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Old 06-12-2009, 14:22   #61
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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Fresh water tankage (weight) is one of the big decision factors.

Yes, your boat has pretty decent tankage.

3500 miles (atlantic crossing, without stopping at Bermuda or Azores) at 200 miles/day (perhaps a bit fast for an average) at 2 gals /day (our typical water conservation usage) = 35 gals. That's not too unreasonable a load. On Hawk we catch quite a bit of rain water - I don't know if that would be easier or harder on a tri?

On Hawk we have 200 gal On Silk we had 100 gal. We were never more than half down on either boat.
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Old 06-12-2009, 14:56   #62
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I am already practicing a "minimalist" approach to sailing in my 34' Tri. I removed and traded in my radar for the biggest Fortress anchor they make. It is only 66 lbs. and it taken apart and in the bilge, along with the chute and 600' spool of 3/8" nylon. Oh the Anchor already has the chain and a good length of rode ready to go also.
I have a wind vane self steering that works just fine. No electronic steering. One GPS in the cockpit for speed and position and all, and a lap top plotter with a gps puck down below.
Just recently got a humming bird sounder (the wife insisted) I kinda liked swinging the lead when approaching anchorages. It is kinda moot as we usually anchor in water we can see, and we are always inside and shallower than most anyone.
No refrigeration or water maker (yet) adding these will involve more power generation and I am slow to make the change. 3 big solar panels give us plenty of juice so far.
Yamaha 9.9 outboard. I will go may days without using it. Slides up and down on a bracket so no drag while sailing. I like that...:-)
Water tankage for 40 gallons, plus another 20 if we wanted. I have not made a crossing yet, but I did by a hand held water maker that will give out over a gallon per hour if I needed it. I guess if I was thirsty I would not mind pumping it.
Katadyn MK6 Desalinator Military Surplus - eBay (item 140364815839 end time Jan-02-10 15:50:14 PST)
Have a tiny Kaito short wave receiver. I can pick up the weather and the sailing nets, I just can't talk. Thats OK. Runs on a couple AA batteries.
So let's see, I have 4 anchors and a sea anchor and a big mess of lines. Super clean sanded bottom (I had to remove seven layers of old bottom paint), synthetic rigging, wind powered steering, the boat is sitting high on her marks and can carry much more without messing it up. It is designed to carry a payload in the middle of the boat. It is one of my favorite features of the Searunner series. It will ghost along on almost no wind, one of my most treasured times. The thrill of sailing is not all spray and high speeds.
I guess what got me to thinking was the minimalist idea. I like it. It strips away a lot of the hassles of maintaining a boat when there are not so many systems to maintain. My original reason I was attracted to Trimarans, is for the sailing. It is the sailing I want to experience. That is the highest priority for me if I ever went looking for a bigger boat. Sailing first.
Chris White told me he got very mixed reaction when people came onboard the 52' Juniper. They are thinking oh wow this thing must be luxury plus. Like ....where is the hot tub? You know he sailed that originally without and engine, I believe for a couple years?
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Old 06-12-2009, 22:52   #63
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Sailfasttri...you make some good points. I would guess we could have a discussion on the anchor loading of windage vs. displacement. Is a 50' 10k displacement Tri harder on the hook than a 50' 40k mono? Does one take bigger gear? I know conditions vary, and once all you have is current, or another all you have is wind. But in the real world, in general, what is the dynamic?
I looked for info on the Dragonfly 1200. I did not realise it got boat of the year in Cruising World in 2000. I was only able to find one page that quoted a price...holy guacamole'! I think it said 700k. Could that be right? For a 39' sailboat? If that is true that is pretty amazing!

Specifications of trimaran Dragonfly 1200
I'm not up on the latest prices and exchange rates. Unfortunately it probably is about right. My boat is a 2001 and a few years ago I bought it in a bidding war and made the prior owner very happy -- now with the devaluation of the dollar it could be sold for more than I paid for it. This is my third Dragonfly and I sold each prior one for more than I paid.

When I look at total cost of ownership they have been a less expensive boat to own than many other possible choices. I won't know on this one till I decide to sell.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:56   #64
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Reload this Page Ultimate Trimaran Cruising Boat (IMHO)

Now here's a real cruising tri - Norman Cross 48.

Tons of room - 150nm/days when the wind was 10/15kts

Harry Haights "Querida"
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:45   #65
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I have a wind vane self steering that works just fine. No electronic steering.

My original reason I was attracted to Trimarans, is for the sailing. It is the sailing I want to experience.
What windvane? I am sort of surprised a vane works well on a fast light tri. I would have guessed that the apparent would shift around too much.

As to the rest, as you said before, we are drinking the same water and I completely agree.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:59   #66
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Now this one for me is a true cruising trimaran with a sensible layout. Check out the details at
Multi Sailing - Second hand multihulls - 24951 Exception 52 Paille en Queue
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Old 07-12-2009, 21:22   #67
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What windvane? I am sort of surprised a vane works well on a fast light tri. I would have guessed that the apparent would shift around too much.

As to the rest, as you said before, we are drinking the same water and I completely agree.
The Searunners have outboard skeg rudders with a trimtab. It steers very well. I think the next level up in speed would might make the difference where the apparent wind moves fwd. too fast. I will typically be 7-8-9 knots upwind and faster reaching. Seen up to 14.5 so far is all. I know open ocean they can get going faster. It is one reason I dream of a bigger faster boat.
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Old 14-12-2009, 13:38   #68
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Multi Sailing - Second hand multihulls - 25840 Pulsar 50

Multi Sailing - Second hand multihulls - 22971 M Pulse

Here are two boats I really like for the title of "Ultimate cruising Tri" Both the outside look and the interiors look very functional.

So far I am resting in the 50' area as best length to shoot for to get waht you need as far as functional, carry some stores, brilliant performance etc. Sailing comes first. Good shots of sailing on the second URL.

I recently came across this blurb. I thought I would post it. There are some things I do not quickly agree with, but it is good "food for thought"

** Monohull v catamaran v trimaran. A primer
To achieve real speed and comfort in a ship, the aim is, as Tony Armstrong puts it, "long and thin. But the problem with long and thin is they tend to fall over. They lack what naval architects call stability, which is the ability to come upright. Catamarans get around that beautifully, of course, by putting two long thin hulls side-by-side. And even though there are two, they still have less drag than the equivalent monohull."
The inherent stability of a catamaran is, however, also its biggest drawback - it rolls very quickly and uncomfortably. "If you're not careful with the design of the catamaran, the roll period becomes very similar to the pitch period and then the boat tends to operate like a corkscrew as it goes along, which is most uncomfortable."
"The trimaran is a slightly different approach in that it's long and thin but to stop it from falling over we've put two training wheels on the side like a kid's bicycle. You're very slippy in the water with low drag, but you don't have the high roll accelerations that a catamaran would have. It combines the wave cutting ability of a mono-hull with the stability of a multi-hull."

** The unexpected pleasures of the trimaran
In developing the trimaran, Austal discovered a number of unexpected pluses along the way. "It's got greater speed for the same cargo weight and the same power compared to a monohull and a catamaran. It's got better passenger comfort, by which I mean less sea-sickness. It's got a better sea-keeping ability - able to operate in higher sea states without something breaking."
Austal also found the trimaran could operate at high speed in much higher wave heights. "When you go out in waves as opposed to a flat, calm water it's better than a catamaran, " says Tony. "And, of course, that's a practical application because, in reality, most boats are operating in waves."
There also proved to be less slamming - water hitting the hull - which causes huge loads on a catamaran's structure and leads to a very noticeable 'bang' and the whole structure vibrating. "It's just not an issue on a trimaran because we don't have that cross-structure."
Curiously, the trimaran turned out to produce very little wash. "The waves that it makes - which, of course, impacts on the environment when they come into shore - were fractions of those made by a catamaran. Maybe one-third, one-quarter, something like that. So it's got that big environmental advantage."
Tony can think of only one disadvantage to the trimaran: "It's a little more complex shape to build which, of course, reflects in an increased cost. We're talking five percent more to build it."

** Learning from the Benchijigua Express
When Austal delivered the world's fastest and largest aluminum boat to the Canary Islands in 2005, the work didn't stop there. Benchijigua operated for over a year with a lot of instrumentation on board, gathering data. And, fortunately, the same operator runs two catamarans in the same area, so Austal could make direct comparisons.
"Now, you've got to appreciate that Austal sell both, but we found that power consumption is reduced about 20% when operating in a seaway compared to a catamaran in that area. And reduced by as much as 50% when compared with a monohull operating in waves. Which is substantial, because all those power reductions equate directly to fuel consumption reductions.
"We found the vertical accelerations, which are related to motion sickness, reduced about 30% over a monohull. And this one is a sort of non-scientific comparison but one that I'm sure the general public can identify with - the general store of the ship operator issues only one tenth of the sick-bags to the trimaran that it does to the catamaran."
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Old 14-12-2009, 17:11   #69
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Now that's just a great quote! Trimarans rule ok! Never did want the upstairs sitting room and the home cinema at sea anyhow...
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Old 16-12-2009, 07:36   #70
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Just to avoid confussion, the Arnstrong/Austral exerpt is refering to power multis. Tough I agree with the sentiment I don't believe the conclusions apply to sail driven craft to the same degree. Dave
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Old 16-12-2009, 11:51   #71
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Another contender

Hmmm, define ultimate? Okay, no, let's not get into that. Here's one I really like, has all the necessary elements and puts them together in a very elegant design. Designer John Patterson, apparently working on another, larger design, 50 something whereas Buddy is 44'.
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Old 22-12-2009, 14:37   #72
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Steve Ripples, that looks like one sweet ride. I am a sucker for look and feel of wood. I would almost insist my ultimate ride had a wood look down below. Not on deck though!
I ran across these shots of Virgin Fire. The more I get to see the more I like about this boat. It looks like it is mostly a mainsail driven boat. Big (wood) wing mast with a huge roach mainsail, and a self tending (small) Jib. Combined with the huge stability of those Ama's out there, I bet this is a joy to ride.
So far it is in my top 3 "ultimate Trimaran cruisng boat" of what I have been able to gather so far. Virgin Fire, Newick Traveler, Chris White Hammerhead.
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Old 23-12-2009, 15:50   #73
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Jmolan, yes, Virginfire - very nice. She looks so simple and clean. She might not be quite so simple under the skin, but she presents simple and clean to wind, wave and eye and that's what makes good design IMHO. Seems to me this is the way Chris White works, too. I guess working at such large sizes does make the task a bit easier, but are they just working at the RIGHT size? That is the optimum size, regardless of cost, to carry several more or less six foot tall human beings safely and quickly across the oceans under sail. Looks to me like 40 to 45 is enough, plenty in fact, though they do go a bit bigger, but maybe a certain amount of commercial/ sales consideration is creeping in with some designs. Don't think Virginfire had any marketing scheme behind it, though, or Buddy, and Traveller was a commission, too, or have I got that wrong? Ok, I'll go look that up...
All reading this, have a fine Christmas.
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Old 23-12-2009, 18:42   #74
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Virgin Fire is a beauty, though to even be considered as a candidate for "ultimate cruising" tri I think it should have inboard propulsion. An inboard diesel will run longer and further on a gallon of fuel, diesel is safer and an inboard engine is more conducive to supporting "systems" that provide human convenience (hot water and high output alternators, for instance). Inboard props also don't tend to aerate like outboards do when motoring to windward in a chop.

The advantages to an outboard are it's easily serviced off the boat, prop presents no drag under sail, better power-weight and cheaper to replace. I think the advantages to a diesel inboard outweigh those things for a cruising boat.
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Old 26-12-2009, 15:59   #75
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I would have to go back over this thread to see, but I would not think any of these boats have been designed to a marketing plan. I guess the Dragon fly would be the closest candidate which makes sense because it is a production boat. So think about that for just a minute. We are in rare country here. Boats built for a purpose other than the general sailing public.

I do not have the book here (in Oregon this winter) But I recall Chris White writing about stability, and how the stability increases in big steps as the size grows on Multihulls. Was it in his book? Anyone? Something like a boat that is 50' long is 4 times as stable as a boat that is 30' long. Or something along those lines. I would want to understand this better before I plunked down the big dollars required for the ultimate boat

I have also been looking at Bruce Numbers. This is pretty informative to compare boats. This is what I found from Jeff Schioning Design site:

Schionning Designs, multihull boat design, Newcastle Australia

BRUCE NO\POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO: This shows us the relationship between sail area
and weight in a comparable figure (ie, how well she will sail). The higher the figure, the
better. The “Light” figures shown in the design comparison table are for normal Coastal
cruising load, “Heavy” is for fully stocked ocean cruising. (FORMULA = Cube root of
displacement in Pounds, divided into the square root of the total sail area in feet) (Sail Area,
we use main and genoa)
A Bruce Number =

1 is very slow, 1.3 to 1.4 is a good cruising value, 1.5 to 1.9 reflects a very fast cat. Boats like the French 60ft Tri's and Club Med are running to extremes like 2.3.

Sailing ability is important. I feel that good performance in a sailing cat is a real safety feature. A light and efficient cat can often sail out of trouble and out run severe weather patterns, shorten passage times and avoid bad weather by getting there in the existing weather window.


Anyone interested in comparing Bruce Numbers can use this handy webpage:

SA/D Calculator

Makes it very easy for the math impaired guys like me. Plugging the numbers in on my 34' Searunner I get 1.33.....Using the Genny.

As I think about a bigger boat, I see my mainsail is 215 Sq. Ft.!! So nice and easy to handle.

Compare that with Estarzingers 45' Monohull "Hawk". In one of the very well written articles he talks about the mainsail is 750 Sq. Ft.....!!!!!

Wonder how big the main is on Virgin Fire? Or on the Newick Traveller, or the Chris White Hammerhead? How big of a main can one man take care of? It has many factors involved I am sure. But I do know from experience, if it not easy, or handy to do, I will delay doing it. Or avoid doing it.
So, for me, being able to take care of the sails and anchors by my self would be a huge deciding factor.

Sailfastri, I would like a small efficient diesel myself.....I have a 9.9 Yamaha on a slide on my tri for nor. I am guessing on Virgin Fire, they mostly live in the Trade wind Caribbean Islands, and I would guess she anchors or moors out mostly. If that is the case, the outboard would be plenty. It looks like it as the boat is 10 years old, and still has the outboard. There must be a reason it is still there.

Just a bunch of ramblings today, hope everyone had a great Christmas. Maybe I will go run some Bruce Numbers on these boats.
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