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Old 23-09-2017, 11:06   #1
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Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

So I've sold my monohull this morning, and would like to get in on the 3-for-1 specials over here on the multihull side of the forum. In a similar thread when I was looking at small catamarans, TomFL suggested that trimarans would sail circles around the smaller (sub-25', weekender) cats that I was originally looking at, and I think he's right! So on my shortlist now are the:
- Dragonfly 25 (cost $100k+)
- Corsair 760 (sailaway around $85k)
- F22 (really no idea, guessing around $60k) or F24 (used)

My sailing is mostly a couple of hours at a time, and I'd like the ability to camp out overnight or trailer to a new location, so this size range really fits the bill.

I can afford the cost of entry (I'll be going halfsies with a family member, and won't have to pay for marinas or haul-out every year, which helps), but before I jump in and get real serious, I wanted to know why people thought the prices, especially in the Dragonfly's case, are so far up there? I saw the Dragonfly 25 at the show last year, and while I understand a lot of boats are sold on the interiors, no one's buying one of these camper tris because they like the look on the inside!

A few reasons I was thinking of:
1) Limited used market. Unlike monohulls, there aren't a lot of production-built, fiberglass small trimarans out there, so the manufacturers can probably support a larger pricing gap between new and used.
2) Low production runs, and so amortized per unit costs (engineering, molds, etc.) are higher
3) Sex appeal means the demand far outbalances the supply
4) Early adopter pricing. There's a specific type of person who really wants these now, and willing to pay the premium. But as time goes on, prices will come down.

Alternatively, if anyone, (like BoatSmith with Wharrams) is making a business of churning out plywood Marples folding cats, any idea if that cost would equal the prices sited above?

I always like to think of price relative to other options/substitutes, and as I recall, the folding Telstar 28 (new edition) that I used to sail on, was substantially less than $100k fully optioned (asymmetric, trailer, 20 hp motor, etc.). Not as racy as the ones above, but substantially more comfortable. For the price of any of the above tris, I could also instead get a bitchin' beach cat and a small power cabin cruiser, so both get the fun of sailing and the speed/sleepability of a tri, but in different vessels. I'd appreciate any insights to help me get over the sticker shock of the above boats! And if you have any suggestions on how to get some test sails in on these, I'd appreciate that too! I assume I can always drop in on a dealer, but they don't seem to actually ever sail the models at the boat show ...
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Old 23-09-2017, 11:13   #2
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Best bang for the buck, Corsair F-27.
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Old 23-09-2017, 12:16   #3
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Yeah, I'd also suggest looking at some of the other models. It's common to see F-31's fitted out with most things you can name in the $60-70k range. And I've seen some for half of that. Steady Hand had a link to an (31') F9A for $30k a couple of weeks ago, but it's gone now methinks. Also, with these slightly bigger boats, you can spend more time cruising on them simply due to the extra room, & load carrying ability.
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Old 23-09-2017, 12:55   #4
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

OTOH, Tremolino? Newick T23? Farrier something? There are a lot of possibilities in the used boat arena for very little (relatively) money.

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Old 23-09-2017, 13:57   #5
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Thanks for the recs! I will try and test out a larger f boat, but at 4100 lbs (with trailer) the f27 is starting to get a little heavier than I want to deal with. As well, the other half-buyer wants to keep the sail loads small and easy to handle. We could always put smaller sails on an F27 and depower it a bit, but it seems wrong

Definitely not opposed to buying used and would prefer it, but the only multis I've seen come up in my area the last few months were an old sea eagle and a newick 26 I posted up on another thread. Market seems a little thin. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. I'll also check out those other manufacturers/designs you mentioned, jdazey.

In other news, the new owner of the mono called me a half hour after leaving the dock to let me know he had run hard aground. Maybe he also should have considered a smaller draft tri?
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Old 23-09-2017, 17:43   #6
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Yeah, I'd also suggest looking at some of the other models. It's common to see F-31's fitted out with most things you can name in the $60-70k range. And I've seen some for half of that. Steady Hand had a link to an (31') F9A for $30k a couple of weeks ago, but it's gone now methinks. Also, with these slightly bigger boats, you can spend more time cruising on them simply due to the extra room, & load carrying ability.

Most likely the F9A is home built. I have not seen many C31 tris for $US60K but maybe some home built F31 tris in that price range. When I was looking at fboats I noticed a lot of the lower priced ones needed lots of things upgraded. Stuff like sails, lines, ground tackle, and electronics and battery.

One thing to remember is that smaller tris in the 25 foot range are not just a lot easier to trailer and cheaper to maintain in terms of things like sails, lines, and ground tackle but are a lot easier to handle.

While I love the C31 and various similar sized fboats it is important to remember these are very powerful boats and even an experienced skipper can wind up in trouble in a hurry. I was sailing on a F39 (which would be one of my first choices as a cruiser) and the skipper said he liked to have a crew of 5 when the wind got above 20 knots.

While I agree that the C27 is probably the best bang for the buck I would choose some flavor of a C24 because it is so much easier to transport and sail. Depending on the age and condition I have seen them start around $US25K and up to over $US100,000 for the tricked out carbon fiber new ones.
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Old 23-09-2017, 18:05   #7
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

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Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
One thing to remember is that smaller tris in the 25 foot range are not just a lot easier to trailer and cheaper to maintain in terms of things like sails, lines, and ground tackle but are a lot easier to handle.

...

While I agree that the C27 is probably the best bang for the buck I would choose some flavor of a C24 because it is so much easier to transport and sail. Depending on the age and condition I have seen them start around $US25K and up to over $US100,000 for the tricked out carbon fiber new ones.
Thanks for your insights Tom, easy is the mission for this next boat. Easy to maintain, clean, take out for an hour; easy to decommission in the fall and put back in in a moment if we get a string of nice days in December, etc. This might be the wrong forum, as I'm not cruising anymore, just daysailing and overnighting

What are your thoughts on the pricing? High because costs are high? Or high because buyers will pay it?
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Old 23-09-2017, 18:31   #8
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Agree; F27. Just reef proactively if you want lower sailing loads. Maybe don't use the jib but then tacking will be less easy. Launching is relatively easy for a large trailerable. (F24 will be easier but also pretty cramped and spartan for camping, unless its just you.) Cost of ownership will be less because it will retain its value when you sell and/or it will be easier to sell due to its popularity. Go to the Yahoo groups F-boat and F-boats, one is Ians site, (I forget which) and is very helpful.

You mention mostly sailing for a few hours at a time. Will you be launching each time for this or will you be keeping it on the water. I don't know if a Dragonfly is quickly/easily rigged for trailering. Will it be in a normal slip so folded or on a mooring or end tie so ready to go in sailing mode?

A crazy idea popped into my head. Google Guegon 32 launch utube and Port Townsend Watercraft. If you can find one, that is. This may be longer but easier to set up than the F27, if you are always trailer launching.

Also it looks like you are on the E coast. The multihull org is NEMA. I'm sure they can help you find a boat and there is a corsair dealer in that area who may know of "pocket listings" (Corsair or other) that are not advertised.

I sure love my F31 for day sailing but I have it unfolded, on the water with roller furling jib and stack pack main for quick get aways.

Have fun
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Old 23-09-2017, 18:52   #9
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

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Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
SNIP

What are your thoughts on the pricing? High because costs are high? Or high because buyers will pay it?
I am a big supply and demand guy so my thoughts are the demand is what keeps the prices high.

The smaller fboats are stupid fun. They are easy to trailer, easy to take apart and put together, easy and comfortable to sail, and most likely faster than anything around them. Out of season they are easy to store and it does not take a lot to maintain them. I have seen several different small tris and cats and none of them come close to how fast you can get an fboat off the trailer and in the water. The "factory" trailers are also very well designed.

The ones Corsair built (except the C36) are very well designed and built so they don't leak or have many structural failures. Ian has a list at his site on what to look for to spot potential problems with the folding arms which is the only thing that seems to ever cause a problem. You do need to be careful to check out the rudder and centerboard/daggerboard but that is true for all boats. The quality of homebuilt fboats varies wildly but some are great.

Another plus for the Corsairs is there is class racing is fairly well developed, with a few glitches. While this may not be of great interest to you it does affect the selling price. At the lower price range you may want to look in to the Tramp. While they are older they do come up for sale and some have been well maintained.
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Old 23-09-2017, 20:13   #10
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejlindahl View Post
You mention mostly sailing for a few hours at a time. Will you be launching each time for this or will you be keeping it on the water. I don't know if a Dragonfly is quickly/easily rigged for trailering. Will it be in a normal slip so folded or on a mooring or end tie so ready to go in sailing mode?
...

Also it looks like you are on the E coast. The multihull org is NEMA. I'm sure they can help you find a boat and there is a corsair dealer in that area who may know of "pocket listings" (Corsair or other) that are not advertised.
We've a place on the water outside Annapolis, so would just leave it on a mooring ball most of the time. The trailering I was thinking more for four day weekends and that kind of thing. What I've struggled with in my mono is the time it takes to go anywhere different, so eventually got confined to just sailing from one bank of the Severn to the other! I'm actually even thinking of a powerboat (gasp) as a remedy.

I've seen the G32 before, but with 13 built, hard to find, even more so than used fboats! Thanks for the links to the Farrier and NEMA sites, I'll get on the boards and see if I can score some rides. Also reached out to Corsair to see if I could get a boat show ride. We have a seawind dealer in Edgewater, but the Corsair dealers seem to be in MA and FL, rather than MD.
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Old 23-09-2017, 20:18   #11
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

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I am a big supply and demand guy so my thoughts are the demand is what keeps the prices high.
That's sort of what worries me regarding current pricing: that if supply catches up, we'll see a drop-off in used prices. But as you said, it's about them being stupid fun, so maybe don't think so much about the financial hit!

We did have a Tramp/Eagle come up for sale last autumn, and I was tempted, but didn't want two boats. Maybe I should have moved on it then!
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Old 24-09-2017, 04:33   #12
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Most importantly, what are your specific plans for usage? They will determine amount of use, sailing area, towing requirements, mooring/anchoring requirements, equipment and #1 = facilities onboard.

The nice thing about all your choices is that different boats offer wider varieties of use. A smaller, lighter tri can be towed and sailed on any smaller area of water (good weather, skill and daring notwithstanding). Add an overnight and you need a toilet and berth (of some sort). Add crew and requirements change exponentially. Go offshore and you have yet another factor. For our honeymoon we sailed 4 weeks from the Chesapeake to Martha's Vineyard and back on or C-36, which was much more comfortable than my F31 from years ago, and yet we felt a bit cramped, which may be attributed to age as well! :-) so now we're considering a cat down the line.

The bottom line is to determine first exactly what you want to do; everything else will fall in line. If cost is an issue, wait and keep saving; an F or C boat will always bring a smile to your face faster than others you've mentioned!

Best of luck,
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Old 24-09-2017, 08:51   #13
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

TREMOLINOS for sale all over the USA from $ 4,000 to $ 10,000.

Just Google Tremolino trimarans.
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Old 24-09-2017, 09:20   #14
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

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TREMOLINOS for sale all over the USA from $ 4,000 to $ 10,000.

Just Google Tremolino trimarans.
I did do some (too much ) boat searching last night, but only found two recent listings for tremolinos on sailboat listings, one in Colorado and one in Florida. A couple on yachtworld, but at prices where I would lean to buying new. Using a search all Craigslist function did not reveal any there.

Could you please recommend which sites you are using? Thanks!
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Old 24-09-2017, 10:17   #15
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Re: Trimaran Weekenders - why the high prices?

Two posted 2017 for sale on Sailboats for sale from Sailing Texas, buy or sell your sailboat, free sailboat ads. one in Cal. one in Port Townsend
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