A trimaran daysailer foraging boomers

Designing a daysailer for aging boomers

There’s a case to be made for a design of a trimaran that fits the nice market for aging sailors. Boomers are after all the original instigators of the sailboat boom and the love of sailing hasn’t gone away but age puts a limit on agility and physical strength. With the exception of a few old salts, sailors our age like to go out for a few hours when the weather is nice and be back in time for cocktails or other leisure activities, without spending a couple of hours rigging up and rigging down for every outing.

Personally, I want all the good things from daysailers like the Ensign, Alerion, small O’days etc. but without the hull speed limits, the tippy-ness and weight of a monohull. 

A trimaran in the 20 to 25 foot range, with a very simple rig that can be completely handled from the cockpit would do nicely. I won’t be looking for a performance-first boat, I’ve had plenty of that and I mostly want the joy of quiet and effortless sailing in semi-protected waters. That said, I don’t want a ‘dog’, so I’ll expect an excellent hull fineness ratio plus good Bruce and RPI numbers but still a safe craft. Of course, that points to lightweight and more expensive construction but I’ve found that using high tech composites selectively doesn’t affect total vessel price by more than a few percent. While my other half says to just buy a Corsair or Dragonfly, I think that there is a case to be made for a new design, as even those beautiful trimarans have way too many strings to pull and are trying too hard to be pocket cruisers/club racers, which also makes them much more expensive. There are several other small tri’s out there, but none have the simplicity nor the low enough price tag that I am looking for.

So here are my ‘specs’ or wish list.

- A flared main hull with high enough bow and topsides to avoid getting doused by small waves or boat wakes plus a deep and roomy cockpit with comfortable seating for 4 and no mid-way obstructing beams or travelers to try to get over. No cruising accommodation, just a minimal cuddy cabin or other arrangement for stowage of essentials.

- Swing or folding arms with firm tramps when deployed, with a handrail on the back beam to get easily on/off the craft- Full amas to enhance stability and flat sailing.

- An open transom would be nice, and swing-up rudder(s?) and centerboard are a must.

- An unstayed wing mast, preferably gimballed or otherwise easy to lower/dis-assemble, placed as far forward as feasible to create extra cockpit space and make the mainsail the primary driving force. An under-foredeck tabernacle would be ideal, and with a carbon wing mast the weight could be kept down sufficiently to make raising/lowering the mast safe and fast. I already made a mock-up of a tabernacle system that is handled by the primary winch and would weigh less than fifty pounds.

- A fully battened square top main on a mast track with cars, with a Dutchman or similar system for easy hoisting/lowering the sail. Plus a self-tacking roller furler jib, cut high enough not to impede visibility.

- Boomless main sail to save the old noggins from an incidental and potentially disastrous whack, with a Heneman sheeting arrangement instead of a traveler.

From reaching out to trimaran designers, builders and other people in the know, I have a great feedback that we could incorporate quickly in a full spec. If we can get a design done over the winter, we can pick a builder next spring and be on the water just in time for COVID to be over!

Looking forward to expert feedback!

 

hobiedd97

New member
49
17
Virginia
"An unstayed wing mast, preferably gimballed or otherwise easy to lower/dis-assemble, placed as far forward as feasible to create extra cockpit space and make the mainsail the primary driving force. An under-foredeck tabernacle would be ideal, and with a carbon wing mast the weight could be kept down sufficiently to make raising/lowering the mast safe and fast."

I've owned a large number of small trimarans. I see the free-standing mast as a huge obstacle. Hobie and Windrider have done it with 200 to 300 lb boats, and less than 100 sq. ft. of sail. A 20 footer with a cat/ketch rig could meet most of your design parameters. B and B Yacht Design in North Carolina specializes in cat/ketch rigs, and they've designed some trimarans, but I'm not aware of any work they've done combining the two.

 

hobiedd97

New member
49
17
Virginia
You may want to look at the Sea Pearl 21 Trimaran and see how that meets or doesn't meet your needs.

In my opinion, the parameters that you've laid out so far will lead to a heavy boat, and the sail area that can be supported by a freestanding mast on a smaller, relatively heavy boat will not lead to satisfactory performance.

 

MultiThom

Super Anarchist
1,638
339
Benicia, CA
Designing a daysailer for aging boomers

There’s a case to be made for a design of a trimaran that fits the nice market for aging sailors. Boomers are after all the original instigators of the sailboat boom and the love of sailing hasn’t gone away but age puts a limit on agility and physical strength. With the exception of a few old salts, sailors our age like to go out for a few hours when the weather is nice and be back in time for cocktails or other leisure activities, without spending a couple of hours rigging up and rigging down for every outing.

Personally, I want all the good things from daysailers like the Ensign, Alerion, small O’days etc. but without the hull speed limits, the tippy-ness and weight of a monohull. 

A trimaran in the 20 to 25 foot range, with a very simple rig that can be completely handled from the cockpit would do nicely. I won’t be looking for a performance-first boat, I’ve had plenty of that and I mostly want the joy of quiet and effortless sailing in semi-protected waters. That said, I don’t want a ‘dog’, so I’ll expect an excellent hull fineness ratio plus good Bruce and RPI numbers but still a safe craft. Of course, that points to lightweight and more expensive construction but I’ve found that using high tech composites selectively doesn’t affect total vessel price by more than a few percent. While my other half says to just buy a Corsair or Dragonfly, I think that there is a case to be made for a new design, as even those beautiful trimarans have way too many strings to pull and are trying too hard to be pocket cruisers/club racers, which also makes them much more expensive. There are several other small tri’s out there, but none have the simplicity nor the low enough price tag that I am looking for.

So here are my ‘specs’ or wish list.

- A flared main hull with high enough bow and topsides to avoid getting doused by small waves or boat wakes plus a deep and roomy cockpit with comfortable seating for 4 and no mid-way obstructing beams or travelers to try to get over. No cruising accommodation, just a minimal cuddy cabin or other arrangement for stowage of essentials.

- Swing or folding arms with firm tramps when deployed, with a handrail on the back beam to get easily on/off the craft- Full amas to enhance stability and flat sailing.

- An open transom would be nice, and swing-up rudder(s?) and centerboard are a must.

- An unstayed wing mast, preferably gimballed or otherwise easy to lower/dis-assemble, placed as far forward as feasible to create extra cockpit space and make the mainsail the primary driving force. An under-foredeck tabernacle would be ideal, and with a carbon wing mast the weight could be kept down sufficiently to make raising/lowering the mast safe and fast. I already made a mock-up of a tabernacle system that is handled by the primary winch and would weigh less than fifty pounds.

- A fully battened square top main on a mast track with cars, with a Dutchman or similar system for easy hoisting/lowering the sail. Plus a self-tacking roller furler jib, cut high enough not to impede visibility.

- Boomless main sail to save the old noggins from an incidental and potentially disastrous whack, with a Heneman sheeting arrangement instead of a traveler.

From reaching out to trimaran designers, builders and other people in the know, I have a great feedback that we could incorporate quickly in a full spec. If we can get a design done over the winter, we can pick a builder next spring and be on the water just in time for COVID to be over!

Looking forward to expert feedback!
My boat (searail 19) checks most of the boxes.  And I bought it for the same reasons-being a baby boomer ,,, :the love of sailing hasn’t gone away but age puts a limit on agility and physical strength. With the exception of a few old salts, sailors our age like to go out for a few hours when the weather is nice and be back in time for cocktails or other leisure activities, without spending a couple of hours rigging up and rigging down for every outing."  That being said, it does take a couple hours rigging and unrigging (lots of things have to be done in order to be safe); so I just sail 2 or 3 days in a row and leave set up in the local marina.  The 2:1 main halyard means you don't need the cars.  The boomless mainsail means the traveler is way aft so you have a good sized cockpit (and you can't kill someone with a bad gybe).   Roller furling self tacking jib means upwind is as effortless as downwind. You might find it easier to get Mundt's L7, though, since searails are harder to find than hens teeth.



If money is not a concern, the Pulse 600 is similar to the searail but, being made by corsair, is pretty expensive for what you get.  

 
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craigiri

Super Anarchist
8,434
142
Sarasota - W. MA.
If this topic wasn't posted today I wouldn't expose myself to this.......

But that dang Windrider 17 - I was imagining picking up a used one and starting by cutting away a lot of the plastic extra weight - and, of course, no way I'd want to sit in the hatches...and then change the controls (some have done this, but maybe it can be done better)......

I'm not THAT GOOD of a mechanic, but I am very handy. I think someone with some genius could convert of those things to a Boomer Tri. Quite a difference between 5K and that next step up!

You already get so much plastic and metal for the money (used) - I have to wonder if anyone ever really took the carving knife to one of these things.

Short of that, I do like that Astus 16.5 but no USA sales or support - that could fit some of the aging boomer market....which I think has to have a price point. After all, any true aging boomer wants

two houses in many cases

Some Nice rides

Ability to travel overseas and elsewhere without years of savings

Whatever the other 1/2 wants

And perhaps a couple boats - in addition to various club memberships (tennis, golf, whatever).

Have I missed anything? College for the grand kids is a given...

I let my 750 go for 25K or so - so until the used Pulses get old enough (or desperate enough) to hit the low 20's I don't think the aging boomers will snap 'em up.

This aging boomer has sailed Getaways and Waves in 20kt gust conditions where the rental place (Hobie sound, miami?) looked at me funny....and was never near a capsize. Maybe it's not a long way from flying the hull 2 feet to a capsize?

I have to admit I am in that position to a degree. I have considered a small mono (I mean real small - like club boats - 15" or smaller), but I don't want to capsize boats, I know I can keep a mono with a stub keel standing in most any weather (my Precision 18 in tough conditions in RI)....but I cannot say I feel the same about centerboard boats. Even stub keel means weight = harder to get sailing (not kept in water) and less beaching.

That leaves the decision tree in various places including getting any or all of the above and making sure of the conditions I sail in. 

 
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MultiThom

Super Anarchist
1,638
339
Benicia, CA
But that dang Windrider 17 - I was imagining picking up a used one and starting by cutting away a lot of the plastic extra weight - and, of course, no way I'd want to sit in the hatches...and then change the controls (some have done this, but maybe it can be done better)......

I'm not THAT GOOD of a mechanic, but I am very handy. I think someone with some genius could convert of those things to a Boomer Tri. Quite a difference between 5K and that next step up!
Those are some of the big flaws in the WR17.  The biggest one, though, is it is a poor boat to weather.  It points poorly....no, that gives it too much credit, it is a horrible boat to windward.  If all you do is reach reach; yah, fun ride, but if you want to go upwind, pack a lunch and dinner and hope to get there before sunset.  Here's a video of a WR17--look at the tack angles.  




 

Groucho Marx

Anarchist
842
217
auckland, nz
Frog 7.2 metres (squared) fits the criteria?

frogfronton.jpg

frgmotions5.jpg

froglines.jpg

 
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Thanks for all the feedback. Sorry, I didn't mean to go dark and non-responsive but we had a bit of a Nor'easter here and power and internet were out till just now. This is great info and a lot of good insight. I cracked up a bit when I saw "newbie" under my SA handle... I've been building and racing multihulls since the 1980s but I had turned away from sailing to chase the mighty dollar in wind and aerospace industries. Now that I am officially retired and I find myself with the big seven-O in the rear view mirror I am still suffering from a severe case of  boatitis - the incurable disease of needing boats as a focal point in my life.

Going to San Francisco to see the SAILGP cats fly around the Bay at close to 50 knots was a bad idea in hindsight: despite the fact that I am in the midst of building my last-ever boat, a 38 foot carbon fiber power trimaran, I decided there and then that I needed a sailboat again. We did the spectator thing, watching the races and sailing around the Bay on my son’s 30 footer for a few days. This was my first time back on a monohull in 25 years and I did not enjoy crawling around on a heeling boat with too little space to accommodate four people comfortably and getting stuck at a top speed of about 7 knots with the lee rail in the water. Consequently, I spent the winter browsing any and all boat selling sites for a suitable and reasonably priced small tri, to no avail. What caught my eye however was a beautiful Ranger 22 in ready to go condition with a trailer and a full set of sails for no real money. No trimaran but I had myself a little daysailer.

My other half went on it once and after a short outing she was covered with bruises and declared she wouldn’t set foot on it again. So off I went for single-handed sailing, thinking it would be easy. It was not! I guess my age and the layout of the deck hardware conspired to reducing my sailing trips to long beam reaches, as every maneuver illustrated that this was not a boat to single-hand for an old guy. Nimble and fun as she is, there are too many strings to pull and they’re not well positioned. Going to the foredeck is a hazardous passage: too much tight standing rigging to get around plus a cambered narrow deck and low lifelines; not risk free for my less nimble septuagenarian body! My sailing area is Casco Bay and we get pretty good sea breezes most afternoons, and when the tide runs against the wind it gets choppy, making single handed sail handling a bit tricky. Plus getting her out of the water onto the trailer and taking the mast down a couple of times during the season because of heavy weather was a half day affair for two people. So the Ranger will be looking for a new owner next spring and I’m on the quest again for my ideal daysailer.

So now you'll hopefully see why I want all the things in the spec above. Many of the trimarans have a lot of what I'm looking for but none of them have it all. I am aware of most of the designs mentioned in the feedback but having sailed none of them, I am grateful for your input.  Keep it coming, and thanks!

 

hobiedd97

New member
49
17
Virginia
Another home built that could meet your needs is the Woods Strike 18. The looks don't appeal to everyone, but I've heard positive reports. One's for sale on eBay right now.

 
Good luck in your search.   Suggest you go to http://smalltrimarans.com/blog/ where there are a plethora of small tris discussed, some production, some home built.  I think you are looking for a unicorn unless you want to build it yourself.
Thanks MultiThom, I've been in touch with Joe at smalltrimarans, lots of useful info but no Unicorns. I'm afraid you're right about it being one. I was aware of this when I decided to post on SA, but I'm hoping that either someone has the unicorn I am looking for or has a partially built project that they want to unload. I have the knowledge and plenty of carbon fiber and epoxy (and a complete composites fabrication shop) to do such project, I'm just not ready to start from scratch at this point. Even just a completed main hull and a wingmast mold in the 10 meter range would get me way ahead.

 
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