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Old 04-07-2012, 10:54   #1
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Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Hi People,
I have been looking at a multihull designs for a while now waiting for "the one" which ticks all the boxes.
I have looked at the Kendrick Scarabs, I have plans for the Buccaneer 24 and have looked at Simpson catamarans like the Backslash.
I am a single man with two children 7 and 10 and various female friends .
I do not need a speed machine but do wish to utilise this aspect of multihulls.
I am pretty convinced a trimaran is the format I like as the size range i'm looking at suits the tri layout, further I prefer the motion of a tri compared to a cat.
The size range would be a max of 28ft folding not required.
Buying secondhand on the West coast of Australia is simply not an option.
And so we arrive at the Horstman 24, while an older design it is a type that has great appeal due to its accommodations and heavier displacement (load carrying) And is a style that has been neglected, even abandoned by contemporary design.

However there are aspects of this design that could do with some modernisation and it is these aspects that I seek your advice and opinions.

These are the issues as I see them.

I would stretch the existing design to approx 26'. The intention being to include an enclosed head which could be worked in with a daggercase in the main hull rather than the boards in the floats as designed. Would also address rig changes, see below.

Rig, masthead rig needs to go ! I am thinking fractional with self tacking headsail, perhaps even a ballestron for sailing simplicity. What is involved in converting masthead to fractional ?

Floats and overall beam. Most modern designs carry more overall beam and longer floats ?

Hull shapes look to me a bit fine in the ends, the main hull looks like it could use some more volume aft and a flatter run to counter pitching. And perhaps a more rounded bilge overall.
The floats are very fine and quite pointed compared to there modern counterparts and look like they could use an extension aft, and perhaps more rounded bilges.

As you can see I have pretty much redesigned the boat !

There is very little on the net regarding the sailing qualities of these yachts but I have been able to gain the impression that they are solid, seaworthy and track well.

I realise it's a bit like turning a Warram into a Schionning but my question to you all is, what is worth doing and what should be just left as is ?
When I have a more clear idea where I want to go with this I will put it to Ed Horstman.

Here are some links of the boat,

http://www.edhorstmanmultihulldesign...lans/tri24.php
http://www.yachtsnet.co.uk/archives/...tristar-24.htm
A further thought on this was to get a more modern design of say 30' (Farrier/Kendrick) and compress it down to get the displacement and put the Horstman deck/cabin layout over the top.
The various thoughts and opinions on this will be most interesting !
Cheers,
RR
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Old 06-07-2012, 14:22   #2
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Hi RR,
I've been on board a 24 in the UK and the space was amazing.
You'll find a good description of a previous owners impressions on A Sailorís View of the Horstman 24 Trimaran | Small Trimarans.
I have had similar thoughts to yourself about the 24 (which also has a high cabin version) as well as looking at 'modernising' the 36. Both designs are brilliant. So brilliant that I bought the plans for both ! Further research in the meantime revealed the Marples CC35 design that has become my final goal - yep have bought the plans for that too ! For space (and a family) you won't beat the Tristar, but I think for short handed (and I mainly sail alone (while the wife snoozes !)) the Marples or Searunner centre cockpits provide greater benefits.
'The cruising trimaran' exists within so many of the older designs but modern perceptions have focussed on the higher performance aspects of tri's that have taken the costs out of the reach of the common man... if only manufacturers and 'Joe Sailor' would wake up to benefits of tri's !
I think if you're looking for simplicity of build, good performance as well as good accommodation you could also look at the Seaclipper 28. Centre cockpits offer the chance of getting away from the kids !
Let me know if you want more suggestions ....
Adrian
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Old 13-07-2012, 21:00   #3
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Adrian,
Thanks for posting, i was thinking of a centre cockpit like this arrangement on the Cirro. As for Searunners, Marples, there are more modern designs of that type, the Horstman is unique. Pity contemporary designers haven't updated the concept.

Cirrostratus 10 trimaran for short-handed sailing offshore

Used 1985 CHAMBERLIN 10M CIRROSTRATUS Boat For Sale - boatsales.com.au
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Old 17-07-2012, 09:34   #4
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Redreuben, I hope you will appreciate the following. I mean it in complete honesty and with concern for your future. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REDESIGN A POORLY DESIGN BOAT. The Horstmans were an experiment that didn't quite work out. Its contemporaries, the Crosses, Searunners, Kantolas, and others, were so far ahead in seakeeping, performance and capability that the only Horstmans remaining are local and in deteriorating condition.

For your need, and I assume budget, a Piver may give you what you are looking for, unless you can find a reasonably priced Cross or other design. DO NOT TAKE ON A PROJECT BOAT. Life is too short to spend it converting boats into what they are not. Find something you can sail now and share with your family. They would rather do that than grind fiberglass and spend their weekends in the boatyard.
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Old 17-07-2012, 10:49   #5
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

I'm wondering if Roy, who has spent how long? redoing his searunner, has actually sailed on a Tristar.
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Old 17-07-2012, 12:16   #6
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Sorry to appear to biased. Perhaps it's a product of being a boatbuilder from the Seventies. Having known Norm Cross, Jim Brown and, of course, Ed Horstman personally. It's also possible that having done this work for so long, as my primary occupation, working on repairing a minimum of a dozen Horstmans,and having sailed on at least that many over the years in Southern California, I have made some hasty judgements. I knew the Casanovas and respected their adventures, but I would not have wished to perform the same trip in their boat.

I have had a 100 ton license for 25 years, sail and power endorsements, delivered boats up and down the West Coast, and crossed the Pacific on a record setting multihull I say all this merely to qualify that I have my bona fides to make a reasonably rational and informed personal opinion regarding boats I have messed with.

And, in the process of having built my own boat and living aboard, and cruisin for 34 years, I have discovered that things wear out, become obsolete, and that my needs chanve as I age. Though it seems like all I do now is futze around with my projects, I am ever hopeful these projects will culminate, relatively soon so I can, again, sail over the sunset.

By making a personal opinion, I seek only to offer advice to someone who appeared to solicit an informed opinion. My job is done. Now, someone who has sailed these boats, and repaired them, can offer other observations. Or not.
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Old 17-07-2012, 16:14   #7
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Honestly Roy I've surveyed quite a few multihulls and I've seen fewer Horstmans with rot problems than searunners which because of the trunk and divided layout, great though those features be, tend to interrupt the ventilation. Many old tris wind up run down as their owners age or move on but that isn't a comment on the design. I've seen fewer Tristars, Cross' , Crowthers, Nicols left to rot than Browns or Pivers. The Searunners because of the trunk and stem issues and the Pivers because they really look 60's. I'd rather sail a larger Searunner but those looking for room could do a lot worse than a Tristar. In smaller sizes I'd go for the Tristar. My 23' monohull ULDB easily catches local Searunner 25s while having a 1000lbs payload, My dogs houses have more room than those cabins.
I haven't sailed a Tristar either but I sure would before condeming them. The Casanovas had quite a few miles under the keel of their first boat and then bulit a larger Tristar for the Cape Horn trip, they would have changed designers if the concept wasn't working. Each to their own, having a diverse fleet out there makes things interesting.
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Old 22-08-2012, 21:12   #8
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I'm a newer Horstman owner of Tristar 38 of the glass and foam design. I've owned a couple Pivers and the space difference is unbelievable. I haven't sailed her much yet but am looking forward to seeing what she can do. For the great accommodations the performance I've seen so far is ample for me. But again, I think she'll do better with dagger boards. She has a mini keel but no dagger boards to speak of but trunks in good shape.
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Old 26-08-2012, 10:06   #9
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Just bought a (slightly neglected) Horstman 45 and sailed her from San Diego to La Paz, where our 40' mono is. We will put it in a yard there to fix some things; patch and paint will keep us busy for months.

That said, the trip from SD to La Paz was interesting. My wife loves the spaciousness, and our mono, with a 13' beam, now seems cramped. We also were less tired and bruised after 900+ miles, hand-steered.

The weather was mostly on stbd stern quarter at 10-15 kts, occas. 20, from NW, with 1-2 meter swells from W to NW, and boat did 6-9 kts. When we hit 10, I put in a reef and went to club jib to slow it down. I suspect anyone who calls them slow is a daysailer/racer who is used to pushing hard for a brief period, she's fine for cruising.

After rounding up from Cabo, we hit light & variable and discovered it did poorly, even sailed backwards, without daggerboards. I managed to get one rammed down (both were stuck in UP due to lack of use) but daggerboards are definitely needed to make any progress to windward.

I have read debates on daggerboard trunk vs. CB trunk for beaching and damage potential for both. I would have preferred a CB for beach/shoals, but the space intrusion in the main cabin is a turn-off for many. If it supports the table or other multi-function, and access around it is reasonable, it's not a show-stopper.

My wish-list item is a beachable/kick-up rudder, but I have also been warned about backyard redesigns. I also want to rearrange the lines on deck, as running back and forth from the wheel to the wings makes single-handing in weather very difficult. The solid pilothouse is a poor choice for tropical ventilation, so if you have a soft dodger/bimini it may be wise to keep it.
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Old 26-08-2012, 10:27   #10
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

It has been posted that Ed Horstman does offer designs for kick up rudders for his boats so try there. There are many ways to add them but the engineering has to be right. Other options might be a kick up skeg rudder plan sheet from Marples.
I haven't heard of a daggerboard trunk getting damaged on a Tristar, I think they are supposed to break the board first. It's a big job to put a centerboard trunk in the main hull. for light airs you should try keeping both ama daggers down. Sounds like fun and lots of room.
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Old 26-08-2012, 17:13   #11
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

My 38 Horstman has a kick up rudder. I assume the dagger boards are a must for upwind period. We are building new ones with a better foil shape. I also want to build a couple "stubs" that are flush with the bottom of the AMA while anchored for weeks so there doesn't end up any growth in the trunks and only have the boards in when sailing. Mine was designed with 4' of board down and we are thinking that should be good. I also wanted to do asymmetrical boards so they would create lift as well. However; the flip side of that is that you would have to pull the windward board and visa verse when tacking. Plus it would put tension on the board while trying to pull it. So I don't think it's even possible to get away with. But both boards down should really allow her to keep from slipping. Mine also has a mini keel. I also still have my monohull and am going to have to sell her.
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Old 07-10-2013, 22:16   #12
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Roy M, this is to you...Gotta completely disagree with your post about Horstman trimarans. I have owned 3 of these vessels...mainly because they are simply better than ALL the others. Spent hours in Norm Cross's living room before deciding in 1974 to buy my first TriStar. Never looked back and have been completely satisfied for forty some years. Sailed single-handed across the Pacific in my 41, made many passages up and down the Pacific coast, 3 years in Central America and the Pacific. No other boat would have carried me as safely or comfortably as my TriStar. Strongest, safest, cleanest look, best laid out... no other multihull can come close, when one looks to the important aspects of a true blue water sailboat.
Thom
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Old 07-10-2013, 22:40   #13
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

Redreuben, this is for you. Don't change a thing in a Horstman. Get the size vessel you want. You sound like you want a 27.9' tri. You don't need to widen the boat or raise the deck or move anything. I have had Horstman trimarans since 1984 (3 thus far) and would own no other boat, trimaran, catamaran or monohull. Horstman got it right in all the important ways, including strength, accommodation, position of auxiliary motor, sailability and convenience. Many miles singlehanding offshore have proven to me that I made the correct choice 40 years ago.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:20   #14
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

doc50, this is for you. I'm happy for you. You clearly have different needs than mine and different experiences. Life is too short not to enjoy the differences.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:51   #15
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Re: Modernising a Horstman Trimaran

This English site has a Horstman section. themultihull Forum • Index page

They are well regarded on that side of the Atlantic. Good to promote the diversity Roy, makes for a healthy species. 27-9 s have crossed the Atlantic without problems.
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