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Old 24-07-2011, 04:33   #1
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Thinking Multihull

Silly question! If this topic belongs in another thread its ok to move it. I kind of desire the views of both people who sail mono and multi- if you sail both thats even better. First, a little background. I turned sixty and am fully retired (except for social security if it exists in 5 years). I have sailed mono hulls my whole life and really know nothing about multi's. I have been sailing my Island Packet 35 for the last ten years out of Everett, WA. Sold the IP and seek to live my dream of sailing both the PNW and the eastern sea board (especially the Florida keys and Bahama's).. I have no desire of selling my home and becoming a live aboard. My desire is to sail Florida during the winter months and perhaps explore other parts of the eastern sea board during the summer- if I do not decide to sail the San Juan Islands. I would be sailing about 6 months a year- perhaps longer! I am living my retirement dream! At present I have decided against owning two boats and decided to find one I can transport via a trailor. My dilema is the boat must meet at least TWO requirements.. 1) it must have a beem less then Nine feet. 2) Needs to have a shallow keel for sailing the Florida keys and beyound. Now, I will throw a third requirement- it must have some comfort for the wife. I know comfort is a relative- lets just say, a usable head, a comfortable sleeping area and a workable galley is a must! I looked at the macgreggor and hunter line- nice boats, I am just not comfortable sailing a water balast boat. The Dana which is being built here in WA state (a very nice boat) is to small for me (wife and two small dogs). The only other boat I have found that would meet all my needs is a 25 foot boat made by Com Pac. Wife says its like a small IP and gravitates to the IP 27 (a boat I like as well). The problem is the IP 27 and 29 have a beem that exceeds nine feet. Grr.. Most other boats would be old fixer uppers (no desire) or they would not be easily trailored cross country. I found a solution- a multi. The brand name is Corsair. It actually folds and can be trailored- (go figure). I am considering this option- there are two models- a 24 and 28 and think there is something in between. I am thinking the 24 will not meet the comfort requirement. The 28 seems it would meet my wife's comfort level which is to say I will be happy! A problem I am finding is there seems to be many versions of this 28 and thinking there might be some in between. Now, that corsair seems to meet ALL Three requirements.. Some questions!

- can it be sailed from its cockpit without having to hang over its side? I am not into racing and have no desire to do so. The idea of sailing at 20 knots sounds exciting until I have to be the one to do the work.

- During a nice blow (say 35) while making a leg to the Bahamas- will these boats capsize? Please remember I have never sailed one and am used to sailing an IP. I observed in a video that these boats seem to keep two hulls in the water- thinking that explains greater water line and speed. I really would like to know if its normal for one hull to come out of the water? How far is considered normal?

- Is it a big transition to go from a mono to multi hull. I actually find it hard to believe I am asking this question. I understand the sail characteristics and differences between the two- I just never sailed one and wonder how much work is involved. Realize.... I do Not need to reach speeds of 20. I am beginning to think speeds of 10 would be a huge step up for us .. I am a healthy sixty year old- just not a rubber bendable 20 or heck- even a 40 year old!

- I am really concerned about a boat that folds and wonder is such a boat one thats reliable. I have no real way to explain my trepidation other then I am entering unchartered waters.

I see so many advantages to this corsair 28- I can trailor it, It has a shallow draft, the extra speed(not wanting to hit 20 plus) is a plus, the extra deck space at anchor will be a hoot and I can think of more. The price can not be beat for a new boat!
Another question, when one hull comes out of the water- would this be felt by my wife inside the boat. It sounds silly- its just that it seems there is always two hulls in the water.

I would like feedback from sailors who know this boat and do not want to get into a mono verses multi debate. I usually side with the mono. It just seems that I may have found a solution to my problem which means I can expect other problems- lol..

I have not seen these boats in this area (pugent sound) and the nearest dealer I can find is located in San Diego CA. Curious, if anyone up in this area has one please send me a private message. I would pay to take a sail and actually see one of these boats in person.
Thanks All!
Mike
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Old 24-07-2011, 06:39   #2
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Re: Thinking Multi Hull

Mike,
The Corsair boats designed by Ian Farrier are difficult to beat. The problem is that Ian left Corsair over design and construction policy several years ago and Corsair production has moved to Viet Nam. The 31 has standing headroom and a towing weight of around 7000lbs. Draft of the 31 is 1 1/2 to 5 1/2 ft. Even without Farrier's input the Corsair line is good except the 36. The folding system is great, can fold on the water by one person in less than 5min with only a single wrench. Boat speed reaching is 110% of wind speed up to about 20 - 22 knts which is where I chicken out. The down side is weight carrying ability, on the 31 it's about 1500lbs. About mono vs multi, the Corsairs have the power to turn over so reefing is critical. The 31 is 5400 lbs and carries over 700sq ft of working sails. I also sail a 21ft mono and transition between the 2 regularly. Accommodations are adequate but minimal. I have the aft cockpit model but the center cockpit UC (Ultimate cruiser) model may be worth a look. See yachtworld. Dave
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Old 24-07-2011, 07:14   #3
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Re: Thinking Multi Hull

Afternoon topfish,

Farrier trimarans! Now you're talking my language.

I have sadly just sold my F9. (homebuilt version of the F31).

It seems that the F27 or an F82 will be the boat for you.
To answer your questions, firstly you sail the boat from the cockpit. Some trips to the mast may be needed but you have one huge advantage here. The boat does not heel. That is absolutely fantastic and a big safety factor. The risk of falling over the side is diminished. Also the risk of falling on deck and hurting yourself.

The folding mechanism is absolutely bulletproof and works. Nothing more I can say there.

Trailing it is not too bad. Stepping the mast needs some care, but Farrier has perfected that as well. I could raise my F9 mast by myself. For you, the F27/f82 seems right. The mast on the bigger boats are very heavy to move around on deck. The hoisting is the easy bit.

The sail is very dry, unless you try to really crank it upwind in a blow. I seldomly wore foulweather gear. The speed is a great bonus as you just about half you exposure out there on passage. Even in cruising mode, you will sail around at 10 kts with absolutely no effort. You will get spoilt by the speed. It is lovely to cruise fast. And you do not tire out. Cooking on a level stove.............need I say more?

Capsize, yes, it can happen. But you sail a small multi in another frame of mind. Farrier says you must approach it like a light aircraft. You must lose your gung-ho approach and sail with a sense of responsibility. And you will still sail fast! Just reef early. The sail systems are so easy on them. Single handing and docking is easy. A bit of practice and you're good to go.

Load carrying. Well, it is said you don't get a trimaran for it's loadcarrying, just like you dont buy a Porche for it's boot space. It is okay. But you will have to cut back on some of those useless "must haves" people tell you to take. But the sailing is so much fun, you won't miss it.

Mine we sailed in a 1800 mile trans Atlantic race, no sweat. And loaded a stack of gear, provisions, liferaft etc.

Spend some time on Farrier's website. www.f-boat.com He explains all very well. You'll spot my boat there too.
Also go the the owners forum on Yahoo. There are lots of folk with the same questions and answers there.

Have fun,
Regards,
Banjo.
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Old 24-07-2011, 07:24   #4
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Re: Thinking Multi Hull

Hi topfish,
Me again. You ask about your wife in the cabin and a float lifting clear. 99% of the time the weather float is clear of the water, unless you are sailing dead downwind or broareaching. It is no problem. The ride actually becomes smoother once the float lifts clear. The beauty is that down below you can sleep on either side of the cabin without the need for leecloths, even going up wind. Even the loo is better if you're sailing upright. We are talking about classy sailing here!

My boat is now gone, and honestly, no other small boat will ever be good enough to take its place.
Just the mere thought of sailing heeled over is bad enough. Cruising at speed becomes an addiction.

I hope you manage to score a sail and find out for yourself.

Banjo.
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Old 24-07-2011, 07:52   #5
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Re: Thinking Multi Hull

I've owned two 26-foot boats, both of which I took the Bahamas. One was a Westerly Centaur monohull, the other was a Telstar Trimaran.

The bilge keels gave the Westerly a reasonable draft of 3'. It thought it well suited for the Bahamas, but it's a bit heavy to be trailering around.

The Trimaran was easier to trailer, (but did have more windage issues) but I did not feel it was up to Bahamas conditions. I simply could not make any headway into even 3 foot seas due to under deck slamming. I also had a lot of leaking in rough conditions through the centerboard trunk. It was great in light air, but I feel I need something that can handle moderate conditions as well, so sold it.

I have not sailed the Corsair or F-boats, but have been on them. I personally would not choose a boat with that little space for Bahamas cruising. Weight carrying ability is also another big problem with trimarans. The Telstar is supposedly more of a cruiser than the corsairs, but I felt overloaded. I think it's just plain hard to carry the needed water, provisions, parts, etc. and not overload a 26-foot tri.

I've been on some of the smaller, heavier displacement cruisers such as the folkboats. While trailerable, they are not as easy to launch and retrieve as trailer-sailors, have limited storage room and most don't have standing headroom. I have seen a few people make it over to the Abacos in Macgregor and Hunter water ballast boats. One thing to be aware of with any trailerable outboard boat is that getting insurance for the Bahamas may be difficult.

Another thing to consider is the cost of a tow vehicle, trailer, gas, and storage and car and trailer storage costs and compare those to the costs of just storing a bigger boat.

After having tried two trailerable boats, I've concluded it's better for me to just buy a slightly bigger, more suitable boat, not be tied to a trailering restrictions and just store it in Florida or the Bahamas.
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Old 24-07-2011, 08:53   #6
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Re: Thinking Multi Hull

Topfish,

I had an F-28CC before my present boat. I don't think you'd be happy with the space restrictions on anything less than the Corsair 31. The boats are great and sailing them is a delight. The whole trailering 'thing' appears so attractive to a lot of people. I found it very unsatisfactory. Yes, it was relatively easy... but, you must have a commensurate tow vehicle for starters. Presumably, you're assuming a 9' beam is the max you can trailer, but professional boat haulers can easily do more. You'd likely spend less money using them than setting up your own towing package (And, making the cross country trip)

The reality is that (for me) the trade-offs for trailering vs moorage or professional transport was not a good trade. I'm pretty sure you won't trailer cross country too many times tho exceptions can be found. The ability to go and use your boat without having to launch, rig and setup each time will allow you to use your 'investment' much more regularly. Trailering will likely reduce the number of times you use your boat each year. Facing a morning of rigging, getting in the launch ramp line, parking, loading etc, etc will result in many days where you won't find it 'worth it' unless you're just planning to do this on 'big trips'. There won't be many (any?) daysails in your future.

Often, what can be done is not an indicator of what will be done and this is very true in the whole trailering world. Let go of that requirement and the boat options will expand enormously.
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Old 24-07-2011, 09:28   #7
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Re: Thinking Multi Hull

Too bad Cat2Fold sold. It was exactly what you were looking for. I'm not sure your budget but the Contour 50 tris can be dismantled and shipped by one semi which is actually pretty amazing. More money certainly but also more everything. A lot of the tris are trailerable so check out Dragonfly and the smaller Contour as well. I've seen knockapart homebuilts also. BOB
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Old 24-07-2011, 10:09   #8
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Re: Thinking Multihull

Having owned 3 Dragonfly trimarans (920, 1000, 1200) in the last 9 years I agree with the previous posters with regard to what they wrote about the Corsair/F-boats. In addition to the advice about reefing early, I would add that in a multihull you need to reef for the gusts and when running downwind you need to reef enough to allow for the sudden increase in apparent wind if the boat accidentally rounds-up or stuffs its bows into the back of a wave.

Since you mentioned you plan to cruise 6 months per year, I don't think you'll find any of them roomy enough (for a couple) unless you go to a 33 Dragonfly 1000 or 37/36 foot Farrier/Corsair tri -- which are not easily trailered. Anything less is more like "boat camping". Only the Dragonfly 28 is truly trailerable. The other Dragonfly models would require a day of assembly/disassembly at each end with assistance from a light-duty hoist to hold the floats while they are attached/detached. You will find the Farrier/Corsair boats to be more spartan, whereas the Dragonflies have more more fully finished interiors.

Neither the Dragonflies nor the Farrier/Corsair boats will slam or suffer the kind of water intrusion mentioned above about Telstar. Any of them are suitable for the Bahamas or coastal US sailing, assuming you use judgment about weather-windows and sail trim.
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Old 25-07-2011, 15:37   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Thinking Multihull

First, I really want to express my gratitude for the great feedback. Thank you to all! I want to ask banjo- what is a F82? I can not find one listed at Corsiar and am thinking it might be the F28? I have been living on that website provided by you and think the F27 is no longer in production- it seems that nearly 500 of them were built and sold. So I am thinking they must be very popular and also have a proven record. Another poster stated I would not be happy with anything less then a F31. Believe it has to do with head room. A very good point and one I over looked. My wife at only 5 feet tall never considers head room. I did review the on line brochure of the 31 and it does look like a comfortable platform. I am leaning towards the center cockpit version believing it would afford greater accomadations. I am curious if someone can tell me if there is significan difference regarding standing head room on the 28 vrs 31. ?? Thank You!

Banjo, thank you for that website . I am just having a great time reading up on this boat. I saved myself another silly question reading that website. That would be- can a person raise the folding mechanism in water prior to entering the marina. That seems like a big plus!

Nautical62, thank you for your input. I am also open to the idea of storing a boat in Florida. I really want to be able to take the boat up north (say the chesepeak or New England) for the summer. That is why I was concerned about the 9 foot beam. I have not looked into a professional transport service and will do so. My plan is to sail Florida in the winter- take my boat up North or back to Wa state for the summer. I would use my home for boat storage approximately 4 to 6 months. This would also afford me the time to work on my boat. I still may use a professional transport service anyway. I just do not like the idea of leaving a boat in storage out of state!

SailFastTri, Thank you for mentioning the other boat models. I will take the time mand look into the Dragonfly trimarans.
Thank You to All...
Mike
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Old 25-07-2011, 16:14   #10
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Re: Thinking Multihull

A trimaran is a lot smaller than an equal length monohull in accommodations. You need to think bigger if you want to cruise in comfort.

You really need to see the boats in-person, go aboard and sit a while. Just imagine it's been raining for 3 days and your weather gear">foul weather gear is wet, everything else is at least damp, and it's just the two of you and your laptops and books, and you can't stand full-upright nor charge the house bank because the outboard only puts out 6 amps and there's not enough sun for the solar panels to work. If you sit down in the head compartment your knees touch the opposite bulkhead. You have limited tankage, no hot water except what you can heat on a stove or in the sun, and no indoor shower unless you go larger.

Also, if you're going to cruise as a couple for 6 months at a time I think you should give up the "trailerable" requirement, whether monohull or multihull, and think in terms of an inboard engine with a real alternator, a serious house bank and a real head compartment.

This is just my humble opinion, but I bought my first trimaran (30ft Dragonfly 920) for a day sailor, but we cruised with it for vacations. My kids grew and I went to the 1000 (33ft) but it was still too small (it would be OK for a couple without kids or guests). So I bought the (39ft) 1200 which is a world of difference. Different strokes and your mileage may vary and all that.
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Old 25-07-2011, 19:06   #11
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Re: Thinking Multihull

Mike,
Remember I mentioned Ian Farrier left Corsair Marine. Corsair boats are C-28 or so forth and Farrier boats since the split are F-82 and so forth. The F82 is 8.2 meters. The older F-31's or C-31's are really minimal for any extended cruising and even then it's mostly camping. Search for Farrier Marine and check out Ian's site. Dave
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Old 26-07-2011, 13:55   #12
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Re: Thinking Multihull

Good evening Topfish,

You're asking about folding the boat while afloat, before entering a marina.
Yes, you can, easily, and that is how they are designed to function. You launch and retrieve the boat while folded. Once clear of the trailer, you plop the beams down and the boat opens up. It is a case of leaning back and pulling on the raised beam. It plonks down and a retaining bolt is lightly tightened. The reverse when folding. Undo the bolt and lift the end of the beam. On the F9, it is a bit of a pull to do the first float's fold. The second float is easier.
The folding up and instantly making the boat narrower is very handy in tight marinas if you need to fit through a tight opening. It is also very handy sometimes to fold just one side up. The boat is stable folded up and you can motor around like that. Beware of cross winds though.
In short, the folding system is pure genius and is very strong. There is absolutely not a squeak comming out of it while sailing hard.

Some folk have commented about the fact that cruising these boats is "camping".
We sailed (raced) our boat trans ocean 1800 miles and lived very comfortably. We were two onboard and definately did not camp.
We were stocked up for ten days with lots of food and about 80 litres of drinking liquids, 50 litres of fuel, liferaft, tons of other safty gear, books and two hefty 105 amp batteries and two 45 watt solar pannels. So the boats can take a bit of weight, but don't kill them.
Standing headroom? It is okay. I am 1.8 meters tall and can stand in most part of the F9 cabin. The F82 shouldn't be too bad.

You commented on the F27. I've never been on one, but the folk who have them, love them. The F82 replaced the F27.

But very important, you don't get a small tri if you are after having every mod con onboard. These are sailors' boats. Leave all the stuff behind and go expresso!
You must try and get to sail one soon. You cannot get a sweeter ride. You will be hooked.

Regards,
Banjo.
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Old 26-07-2011, 14:48   #13
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Re: Thinking Multihull

Hi Topfish, I concur with most of the comments here, a Farrier or Corsair may be excellent choices for you. When in Florida you will learn that there is No reason to be caught in 35 kts going to the Bahamas. Its only a four (yes Four ) hour sail in one of these quicker boats. No one with any experience would think of leaving unless he had the weather window. Never ever think of leaving if there is any North in the wind, the Gulf Stream will slap you silly. Its waay better to just enjoy being where you are than depart in suboptimal conditions.
Now to the guy who said "imagine it has been raining for three days and everything is dripping" We are talking FL. here its much much more likely that it will Not rain for two weeks than rain for two days.
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Old 26-12-2015, 19:25   #14
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Re: Thinking Multihull

Very nice thread. Great info and no rants.
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Old 26-12-2015, 21:23   #15
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Re: Thinking Multihull

There are a lot of other options not mentioned, so I'll try & expand the list of candidates for you a bit.
The first part being, than in many states, you can tow something up to 10'ish wide, simply by hanging a Wide Load sign on the back of it. So that's worth your looking into. As it would open up your list of boats which would work, a lot.

Also, I know that someone stated that Cat2Fold has sold, but I'd try contacting them anyway. Via their website, & phone numbers. As well as via Kurt Hughes, the designer of the boat. And of course there will be/are used ones around. As well as your having the option of approaching an owner, or several owners, about buying their boats.
Odds are you can snag one that way, but for a bit of due diligence.

That, & there are other, similar designs. Like one of the "Radical Bay" series, by an Australian designer Radical Bay Catamarans
And heck, if you want to be open minded about things, there are a lot of Wharram designs which would work... with a day or three for setup & takedown at either end of the road journey.

Which leads to some other options as relate to both catamarans & trimarans; boats which are "demountable". Which typically means that their structural connecting beams are attached via a bunch of bolts. And that they take a day or so to set up. But due to this design feature, are fully trailerable.
Kurt Hughes has designed a bunch of them, in a huge variety of sizes. Or, you could go old school, & pick up a 31' Searunner Tri, built in the A-frame configuration. - A boat which has a Lot more living space, & purpose designed cruising features than the F-boats.

Some close friends of mine cruised their 31' Searunner for several years, in Mexico, when they were in their 50's. And only came home in order to put some more $ into their cruising kitty.

And another option, is to look at Sharpies. They offer 80% - 90% of the interior space of a conventionally keeled monohull, ditto on load carrying ability, & yet most are beachable/draw only inches of water when their foils are up. Plus they typically boast good stabilty curves, & sailing performance. With light loads on the rigs & sails.

That, & for some reason, pocket cruisers seem to be missing from this list too. And there are too many of them to name. Most all of them easily towable, having shoal drafts. With a large number of them having circumnavigated.
Ergo, they'll have a LOT more room inside, as well as ability to carry gear & stores.
Here's a place to start, but like I said, there are literally hundreds of designs Atom Voyages - Home I mean, how far did Lynn & Larry Pardey travel on their first boat? And it was NOT large.


PS: I think, that Richard Woods & Derek Shuttleworth (amongst many others) have a plethora of catamaran designs which are demountable, & give very good, to excellent performance. While still allowing you to carry a good cruising payload, & with fairly decent amenities.
And the kicker is (with these "smaller" cats), is that often, you can buy a set of pre-finished hulls, & then add the rest as you see fit: With or without help.
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