the Southern Ocean, that would mean one of the smaller hulls breaking free, the main hull tipped over into the water by the sails. I would most likely end up in the water and, if I weren’t able to deploy my life raft or get safely back inside the hull, I could easily die from exposure.
Again... he's obviously figured out how dangerous this boat is... and doesn't want to die on it... Given how much sharp metal is on this boat, I doubt that he could safely deploy the life raft without puncturing it.
I had promised my wife and family that I would turn around if things weren’t right. And there was no question that this had to be repaired and the beams significantly reinforced, so after angling more than 120 miles away from land, and 150 miles south, I turned around. The additions to the structure won’t take long—most likely not more than a week or two—but I was already pushing late into the season, leaving much later than I had wanted, and now it’s simply too late for this year. I’ll have to wait until December to set sail again. That will be two months earlier in the season, a significant difference in safety, and I’ll have more time, also, to test and prepare.
I'm wondering what his actual budget for this boat was... Did he manage to stay under his goal of $25,000 and if so, how did he do it?