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wbrobin
01-10-2012, 02:34 PM
I had the opportunity last summer to help build a trimaran in a course at WoodenBoat School. Our class built a Seaclipper 20 (see Designs, WB217) designed by Jim Brown and John Marples, who were the instructors. The boat went together really fast, and we got it in the water at the end of our two week class, but not sailing. It was my first experience with a multihull, and I look forward to sailing it soon. I'm eager to learn more about multihulls, and curious to learn about your experiences with them. What is your level of interest in multihulls, and what are your ideas for coverage of them?

Robin Jettinghoff
Assistant Editor

Bobcat
01-10-2012, 02:37 PM
I am very interested in multihulls, especially small trimarans and outriggers

Bob Cleek
01-10-2012, 08:53 PM
For what it is worth, my level of interest in multihulls is practically nil, notwithstanding that I'll be watching the America's Cup races run in multihulls this time around. They have their place if speed at any cost is the object, or if you want to have a ball on a Hobie Cat zipping around a relatively calm lake. Other than that, they aren't really taken all that seriously. Interest in them peaked in the late sixties.

My point is that I think WB would be better advised to stick to the traditional or, at best, semi-traditional in content. I know there are a lot of people who buy the magazine and dream of building a "quick and dirty" boat, and see wood as the answer. Some even spend big bucks and lots of time building large strip planked hulls and so on. Encouraging this sort of approach to wooden boats doesn't do these folks, or wooden boats, any good. The builders, despite cost and effort, end up with a substandard vessel of low value and the overall reputation of "wooden boats" suffers when such examples exist. Elitist? (Blah, blah, blah...) Perhaps, but there are standards to be upheld.

The Bigfella
01-10-2012, 09:37 PM
I seem to recall a figure, cited back when the Tornado was dropped from the Olympics, that something like 25 - 30% of all off the beach sailing was done in multihulls. I'm not so sure that leads to the conclusion that they aren't really taken all that seriously. They are certainly being taken seriously in the ferry trade and the military these days too.

DGentry
01-10-2012, 10:11 PM
Other than that, they aren't really taken all that seriously.

??
It is true that some people, yourself included perhaps, don't take multihulls seriously. I daresay that a lot of people do, though.

And, multihulls seem to have their place in all sorts of aquatic venues and for all sorts of purposes - and they have hundreds of thousands of blue water miles to back that up.

And . . . oh. Nice troll. Y>

As for me - more multihull articles, please! Thomas Firth Jones would be a great start.
And more quick and dirty boatbuilding articles, too!! :d

BBSebens
01-10-2012, 10:40 PM
I don't care for Multi-hulls. But thats a personal taste. I think they are a legitimate hull form, and deserve their place in our favorite publication.

That said, I think that most subscribers, myself included, are into the traditional methods than more than the latest thing in race-boats. So, don't leave them out, but there should be a bias toward traditional methods and designs.

Clarkey
01-10-2012, 10:49 PM
Some time ago there was an article in Yachting World interviewing many luminaries of the ocean racing scene spanning people such as Robin Knox Johnson, Grant Dalton, Ellen McArthur etc. etc. The last question was something like "what type of boat would you choose for the simple joy of sailing and taking the family crusing" - almost without exception they all plumped for a trimaran.

In every area of sailing where performance matters both inshore and offshore multihulls are basically dominant. Hydrofoils and kite boards may have much to offer but as yet occupy fairly narrow niches.

Ian McColgin
01-10-2012, 10:52 PM
There is a bias towards traditional and semi-traditional (plywood and epoxy have been around long enough) methods at least in part because that's what home builders do. That's fine.

The great thing about WoodenBoat Magazine is that it provides coverage regarding all aspects of woodenboats, 'traditional' or not. After all, what's now 'traditional' - like metal fastenings and especially metal rigging or internal combustion engines - was pretty non-traditional not so very long ago.

It is good to keep alive some older technologies, like oil paints and such, but it's especially important to recognize that how much is happening may impact how it's happening. Like one guy in the early morning exercising the Sea Dog's Perogative over the lee rail won't hurt the creek. A few hundred make a nitrogen problem. Same with traditional bottom paints, as samples from a lot of harbor bottoms prove. As more of us do things, the more we need to change our methods. WoodenBoat Magazine has been sensitive to that all along and I expect that it will for the future.

Woxbox
01-10-2012, 11:10 PM
One of the most exciting WB covers you ever did had one of Dick Newick's tris on it. I think it was Rogue Wave. (A quick check of your index says it was Rogue Wave in #23) That and other coverage at the time piqued my interest. I'm now on my third multihull. (The first was wood - a Searunner - the next two made of that other stuff.)

Covering the cutting edge of wooden boat design and construction was important and great reading back then, and it still is. I mentioned in another thread that I have more than 20 years of WBs in the basement, but I don't subscribe now because it's become too predictable, too repetitive.

There's a proa thread running now that doesn't seem to want to quit. There seems to be a growing interest in making replica Polynesian multihulls, too. Traditional construction in other parts of the world don't get the coverage they used to. There's carbon fiber and then there's coconut fiber. Both interesting to learn about.

I know these subjects haven't gone entirely unnoticed in the magazine. (Mbuli a nice case in point) But if you want to win this reader back, this is one area that needs more attention. And not just design and construction. I'd like to hear from someone who's covered some distance in a traditional proa.

(If you should ask about interest in square rigger history, construction and maintenance, I may have an opinion on that, too.)

Clarkey
01-11-2012, 12:31 AM
I could cope with an entire issue of the magazine being dedicated to Newick and his boats, they must rank as some of the most beautiful and fit for purpose sailing machines ever created.

coucal
01-11-2012, 08:09 PM
I like quick-and-dirty as much as the next person, but one of the things I like about WBM is it's focus on wooden boats made (and used) with care, insight, creativity and craftsmanship. That applies to avant garde or traditional, single hull or multihull, race or cruise, motor or sail, cheap or expensive.

Teach me something interesting. Show me something I haven't seen before. As long as it's linked by some combination of care, insight, creativity or craftmanship it's a pretty sure bet I'll be interested.

Woxbox
01-11-2012, 10:47 PM
I like quick-and-dirty as much as the next person, but one of the things I like about WBM is it's focus on wooden boats made (and used) with care, insight, creativity and craftsmanship. That applies to avant garde or traditional, single hull or multihull, race or cruise, motor or sail, cheap or expensive.

Teach me something interesting. Show me something I haven't seen before. As long as it's linked by some combination of care, insight, creativity or craftmanship it's a pretty sure bet I'll be interested.

Well said.

slidercat
01-12-2012, 11:51 AM
For what it is worth, my level of interest in multihulls is practically nil, notwithstanding that I'll be watching the America's Cup races run in multihulls this time around. They have their place if speed at any cost is the object, or if you want to have a ball on a Hobie Cat zipping around a relatively calm lake. Other than that, they aren't really taken all that seriously. Interest in them peaked in the late sixties.



Really? I wonder why it is then, that the only fairly healthy segment of the boatbuilding industry is the multihull sector? Or why it is that multihulls hold their value better than monohulls in the used market?

I think that the reasons that multihulls continue to be the fastest-growing segment of the sailboat market is that they are not only faster than monohulls (which is nice, I guess) they are also more comfortable and safer than monohulls. No doubt I'll get argued at for saying so, but I have good reasons for thinking this way.

They are more expensive, probably. But I think you get more for your money.

I hope that WB will devote more coverage to multis, especially the smaller and less glitzy kinds. And I approve of the esthetic standards that WB tries to enforce. All things being equal, a beautiful boat is more likely to prove lovable than an ugly boat.

wbrobin
01-12-2012, 12:34 PM
I thank all of you for your comments. I see in just a dozen replies, you've hit on AC racing, cruising multihulls, quick-and-dirty vs classic craft, multihull vs monohull safety, and multihulls being the fastest growing segment of the market. What a great range of ideas to explore! I'd like to hear about personal experiences you may have had with wooden multihulls.

Appreciate your input. BTW, you probably won't hear back from me until Monday. I shall head home through the snow soon and have no email there. But I look forward to reading your comments on Monday.

Robin

CWSmith
01-12-2012, 07:41 PM
I imagine sailing in waves in unprotected waters and then I see the AC hulls digging in their bows and pitch-poling. Is this common in multihulls, or just a function of sailing on the edge?

slidercat
01-12-2012, 07:50 PM
I imagine sailing in waves in unprotected waters and then I see the AC hulls digging in their bows and pitch-poling. Is this common in multihulls, or just a function of sailing on the edge?

Sailing on the edge.

The price of racing is accidents, which you can see at any NASCAR track. In the case of racing multis, it's flirting with disaster in at least 2 ways. Of course, the boat is being pushed to the edge of destruction by the sailors aboard, and the designer and builder have attempted to make the boat as light as possible without having the boat so weak that it fails on the course.

But a cruising multi is something else entirely. A largish cat will probably never see conditions that can capsize it, given reasonable prudence on the part of the crew.

Woxbox
01-12-2012, 07:55 PM
I imagine sailing in waves in unprotected waters and then I see the AC hulls digging in their bows and pitch-poling. Is this common in multihulls, or just a function of sailing on the edge?

In cruising multihulls, that happens less often than monohulls springing a leak and sinking into Davey Jones' locker.

To limit comments to my wooden trimaran experience, I bought a worn-out but solidly built Brown Searunner quite a few years ago. I spent about 18 months totally rebuilding and refinishing it, and then the next 7 years sailing it in the Chesapeake and parts of the NE coast up to Cape Cod.

What I found was a boat that was both fun and lively and extremely secure. I had no problems handing the tiller over to kids. They really could do no wrong. The stability was so great that turning the boat the wrong way would just mean that it would stall out. No scary angles of heel, nothing threatening to break.

And I also found that people (SWMBO included) who get very nervous in light monohulls felt perfectly comfortable in this very light trimaran.

What else? Being light, it was easy to trailer. And being shoal draft, it was easy to launch and retrieve.

Speed? Yes, but that was not the biggest attraction, just an added bonus. And when I sold it, I came pretty close to getting what I'd put into it.

(FYI - Not wood, but last year some friends and I sold a 35' catamaran we had co-owned for 5 years. It sold for 87% of what we paid for it. And this is not extraordinary in the multihull market.)

jackster
01-12-2012, 09:09 PM
I liked Chris Whites' "Cruising Mulithulls" www.chriswhitedesugns.com

Carl Cramer
01-14-2012, 12:59 PM
I got so excited about a catamaran I read about today that I've posted it on "My Wooden Boat of the Week," at http://boats.woodenboat.com

It's the Oppikat from Dudley Dix. Dudley designed her for kids.

I'd love to hear (read) what you think.

Thanks, Carl

Woxbox
01-14-2012, 01:24 PM
Looks like a ton of fun. That point about being able to trailer it on top of, say, a Hobie 16 hull, is the deal maker. How great would it be to have mom & dad tagging along on the bigger cat as junior learned to manage the baby boat. I'd expect it to perform a lot like the little Hobie cats, which are also a pleasure to sail and great for kids, but even the little Bravo costs well over $3,000.

I am surprised he designed it with a jib. I'd have opted for a single sail plan.

jimbrown
01-16-2012, 09:59 AM
I really like Dudley's little Optikat for kids. The comparison with the Optimus pram is interesting, but compares apples to missles. The multihull bugaboo is cost, and the Optikat's sophisticated sail would make it somewhat more expensive than the pram. But at even twice the cost-to-build, the performance difference would be more like triple, which is what is needed these day to get kids interested.

Great choice, Carl.

Jim

slidercat
01-16-2012, 10:32 AM
Jim, welcome to the forum! I'll watch for your posts-- I would expect them to be as inspirational as your books have been.

wbrobin
01-16-2012, 10:40 AM
Hi Jim, Welcome to the forum. That Oppicat looks like a whole lot of fun. I wonder if Dudley will bring one to the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic in June. He usually brings his Paper Jet, and those look like a rush to sail, too. All of these posts make me eager to sail on a multihull. How many of you have cruised aboard a multihull--wood or otherwise?

Robin

jimbrown
01-16-2012, 11:19 AM
This fine thread includes an early post suggesting that multihulls are “not taken seriously.” As a long-time multihull proponent, this seems a good joke on those who, like me, see multihulls as an absolute sea change in marine architecture.

After all, the nautical heritage and skills we preserve so passionately today surely must descend from the most advanced marine technology of yesterday, and aren’t multihulls foremost on that cutting edge right now?

Here’s hoping we can use this thread to explore why multihulls should -- and/or should not – be taken seriously. Or is that too serious? Like, I too may be simply uninformed, another of those aging boat nuts who passionately prefers wooden multihulls.

coucal
01-17-2012, 01:39 AM
Hi Robin, I cruised through the Moluccas (Ambon, Banda, Ceram, Babar) in my teens on a ply Piver Nimble tri. Our home port was Darwin, in the Northern Territory (Aus).

I can't imagine a better boat for that sort of cruising than a multi. The deck space (often too hot to go below), shallow draft (I remember gingerly picking our way through WWII anti-landing craft obstructions to a favourite landing on Mica Beach on the Cox Peninsula) and appropriate-tech (repairs were sometimes rough-and ready) of the Piver was brilliant. Our speed was never anything special, but every now and then you could get the old girl to kick her heels and fly a hull - in our heads we might as well have been racing Randy Smyth on a Formula 40.

I grew up thinking that tris and cats were 'normal' boats, and the Appledores, Bluenoses and Ticonderogas we read about in WBM were interesting, beautiful cultural artefacts from a different, distant world (no criticism). We took our tri as seriously as any boat-mad teenage boys take any boat seriously.

I love Mr Brown's boats. I love Kingston lobster boats and no-mans land boats and couta boats, too. It's a broad church.

Jack.

Woxbox
01-17-2012, 10:04 PM
Nothing to add, really, I just want to keep this thread going.

Hey, how about an old photo? Here's me with my sister and wife (seated) aboard the Searunner 25, circa 1990 up in Cape Cod. I must say, sometimes when photos such as this are taken, you don't fully realize how much you'll enjoy recalling the times. But there was hardly a single sail on this boat that I didn't know for fact was a keeper of a memory. Maybe not racy or all varnished up, but just a comfortable, friendly kind of boat to be aboard.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f92/Woxbox/Beluga.jpg

wbrobin
01-18-2012, 08:22 AM
Appreciate your comments about your experiences aboard multihulls. Once you learn about multihulls they seem to make so much sense in terms of being able to shallow water cruise, beach easily, lots of room on deck, comfortable to sail, yet still fast. They sound so practical, and they seem to be a logical answer to the yacht designer's dilemma of how to balance speed, comfort, and seakeeping abilities. If you build your own, then costs perhaps can be made manageable as well. It all makes a lot of sense. No wonder their popularity seems to be growing.

But there must be more of you out there who have an opinion about multihulls. What do you think?

Robin

slidercat
01-18-2012, 10:42 AM
Since Wox has so kindly bumped this thread, I think I'll pitch Jim Brown's work a little-- he's been a great inspiration to me. I bought his book, The Case for the Cruising Trimaran, when I was a fairly young man, and it's still well worth reading today. In recent years, he's started publishing his memoirs. I reviewed the first volume for Living Aboard magazine, and I'm trying to figure out how to get my editor to let me do the second one, too. They provide fascinating details of a memorable life. I have to say, Jim is a very smart guy, but he's been very lucky as well, which is even better.

Jim has also been a prolific writer for the periodicals. In fact, he's partly to blame for the creation of my little open cruising cat Slider. He wrote a piece for Cruising World a few years back in which he was pitching the idea of small trimarans-- he saw them as a breed of boat that was about to hit big. He was right, of course. In addition to the Windriders he had a hand in designing, the Hobie Adventure Island is rapidly coming to dominate the multihull fleet of events like the Everglades Challenge, at least in terms of numbers entered. However, it was a remark he tossed off in that article that helped me clarify my thinking about a new kind of boat I wanted to have. He said, "Speaking subjectively again, it is your reporter’s personal opinion that small catamarans don’t quite qualify as cruisers, because squatting on a trampoline does not provide the sailor any protection from the elements while under way.” Well, I agreed with this sentiment, but I couldn't really see any reason why it had to be this way. Sure, most small cats are beach cats. But did they have to be?

http://slidercat.com/blog/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/sliderslip.jpg

It turns out that they don't have to be uncomfortable at all.

I have to admit that Slider is a big heavy 16 foot cat that isn't very fast, at least compared to beach cats, or to performance-oriented small tris. But she'll still run away from almost any 16 foot monohull beachcruiser, and be a lot more comfortable while doing it. I've sold an astonishing number of plans, for an amateur designer, and I expect that someday there will be hundreds of sisterships sailing around the world.

Anyway, my point is that Jim is still inspiring new movements in the multihull world. It's great to see him here on the forum, and here's hoping the WB has more coverage of small wood multihulls in the future.

Bobcat
01-18-2012, 11:59 AM
The coolest thing about multihulls to me is that they accomplished the greatest sea voyages of all time, one that is never mentioned: the populating of the South Pacific

Dan St Gean
01-20-2012, 03:04 PM
Appreciate your comments about your experiences aboard multihulls. Once you learn about multihulls they seem to make so much sense in terms of being able to shallow water cruise, beach easily, lots of room on deck, comfortable to sail, yet still fast. They sound so practical, and they seem to be a logical answer to the yacht designer's dilemma of how to balance speed, comfort, and seakeeping abilities. If you build your own, then costs perhaps can be made manageable as well. It all makes a lot of sense. No wonder their popularity seems to be growing.

But there must be more of you out there who have an opinion about multihulls. What do you think?

Robin

I'm coming to the discussion late, as I have not visited this section much yet. However, I'm mad about boats and multihulls in particular. Bob Cleek's opinion is way off base with being "taken seriously". Many of the best and brightest designers are currently in this narrow field of marine design. How about going round the world in less time than a motor boat? 26 knots on average? Sure it's not wooden, but there have been some amazing boats built of wood. Piver, Brown, Wharram, Marples, White, and many other designers have a range of designs from beachcats to huge cruisers. While Ply and epoxy seem to dominate the build styles, it is represented by literally all styles. Today's blog post by small outrigger designer Gary Dierking (I've built two of his designs--fantastic!) illustrates the traditional side of a multihull--just not the tradition many from Eruope and America are familiar with. Check out the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UPAY1Zc4PGM
There's also boats strip built, cold moulded, ply, and even plank on frame. It's a facinating group of craft that are linked by having more than one hull. Cats, tris, outriggers, and proas are all of great interest to me.

I'm glad the magazine is looking at what the readership is interested in. I let my subscription lapse after I thought the focus swung too much in the direction of the elite classics. Beautiful, but not something I'll ever own. Instead, I was reenergized by the Small Craft Advisor and the Small Boats issue. I'd subscribe to a monthly of that description. I do read and occasionally buy WB still, but MAIB and SCA have stolen a bit of WB's thunder.

That said, any and all articles on anything multihull are of tremendous interest ranging from: designer profiles, specific boat features, interesting cultural designs, trip reports, and build logs.

Dan

PeterSibley
01-20-2012, 05:30 PM
I suffer from Cleekism and just love traditional wooden boats, usually British designs from the 30s and 50s, Harrison Butler's boat are close to perfection for me BUT I also love the opposite end of the spectrum, James Wharram's simple and utilitarian cats. They have a simple beauty, especially the larger "traditional" series.They sail well and have a truly admirable safety record, definitely the Volkswagens of the sea. I wouldn't be surprised if I were told that there are more of Wharram cats sailing than any other designer's output.

I find almost anything about multihulls of interest with the exception of those huge over size bloated plastic things !

Dan St Gean
01-21-2012, 09:43 AM
I'm with you there Peter. I enjoy the older craft as well. I just think there room in the magazine for boats of all stripes from dingy to megayacht (even if those spendy yachts hold little interest personally), rough workboat finish to gold plater, and mono and multis too.

wbrobin
01-24-2012, 08:03 AM
Nice to hear how many of us there are who have fallen in love with traditional classics, yet also can see the beauty and merits of a multi-hull. A pair of gracefully curving gull-winged akas lends a is a different kind of beauty, but IMHO can also take your breath away. The more I learn about multihulls, the more I like them. Can any of you tell me about your first experience sailing on a multihull?

ahp
01-24-2012, 09:34 AM
I have mixed feelings about multihulls. If I were 50 years younger I would probably be racing a Hobie 16, made out of that other stuff, as I did once. Small multihulls are blazingly fast (fast is fun), beachable, and rightable if capsized. Not so rightable, large multihulls, but large multihulls usually have much less sail area to weight ratio, unless they are one of those scary racing machines.

The problem with wood multihulls is the ventilation and maintenance inside the hull. I guess on a large one you can get to all places inside, but not the little ones. That is why I favor the other construction material.

Now I am still slowly building a WOOD 19 ft sharpie, which I hope is fun, moderately fast, beachable, trailerable, and rightable. We have a lot of shallow water around here and a lot of deep draft yachts at the marina which don't seem to go anywhere.

Dan St Gean
01-24-2012, 09:58 AM
It is kinda funny how little use the boats in the marina get relative to their cost. Most of them are ill suited to their environment as the deep draft restricts access to lots of places immediately adjacent to where they are moored. Following a marked channel for miles to get to decent sailing depths doesn't sound as fun as sailing wherever you please as long as there's a foot or two of water. I think of Florida and the Chesapeake in particular, but lots of locations like the Bahamas are similarly shallow.

Additionally, many of those idle yachts have huge amenity options--essentially waterfront property--yet are vacant much of the time. That said, for most including myself, it the dream of that day on the water that is the pull to get through a busy work week or long winter. Even an idle yacht might be vey real and active in the mind of the owner. I wonder why more shared boat ownerships don't happen given the average use of a boat.

Although I would love to have a big boat, having several small boats scratches the itch in so many pleasant ways: paddleboarding with my wife, kayaking with my kids, going on the Texas 200 with my buddy Brian, planning on daysails in Florida, etc all make for a day on the water. I like the Hawaiian term waterman where they mean someone who can excell in any of the various water related craft--or just bodysurfing!

While a moored Val has tremendous appeal, Frank's little homebuilt tri that sets up on one minute sounds pretty good. Evidently he's right since the Hobie AI seems to have garnered lots of followers when you look at the number of forum posts over there and the number of entries in events like the Everglades Challenge.

Although I love my Tamanu hulled H18 mashup, I am also inspred to do something like Frank's Tri mixed with a little Gary Dierking. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of plan sets out there for small multis--something I'm calling solo + (room for a week's gear or a second person). So yeah, additional coverage of multihulls would be valuable to a guy like me.

Dan

Woxbox
01-25-2012, 08:55 PM
First multihull experience? The family was visiting friends who had a place on a lake in New Hampshire. Roughly 1965. They had an old canvas covered canoe - a pretty big one - that someone had added crossbeams, floats and an old wooden dinghy rig to. A Snipe sort of a rig. And it had one or two leeboards clamped in place.

So we clambered on in at the dock and pushed off. It was not a particularly windy day. But that boat just took off. Did she ever scoot. I was amazed. We were easily going twice as fast as any other sailboat on the lake. And this trimaran was just bodged together with odds and ends. I haven't forgotten a bit of it all these years later.

Escargot18
01-26-2012, 05:51 PM
I've been a Woodenboat subscriber for about 30 years and still have all of them. I love all type of boats, but only had time to build two. My only wooden boat now is the Escargot I finished 3 years ago. This boat is just a big floating box, but it meets my need of a backwater cruiser perfectly. Perhaps there is a need for a Classic Woodenboat magazine for those who look down their noses at plywood boats.
John

G Mitchell
01-26-2012, 06:23 PM
My family has the multihull bug, and we're looking at building the oppieKat- mainly cause my 8 year old is fine driving a weta at 14 knots, but freaks out at 4 knots in the opti in her sailing class. So it's time for some wooden strip-planking - as soon as I finish the tv cabinet for the wife!

slidercat
01-27-2012, 12:18 PM
I have mixed feelings about multihulls. If I were 50 years younger I would probably be racing a Hobie 16, made out of that other stuff, as I did once. Small multihulls are blazingly fast (fast is fun), beachable, and rightable if capsized. Not so rightable, large multihulls, but large multihulls usually have much less sail area to weight ratio, unless they are one of those scary racing machines.

The problem with wood multihulls is the ventilation and maintenance inside the hull. I guess on a large one you can get to all places inside, but not the little ones. That is why I favor the other construction material.



Here's a little wooden one which has all its interior spaces accessible and ventilated:

http://slidercat.com/blog/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/nancywash1.jpg

The fore and aft flotation chambers have 6" deck plates for access. I don't use the spaces for storage, except for fenders and other light stuff. Like all deck plates, they can leak a little in a heavy downpour, so I keep a sponge on a stick that allows me to collect any water from the bottom without much effort. The boat is 4 years old and there hasn't been any rot associated with these chambers, despite my indifferent boat maintenance skills.

In general, small multis tend to be overcanvassed for cruising, at least in my opinion, and this has had a bad effect on the acceptance of small multis for that purpose. As you say, this is not a problem for beach cats, which can be righted by their crews if they go over. But small multis don't have to be overcanvassed. Slider only carries 140 sq. feet of sail, and I've never managed to fly a hull, even in 35 knot winds. (To be fair, I haven't tried, since I usually have a lot of stuff in the boat that I don't want to fall out, including me and my wife.) But although that means Slider is slower than a beach cat, she's still faster than most 16 foot open cruising monohulls.

But though speed is fun, and greatly increases the sailing area you can cover in a weekend, speed is not the greatest virtue of multihulls, in my opinion. You mention age as a drawback to multi acceptance, but I think that small multis offer much greater comfort than is usual with small monohulls. You have flat sailing, much less rolling, and in Slider's case, very comfortable in-hull forward-facing seating where much of your body is protected from the elements. In fact, the number one comment I hear when I take folks out in Slider concerns the extraordinary level of comfort, and this is especially the case with elderly friends and relatives.

I was looking through the small boat issue of WB the other day, and was disappointed to see that there didn't seem to be a single small multihull covered in the magazine. I hope that in future issues, this will be corrected, because more and more folks are seeing these advantages. These days there are some really good little boats around with more than one hull.

DudleyDix
02-10-2012, 06:00 PM
[QUOTE=ahp;3280938]The problem with wood multihulls is the ventilation and maintenance inside the hull. I guess on a large one you can get to all places inside, but not the little ones. That is why I favor the other construction material. [QUOTE]

I have not participated in this discussion but will throw in a few thoughts.

Ventilation is a necessity in a wooden boat, particularly if is is of traditional construction with solid timber. Modern epoxies have reduced that importance considerably for plywood boats. Built with care, a plywood boat can be totally sealed on the inside with 2 coats of 100% solids epoxy, 3 coats for people like me who like to be certain. My Paper Jet is a monohull but it is every bit as unreachable below the deck as a small multihull. My solution is to have a watertight access cover in the deck each end. When I beach the boat I crack the hatches. When I trail it I remove the hatch covers and they go into my sailbag, not to be refitted until I launch again. Towing the boat, the wind is circulating through the interior to keep it dry and fresh.

The three big boats that I built for myself in South Africa were all plywood boats (34ft, 36ft & 38ft), coated inside and out with epoxy. The were pretty light construction and all fast sailers. Owners of GRP boats would come on my boat and comment on how fresh the boats always smelled. When I visited their boats I smelled mustiness and mould. The difference was that I built in plenty of ventilation and they ignored it. They had rotting bulheads and bunks. I had a rot-free wooden boat.

Someone in an earlier post said that multihulls are more comfortable than monohulls. That may be either true or untrue, depending on where you are sailing and in what conditions. On my last crossing of the South Atlantic we fetched for 2/3 of the voyage, in what should have been downwind conditions. We sailed at 6-9 knots for 14 days solid in winds that were about 10 knots in the morning and built to 25 knots by nightfall, with seas building as the wind strengthened. In those conditions a monohull has uncomfortable heel but it has a very steady and predictable motion that is very easy on the human body. My body adapts to it very easily and I am extremely happy.

I have not done a similar passage on a multihull but I find that a cat has a less predictable motion in lumpy water, to which it is more awkward for my body to adapt. A trimaran with windward hull flying will have a motion between a cat and a monohull. I raced beach cats for years and love to sail them. For cruising I would choose a cat, for the space and stable platform. For ocean crossing I would choose the monohull, now I must just figure how to turn my ocean-crossing monohull into a spacious cat when I reach the other side.

There is also a comment somewhere above about multihulls being faster than monohulls. That is another statement that is sometimes true and sometimes not. It all depends where you are sailing and how. For day-sailing they are generally faster because we tend to reach back and forth on the fastest point of sail for some exciting sailing. When it comes to passage-making the wind and water will decide which is faster. In the three Cape to Rio Races in which I have sailed, the cats were beaten every time by the monohulls of similar size. Two races were primarily downwind and one primarily fetching and the monohulls were faster. If they had been primarily broad reaching courses the cats would have been faster. There was only one tri in any of those races, a Farrier 38, which was about 15 hours faster then my 38ft monohull "Black Cat" in 3 weeks of sailing, which is about 3% faster.

Before any of you pull out your big guns and shoot me down, I don't favour one type above any other. Good boats can be built of all types. I mostly design the boats that my clients want. I don't steer them toward any particular type but I turn away work when I feel that the concept is unsound. I am happy to design with one, two or three hulls but I want it to be fast and fun to sail.

Somebody expressed a hope to see an Oppikat at the Wooden Boat Show. I will not be building one (not this year anyway) but I am hopeful to bring one to the show. A friend will start on one in a few weeks for his kids. I hope that he will build fast enough that we can bring it to the show this year.

My apologies for the long post.

RFNK
02-10-2012, 08:34 PM
Another point to consider for mono vs multi for cruising, particularly crossing oceans, is that the performance and safety of multis is severely compromised by excess weight. While modern multis handle rough conditions very well, the addition of extra weight for a long trip can render some designs very unsuitable for rough conditions.

Rick

slidercat
02-12-2012, 11:59 PM
I hate to find myself disagreeing with a designer whose work I hold in the very highest esteem, but I think the idea that monohulls are faster on some points of sail is no longer true. OSTAR was a prime example, a windward race dominated by multis in later years. By 1980, the top 5 finishers were all tris. In '84, the top 9 finishers were multis. In 88 the top mono finished 13th. It's doubtful that a monohull will ever again take line honors in a major trans-ocean race, if multis are allowed to compete, and are in the same class as the maxi yachts in the race. For example, it's true that the 2009 Cape-Rio race was essentially a two-boat race between 2 monohulls, but it might be important to note that one was a 90 footer and the other a 100 footer. Neither would have fared well against a racing multi of similar size, or so I believe.

The non-stop round the world records are dominated by multis. The 8 fastest times for a nonstop circumnavigation are all held by multis. For singlehanded nonstop circumnavigations, the record is 57 days. The fastest solo monohull took 84 days.


I believe most of the trans-ocean speed records are now held by multihulls. Even in so humble a venue as the last Jester Challenge a Tiki 21 (not a high tech racing machine by any standard) came a very close second to a racing monohull. As long ago as the 1988 AC, a smaller cat was much faster than the gigantic New Zealand yacht on all points of sail.

It's true that reaching back and forth across the bay is what beach cats are best at doing, but modern performance multis are a different breed entirely.

Dan St Gean
02-14-2012, 02:53 PM
It's true that reaching back and forth across the bay is what beach cats are best at doing, but modern performance multis are a different breed entirely.

The record is now 45 days with the big tris--faster than any motorboat! They actually seek out weather systems to get pressure to keep up the 26+ knot average--yes average speed.

The old Hobies might have been good for beach launching and reaching around the bays, but few boats point the way a modern A cat or tuned F18 does regardless.
The newest ones are messing with curved foils to not necessarily fly the boat but rather reduce wetted surface area. Either way they are fast upwind and down.

All in all, there are still horses for courses.

Dan

WI-Tom
02-14-2012, 11:52 PM
The record is now 45 days with the big tris--faster than any motorboat! They actually seek out weather systems to get pressure to keep up the 26+ knot average--yes average speed.

That's insane...

Still, a crafty monohull enthusiast could make that speed sound like a disadvantage, I'm sure; something like: "I wanted to spend three years circumnavigating, wending my way from island to island harvesting coconuts and breadfruit and riding Le Truck, but my boat was too fast and now after only six weeks off I have to go back to work at the sauerkraut factory..."

Tom

P.L.Lenihan
02-15-2012, 03:29 AM
I'd like to see a definitive bio on Arthur Piver!

I love multihulls in all sizes and shapes!

There is lots of room for all types of wooden boats to be given a good reading within the pages of the magazine.

I applaud Mr.Cleek for his comments and always appreciate the balance he brings to nautical discussions.

Variety should be encouraged.

It is healthy.

I sometimes tell lies.





Cheers!


Peter

RFNK
02-15-2012, 06:36 AM
Indeed. I must remember next time I travel to Papua New Guinea to inform the locals how to build their boats using traditional techniques and materials. Poor ignorant fools that they are .....

Rick

Dan St Gean
02-15-2012, 08:30 PM
That's insane...

Still, a crafty monohull enthusiast could make that speed sound like a disadvantage, I'm sure; something like: "I wanted to spend three years circumnavigating, wending my way from island to island harvesting coconuts and breadfruit and riding Le Truck, but my boat was too fast and now after only six weeks off I have to go back to work at the sauerkraut factory..."

Tom

Tom,

Seriously? You've seen monos racing that take 3 years on circumnavigation? Check the Volvo ocean series or whatever. Cruisers are just that regardless of the number of hulls. Our style of cruising isn't that different even though you're sailing small mono & I'm sailing a 20 overgrown beachcat. If we were racing, just think of all the cool nooks in Georgian Bay we'd miss....

Dan

WI-Tom
02-16-2012, 12:13 AM
Tom,

Seriously?

Of course not, just trying to be funny. And yet, kind of serious a tiny bit... seems like on the Texas 200 I got full value (i.e. 14-hour days in my 14' monohull) while you and the rest of the multihull guys would sleep in until noon (I'm guessing since I left at dawn) and would still beat me to the next camp by several hours, giving them less time on the water.

It's the only "virtue" a slow boat offers so I have to make the most of it!:d
(I actually spent some time sailing a Hobie around Door County about ten years back and quite enjoyed myself--but don't tell any monohull purists)


If we were racing, just think of all the cool nooks in Georgian Bay we'd miss....

Now you're talking--monohull, multihull, paddling, whatever, the North Channel and Georgian Bay is my kind of cruising. Are you going up there this summer at all? I hope I get my new boat launched in time to do a trip up there.

Tom

wbrobin
02-21-2012, 08:22 AM
Glad to see this thread is still active. Dudley, I thank you for your input and agree that there is room for all kinds of boats. I'd love to see the Oppikat at the WB Show, or any other boats you bring. They all look like a whole lot of fun!

Robin

johngsandusky
02-21-2012, 08:40 AM
Never sailed a big multihull, nor a wooden one. On vacation I've sailed a Nacra 20 and a Hobie Wave, both were great fun. For the fun of pure daysailing, especially performance, I'd love to own a catamaran. But I don't have the space or money for one. I still remember one featured in Designs many years ago, and I'd be interested in seeing more.

Dan St Gean
02-21-2012, 09:27 PM
Of course not, just trying to be funny. And yet, kind of serious a tiny bit... seems like on the Texas 200 I got full value (i.e. 14-hour days in my 14' monohull) while you and the rest of the multihull guys would sleep in until noon (I'm guessing since I left at dawn) and would still beat me to the next camp by several hours, giving them less time on the water.

It's the only "virtue" a slow boat offers so I have to make the most of it!:d
(I actually spent some time sailing a Hobie around Door County about ten years back and quite enjoyed myself--but don't tell any monohull purists)



Now you're talking--monohull, multihull, paddling, whatever, the North Channel and Georgian Bay is my kind of cruising. Are you going up there this summer at all? I hope I get my new boat launched in time to do a trip up there.

Tom

First of all, I GOTTA see the Alaska you've got going. Before going down the multi route, I was way in love with that boat. Still am I guess. I could break away for a short weekend type trip I think in July, but more local to WI rather than GB. I love it, but it's still a 12 hour drive to Killarney from the cabin in Three Lakes/Eagle River area. Too far for a new (for the third time now) dad as of 1/31. My thing is camp cruising. True when I was obsessed with hiking, kayaking, and now sailing. One nece thing about going a bit faster is you would already have the shelter set up for you when you pull up to the beach!

Dan

Dan St Gean
02-21-2012, 09:29 PM
Never sailed a big multihull, nor a wooden one. On vacation I've sailed a Nacra 20 and a Hobie Wave, both were great fun. For the fun of pure daysailing, especially performance, I'd love to own a catamaran. But I don't have the space or money for one. I still remember one featured in Designs many years ago, and I'd be interested in seeing more.

I'm sure space is a legit issue, but price isn't. I bought my Hobie 18 for $600 bucks and just sold off the motor mount for $200. I'd say a $400 investment in a boat that's been on the Texas 200 and down to Sanibel isn't too bad at all!

Dan

johngsandusky
02-22-2012, 09:38 AM
Well, there's another factor too. I own two daysailors, three dinghies, a canoe and a cruising ketch. One more boat equals divorce! But maybe if I sell the dory.....

Dan St Gean
02-22-2012, 10:04 AM
Well, there's another factor too. I own two daysailors, three dinghies, a canoe and a cruising ketch. One more boat equals divorce! But maybe if I sell the dory.....

The two daysailors are the problem...or is it the three dingies? When I was trying to get my outrigger to do it all, Graham Byrnes designer of the B&B yachts told me, "Dan you need more arrows in your quiver." Good point. Boats serve functions, some better than others. Figuring out how you enjoy a day on the water is kinda the key to figuring out why a boat works or does not for a person.

My quiver currently looks like a pair of glass SUPs, a Hobie 18, my father in law's kayaks and Hobie Wave, and my Tamanu cat. If I were starting from scratch, I think I'd have the same sups, a solo + outrigger, cat or tri, and a bigger campcruiser cat or tri with a motor integrated into the design. Bigger than that is outa my league financially. Fortunately, my interests fun towards small craft anyhow.

Dan

RFNK
02-22-2012, 02:19 PM
I always thought multihull meant two or three hulls joined together.

Rick

Woxbox
02-22-2012, 07:08 PM
I always thought multihull meant two or three hulls joined together.

Anyone ever tried four?

Dryfeet
02-22-2012, 08:58 PM
There is never a mono/multi thread that doesn't have its staunch defenders on either side of the aisle! Wooden boats are boats of wood. I love and appreciate heavy traditional construction and solid bulwarks and the creak of a gaff rigged schooner or Friendship sloop. Most of all, I love the warmth of sitting or laying on or in a wooden deck or cockpit in the morning sun! There is nothing else quite like it and boats of the 'other' stuff just don't equal that pleasure.

My first exposure to a multihull was back about 1960, give or take a year or so. My dad's good friend built an 18' catamaran in his driveway. I've never seen one like it since nor come across that design. What does a 6 or 7 year old know about such things? Anyway, our two families often sailed Casco Bay in company, they in their bright red cat and we in our 18' A.R.True Rocket. I devoured a Piver design catalog and dreamed of an a 35' Lodestar, often concurrent with my dreams for an H-28 and Tahiti ketch from my worn and ragged Rudder publications "How to build 20 Boats". But as a kid my brother and I really dreamed of the 13' boys launch 'Lark' and I longed, too, for a 20' Carinta.

Today I own a large cruising (other built) catamaran and dream still again of a catamaran that evokes the warmth and tradition of wooden boats in the Rozinante classic vein. An overnighter, with perhaps varnished spars and a classic hull color/paint scheme. I'm an avid reader of both electronic and print versions of stories of those who are small boat voyagers, gunkholers and of those who rendezvous with their wooden trailerable beach cruisers. I love a tanbark sail and the simplicity of a standing or balanced lugsail.

Nope, this place thrives because we love wood, water, boats. The number of hulls, the various ways of connecting that wondrous fiber and the memories it all evokes, varies for each of us. There is none who is more pure, or more right, but we all find those bits that inexorably draw us in.

Bill Huson
02-25-2012, 08:13 PM
I built a wood multihull - WB plans for Richard Wood's "Pixie" - a 14' stitch & glue catamaran. 4mm okoume plywood, cypress where lumber was needed, and a 22' birdsmouth mast using cypress. I also made full batten sails and the tramp and the double blocks for mainsheet & vang (kicking strap if you're from the UK). My daughter and friends sail her and it is fast. Reckon when it comes time to hot rod her I'll swap the blocks out for better gear, and maybe an aluminum mast if I can pick one up used and cheap.

Beach cat = FUN!

PeterSibley
02-25-2012, 08:26 PM
Today I own a large cruising (other built) catamaran and dream still again of a catamaran that evokes the warmth and tradition of wooden boats in the Rozinante classic vein. An overnighter, with perhaps varnished spars and a classic hull color/paint scheme. I'm an avid reader of both electronic and print versions of stories of those who are small boat voyagers, gunkholers and of those who rendezvous with their wooden trailerable beach cruisers. I love a tanbark sail and the simplicity of a standing or balanced lugsail.

.

Well put sir.

Woxbox
02-25-2012, 09:03 PM
I'm surprised myself that Wharram seems to be the only cruising multi designer exploiting - or even referencing -
traditional aesthetics.

http://www.allievicvc.it/archivioImg/05tiki1_copia.jpg

http://www.classicboat.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Tahiti-W-double-canoe-draw.jpg

johnno
02-25-2012, 10:32 PM
I'm surprised myself that Wharram seems to be the only cruising multi designer exploiting - or even referencing -
traditional aesthetics.

Gary Dierking in NZ has been designing and building some beautiful multihulls for many years which are steeped in the traditions of the Pacific proas. Yes I agree..there's so much romance and 'wooden boat' sensibility in these craft. This was a 70' traditional proa which was one of the first boats I sailed on back in my younger days. What a beautiful wooden boat!http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i454/johnhockings/Little%20Egret/Taratai11.jpg

http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i454/johnhockings/Little%20Egret/Taratai9.jpg

and here's a 25' contemporary one...

http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i454/johnhockings/Little%20Egret/PAUK11_017.jpg

PeterSibley
02-26-2012, 01:26 AM
70 foot !!! Wow !

Dan St Gean
02-26-2012, 08:17 PM
That is kinda interesting that Wharram and Dierking are just about the only designers consciously refrencing Pacific flavor. I like it--a lot. Maybe that's why I've built a pair of Dierking boats over the myriad of small trimaran plans on offer. There's something compelling about them visually in the same sense as the old wooden boats from Maine or England or whatever gets in people's psyche.

Dan