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Old 10-09-2013, 22:49   #1
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Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

I am also looking at affordable tri's (under 100k). I am looking for something around 40' suitable for blue water cruising. Here are two listings I have found that I would think would be interesting to pick apart for my edification

A 2001 searunner:
2001 Custom Jim Brown designed Searunner 40 trimaran sailboat for sale in Outside United States

1986 Cal Boat Works 44' Kantola
1986 Cal Boat Works 44' Kantola sailboat for sale in Outside United States

Can some of you wise blue water cruisers please look at those ads at reply with some things that would be particularly important to look into which each boat? What are your thoughts on each of them? My basic goal would be to have a speedy, safe blue water cruiser.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:11   #2
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

Bolth look reasonable, have you read Jim Brown's book The Case for the Cruising Trimaran? It might help along with Chris Whites, The Cruising Multihull.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:17   #3
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

This will be a challenge. The Searunner, SERGEANT LEWIS, was built by a guy in British Colombia, and its construction was documented on a web site (Sailing Vessel Sergeant Lewis). The Kantola was built by a company I knew personally, and assuming the name of the boat was changed (as well as then-having a wing mast), it was built by some folks who did exceptional work.

Personally, had I not started on a Searunner, and had I known the special skills required for building the Kantola, I would have chosen the Kantola. It is a superior sailing machine to the Brown 40 in many ways.

The Searunner 40 has a center cockpit with a centerboard. The Kantola has a sealed centerboard trunk in the main cabin (supporting the salon table). The Searunner centerboard is easier to remove and maintain, the Kantola can develop issues with the articulating hardware.

The hull of the Searunner is plank construction, the Kantola is triple diagonal planked, making for a rounded, faster hull. I recall they both have considerable buoyancy for payload. The center cockpit is an acquired taste, the Kantola is more traditional with the cockpit aft (though with a small cabin). Air circulation in the tropics is superior with the Searunner, but the Kantola has a larger cabin interior, due to the main hull construction and shape.

The Kantola may end up with the higher resale value since so few were ever produced, and this one built by a professional yard. Both are excellent cruising machines. I have sailed on both designs and feel they represent the best characteristics of modern cruising trimarans.

This would be a tough choice for anyone. Best you have these boats surveyed by someone who knows the design and what to look for. Send me a PM for some of the details if you get serious. Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:45   #4
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

I thought Sergeant Lewis was made in Oregon....I agree with Roy about the Kantola, it is a sexier boat and most likely faster.. One advantage of double or triple diagonal construction is the strength. For the same plank thickness it is stronger than sheet ply. There is nothing wrong with a Searunner, however. You might actually prefer the layout and should look at them both in person. The Searunner chine ama gives them a more bouncy motion in waves so try them both out underway to compare.
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Old 11-09-2013, 13:55   #5
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

Those boats were posted in April and Feb. of 2012! Are they still for sale? They usually don't delete the ads from SailboatListings.
There are a couple of Condors for sale. They are super fast but don't have the room compared to the others. That's why they ARE fast.
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Old 11-09-2013, 14:06   #6
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

Probably looking more for the pickapart rather than an actual boat.
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Old 11-09-2013, 16:17   #7
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

As far as cruiseabilty, the SeaRunner, if its fancy looks are the thing, then the Kantola Is your choice. It might be a little faster"maybe" But for comfort at sea, and the safety of the center cockpit for the abilty to raise and lower sails without ever needing to leave the cockpit, the room for a family, I think the searunner is the choice I would make. Just my 2 cents
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Old 11-09-2013, 16:25   #8
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pirate Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

Know where there's a 33ft Kraken... if you wanted something smaller... $15K...
Yeah... I know... but someone may be interested..
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Old 11-09-2013, 17:57   #9
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Re: Help me compare affordable tris: 2001 Searunner vs 1986 Kantola

I've been looking at the virtual tour of the SERGEANT LEWIS. It's an interesting boat that wasn't built according to the plans. While the mainstrength bulkhead is exactly in the same place as in the 37, in the original plans it is intended to be one frame aft, creating a large aft cabin aft of the companionway, with the galley and sterncastle immediately aft. I suppose John Marples would be the best person to comment on the engineering aspect of that modification. It makes me wonder what other mods the owner/builder decided to perform. A number of boats were modified without the designer's consultation (including my own) but many didn't turn out as hoped by the builder. It's trick to do if you don't have the design and building background.

The boat also appears to have some pretty beefy (heavy) components that have no structural reason for the weight. For example, the support of the sterncastle table with that massive grid structure, the heavy storage locker doors, and a few other things. Weight creeps up on these boats, and it reduces the performance and payload (how much peanut butter you can carry).

If I'm correct, HAIKU is the product of Bob and Cindy Perkins, originally from Los Angeles, then later moved to Oahu where they ran a boat yard. Excellent builders, they built a 37 foot Searunner, one of the first using epoxy resin in LA. They even crafted an oven to cure the resin more efficiently.

In the interests of full disclosure, my modification involved how the sterncastle and aft wing decks got built. I was working as an ironworker, at the time, to make the money needed for an effort of this magnitude. As a foreman, I had learned a great deal about structural design, and specifically, how extended decks could be built using walls and decks to transfer loads and create additional stiffness. There was a very active Searunner community which shared problems and solutions for all sizes of these boats. The little wing deck running alongside the sterncastle was a problem since it had no support for any vertical loads, other than the thickness of the plywood. Many were reporting cracks at the deck to sterncastle wall joint. Also, in the 40, the design had a "hump" in the crown of the aftermost bulkhead, which held the sterncastle "window", that characteristically neat feature of the Searunners. It was not as graceful as that of the 37 or the smaller boats, because the boat's hull was narrower at that point than the 37. I came up with the idea to construct what is called a "T-beam". By building the wing decks 18" wide, instead of the 10" designed, I could then place a 2X2 stringer on top of the deck, using the outboard side of it as the support for the new sterncastle wall. After the walls were constructed, I placed a temporary column support under the ridge beam of the sterncastle "roof", then jacked it up an inch or so with a hydraulic jack. Two layers of 1/4" ply, with athwartship "ribs" of Gougeon Brothers graphite bands were then epoxied and nailed to the top of the sterncastle walls. After 24 hours of curing, I removed the support column and went for a walk on the wing decks. They were rock solid, transferring my 250 pound bulk loading to the walls, then across the cabintop to the other side's T-beam. It also allowed me to reduce the curve at the top of the sterncastle, and with the added spaces port and starboard, include two oval ports and a slender top port for stained glass panels. Here's a couple shots that show the effect on the space. Note how far the cantilevered decks project from the hullside and the sterncastle.
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