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Old 24-08-2013, 09:38   #1
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Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Im a monohuller and usually linger on that side of the board. I had an old buddy notice that i picked up a sailboat and he showed me pictures of his "new to him" trimaran. He has hopes of fixing it up and sailing down the west coast to south america and out to hawaii in it with his whole family, wife and two kids.

I figure id ask the multihullers if hes insane. First of all the boat looks like a hulk, from the pictures it looks like its been stripped and is possibly homemade. The thing actually looks like a monohull that had its keel removed with pontoons added later, but im sure it was given birth as a tri.

Talking with him was difficult, someone somewhere in person or on the internet has turned him into a trimaran zealot. He figured the problem with keelboats is that they sink - he figures his boat is unsinkable. I understand the speed boost of a multihull, thats a well known fact given the lighter weight and lack of ballast below the waterline.

I was trying to suggest to him that doing daysailing races on a calm bay and travelling out into open water unprotected are entirely different things and thay he might chew a bit more slowly and do some coastal cruising first because he could get into serious trouble. Where i sail, not far from where hes sailed, 25+ kt winds are a daily occurrence, ive been in gusts of 50 and it aint pretty. For the record, im no master sailor either, ive only got a year under my belt.

Theres no talking to him about this so regardless of what you say in reply im not going to bother. What scares me the most is he figures his boat is unsinkable and that hed have no problem reducing sail in a storm. But a 28 footer in a storm offshore as far as i know wouldnt be hard to flip in a big swell if a sharp wave hit it off the beam, theres not much weight there to keep it upright. In effect his family terrified inside the cabin would be the main ballast keeping the boat upright.

I know my 26 footer could in the right hands do blue water, ive read accounts of people whove done it but they were very exoerienced.

As far as i know hes never sailed his own boat, other than moving it so he could leave it on the hook to work on it, probably under motor power. Otherwise hes raced in fair winds on other peoples boats.

I think hes going to get himself and his family killed, and if they survive his wife is probably going to disembark at the first port and leave him and his boat behind taking the kids with her. Most especially with him heading out beleiving that the boat is unsinkable. There was a famous boat that was unsinkable...
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:01   #2
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Sounds to me like he should "chew a little more slowly" for sure. Multis DO capsize, you hear about it all the time. You need to be an expert at captn'ing yours, and knowing it's strength and capabilities before taking the family on that trip.
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:40   #3
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

There are a lot of things I could say, but I'll restrain myself to just one.
Suggest to him that he name the vessel "HUBRIS".
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:42   #4
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Thats what im thinking. I would never go out on the water with the overconfidence thinking that my boat could never sink. Knock on wood she wont, shes a solid boat, but the sea can be an unpredictable mistress and i always err on the side of caution and be very careful.

His plan sounds like a recipie for disaster. I was just trying to describe my boat and the whole conversation on his end became a "trimarans are better" sort of thing, it became tiring. Ie. Trimarans dont sink, trimarans dont heel, trimarans go faster, trimarans are more stable, bla bla bla. Then it was the keelboats sink, keelboats are slow, keelboats heel too much, keelboats are unsafe. Eventually i just stopped talking to him about boats.

A friend saw the pictures of his boat and called me laughing his a** off, telling me, man you are doing this right, you buy a boat in good shape and are doing some work on it and setting it up, but man that thing he bought looks like a peice of junk, hes gonna get himself killed. We all grew up together so we know how he is... He made this decision so everyone else is wrong and every other design of boat is unsafe slow peice of crap. Just one of those kind of guys.

Unfortunately he is planning on packing the wife and two under 5 kids along on this mayhem. Its one thing if he flips it and survives holding onto a pontoon for three days until a passing ship grabs him... But the kids would die of either hypothermia or heat stroke.
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:43   #5
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
There are a lot of things I could say, but I'll restrain myself to just one.
Suggest to him that he name the vessel "HUBRIS".

Hahaha. That made me laugh good
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:45   #6
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

I would recommend all sailors to read "The case for the cruising trimaran" by Jim Brown.

A. Trimarans can be good cruising boats if designed to do so and built to the designers spec.

B. Some Trimarans are not so good and dangerous

Hope your friend is okay
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:51   #7
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Just to reaffirm here im not at all of the position that trimarans cannot go offshore or do long cruising. Just that such overconfidence in a hull design is dangerous in and of itself. His boat is also looks like a hulk. Theres standing rigging, i dont know how old, no winches and the interior was gutted at some point. I think someone left this boat for dead and he picked up the hull on the cheap, maybe even free by the looks of her. In calm water one pontoon is a foot out of the water on the hook
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Old 24-08-2013, 11:22   #8
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A lot depends upon the specific boat of course, but Ive done some rough weather near coastal runs on F27s and F31s and it was damn uncomfortable and wet (full offshore gear, water streaming off of us, but not a drop of it rain), sleeping off watch was impossible...at least at 20 knots SOG it didnt last long! We were racing so thats OK, but not my idea of comfortable cruising and certainly not my GFs.
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Old 24-08-2013, 11:39   #9
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Would be interesting (and educational) to see a picture or three of the vessel in question.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:29   #10
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

I dont want to post a pic of his boat here trashing it but ill pm you a pic

Edit: i guess we cant pm pics
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:43   #11
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

FWIW, a fellow did circumnavigate with a 21' homebuilt catamaran:

Rory And Cookie

you might want to read the BUMFUZZLE chronicles, also.


Weirder things have happened....
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:25   #12
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

The problem with multi hulls is weight added to the bare boat. Wth a wife and two kids, there is no way they can keep the weight down. A monohull just sits deeper in the water, the heavier it is. With a Multihull, especially a trimaran with the amas stuffed, the weight becomes a structural issue. These boats just aren't designed to have much weight way out on that long moment arm of an Ama. Know the trimariners we met were religious about the weight of things that went in the amas.

A trimaran's size is deceiving. The center hull is actually quite small with a narrow beam. It's a limited amount of space for living area and to store things. Having those two big amas sitting empty is a major temptation to stuff them full of stuff. It's not that you can't put anything in them, just they have to be kept light which limits the type of goods that can go in them. The smallest trimaran we saw was a Brown 31 with a couple on board. Cramped down below and they had a pretty Spartan lifestyle. The ones closer to 40' were more comfortable but still smaller below than a similar length mono. Cruising with a family on a 27' Tri is just plain idiotic. Well take that back, if they are radical nudists who will take no clothiing, only eat a raw food 1100 calorie diet, drink no more than a quart of water per day per person, don't read, and are content to ditch the engine and sail everywhere, then a tri that small might work.
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:32   #13
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

Quote:
theres not much weight there to keep it upright.
Suggest a revision of the physics of floating, weight does not "keep it upright"
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:55   #14
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Re: Question from a monohuller: 28 ft tri offshore?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Well take that back, if they are radical nudists who will take no clothiing, only eat a raw food 1100 calorie diet, drink no more than a quart of water per day per person, don't read, and are content to ditch the engine and sail everywhere, then a tri that small might work.
As I understand it, most multi-hullers are radical nudists.
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Old 24-08-2013, 20:13   #15
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He is insane.

Smaller multihulls capsize too often in bluewater leading to loss of life. It seems multihulls need to be much bigger to be safe for ocean crossings.

I would not take my family on an ocean crossing on a multihull less than 50'.
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