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Old 23-08-2012, 06:04   #16
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Usually a 40' cat will have more room than a 40' tri.
I don't think there is any doubt that at 30 LWL the cat has more space than a tri, so as the boats get larger cats have more room. I like Charles Kanter's thinking about cruising speed. He found that he averaged about 30% faster cruising speeds in his cats than his friends who cruised in monohulls; while that difference seems relatively small it was enough to change their cruising experience for the better as compared to his observations of monohulls. His books leave a lot to be desired when it comes to editing and phrasing, but he has a lot of real world experience and wisdom. He talks a lot about speed vs. comfort.

One very important consideration for me was beam width. Seriously above 24' on the beam means your options for haul out become very limited, at least that is my experience. And when something happens and you need a haul out this can be quite a challenge, personal experience here. I am glad my beam is 23'6" much as I love big Cross tris you have to know up front where your going and what are your resources before you leave so you know yours options if you need them. I assure you this is important. My 2 cents.
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Old 23-08-2012, 07:58   #17
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

We have cruised our Searunner 34 for going on 17 years, with 12 of that as full time (no home base) liveaboards. During this time we visited over 20 countries, hundreds of islands, and covered tens of thousands of miles. It is totally doable on a small tri!

While in general, cats of the same length have far more accommodations at the dock, their storage is often higher in the structure, and there is less storage for light weight but stinky things, which we put in the amas. They're motion is worse too.

Up to the "designer authorized 200 pounds each", we put the 8 HP OB motor, spinnaker, spares kit, spear guns, 4 large fenders, spare line, broken down Fortress anchor, etc. in one side, and in the other... a SCUBA tank, view bucket, wash bucket, garden sprayer shower, 2@ 11' awning poles, dinghy accessories box, 6 empty water jugs, (for ferrying), oars, fishing gear, etc... Most 34' monohulls OR cats, could not carry what we do, except tied on deck!

Like I said... cats have far less storage for this type of light weight but LARGE, stinky, space filling stuff.

For "cruising", the best older design at finding a perfect balance between performance and accommodation, while keeping the safety factor high, with the lowest windage and COG, is the Searunner series. The Searunner 34 in fact, is considered "the best of the best", by many experts in the field, even those who were biased against them.

Chuck Kanter didn't like tris, but the SR 34 was an exception, and it was partly the advice of a competing designer, (Chris White), that prompted us to get into our SR34. project in the first place. Chris referred to the 34 as: "Definitely, the best of the older tris". (This was in a conversation between him and our good friends, that were building one of his boats at the time)...

The advantages of trimarans over cats and monohulls, could fill a book, and has... I recommend Jim Brown's, "A Case For The Cruising Trimaran", which has recently been re-printed. Go to: Outrigmedia.com It is THE definitive book on the subject!

There are extreme designs on either side of this perfect balance. Some have far better performance, at the expense of too much loss of the other two... (seaworthiness & accommodation). Other designs like the Horstman series, put payload up in the wings, and filled the down low storage spaces, with walking areas, thereby raising the COG even more! They also have ridiculous amounts of windage, causing a higher likelyhood of dragging anchor in a gale, capsize, and they have quite poor windward performance. (A friend with a 45' Horstman said that on his way to Trinidad, he always motorsailed to windward in a seaway)...

You can't have it all! Searunners are good for being the most balanced, right in the junction of "accommodation", "seaworthiness", and "performance". Nevertheless, some Kantola and Cross designs are quite good too. The Crosses' keel and deeper draft, makes grounding and haul outs an issue, as the boat doesn't have the Searunner's advantage of a long flat minikeel that the boat can sit on, and when sailing in deep water, the SR has a 7' draft, automatic kick up CB, for both "variable draft" AND superior windward ability.

In Searunners, however, the cost of "a place for everything", a redundantly stayed cutter rig, CB vs keel, hatches, ports, and ventilation galore... Is that you need a good one, and being a more complex structure, it may require more maintenance. They are not tolerant of owner negligence. With modern WEST system construction, however, and if painted with LP paints, and assuming ample glass where needed in construction, (like chines, radii, foils, CB, and CB trunk)... Then the maintenance falls in line with the others.

If one does not have the above, or is averse to regular maintenance, the Cross might be a bit better choice, maintenance wise, as it is a far less complex structure to keep after over decades.

Same can be said of John Marple's wonderful CC series trimarans. They are like Modern, highly simplified Searunners, in concept and layout, but for the same utility, need to be longer, wider boats. They will likely all be WEST system / LP paint, and (being bigger), cost MUCH more to buy and own. Given the budget, they have the Searunner's advantages, but should require less maintenance over decades. You still need a GOOD one!

Given "good construction", it is hard to beat a Searunner, though. If you look at the crossings, circumnavigations, and total sea miles covered, over 40 years... Then look at the lives lost as a result of failures of the boat, then the Searunner comes out as one of the best multihull designs ever... Winged over tris are also nicer to live on.

In looking at one of these older boats, one would be "strongly advised" to DO YOUR HOMEWORK, then hire a competent "ONE OFF custom" multihull surveyer, like John Marples. The track record of the "design" means nothing about build quality. That will vary 100% from boat to boat.

Regarding "production boat" trimarans... None that I know of are suitable for long distance cruising, as they do not strike an equal balance of the big 3 needs. Having said that, only a few production cats or monohulls do either. Most boats are designed to SELL, not SAIL...

Beware of the designs on the extreme ends! "Balance Grasshopper, balance"...

M.
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Old 23-08-2012, 08:25   #18
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

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I think this boat has potential for someone.

1988 Custom Trimaran - Hartsman Tri Star 43 XRC sailboat for sale in Mississippi


I have no interest in the boat. Boats such as these are usually on the West Coast and this is Central Gulf Coast. Should be folks looking for this one.
Think they meant Horstman? It doesn't look like one though.
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Old 23-08-2012, 08:45   #19
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

Mark, why are the 34s considered the best ones? It seems to me that they are just scaled up designs or were there significant changes like in hull shape. This 40' looks alot like your 34. And assuming that it was built correctly wouldn't this be a "good" boat with comparable polars to yours?
BTW You are the Searunner 'man'.
2001 Custom Jim Brown designed Searunner 40 trimaran sailboat for sale in Outside United States
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Old 23-08-2012, 08:55   #20
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

That's a great advertisement for SR and a decent damnation of Horstman. I'm not sure what that means that the weight for storage is up high to accommodate walkways down low. Maybe the 45 is different than the 38? The 38 I have has two doubles on the wings and the forward 1/4 and back 1/4 of each ama is storage. Water tanks are below the sole. You can walk in the ama's which is a benefit for getting access to stuff but to get the roominess the deck is raised above them which creates more windage as mentioned which is a minus (Unless you need to walk out on them). So yes there are tradeoffs and I don't have the world travel experience as others but I wouldn't discount Horstman without talking to someone who has traveled the world in one. They are out there. I certainly don't think they are unsafe, they are more roomy but not as roomy as a Cat, and I wouldn't hesitate to take mine across any body of water. Case for a cruising tri is a great read and Jim Brown is awesome. But because someone wasn't happy with the windward performance of their boat shouldn't be a reason to avoid the series all together. There is also a book called "Beach House" about the process a guy went through to build a 60' Horstman that is a nice read.
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Old 23-08-2012, 09:14   #21
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Think they meant Horstman? It doesn't look like one though.
It is.....Its one of his fast cruise series. They are much sleeker, lfewer bunks. Cross' tris ground out fine on the keel. In fact the deep hull of a SR34 plus the minikeel puts it in the same heeling range when grounding.
A disadvantage of the CC shape is it is not much different than the old Vhulls. The stern sections come out fine increasing pitching and there is a fair amount of wetted surface for the load carrying.
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Old 23-08-2012, 10:32   #22
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Re: 35-40 Liveaboard Tri - Is it Possible ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Mark, why are the 34s considered the best ones? It seems to me that they are just scaled up designs or were there significant changes like in hull shape. This 40' looks alot like your 34. And assuming that it was built correctly wouldn't this be a "good" boat with comparable polars to yours?
BTW You are the Searunner 'man'.
2001 Custom Jim Brown designed Searunner 40 trimaran sailboat for sale in Outside United States
Back in the day... Brown designed the 25, 31, 37, and 40, then about 1,500 plans went out, boats were built, and a BUNCH of us ol hippies went cruising. About 10 years later, he had partnered with John Marples, and they co-designed the 34, with feedback from hundreds of cruisers, and their hundreds of thousands of cumulative sea miles.

DIFFERENCES IN THE 34?

The 34 has less wing, (seen from above). They are more swept back, AND have a large vent hole in them. This has the advantages of both the open deck type tri, and winged over tris. (Nice under foot, room to walk around, and FAR less windage & pounding).

There is also much better wing clearance, also for less pounding. Our AB RIB can go right through the tunnel! And, unlike ALL of the others, the wing voids are TOTALLY sealed, creating numerous flotation chambers, which totally change where she'd float in ANY form of a ship wreck. It lowers maintenance too.

The hulls were made deeper, and narrower, for a finer WL, and payload almost = to the 37.

The mini keel was made much smaller, so that the increased hull depth didn't increase the "board up" draft.

The Skeg was made larger. Linkage simpler & more reliable.

The sterncastle leans out rather than in, creating more head room. (The 37 is longer, but 34 is wider at head level).

Other Searunner weakesses in the CB/trunk and minikeel were designed out, so there are far fewer problems, decades down the road.

The front cabin ports were made smaller, as the sleeping area calls for, (for less light), and they stopped using "lockstrip channel", in lieu of the more seaworthy "nuts n bolts" ports. (My 7 plus ports, the hatches and hard dodger, done this way, have taken giant waves breaking over the boat, and 17 years later I've never gotten a leak. Not a drop. No rot either...

The scantlings are the same as the 40'er as well, making this BY FAR the stoutest of the Searunner hulls.

ALSO, due to the timing, these were almost ALL built in the WEST system, and have LP paints. This increased build time and costs by perhaps 50%, but (by sealing out water "vapor"), create a stronger, lighter structure, and over decades, lower maintenance, and its associated costs, by 1000%! On a boat with the surface area of a 60' monohull, this can't be overstated.

On OUR 34, we updated even further with changes suggested by John Marples, over the phone.

Things like keeping it rigged as a cutter, but raising the mast to that of the 37. Also, sailing mostly as a roller furling sloop, then over 30 knots of wind, striking the lapper headsail, and then sailing as a staysail "sloop". We go to windward this way, with winds in the 40s! AS SEEN BELOW!

John also suggested a simplified central engine location, that gives me total access.

The subtle changes go on and on. For our boat, John was instrumental in some of these, but the total cockpit enclosure that we can heat & cool at the dock, (as 1 cabin), and we can use going to windward in a gale, were mine.

I designed it before the rig changes, as it was easier to raise winches to accommodate the enclosure, than the other way around.

NOW... about a comparison to the 40. IF you are talking apples to apples, about a WEST system/LP paint, equally WELL built 40' Searunner. It is about money then. IF I could afford the EXTRA purchase cost, maintenance costs, equipping costs, refurbishing costs, dockage and hauling costs, clearing in the Bahamas costs, etc. And IF I was younger, I'd MUCH rather have a 40!

Unlike the 37, the 40 is TWICE the size of our 34, not just 10%! It is like a palace. Also, being SO much bigger, it is faster, more stable, has twice the payload, and would have far less motion. It would make a great "round the world boat"! This is especially true if you could hire some of the maintenance done, something I have never done, not even cleaning the bottom.

For me, "on my budget", and after building dozens of small boats, 3 cruising boats, and two houses, I'm too damned tired for building another, or owning a larger boat. For others, the 40'er is indeed a palace by comparison, less refined proportions and all!

I have lived my hippy dippy life on a shoestring, so our SR34 is just right for us. The "smallest boat" that will actually fill your needs, is the right size boat, in my book.

M.
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