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Old 05-01-2014, 09:00   #2596
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Hi guys. In reading back a few pages, I thought I would offer what I can...

ROLLERS:
With AwlGrip LP systems I use those 6" hotdog rollers from Lowes. (Cheaper by the dozen) These work best with the little disposable paint pans that go with them...
I have described my roller/tip painting process previously, but will add that two people are required. One person rolls 5 to 6 sq/ft or so, then tips it with a good badger hair brush. The other person holds the brush, as well as the pan. They also decant paint in very small segments. It would go even faster if the other person tips, but then you need THREE people. You just HAVE to have a paint mixer/holder/decanter, as well as a brush holder/tip solvent wiper...
The hotdog rollers last longer with topcoat than primer, but I usually made it down one entire underwing side on a single roller anyway. If it started to hernia, Mariam got another one, which I had to wet out well to get going again.

Only when rolling nonskid on deck did I work by myself, but one windy day my well protected roller pan, which was 1/3rd full of paint, flew across the deck! What a mess... So, I suggest a helper. WEST System rollers have also worked on my nonskid btw, but I now prefer the small ones.

Yes... this stuff requires different skills to apply, but I got 17 years out of the original paint job (under the wings and in the vent hole). This time I used more primer
(3 coats), switched to grey primer, and applied three topcoats rather than the previous two. It should now never need painting again... Well, at least for 30 years!

BOTTOM PAINTING:
For this, we recently tried those pink "Corona Glasskoters" as an experiment. (3/16 nap with phenolic core). These are also cheaper by the case, do not come apart, and apply a lot of paint, but I will probably not use them again.

For the previous several decades, I used WEST System rollers and applied more of them but thinner/smoother coats, allowing a full day of drying between them. (These rollers have to be changed out as needed, as they WILL come apart in time). This process allows the 4 or 5 layers of paint to really dry, and then you are less likely to have smeared off ama bottom paint, from the travelift's straps. This smearing issue is more true with ablative bottom paints (even a hard ablative like our ABC), than with harder epoxy paints like our old Pettit Trinidad.
That stuff gets really hard, but I just got tired of the shorter 2 year lifespan, and then sanding off the buildup. Even that hard a paint, however, will smear at the straps a bit. Searunners especially, need a harder bottom paint that is also very dry before lifting!
Monohulls don't have this paint smearing issue so much, because they don't have our WIDE boat's severe pinching in forces on the amas. Chineless Trimarans with rounded ama bottoms have an advantage here as well.

BEAR IN MIND:
Given two identical SR 34s, the one with a smooth & clean bottom will usually outrun the one that is 1,000 lbs lighter, but has a rougher or slightly fuzzy/slimy hull bottom. Really... This is why I want a smooth bottom, as well as dive in and wipe off the slime before most every sail.

My old WEST System roller technique always gave me a bottom job that looked like it was sprayed! The results we got with the best low nap rollers, however, smeared more at the strap locations, and the entire hull had to get a light sanding before launch to be smooth. I later dove on the boat and sanded out the deeper strap groves with wet/dry sandpaper.

(I'm hoping this is another 5.5 year bottom job)!

Mark
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:52   #2597
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

AS A PS TO MY PREVIOUS POST ABOUT BOTTOM PAINTING SEARUNNERS:

REMEMBER... Before haulout, always tie up your CB with a webbing loop or something slipped around it's bottom portion. You can attach the webbing's business end to a scrap of 2 X 4 laid across the trunk's aft end. This holds the centerboard up securely without relying on the mechanically disadvantaged CB "up" line, if you have one.

My bottom painting suggestion is this:
When you haul out for a bottom job and get blocked up, you want a laminated (and maybe even slightly padded) doubled up 2 X 12 plank under the keel to spread the load. Make it NO LONGER than the flat part of the keel, so you can paint the keel's bottom as much as possible. (My SR 34's keel plank is 8' long)
Also... Don't seal up the opening in the trunk with too much padding, or rain water will get trapped in there, only to drool out slowly when you are painting near the keel's bottom CB opening.

Do not put the side jackstands under the amas, put them under the wings and preferably @ the main frames. This is so you have total access to the ama bottoms for cleaning/sanding and bottom painting. The boatyard may complain, but explain that unlike monohulls, our boats have NO side forces as they tip, only DOWN forces on the amas and wings. Vertical jackstands are best here, and if they are, no connecting "safety" chain is needed or desired. They are just in the way.

You can put standard (sheet plastic covered & carpet padded) "V" stands under the amas a few days after they're done, just not where the straps bear! Only then remove the wing stands to get them out of the way.

You want to bottom paint the amas, (= the maximum strap bearing areas) first, to allow for the most drying time. You want several weeks minimum if you can! I was in the yard for over six weeks last time to do the bottom, and LP paint under the wings, remove & refurbish nets, etc...

So, you start on the amas first, but counter intuitively, do NOT put your required paint overlaps on the ama's bottom chines. Do the outsides of the ama bottom first, AND the bottom chine, and also roll a few inches up the inside of the hull. THEN immediately roll out the inside holding the roller flat, so that the double thick paint overlap falls just to the inside of the hull, rather than bottom or outside of the hull, where the straps will bear. Now, don't put those jack stands under the amas for at least a week... The wing stands will work just fine.

Next, on to the main hull... After all prep is done, You mask off a line about 4" up from the bottom (in the middle and aft 75% of the hull). Then paint this section of the bottom, transom, keel, up the bottom chine to the tape line, rudder/skeg, and drivetrain if desired. Again, the point is to maximize drying time for the paint that will fall under the straps.

After the bottom & it's chine are done & dry, mask a line 1/2" down from your just applied paint, and paint your several coats down the hulls sides AND bottom in the bow area that was not previously done. In the aft 75% that was previously painted, you will be overlapping this masked paint line by 1/2".

(Using WEST rollers... I apply 3 or 4 thin coats of paint overall, with an extra coat or two on the chines, elbows, transom, keel, rudder/skeg, and drivetrain. You can drop all of that schedule down by 1 coat if you don't want or expect multi year bottom paint life. (personal choice)...

Then you can sand down that double thick 1/2" overlap to smooth it out and remove the sharp edge. Again, you are putting this paint overlap on the hull's sides not on it's bottom where the straps will bear.

Let her dry for as long as you can, while doing all of those other boatyard projects. Then, IF you can talk them into it, block her up OR hang in the straps over a weekend, to paint the keel's bottom and the CB, including a foot up inside the trunk. (IF there is a top CB trunk cap of some kind blocking all light, barnacles should not go any higher than that.

Now... GO SAILING!

Mark
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:55   #2598
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Not wrong Mark these Searunners are a fighting battle.
Great to have you back
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Old 05-01-2014, 15:58   #2599
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

I found those paintstore.com rollers much better than the lowes. The lowes would do maybe a pint of paint while the others were fine after a quart.

My non-skid technique could use work, but it was windy when i was doing it and i was trying the salt shaker method. Do you mix the particles in the paint first.

I did 2 coats of primer in the cabin top, second coat had non skid sprinkled/ roller in. First coat of paint had nonskid sprinkled and second coat was just paint. I was going to do a third coat, but lost my weather window.
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Old 05-01-2014, 16:01   #2600
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Oh, any thoughts on Titanium chainplates? I have only 1 per side that hold the uppers and lowers. Straight due to angle of cabin sides.

Saw a Seaclipper 28 out on the St Johns river today. I think the guy posted on CF a few times about not being able to afford a haulout for it. He may have sold it. It is wide!
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Old 05-01-2014, 22:42   #2601
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

I was thinking of titanium for my lower diagonal plates, but settled for stainless because my local metal shop was not confident they could work it correctly. If you have a shop you trust then I think it's worthwhile. I would also consider aluminum at a couple times the thickness: cheap and stable, I gather.

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Old 06-01-2014, 03:51   #2602
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Why titanium? 316 stainless is what has always been used, it is readily available, and is easily worked. Don't use 304, it is pots and pans.
Definitely do NOT use aluminum. It is subject to working brittleness and fatigue cracks
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:18   #2603
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Titanium does not crevice corrode. There is a u tube video of some guys drilling it and it happens to be the same company allied titanium that sells a lot of chainplates.

I suppose it a bit like "foam makes a better centerboard" theme. titanium is a much better replacement for stainless it seems.

I was planning to work it myself as the pieces I need don't have to be bent, just the holes driller and edges rounded.
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Old 06-01-2014, 19:25   #2604
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

"Quote"
Not wrong Mark these Searunners are a fighting battle. Great to have you back,
Ross


Thanks Ross, and yes they are! I have been quite busy lately, but thought I would knock out a few CF posts before getting back to my day job. One thought I might pass on to the group is:

WHY ARE THE SEARUNNERS WE HEAR ABOUT HERE SO MAINTENANCE INTENSIVE?

For one thing, they are almost TOO highly developed!
Many of us on this thread have Searunners, wish to, or are in the process of buying one. I have been one of the most ardent supporters of the design, but I meant the visionary Searunner "design", not the actual fleet of Searunners themselves. Of the > 2,000 boats that were built, I estimate that 80 to 90% are already dead and buried from being built of poor materials, and being subjected to decades of neglect. That leaves roughly 200 Searunners still sailing. Of these boats, IF you are looking for a low hassle Searunner, I'd look only among the best 10% of them. That's looking among only 20 to 30 boats, worldwide! YES... these boats will be more expensive, and a bargain at that. These top 10% would usually be the later built boats, in the WEST System, with LP paints, and lovingly maintained as well. They keep a DRY bilge, and are NOT rot boxes. They have no CB or trunk issues, and are a true delight to cruise and live on.

That's not to say that there are no conventionally built "cherries" out there. IF it was painstakingly built with love of ones craft, bronze or monel fastened, and built of top quality marine ply as well as top quality lumber, and then it was well slathered inside with that carcinogenic wood preservative stuff, AND was very well polyester glassed outside... AND then went through just a couple of owners over the years that maintained her lovingly, then THIS version too can be a great buy. That would be a rare find indeed!

Regarding Searunners, the amount of CB problems, rotten CB trunks, rot box wing deck lockers, peeling glass jobs, rotten ply, etc... Is because of several factors. First off, back then Jim Brown, (whom we all love), admonished his clients to use whatever materials they could get, don't worry about cosmetic issues, and REALLY knock these boats out quick. WHY?

This was just a sign of the times. It was the 60s and 70s maaan. A time of total social upheaval! Tune in, turn on, and drop out, was the catch phrase. Jim was just one of many designers of the day who admonished this quick & dirty building practice. (James Wharram comes to mind as the number one proponent). Also... With the building materials available back then, a really long lifespan for the craft was not particularly practical, and >5 year boatbuilding projects were hard to imagine. It REALLY taxes the builders wallet AND patience by then, I KNOW!

These designers saw their boats as "great escape machines", not a permanent, long term lifestyle. (Ya gotta go back to work sometime)... They never figured that the boats would last more that 8 or 10 years, whereupon the intrepid builder has returned from his great adventure, hopefully at a time when things back home were not so bad.

Then their beloved but very tired 10 year old craft, needing a total re-fit, was either sold cheep at a huge loss, or just allowed to sit and slowly rot from decades of neglect. Mark Hassle, (God bless him), did exactly that after both circumnavigations...

THAT WAS 30 to 40 YEARS AGO FOLKS! These older boats have lasted way longer than ever imagined, often because of HUGE rebuilds done by a more energetic new owner or two. My hats off to you all, and I totally respect your tenacity!
Been there done that guys, and I sincerely wish you all "a good trip", as Jim put it.

The thing is, unless you lucked up and bought a Searunner among the best 10% of the remaining 10%, you would be hard pressed to get an amount of pleasure out of the boat that equals the investment in time and money. You just can't imagine...

A tip for the uninitiated...
Among those of you with the cruising itch BAD, but very little time or money to invest, the best bang for your buck & effort, is in an old but sound plastic monohull. "Good Old Boat" is a good reference for them. I have met guys that bought an old classic 35'er cheap, then spent < a year and $15,000 more on the project, and set sail on a great adventure with a fairly safe boat. If you are "going on the cheap big time" with a project boat, that is probably your best option.

IF you can't bring yourself to go with a monohull (AKA the dark side), then among multihulls, trimarans are the best bang for your buck. I suggest that Searunners are a visionary design, but you need to get one of the very best of the fleet, and it will be more expensive. This is if you don't want to get your heart broken from working your ass off, but never really getting there. Happens all the time...

Bringing back a mostly dead boat CAN be done, but not any faster than building one from scratch! Also, building a boat with new materials to a modern boatbuilding standard, is FAR more gratifying. If you really wanted to buy a "good" Searunner, but none of the "cherries" I referred to are available, then building one from scratch makes more sense than resurrecting a rot box the dead, imo... Life support gets expensive!

IF you have actually come to that point of being willing and able to build your own boat, then by all means, build one of John Marples' CC designs instead! If you really like the Searunner design philosophy and layout, many of John's tris' have the same layout, but a simpler rig with fewer wires, simpler less cluttered deck, fewer hatches, fewer frames, no hull stringers, fewer parts all around, and they have most of the Searunner attributes. They also have less maintenance, (if built of good materials for low maintenance). They can be built faster & possibly cheaper, and some would describe them as more beautiful as well. Especially if you split the work and expense of the CC mold with another builder, or buy a used one, this design makes more sense to build from scratch than our beloved but higher maintenance Searunners.
A 35' CC project like this might take 3 years, and cost as much as $80,000 or so. That's dirt CHEAP compared to a NEW 35' "production" multihull!

On the other hand... If you gotta have a budget tri, and want what you can get (to renovate perhaps), for < $30 or $40,000, AND you want to limit your renovation to 6 months or so, your best option might be to look for an old Cross or Kantola that is in really good shape. With most of them having just one cabin with fewer hatches, fewer deck lockers, fewer storage cubbys, etc... AND a simpler rig as well as a less problematic minikeel... If kept dry down below, Crosses simply took to the decades of neglect a bit better than Searunners did.

In either case I would look for a "cherry", and the extra money would be VERY well spent. The Searunner is definitely a better design, imo... but the likelihood of finding that rare "good ol tri" that is close to seaworthy, is far better in another design, than in Searunners. I have searched the web for hours on end for clients looking to buy a really good Searunner. They are highly esteemed and in demand, just REALLY hard to find. I's avoid the "rot box" boats, no matter the design...

IF your budget it THAT tight, and a really good boat is too expensive in the size you want, consider a smaller 28 or 30' "cherry" instead of that funkey ol 37. You would have more fun being slapped around more, but living the life sooner, VS having to work your ass off to get there, AND to barely keep your dream afloat.

For the rare home boat builders out there:
You just can't grasp (unless you spent time on both), the advantages of a stringerless CC or strip planked hull. These designs have a thicker cedar hull, so are more puncture resistant, and being thicker, they condensate less. They are more sound proof as well. Having no stringers and fewer frames, they are 1000% easier to maintain & wipe down, and if varnished over the epoxy, they can be breathtakingly beautiful!

This photo is of a Chris White Juniper II, "Carissa". She was the efforts of my dear friends Don & Tamar Clark.

Mark
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Old 06-01-2014, 22:52   #2605
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Mark Johnson (or anyone else that can answer this) - Anyone painted a car with AwlGrip LP and a roller?
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:40   #2606
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Mark,
I like your essay and agree with you whole heartily. My boat surely falls outside of the "cherry" category but, there is immense satisfaction when progress is made. To me working on a boat is pleasurable unlike working on a house which gives me pain.
The beauty of a Searunner is its simple ply construction that makes repair doable by almost anyone. There are those out there that want to go sailing but don't have skills and money. If they stick to Jim Brown's philosophy of not making it "yacht" shiny yet use quality materials they can go budget cruising. True, they should stick to a smaller boat. (My wife and I were on Scrimshaw and surprisingly my wife likes the 31 better than the 37.)
Anyway, as long as there are Searunners there will be Searunner fans.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:17   #2607
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Blewett john...
Agreed, that you CAN build her well, and still save big bucks by keeping it simple. That is a very good philosophy, because compared to other similar tris of the day, Searunners are inherently complex boats... what with their tall double spreader cutter rigs, held up by 12 wires including running backs, TWO cabins, dozen hatches, cockpit sub floors, numerous wing lockers, storage cubbys galore, and centerboards with huge skeg rudders... It IS a lot of "stuff" to build and maintain more so than some other designs, they don't take to decades of neglect. That was my point. IF they were well maintained all their life, no problem!

I tried to install MY boat's complex systems in as small and simple a way as possible, (Proportionate to the smaller size of my boat).
By using the best materials available at the time, and exercising extreme care in their installation, they have served me well... in most cases.

As to the "yacht shiny" point... The excessive LP shine is a regrettable characteristic of 2 part LP paints, but it does extend it's life from 8 years or so (IF flattened), to well over 10.
Other than the underwings original paint and nonskid on deck, which got a re-paint last year, the rest of my current paint job is > 10 years old. It stopped being "shiny" years ago, but is still protecting the boat, and doing it's job just fine. This photo of Delphys below is recent...

Btw... I painted my previous boat as well as my current homemade kayak with AwlGrip, using 1/3rd flattening paste in the base. It gave a lovely semigloss look that I prefer, but on the big boat, I would go for the maximum longevity of full gloss, in spite of the shine.

On the kayak, (which lives outside), I coated just the bottom with WEST System's gray barrier coat, followed by BarRust 2 part epoxy. This way I can refurbish it as needed with a roller. The rest of the boat should never need paint again!

With my first cruising boat (a Wharram) AND dozens of others that I worked on while living in Key West, I found that IF the boat was used as intended, in the most exposed parts of the boat one part paints started to fail (in the sub tropical sun), in only about a year. Also in the 1970s, I repainted the cockpit, hatches, cabin, and decks of the first SR 37, while living on it anchored out. The previous paint job had failed after just one REALLY hard 6 month cruise.
Once I switched to building in the WEST System and using LP paints in the early 80s, I never looked back. I do admit, however, that is more money and hassle "up front", and not for everyone. I'm always giving my best advice but it IS a personal call, so "use what works for you".

I too really like the SR 31! John Marples said that there had been more major crossings in them than any of the other sizes, probably due to there having been so many 31s built. How many 31' multihulls would be up to such numerous ocean crossings with speed, safety, and relative comfort?

I too have built boats and houses as well. 22 years ago, this one below took my wife and I (with very little outside help), just a year to build, while living on site in a camper trailer. Boats are indeed more fun to work on than houses, but now I have enough aches & pains that I don't enjoy working on either. Given the option, I'd rather be going on an adventure, diving, living in a house, or sailing on the boat. Thing is... "life IS maintenance", so I seldom get that option. I just keep "paying the price up front" as much as I can, because everything has one, and the older I get the harder it is to pay.

John,
I never meant my previous comments as a discouragement to those "already involved" in big Searunner rebuilds at all, and my apologies if it was taken that way. IF a boat is not yet a total rot box, but just has a certain number of isolated issues to deal with, then it is GREAT that they get bought cheep, and rebuilt by boat savvy folks with more modest means and skills. Indeed: "My hats off to you all"!

I was only trying to offer words of warning to other prospective Searunner buyers who think that a totally rotten boat with worn out EVERYTHING, could EVER be a bargain. It's not, at ANY price!
There are a lot of 30-40 year old "dead" plywood boats out there, that to the totally uninitiated, do not look dead. They look like a boat that just needs...

REMEMBER:
Assuming that serious blue water cruising is the goal: EVEN with a 100% sound hull to start with, just painting it, replacing ports, running and standing rigging, lifelines, sails and some hardware, as well as repainting down below and replacing some upholstery, systems, etc... This could easily take years of full time work and perhaps, well over $20,000! This "other" stuff actually makes up about 3/4 of a boat project, NOT building the hulls. IF one has to rebuild the structure first as well, THEN it all becomes an amount of work and money more like starting on a slightly smaller & simpler boat from scratch. (Like my favorite small cruiser... the CC 35)

Things to think about...
Mark
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:40   #2608
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by magentawave View Post
Mark Johnson (or anyone else that can answer this) - Anyone painted a car with AwlGrip LP and a roller?
Sure, you can paint a car with AwlGrip. Some of the slickest cars and motorcycles in the world are painted with it, (as are most aircraft). IF you roll it on rather than spray, however, it will look like Fido's butt!!!

That shine SHOWS EVERY FLAW, which is another of LP paint's down sides. The structure that you paint with it, needs to be quite fair to look good.

Unlike painting a car...
On a boat, the larger/flatter surfaces allow the 2 person roller/tip method to be used. Some folks get remarkable results with this meathod. My results under the wings of our tri were "pretty good", but I have seen much better. I prefer "spraying" LPs if I can arrange a suitable place for it. I get better results AND it is much easier.

Mark
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:29   #2609
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

As long as we are promoting Searunner alternatives here are a couple from Norm Cross. The 12M is a fast boat with basic interior and the 10.5 is a full on cruiser. They have V chine construction with the chine above water to provide more inside room. These hulls are actually a more efficient shape for speed,load and space than the rounded V of CC construction, and you don't need to make your own plywood. The 3 laminations of a typical CC panel use a lot of epoxy driving up building costs. All these boats should be epoxy coated inside and sheathed outside which is already hundreds of square feet of epoxy surface area. Times this by 3 to add the CC panel glue costs for everything coming off the mold.

The thing I've seen drive up CC build times are having to fit the bulkheads and frames instead of laying and cutting them out from known dimensions like a Searunner. No thinking involved just layout and go. These boats like all Cross trimarans have the same advantages . No patterns on these so very basic lofting is in order to get the shapes for the bulkheads and frames. In practice not having to scribe and fit means boats with this type of build like Searunners and Cross' are faster for most people to build.

On the 10.5 the keel adds about 10" of draft over the Searunner 34 with the board up- not much at all and none of the problems. The rig has the same advantages with less standing rigging and the plan prices make these a great deal indeed. The 10.5 isn't as pretty as a CC 35 but is hard to beat for utility. If you every damage a panel it is far easier to repair anywhere in the world, no need to make a mold and another custom sheet. I've seen a 12M, they are very nice and speedy with open wing construction, just beams and nets. Plans are available from Jeff Turner at Cross Multihulls.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:54   #2610
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Now you've done it!

But seriously is I wanted a Multi just to muck around in and a cheap build, I might go for a Piver Encore.
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