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Old 27-11-2019, 23:17   #1
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Norman Cross Trimaran

Considering purchasing a 53 footer with ambitions to cruise the world with my family. Just wondering what people's thoughts and experiences are with this design?
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Old 27-11-2019, 23:48   #2
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

Have you seen this thread? Same boat?

I have a special fondness for Cross boats, my dad built a 40 in the ‘70s and we did two circumnavigations on her. A quick (200 mile days were easy), sound boat. All Crosses were individually built, some by pros, some very well by home builders, and some not so much. I’m not familiar with that particular boat, if she is cold-molded with epoxy I’d be very interested, if she’s glass over ply with polyester less so. Either way a very thorough survey.

If you have specific questions you’d like to discuss shoot me a PM with an e-mail address.
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Old 27-11-2019, 23:55   #3
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Have you seen this thread? Same boat?

I have a special fondness for Cross boats, my dad built a 40 in the ‘70s and we did two circumnavigations on her. A quick (200 mile days were easy), sound boat. All Crosses were individually built, some by pros, some very well by home builders, and some not so much. I’m not familiar with that particular boat, if she is cold-molded with epoxy I’d be very interested, if she’s glass over ply with polyester less so. Either way a very thorough survey.

If you have specific questions you’d like to discuss shoot me a PM with an e-mail address.
G'day mate. Yes, same boat (being sold by the OP of that post I think, though not 100% certain). I think she is fibreglass over marine ply, but the seller doesn't appear to know a huge amount about her construction. We will definitely be getting a full pre-purchase survey done of she looks like "the one"
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Old 28-11-2019, 08:10   #4
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

From the pictures that’s one of Norm’s later designs - the hulls are round rather than chined and the amas are raked slightly outward. Almost impossible to build in straight ply, so I’d guess at a minimum she is double-diagonal ply planking. Done properly the tortured ply makes for a very strong boat.

Also if a later design she will be light (relative to her older siblings) if the builder was conscientious. Too many added “strength” (and weight) because they weren’t familiar with lightweight building.

At that size she should have plenty of room and even payload capacity. I’m extremely biased, but definitely worth a look.
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Old 29-11-2019, 11:38   #5
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
From the pictures that’s one of Norm’s later designs - the hulls are round rather than chined and the amas are raked slightly outward. Almost impossible to build in straight ply, so I’d guess at a minimum she is double-diagonal ply planking. Done properly the tortured ply makes for a very strong boat.

Also if a later design she will be light (relative to her older siblings) if the builder was conscientious. Too many added “strength” (and weight) because they weren’t familiar with lightweight building.

At that size she should have plenty of room and even payload capacity. I’m extremely biased, but definitely worth a look.

I hope this isn't derailing the thread. Do you happen to have any pictures/examples of the earlier Cross design? I'm trying to narrow down details of my hull. My 37 (or 38?) hull looks very similar to the lines of this 53, and mine is diagonal ply, but I don't know how subtle the differences are between the older and less-older designs. I believe she was built late 70's.

smdg77 - My experience with my smaller Cross design is limited so far, and general sailing experience also limited, (disclaimer) but it has been easy to sail a great platform for week long trips. I've yet to do any major repairs on her but the epoxy over wood seems manageable to work with. Good luck in your search.
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Old 29-11-2019, 12:05   #6
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

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Originally Posted by smdg77 View Post
G'day mate. Yes, same boat (being sold by the OP of that post I think, though not 100% certain). I think she is fibreglass over marine ply, but the seller doesn't appear to know a huge amount about her construction. We will definitely be getting a full pre-purchase survey done of she looks like "the one"
Metal Boat was just looking at it as a possible, he's still looking around i think.....

53ft Norman Cross Trimaran
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Old 29-11-2019, 14:19   #7
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

@SeaGirt

Sorry for the low quality, I had to grab these off the web at low res.

Here is a picture of the framing for a chined hull (earlier versions), the chined hulls could be built with much larger plywoods sheets (similar to a SeaRunner). They could also be built diagonal so that is not definitive:

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And here is one for the non-chined hull, the non-chined were usually built with diagonal planking:

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And here they are on Thesis, a Cross 37 stretched to 39 and then to 40 with the addition of a swim platform. Thesis was built in the early '70s right at the time of transition, her amas have a chine and her main hull, I think, does not (could just be the swimstep addition, not sure). You can see the angular nature of the amas vs. the round nature of the main hull.

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You can still wander through some of the Cross literature, pictures, etc. on the Wayback Machine. I may still have the design brochure, will see if I can find it later as it has some nice line drawings that compare the differences.
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Old 29-11-2019, 15:02   #8
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

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@SeaGirt

Sorry for the low quality, I had to grab these off the web at low res.

............ ............ I can find it later as it has some nice line drawings that compare the differences.
Obvious, thanks! The change is in styles is blatant and so I'm dealing with the round hulls and no chines. The story of Anduril and your adventures around the world look interesting and are inspiring, thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-12-2019, 17:56   #9
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
From the pictures that’s one of Norm’s later designs - the hulls are round rather than chined and the amas are raked slightly outward. Almost impossible to build in straight ply, so I’d guess at a minimum she is double-diagonal ply planking. Done properly the tortured ply makes for a very strong boat.

Also if a later design she will be light (relative to her older siblings) if the builder was conscientious. Too many added “strength” (and weight) because they weren’t familiar with lightweight building.

At that size she should have plenty of room and even payload capacity. I’m extremely biased, but definitely worth a look.
Thanks for your reply Dsanduril, appreciated. So your a trimaran fan (sorry if I'm stating the obvious ha ha!)? I've not really considered them in our search for a suitable liveaboard vessel, primarily because most seem to be home built out of marine ply and I've generally found vessels of this heritage to often be dubious. This boat peeked my interest due to its sheer size, she's a massive platform! And it's affordable to us so would leave a good budget for upgrades etc. Plus my partner isn't a massive fan of monohulls and their heeling, she panics when the boat leans over, feels it's going to tip (I've explained the physics behind it not being possible except in extreme conditions but to no avail ha ha). We've really been searching for an affordable large volume motorsailer, but few and far between)
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Old 02-12-2019, 18:00   #10
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

She looks to be a version of the 48ft design (extended obviously, if she's really 53ft?)Click image for larger version

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Old 04-12-2019, 06:37   #11
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Re: Norman Cross Trimaran

Yes, I’ve never seen a 53 in the plans, but lots of extended boats out there. And yes, you do have to keep a careful eye on the build quality. There is a lot of variation. Some have fallen apart in short order and some have withstood time quite well, but it can be hard to evaluate.

Even though we currently sail a cat we are dyed-in-the-wool trimaran folk. To sail them properly you have to approach life with a backpacking mentality - only carry what you really need. Although, 53' is a pretty big backpack.

Once you get above the 40-45' range you start to see accommodations in the amas, which can be nice for a family. But it can also lead to weight and a boxy look, so you have to evaluate each boat and decide what's right for you.
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