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Old 03-12-2012, 05:23   #1546
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

ross-

Surely you must have some input on fighting condensation and mildew?

Roy-

what are the prices like for that material? I need to make soles, countertops, and bunk tops for my boat. Richard Woods recommends using 9mm ply in all these applications which is light at 30 lbs a sheet for okoume, but somewhat flimsy.

cheers,
Jeff
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:04   #1547
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
I agree the CC idea has always seemed a bit strange to me and it seems all the projects done with this method seem take much longer than other construction methods despite the various claims.

I was hoping to get the comments of those cruising in temperate climes with stringers on edge. the Searunner I owned was originally built as a bare hull in 1978 and not launched until 2001 in Christchurch, NZ. Despite the weather there, there seemed to be no problems with moisture along the stringers. Perhaps the boats that have experienced problems were cause by heating the inside of the boat to a much higher temp than outside?

I mainly plan to keep my boat in the tropics and have pretty good glues lines in the stringers. It seems to me most water trapped in the stringers comes from leaks or open hatches and with a little ventilation is not a real problem?

Cheers,
Jeff

Hi Jeff,
Hope your cat project is moving along. Looks great so far...

About condensation: My observations are from 43 years... (spread out between working on boats for a living & my personal projects), as well as 15 years as a no home base / full time cruising liveaboard, on my 3 different multihulls.

This 15 years spent cruising and living aboard, was from the tropics to the upper Chesapeake. I also have observations from the hundreds if not thousands of boats I've worked on, and feedback from friends who lived in my marina. They ALL have the problem! Never heard of a liveaboard in the winter, when its damp out, who didn't, (except one... follows).

In the tropics, it mostly never happens, nor here in the Carolinas during the warmer months. The problem in cool / damp winter areas like NC, is sometimes when its REALLY cold, but often when its just cool out, in a 2 day rain.

Yes, heating the boat can make it worse, but when I went to client's UN-heated boats in the marina, (mostly monohulls)... I would find puddles under the hatches & metal ports, from condensation off of their aluminum frames. It loves to collect on metal that passes through like these frames, and chainplate bolts n such. The various boats I've been on, mostly have the problem, even when un heated.

The Monohulls have an advantage though. With a double walled hull, (counting the pan & liner), as well as "monkey fur" glued to the walls, there is a bit of insulation. Also, hull runs go down to the bilge, behind the liner, unseen, but eventually smelled.

My friends with a 54' Chris White CC Juniper ll design had condensation too, (we stayed on it when it did), but rolled up towels at the hull's edges in the bunk area, would soak it up. The boat's lack of stringers made it easier to build, sand, paint, and wipe down. It also limited the number of moisture traps (X 10), if not the actual volume of water. I suspect, however, that their twice as thick cedar hull, offered more insulation, and WAS a bit less condensation.

There needs to be a source of water vapor, and the right combination of indoor VS outdoor temps. Due to how much moisture we expel each night... the heated parts of the boat you live in are worse, with the bunks & head the #1 offender.

I never said it was constant, just that it is a frequent problem when conditions are right, (like winter for liveaboards). Then, lacking a liner like FRP monohulls, and having upward slanting stringers, it collects here. The lower end of the stringer, at each frame, will have a spoonfull or two, even in the bilge, and if painted, it peels here. There are also mildew issues for the same reason. If it is not a 100% perfectly sealed WEST system boat, this is where the rot starts. (I have examined and/or worked on hundreds of such boats).

I have known of one perfect type of boat regarding this issue. We had our German friends visit us on their custom aluminum hulled monohull, in the early winter. The boat was THOROUGHLY insulated, with every nook & cranny foamed in. It also had double glazed glass ports. The cooking of dinner kept us all toasty warm inside, and the boat seldom EVER got condensation.

Insulation is a huge plus, for those of us with it. On the attached photos below, the several heaters on Delphys could knock off the chill, and get the AIR temp up to 55 degrees F or so, (18 outside), but still... we woke up with the sheets FROZEN SOLID TO THE WALLS, from condensation. This is when we started renting a house!

In a week or so, we will once again pickle the interior of Delphys for the winter. We put out our fancy SS dehumidifier, several turbo blowers, 2 fans, several Golden Rods, and 30 descant cups. This reduces the condensation by 99%, but still... after days of rain, I go wipe up a few puddles. We found this effective living aboard too, but gave up living aboard in such artificially dry air, due to health issues.

The point I made about CC boats was less about the hulls being faster to build, than the "entire boat". (Remember, the hull is only a fraction of a complete boat). If one buys, shares, or borrows an already complete CC mold, even the hull is certainly faster to build, but probably is regardless.

When I was building my super slick SC 28 in SC, my soon to be friends in Tenassee (Don & Tamar), built this pictured Chris White CC 54. IT was 35' wide! They were husband and wife, (only), where as I was only one builder, but they built a 54' er in almost half the time as my 28! Their WEST system / LP painted boat was the most incredible workmanship imaginable!!! Carissa was a drop dead gorgeous work of art, that even surpassed my little ego trip. Like I said, Carissa was faster to build! Even with a free standing rig, she seldom sailed at less than 10 knots. (Waterline length trumps hull shape and rig efficiency too)...

Mostly it is about a simpler overall structure, NOT the hulls. To compare to Carissa... Imagine a 54' X 35' Searunner. It has 5X the surface area, = more building material, epoxy, glass, and paint. Twice the weight too. It has 2X the separated cabins, stringers and frames all over the place too. The 54' SR also has many times more cubbys, wing lockers, hatches & ports... more hardware, more winches, more sails, more rigging, more stantions, more of EVERYTHING... The 54' SR is also a MUCH bigger boat inside, so to truly compare a SR to a CC design, you are talking about a longer CC boat to be =.

This is why I have described John Marple's CC boats as a "Searunner on a longer WL". The layout is very similar, but our SR 34 would be the same amount of interior accommodations of John's 37'ers or so. THIS length would be apples to apples. The longer CC boat would be the same or less weight, faster, as well as ultimately safer & more seaworthy, (except from falling off of)... The CC boat would have a simpler structure, (Even the winged over versions I prefer). The engine, rudder/skeg, rig & sails, etc... are simpler, or require less maintenance. The entire interior is less busy, and has fewer of everything to maintain. The structure has fewer hatches, ports, etc.

The CC boats have no stringers to speak of, far fewer frames, and are "simplified from stem to stern". That 37' CC boat I describe, would have partial wings, and a cockpit hardtop to dodger, almost forming a pilot house. It would be faster to build, faster to sail, cost about the same to build, be a small fraction of the lifetime maintenance, and have several times the re-sale value of my beloved SR 34.

Don't get me wrong, I love Searunners, ESPECIALLY my 34'er... but I have worked on enough of them, (and other older ply on stringer designs), to know about and be honest about, their shortcomings. Without doing this, our life decisions are based on illusions.

My boat is perfect in many ways, but when I'm painting, polishing, cleaning, wiping, and re-building... I wish I had a SR like CC boat, on a longer WL. They are less maintenance over decades, and certainly faster to build in the circumstances that I described.

M.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:28   #1548
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
ross-

Surely you must have some input on fighting condensation and mildew?

Roy-

what are the prices like for that material? I need to make soles, countertops, and bunk tops for my boat. Richard Woods recommends using 9mm ply in all these applications which is light at 30 lbs a sheet for okoume, but somewhat flimsy.

cheers,
Jeff


Jeff,
For saving a bit of weight, I made my engine box, 35# hard dodger's frame, and ALL interior flat panels out of Kledgacell foam or Verticell cardboard core composites.

I'm talking floors, cubby lids, etc... I made 5 or 6, 4X8' @ 3/4" thick sheets, vacuumed out on a PERFECTLY flat table. I laid out a VERY thin wood veneer, then foam or Verticell, followed by another layer of Okoume veneer, then sucked them down.

These finished panels required NO stringers... and came out as strong and stiff as 3/4 ply, but at @ far less weight than the 3/8" ply with stringers, that the plans called for.

M.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:50   #1549
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Thanks, Rossad, but it's not going to be available for many years (I hope). Bob Dixon, one of the best multihull builders in the world, and one of my oldest friends (along with Jeff Allen, who introduced me to Searunners), turned me on to this stuff. I purchased it at FiberLay, in San Diego. I am considering this stuff for my galley cabinet facings and other work, faced with plastic laminate. Since my boat is getting a complete overhaul, I'm trying to use materials that, had they been available in the 70's, I would have used them then. At least mine was the first West System Searunner 40. That decision, made during the first Middle East Oil Crisis, was very costly, and prescient. The quality of my boat, today, is because of the advice of Jeff Allen, then. I'm of the mind that this same decision making, though expensive, will lead to a vessel that will be performing well for many decades to come. My next exterior project, rebuilding the float hatches, will use this stuff. I'll make a compound curve in the now-flat hatch cover to reduce weight and make them stronger than they already are. After thirty-five years, though, the underside is beginning to show some checking, from the Douglas Fir plywood we had available then. I may even replace all my wet locker hatches with it, as well. But that's down the road. I need to finish some stuff first, and do a haulout in the coming months.

Hi Roy,
Yep, Jeff is the real deal!

On your hatches, you could combine your flat panels with what you have..

During our big re-fit on '03, my hatches ALL needed repair. All 6 had opened up on the corners from flexing when held up by their spring holders, or from being walked on with un-even dog pressure. They were a tad underbuilt.

After removing a slot of wood from the corner combing joints, I filled and carbon fibered the hell out of them! Then I took some scraps from my old composite flat panels, and glued a center piece under the hatches, and added a couple of very small stringers.

Now they are just slightly heavier, and REALLY REALLY stiff. 10 years later, and the problem has never returned!

M.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:40   #1550
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Jeff:

1/2" hexcell Canacore 4 x 8 sheet, $125.40, weight, about 8 pounds (really)
1/2" Airex rigid foam, 4 x 8 feet $130.37
1/4" Canacore, 4 x 8 feet $74.16, weight, about 4 pounds

So far, given the existing weight of my original floorboards and their truss supports, I will be saving about 300 pounds. I was pretty impressed when I started pulling the old ones out and weighing them on the yacht club anglers weigh-in scale. My floorboards lift out from hullside to hullside in four sections, allowing total access to the bilge. It's where I stored my SCUBA tanks, Zodiac, etc. It's really useful to be able to use the halyard to single handedly pull heavy gear out of the bilge. Especially, now that my battery bank of L-16s are down there.

They also have spools of graphite tape, 2" x 50 yds (I think) for $60.

I purchased a yard of the 4' wide graphite cloth for my test panels, the two floorboards I'm playing with. I can't find the receipt, though.

All of this is leading to an eventual boarding ladder, dive platform that will be supported by Spectra or Dux cable, from the starboard float stern to the sterncastle wing deck. Light weight, high strength, and high utility, besides looking very cool, able to be raised and folded flat and secure as a gate across the starboard quarter between the stern pulpit and the float stantion. I'm still modeling it to figure the joints I'll need.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:36   #1551
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

CC-Longer, slower, more expensive to build, keep and cruise do to tax and increased moorage costs. Slower to build for most people with increased exposure to epoxy......Marples must be handing out commissions , just a few of the reasons this method never took off.....people don't have to defend things that work out well, they sell themselves....Oops there go the commissions.....
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:07   #1552
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Let's not be negative about any of this. The CC designs are sort of a niche within a niche.

On a side note, I read Piver's crossing the Pacific book last month. They sailed/ cruised from San Fran to NZ with no dinghy! Gotta keep them light.

The Nimble 30 featured in the book that they did a photo shoot with for the book is currently for sale on Trademe.co.nz
Ply boats seem to survive the harsh UV and high humidity of NZ just fine for some reason????
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Old 03-12-2012, 13:52   #1553
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Sttringers certainly aren't negative. The engineering is well proven which is why so many airplanes have them. CC probably does have a place if you can find a use where the shape isn't a penalty but I don't think it is amateur construction. Not disclosed is the learning curve in making panels where many people have lost significant amounts of materials due to the epoxy kicking off before the vacuum bagging can start. Panels with voids can create rot traps, very weak with no stringers to back them up. I've worked on many boats too and have found few stringer problems despite sales lines about condensation. With decent ventilation if you do get a drip it evaporates.
Cared for those ply boats do just as well in the PNW.
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Old 03-12-2012, 16:12   #1554
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Maren,
Got any photos of your SC 20 project??? I love that boat, looks like a blast!

M.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:13   #1555
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

How about you Roy??? More photos?

Your stem to stern "Searunner 40 upgrades and renovation" is clearly on the cutting edge of innovation... GREAT ideas!

I've found that in achieving "eventual" success in my innovations... The acquiring of light weight but strong materials, along with the thinking, drawing, & the planning process, (often followed by repeated trial and error), is 95% of the overall work! This is the ONLY reason I have posted so many photos and given such detail, (to be of help to those so inclined to follow suite).

You have so many good ideas... How about taking sequential photos as you are doing an upgrade, and then, upon completion and trying it out, post the results and construction details. This would save those of us so inclined a HUGE amount of the agony that's involved in coming up with "a better mouse trap". Like... Tried out that foam composite CB yet?

Thoughtful, detailed posting, with photos, is a lot of work, I know. This is what I've tried to do, and it is exhausting... Thing is, it is such a shame for these incremental leaps forward in one off trimaran development to be lost to time.

My personal take on the Searunner/trimaran thread is this... I couldn't care less about social media chit chat and disagreements. I don't do Face Book, Tweets, etc. I don't even have a text feature on my cell phone.

What IS useful, is what I have described. Whats in YOUR head, Roy, is a gold mine! PASS IT ON. Just like Jeff Allen was your mentor... well, Its your turn now. More about your lifetime of cruising experiences would be useful too, as these experiences help put your conclusions and eventual upgrades into context.

I know that there are others out there too, that are in cutting edge "modern trimaran technology" projects. Please, speak up, & do the same as I suggested to Roy. We, as boatbuilders, don't need to know about "old ways" of doing what we learned and already know from decades ago. We need you ALL to share your NEW materials, techniques, and ideas. Even if it is "not for us" to do the same, seeing the process helps us come up with a version of the idea, that "IS for us".

Come on guys, show us your projects / innovations, how they worked out for you, and how we can achieve the same results that you did.

Just a thought... It is certainly the direction I have tried to move things. Any others?

M.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:25   #1556
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Here is a look at one of the inherent problems in constant camber panel construction.

Too many laminations resulting in large amounts of epoxy use and increased possibilities of voids in the substrate.

Many designers wanting "the best" have gone for cold molded laminations of 3-4 layers. This is great news for people selling veneer and especially happy for the epoxy vendors. It is interesting to note though, that when the Gougeon Brothers built Rogue Wave, the 60' Newick tri, despite being the premier epoxy suppliers they built double diagonal and achieved the strength and durability required for racing and longevity. When it came to the bottom line of cost of production and results they re-engineered Dick's construction notes with their profit and reputation on the line. For those willing to compromise the lines of their boats for the supposed 'convenience" of Constant Camber panels it would be prudent to see if the panels can be made double diagonal.

Any modern wood boat needs epoxy on the inside and exterior surfaces, in a sheet ply boat the coating stops there. A double diagonal form will have one more layer, a 50% increase in surface area and epoxy needed for coating. A large CC boat using veneer instead of ply laminations uses up to 4 layers, a 150% increase in surface area and glue. This also results in a heavier laminate because the epoxy glue lines are thicker than what can be achieved by the the ply manufactures. So the expected weight savings of not using stringers are not realized and a hull less suited to carrying loads is burdened with more.

For many professional designers CC design compromises kept them from using the construction method. Perhaps the most notable example is Chris White who developed his trademark Atlantic catamaran series to use other construction methods so he could design the hulls he needed. By then Juniper had already showed him the problems of CC. So if you want to build a CC boat look into ply double diagonal panel construction instead of veneers with the mold. Or consider just building a round hulled double diagonal boat without the disadvantages of CC design and risks of panel construction. You'll be able to use patterns for the bulkheads and save countless hours scribing and transferring the bulkhead lines by hand.






'
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:47   #1557
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Thanks for the kind words, Mark. Sorry, though. For the time being, I'm trying to focus on gainful employment, and trying to get my current projects to some degree of completion. I seem to do best when I'm juggling several, seemingly unconnected, tasks. I think, though, the truth is that I love the chaos and the creativity that seems associated with it. My big picture, for the moment, is to concentrate on the overhaul of the interior. I've largely completed the electrical upgrades (complete rewiring of all circuits, installation of the new house battery bank system, and inverter charger), and the total repaint of the aft cabin interior. In the meantime, I did the prep work for the stuff that comes next: preliminary fabrication of the refrigerator, the new floorboards to cover the freshly painted bilges and future reefer. I've converted the Force 10 stove into a hot-rod version, with the eye-level oven and counter height range (only possible on a multihull that sits out over the underwing to drain possible propane leaks). And, still waiting in the wings, the expensive haulout that will allow me to remove the old centerboard and replace it with the new one. My biggest problem is cash flow. I'm hopeful this will improve in the coming year. If the rainbow ends on my aft deck, I'll be able to move into the final stages of the complete overhaul: watermaker, new water tanks and all new plumbing, the mast overhaul and repaint, and the long-awaited hard dodger (Mark, of all people, understands the issues here).

The coolest part of all of this? The journey has been as wonderful as the anticipation of the completion. I've enjoyed my cruising, sailing, living aboard, and the overhaul. The fantasies associated with eventual cruising with my modifications have been rewarding. The last couple years of a terrible economy have had their effects, but haven't stopped moving toward the goal, only affected the rate of progress. And, in the meantime, technology has gone forward, allowing me to play with new ideas, materials and to reflect on earlier decisions. I'm happy. I'll be happier when I sail over the horizon.
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Old 04-12-2012, 14:42   #1558
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John marples needs to step in here and give this thread a reality check on constant camber.

I think what you say mark is right... Well done and you have brought alot of possitive to this thread.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:07   #1559
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Roy,
Wow... Sounds like you are one busy guy! I too have life's financial realities to blame for the fact that we're not out sailing right now. Its been an expensive year... First we had 10 weeks in the boat yard, and then we had to replace the MOST expensive item on the boat, (The cockpit bimini & enclosure canvass). Ca ching! If we get 17 years out of the new canvass, like last time, it will be worth it! Then Mariam's car crapped out, and we decided it was time to finally get a really high MPG Honda Fit. Today I finish up the building of a carport to protect it. So, it looked like we were getting ahead financially, but are now back to ground "0". Its all good though. Having a blast! These projects keep life interesting, and the mind sharp.

Next Spring, the remainder of the wing decks on Delphys get paint, and the ongoing interior paint job resumes. As you know... its like painting the inside of a piano! Then. lifeline & rigging replacement is next... It is times like this that I wish for less stringers/frames & decks to paint, less rigging, etc.

When ever you have the time, your posts about your projects are always appreciated. With you being a master craftsman/shipwright, and systems specialist, your innovations are usually on the cutting edge, and we can all learn from them. As the person who has lived on a Searunner longer than anyone else in the World, you are in a unique position to know what holds up and what does not. Your posts are always read with interest!



Rossad,
Thanks... I'm sure that John, as well as the other designers using CC, would have no interest in arguing the obvious. Its a no-brainer... I was neither condemning nor promoting one over the other. Both have their strong and weak points... (True of most everything in life)...

The point I made, as I am currently mired in their consequences, is that having a complex/highly developed, "perfect boat", with a place for everything and everything in its place, comes at a cost!

Whatever the hull construction, the fewer parts the better, regarding the building and maintaining of the structure, over decades. (CC was just an example). In particular, a boat with fewer angles, chines, and sharp radii, that is equipped with fewer deck hatches with lids, as well as less spreaders/rigging, stantions, less wing deck to paint, fewer cubbys below, less rudder/skeg metal under water, etc, etc... Is inherently less maintenance, if measured over decades. (Once again, CC was just an example, but a simple bead & cove strip plank design also applies).

Ply on frame construction has some real advantages too, but that is a different subject...

Which ever construction method achieves a less complicated overall structure, and eliminates as many frames and stringers as possible, will be less maintenance, all other things being equal... A simplified rig and layout as well, will be even less hassle.

Only when its boatyard time, like this past summer, or condensation time, like now, or interior painting time, like next Spring, do I lament the busy-ness & complexity of our Searunner. When we are out cruising, I don't paint at all, and we are usually in the tropics, so, (other than wiping mildew), the frames & stringers galore, are not a problem at all. When out cruising, that complex structure & rig, the twin cabin layout, the huge solid wing decks, the numerous deck hatches, etc, ALL make a Searunner the unique boat that it is... One of the best designs ever, in my book. Like I said, having a place for everything, and everything in its place, comes at a high maintenance price, but when at sea, its pretty damned nice!!! I wouldn't trade Delphys!

Your comments, Rossad, are always welcome & positive. Thanks... Chime in often, and send some cruising photos when you can. It is great to see these boats getting SAILED!

M.
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Old 05-12-2012, 19:57   #1560
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Well thought i better post some pics and at least show something over my Searunner 37. Of which i reckon is the magical length for offshore and maintenance for these vessels but hey that is just my opinion.
I do have solved the issues for me here on condensation but i would say it would be far worse in other climates. I use a Webasto Heater system that vents both the stern castle and forcastle.The unit is out in one of the arma's so its quiet and very efficient to run. Actually my problem becomes things get too dry including me. In where the bunks are i use a marine carpet glued on all the ply inside creating a softer feel and no condensation. It works well really. As far as other places pooling of moisture on stringers etc it is very little cause possible the climate here is forgiving maybe. The Temperature is very constant here at Auckland.
.... though just today we had a short storm that hit Auckland killing 3 with severe winds so really maybe its not that forgiving. It is excellent sailing here but you need to be aware somewhat winds easily getting to 40 50 knots.
these pics are when i got the boat stuck on the road and trips away. refueling. just the basic kind of stuff that we all know so well.
What i like about the Searunner is they are cheap and they work. Once you get them working that is. I believe the maintenance can be high but i cant say it has been for me as i have only had her 7 years.
Maybe it will be just around the corner.
I am very much looking forward to this new Website next year with the new owners list etc.
It is always a pleasure to look at this thread and read about Searunner owners and ideas. Over the course what several years now this thread has had many who have posted which is what its all about i hope they are still reading and can get back involved somewhat.
Go the Searunner family and too all others thinking about buying one and travel ..... if you can get one in good order .... DONT HESITATE they are a genius concept ideally suited for families. AND very well priced.
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