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Old 30-04-2016, 11:17   #1
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Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

When I was in my mid-teens, I occasionally sailed the Chesapeake Bay on a 32' Piver Trimaran. (please excuse me if I misuse any nautical terms in this post.)

I loved the serene cruising on this large platform Boat.

The things I remember liking most were:
  • The large deck that gave plenty of space to move around.
  • Likewise, the relatively large cabin with bunks over the akas and the rest of the space available to walk, play cards, sit, eat, chat, etc...
  • The headroom was respectable for me at close to six foot at the time (I have topped out at 6 even).
  • The majestic look of the big yellow bird.
  • There was room to sit on deck in front of the cabin, on the aka decks, dangle over the edge of the amas, and even on the nets between the peaks of the prow(s).
  • Not having to breath in the exhaust fumes as I did in my friends powerboats.
  • Not being on a boat that is heeling as if I was a guest criminal on an episode of 'Batman.'

But that was 40 years ago.

I am now retired and I constantly think about getting a tri to play with, but I have a few questions.

It seems the style/class of trimarans of that period are not very much in favor. Why is this?
  1. Is it because of their relative weight and lack of speed?
  2. Is it simply because they cannot be trailered around the country?
  3. Are they harder to single-hand?
  4. Is it just their age?

Can a new boat be built in that older style (taking advantage of necessary improvements), yet from glass/carbon instead of wood? Would such a boat be much lighter and faster or is it worth the bother?

Can plans for such an old boat still be found? Are they on the net? Are any in the public domain? Would a Naval architect be able to look them over and make safety improvements at a reasonable (few $hundred to a couple $thousand) dollar price?

Can a boat such as this be built with detachable amas and akas in order to make transport possible on a relatively wide load truck (wider than a foldable, but still smaller than a hard wooden tri?

Can an older boat needing a little work/yet still seaworthy be refitted with a detachment system for the amas?

How fast/slow are these older trimarans?

I love the performance of my sports cars as I carve up back roads, however, I remember the sensation of speed on the Priver was more than adequate even though I would have to guess it was not moving that fast (am I miss-remembering that speed sensation?).

Being that I am retired and I have no pressing need to be anywhere by 8AM or 4PM, a slower cruising boat does not seem to me to be missing anything I need. Again, is there something about these old multi-hulls that is woefully inadequate compared to today's designs?

I know that there are pluses and minuses to all designs and types of boats, and I know that there are some who might suggest a cat instead of a tri, but the design of the tri appeals very much to me while cats do nothing to rev my motor - no offense to anyone to does not like tri's.

I have a lot of questions, but I think this is enough for now. Can anyone give perspective on what I am asking/looking for/thinking about?
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:58   #2
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

Nothing wrong with the old Piver tris. They sailed well 40 years ago and, if you can find one in good shape. The are considered "first generation" trimarans and subsequent 'generations' had improvements such as rounded hulls and amas giving more flotation and keels or centerboards on the main hull replacing fins on the amas. They were also often built by people with little or no sailing or boatbuilding experience who took liberties with the plans and shortcuts in construction so it is difficult to find one in good shape today. There are, however, many very good examples of Pivers as well as other, improved designs by Brown, Cross, Newick, Nichols, Horstman and others available on the used market for far less money than a modern catamaran. The 31' Searunners by Jim brown had an option for detachable amas and many are still out there sailing and plans are still available. It is a buyer's market for tris since everyone wants a cat these days. No need to build one unless you have a passion for it.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:43   #3
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blutoptrvl View Post
When I was in my mid-teens, I occasionally sailed the Chesapeake Bay on a 32' Piver Trimaran. (please excuse me if I misuse any nautical terms in this post.)

SNIP
But that was 40 years ago.

SNIP

I have a lot of questions, but I think this is enough for now. Can anyone give perspective on what I am asking/looking for/thinking about?
I helped build and sailed on a couple of Cross designed tris in the 1970s. One was glass over foam core and the other was plywood. Both were fun to sail. There were several other designers of that era and later. But the newer boats are much improved as a general rule. Not just in hull design and material improvements. Sail plans and material are years ahead of what was available in the 1970s or so. Same goes for how lines are laid out for easier single handing. You could probably put clutches and such on an older design but it might not work out as well as it does on a modern design.

If I was gonna build I would go with some flavor of an fboat or maybe a Chris White design. But Ian seems to be the master of folding amas. Unless you luck out it will be hard to find an older design that folds and is in good shape. On the other hand there are lots of well founded fboats for sale and they also tend to keep their resale value well.

Part of the problem lots of folks have starting off is looking at boats for what they think they will do as opposed to what they will really do. Before I bought my cat I looked at several fboats. The broker also showed me the Seawind. It had a lot more room than any of the C31/28/27/24s I looked at. I did see an owner build F39 that had about the same amount of room as the smaller cat. I spent some time with the F39 owner who was an interesting guy. The F39 is much faster than almost all cats, and in general tris are faster than cats all else being equal. But while I have no doubt I could single hand a C31 the F39 guy said he needs a crew of 3/4 when he sails faster than about 15 knots.

I am considering getting a tri I can trailer during hurricane season. Problem is I am torn between something like a Corsair 750 or F24 which is light, easy to single hand and something like a C27/28 which takes longer to put together and take apart, is heavier to trailer but offers a lot more comfort for anything more than a weekend sail.

So you may want to try and figure out what you want out of your boat. Is it a weekend day sailor or will you be doing some coastal cruising, or maybe even some easy water sailing">blue water sailing. Will you be keeping it in the water or on a trailer. A lot of these questions have no right or wrong answer, just help you figure how you will be using the boat.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:34   #4
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, blutoptrvl.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:35   #5
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

Blue Top, welcome to the forum. Most of the old Pivers and Cross tri's rotted away over the years. You can find Jim Brown's Sea Runners that occasionally are still in decent shape. One of Jim's partners, and a good designer, is Marples. He created the next generation with his Constant Camber method. If you go to Yacht World you will see some of his works still for sale. A New Englander named Dick Newick has many outstanding exotic designs that are a feast for any eye that loves design beauty. They are also excellent sailors.

What you will have to decide is do you want a boat that sits in the water and is not transportable or one that can be transported when it comes to Trimarans. They both have huge advantages versus the other. The trailerable trimarans are owned by Ian Farrier's designs called F boats. There are the Corsairs, Ian's designs...but no longer associated with Ian Farrier after a nasty divorce quite some time ago or Farrier's built in Subic Bay by Multihull Direct....they are sexy as hell. You can get F31's for between 70-100K and can be sailed single handed...but you do need some skill as a sailor because they are true speed machines if you don't keep them depowered. A wonderful machine for coastal work and much less intimidating is the F27. You can find these in the 40K range. The wonderful thing about a trailerable boat is you can pull her behind your truck or van to where ever you want to cruise next. Bahamas, Great Lakes, Maine, Sea of Cortez, San Juans....ship her by container to Holland and do the summer thing up there...no lack of imagination or limitations. The short fall of the trailerable tri is you can't load thousands of pounds of stuff and not effect the performance. But you can easily carry 2-3 weeks of food and gear and be fine. They are truly the best coastal boats made. They are also very capable of very skinny water sailing with a draft of less than 2 foot with dagger boards and rudders up. Go on YouTube and watch some videos of Corsairs or Farrier boats in action.

If you go with a larger Searunner, Newick, Marples, or ??? then you have more weight carrying ability but lose sailing range unless you plan to cruise for extended periods of times and are then really a liveaboard type of operation. The cost of this operation is a lot more than the trailerable boats because of the beam of the boat. You are now too wide for marinas unless you can get a coveted end tie...which ain't no joke when it comes to cost. Keeping a boat in the water 365 days a year involves a lot more money with bottom scrubbing, corrosive salt water issues, Diesel engine issues and salt water. With a trailerable boat you use an outboard that is easy to work on and not in the water unless it is being used. Since the boat sits on the trailer when not in use it is no extra charge if parked at home. No cleaning the bottom but a light scrub down and hose off after a couple of weeks vacation where ever. Just a smart and economical way to enjoy the beauty of our oceans.

Go to Multihull Direct and check them out. Go to Corsair in Vietnam and check out their website. There is also a Scandinavia boat that is very luxurious trimaran but are very expensive. Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:45   #6
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

Blue Top,

Since you are educating yourself...two other guys I thought would be well worth your time to look at.

Go to Jim Brown's website. Outrig.org. It is just a kick to go through his videos and full of great stuff. He is pretty old guy now. But a generous and kind man and a delight to watch.

James Woods is a cat designer. But he is an excellent designer and his niche is the demountable cats and small practical catamaran ...ie, not the large luxurious French cat market. his website is ....sailingcatamarans.com

Hope these help you in your search.
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Old 01-05-2016, 19:49   #7
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

RICHARD Woods.

Sailing Catamarans
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Old 01-05-2016, 19:50   #8
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

JAMES Wharram.

James Wharram Designs | Unique sailing catamarans, self-build and professional built boats of distinction..
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:18   #9
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Re: Hello all, TY in advance for welcoming another guy with newbie questions...

Thanks all for the advice. Research continues!
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