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Thread: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

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    Default DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    According to Small Trimarans blog it's just been announced that this tri from John Marples has won the design challenge?



    http://smalltrimarans.com/blog/?p=5811#more-5811

    Brian

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Looks like a nice boat

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Can it go to windward in 40 knots

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Can it go to windward in 40 knots
    I think that was one of the design requirements and so if it won the contest, I suspect it can. It's got a large offcenter board.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    Can it go to windward in 40 knots
    If the rig is not excessive and reefs are deep enough, I'd say so. Marples is a competent designer.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    I have no doubt that this boat can do all that John says it can. I agree, Marples is more than competent and I expect that this boat is also reasonably easy to build. Many, many years ago, John spent quite a bit of time with me on the phone, subsequently sharing his drawings, exchanging ideas and giving me background information on the Fulmar sailing kayak. He connected me with Jim Brown, who also shared a good deal of info from his vast personal experiences and sent me photos of his Bottlenose sailing kayak project. Together, these guys jump-started a much deeper understanding of small craft and creative problem solving that really got me rolling.

    John Marples deserves this kind of recognition, if only for his life-long connection to the world of homebuilt boats and multihulls. I can't wait to take a long look at the specs and John's description of the boat.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Im just not a fan of the upside down trapezoid cabin. Why not can't the cabin sides inward for good looks and lower windage? The seaclipper 24 has the same cabin design, just making a homemade boat look like its homemade, imho...

    Btw though, trimarans seem to fit the qualifications of this design contest particularly well, im glad the judges didn't have some sort of anti multihull bias...
    “The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    I don't think you could sit comfortably in the cabin if the cabin sides did not flare out like that. It is only 27 feet long so for two people to socialize reasonably well in there, something must be done. The hull is a constant camber so the boat is production-efficient (the Marples interview in the book "More Small Trimarans" suggests the speed with which the hull panels can be duplicated) but for one-off construction -- I wonder how easy to build compared to strip-building? But perhaps bagging and vacuum-pumping is not so hard as it sounds. Jim Brown did it after all in some remote places. At least the swing-wing folding aka system is quite achievable for the home builder. Dying to see the rig chosen for this boat. Yes, glad to see the judges had no anti-multi biases. But it will be nice to see the other designs that were entered, sure to engender a lot of good discussion. -- Wade

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by wtarzia View Post
    I don't think you could sit comfortably in the cabin if the cabin sides did not flare out like that. It is only 27 feet long so for two people to socialize reasonably well in there, something must be done. -- Wade
    Looking at the PDF cross sections, there appears to be nothing that dictates shape of the cabin sides other than choice. I don't think its ugly, but agree that a more common cabin side treatment would look better and might provide more room inside..
    Tom L

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    not to dismiss this excellent bit of design work, but i would actually like to try one out to windward in 40 knots.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    Looking at the PDF cross sections, there appears to be nothing that dictates shape of the cabin sides other than choice...
    --- I see what you mean, after finding the cross-section. The only things I can think of are that (1) the projecting sides of the cabin carry through the side-seat projections of the cockpit and so provide spray protection, something not to be lightly dismissed on even a moderately fast multihull, (2) the cabin does get extra space to toss stuff on the "shelves" behind your head, making cruising aboard less immemdiately cluttery in a narrow hull, and (3) the space at head-level creates a kind of psychological space to alleviate the cramped quarters in that sense. --Wade

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    I was on woxbox' f-27 trimaran, which has more "standard" cabin sides that slope inwards, and it was plenty spacious imo...
    “The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais

  13. #13

    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    I still think that was an unacceptably subjective criterion: able to progress to windward in a gale. It comes down to the judges' opinions, since clearly this was not tested in any objective manner. But given John Marples well-earned reputation, I'd guess that it's possible. All that said, I really like the design. The only criticism I'd have is that aft cabin. It's pretty much impossible to keep one dry at sea, with a forward-facing hatch. Especially to windward in a gale.

    I was very glad to see that the winning design was a multi. I also liked that the folding mechanism was so simple and straightforward. As much as I admire the F-boats, their folding mechanism is expensive, and not the sort of thing most builders can fabricate.

    Of course, I'm looking at this from the viewpoint of an extremely impoverished person. This fall we'll have three children in college at the same time. If my wife weren't a saint, I wouldn't be building anything more ambitious than a PDR.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    My F27 is my second trailerable trimaran -- the first was a Jim Brown Searunner 25. I think the judges have it right here -- that this type of boat fits the design requirements spot on. This particular tri combines a lot of nice features. I don't know what the design displacement is, but the plans offered show it to be much closer to the Searunner 25 than the F27, which stretches out the interior volume as much as possible. The Searunner -- ply on stringers -- weighed about 1,750 pounds on the trailer. The F27 is about 2,700, in foam-core glass. But those section views below show a much tighter interior -- much like the Searunner -- than what Farrier worked into his ply Trailertris, the predecessors of the F27.

    I'm not suggesting this is a negative. There's lots to be said for keeping boats as light and simple as possible.

    Compared to the Searunner, now a very old design, this one should be much quicker to set up and it should sail quite a bit better, too. Everything on this boat is evolutionary as these size tris go. I'd be curious to know what the designer thinks the materials cost should be.

    As far as those flaring cabin sides, visual space inside is important, and maybe the wider deck is needed to get the chainplates out where they need to be?


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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    ]To follow up with the above comments, here's the old Searunner 25 (if you'll excuse this nostalgic trip.) Marples did some constant camber versions of these Brown boats, but I don't know that there was an offering of the 25. He did do another constant camber boat at this length, but without a built-out cabin trunk, it was quite tight inside. And like the Searunner, there was no simple folding mechanism.

    The essentials of the most recent design are all here, but the new boat is clearly a much more refined package.

    Last edited by Woxbox; 06-17-2011 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    I agree with your analysis. It's a well thought out package that fits the design brief to a T and won't be as large a pain to build as some other designs I could think of.
    Scaling from the midship section, I'd guess a design displacement about 3,000 lbs and with the modest equipment shown, an empty weight of somewhat under a ton should be achievable.
    Personally, I'd like to explore cedar (or...) strip composite construction and the greater range of hull shape it'd permit. I think it'd be a wash in labor and might save a few bucks.

    The swing plank akas are a very simple and effective solution. I don't see the waterstays in the drawings that have been posted.
    Last edited by JimConlin; 06-18-2011 at 07:21 AM.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    There is an 18 minute interview with John Marples about DC-3 on the Smalltriamarans webpage. It really is worth listening to, just click on the blue bar

    http://smalltrimarans.com/blog/?p=5811#more-5811

    Brian

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    It was about time for a multi to win the competitions and this looks like it will meet the requirements. I wonder how many compromises were made to meet the "sail to windward in a gale" issue. The very narrow beam will make for good speed and also help that sticky gale goal. Certainly the interior is a bit cramped, even by small tri standards, but only limited accommodations were asked for. Aft cabins on just about all the small trimarans have been questionable IMO. Farrier even had one on the original TrailerTri 18 that might bring on screams of punishment from prisoners confined there. Haven't seen any of the other entries but this looks like a good one.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Dividing up the interior space does have some real advantages. In the interview, Marples talks about keeping the head and associated odors separate and creating a cockpit that's dry and secure. It also helps keep weight centered in the boat. As an expedition boat, he sees the aft cabin as mostly stowage, along with the head. Farrier's latest is a 22 foot tri that also has a center cockpit option.


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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Dividing up the interior space does have some real advantages. In the interview, Marples talks about keeping the head and associated odors separate and creating a cockpit that's dry and secure. It also helps keep weight centered in the boat. As an expedition boat, he sees the aft cabin as mostly stowage, along with the head. Farrier's latest is a 22 foot tri that also has a center cockpit option.

    That's especially true of small monos that put the portapotty under the V berth. No thanks.

    Dan

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    My favorite head ever was a toilet seat outrigged aft over the sea -- don't worry, it had safety conveniences. I think the craft was a catamaran. Not the potty of choice in a crowded harbor I suppose, though there are creative ways to make 'direct deposits' even in crowded coastal seas such as a a bit off the Sarasota coast during the EC :-) Outrigger craft are excellent for this. But never mind.... I really liked the potty on the Core Sound 20 Dawn Patrol which was demonstrated to me (dry run :-) -- toilet seat with netting under it, to hold a disposal bag. The waste can then be put somewhere else on the boat beside the sleeping cabin. Not great for a month at sea, but a nice idea for shorter cruises. -- Wade

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Ugh. I was afraid things would turn out like this when I saw the design brief. Whatever the merits of the design, I wouldn't consider it to be "trailerable" in any meaningful sense of the word.

    Hey, WB -- how about running a design competition for a truly trailerable boat ... one that can be trailered with ease by someone who doesn't own a large pickup and doesn't want to buy one? (It's okay if the boat won't go to windward in a gale.)

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Come-on, guys.... how far from land do you think you'll be going in any of these boats?

    If it's crapping you wish to do, then get your butt to the shore, observe the appropriate distances from water as recommended by the environmentalists and get your fanny on down the course of your cruise. If you have any doubts, then get in tune with the system offered by PETT waste disposal products. I've used these products over the years on ocean, as well as river expeditions and find them to be dialed-in to the process that best meets the environmental cleanliness that would be acceptable for small boat applications http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=...w=1516&bih=746

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Whatever the merits of the design, I wouldn't consider it to be "trailerable" in any meaningful sense of the word.
    Steve, what is your meaningful definition of trailerable? This is a light boat with a very conventional rig on it. What parameters would you set for such a contest?

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    I'd estimate a trailer weight of under 3,000 lbs. which can be towed by most minivans, compact pickups and midsize SUVs.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Ohhh, geez, I just looked at my hastily formed response to the poo discussion and it comes across as kinda snarky. I didn't mean it that way, so my apologies. Actually, I kinda write stuff as if I'm out in the shop talking with some boating guys and the tone is missing from the written word. If we were all in the same space, physically, we'd be able to get a whole lot more from each other just because we could read body language, facial expressions, etc.

    I've been putting together a plan for a small trimaran crossing of the Sea of Cortez from LaPaz to Mazatlan (266 miles of open water) and the waste product issue has come to the list as the crossing can not be made in one day without serious exposure to hazard. I'm not inclined to push an 18 foot trimaran that hard over night in a heavily traveled boating environment full of shipping, ferries, fishing boats and cruisers, even if the conditions were spectacular. I'm going to use the Pett system and keep the waste on board in a sealed container, much like one would do for a self-supported white water trip and dump it once in Mazatlan. My wife will take the ferry across with the trailer and we'll hang-out in Mexico for a week before driving home. Well... that's the plan anyway.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Jim, That's how I see it -- a package that's a bit bulky, but no heavier than the standard 16' glass runabout or bass boat. The only issue might be the setup time, but I've seen people spend 45 minutes getting a Hobie cat ready for the water. The swing amas on this tri make that part a piece of cake, which brings it down to setting up the mast -- the same issue you have on any monhull of similar length.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Jim, That's how I see it -- a package that's a bit bulky, but no heavier than the standard 16' glass runabout or bass boat. The only issue might be the setup time, but I've seen people spend 45 minutes getting a Hobie cat ready for the water. The swing amas on this tri make that part a piece of cake, which brings it down to setting up the mast -- the same issue you have on any monhull of similar length.
    The nets could be a problem. I'd think that it would be necessary to unlace something.
    I'd love to hear of a fast way to do net lacing. The first time, mine took over two person-days.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    The nets could be a problem. I'd think that it would be necessary to unlace something.
    I'd love to hear of a fast way to do net lacing. The first time, mine took over two person-days.
    I suppose it depends on what you want for nets as well. My Ulua has tight weave tramps like you'd see on a Hobie with pockets for the amas and "pola" or beams that rest on the akas. You could loosen a couple webbing straps and one line that tightens the akas together and you'd be ready to go. Fully laced on might pose a problem though. Alternately, you could think about going with a setup like the hobie wave had--one luff groove boltrope forward, two lines that fed into a few fasteners on the hulls and 4 velcro straps that tighten against a fiberglass rod and the aft aka.

    Anyhow, I think there's a few ways to skin that cat (or tri in this case) sorry I couldn't resist--been with my pun loving dad for a week.

    Dan

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Ostlind View Post
    ...I've been putting together a plan for a small trimaran crossing of the Sea of Cortez from LaPaz to Mazatlan (266 miles of open water) and the waste product issue has come to the list ....
    --- Chris, enjoy the cruise and poop with pride :-) Tell us all about what's tellable when you get back. (The Sea of Cortez is that busy with traffic, huh? I guess it makes sense, but somehow it was never the first image on my mind; the only images I have are from cruise reports which seem to emphasize rocky isolated beaches and schools of squid....) -- Wade

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    On the nets -- The swing-wing Dragonfly had (or has I suppose) a heavy wire of some sort to which two adjacent sides of the net are fixed. So all you have to do is secure one corner after the akas are opened. In fact, if I remember right, you can crank on this corner with a winch to open it up.

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    On the nets -- The swing-wing Dragonfly had (or has I suppose) a heavy wire of some sort to which two adjacent sides of the net are fixed. So all you have to do is secure one corner after the akas are opened. In fact, if I remember right, you can crank on this corner with a winch to open it up.
    There certainly are lots of non-obvious solutions to multihull net problems. I'd certainly require a net that would be firm enough to walk on and keep the crew out of the drink, no matter what. Adding the requirement to accommodate parallelogram folding gives me a headache. I guess we'll have to wait for a more detailed description of the boat.

  33. #33

    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    First I'd like to congratulate John Marples on winning the competition. He's been involved with multihulls for over 45 years so it's great to see he's still developing new ideas.

    I always define a trailable (sailing) boat as one that can be rigged and launched in under an hour by one person without outside assistance. Regardless of the number of hulls, the hardest part is always raising the mast, so it isn't really the car size or the boat length or it's displacement that is the limiting factor. It's the mast height. Basically a mast under 30ft long is easy, anything over 40ft will probably need a boatyard crane. That's why I consider multihulls under 25ft to be trailable, over 25ft to be progressively less "trailable" and more "transportable", not the same thing at all.

    Over the last 30 years I've owned 11 different truly trailable multihulls. Currently we own an 18ft trimaran, Strike, and a 20ft trailable powercat, Skoota. We can now drive the Strike to the slip, fold down the outriggers, raise the mast and launch 15 minutes later.

    As with most successful trailable multihulls there is no need to unlace the Strike trampolines and I can raise the mast without help. But if you have a design where you need to relace tramps or nets then the quickest way is to have them on sail slides and "hoist" them horizontally along sailtracks bolted to the gunwales.

    Those who read my earlier posts will know that I didn't enter this years design challenge because I didn't really understand the requirements.

    The introduction mentioned "small boats" and "raid-type" events. Yet the more detailed requirements said "up to 40ft". Amazing that a 40ft boat is now considered small! and that it should be able to go to windward in 47 knots of wind.

    By coincidence this thread started while the Texas 200 - a typical Raid event, was taking place. Reading the reports it seemed people were having problems sailing in 20 knots of wind and flat water, so clearly boats actually used in Raids are not going to sail to windward in a gale.

    In other Raids, like the ones in Florida, I read that boats were expected to launch off a sandy beach, not from a slipway. Indeed there are youtube videos showing them doing that. Some raids even require the mast to be lowered underway to get under bridges, and in the Round Florida Challenge a portage is involved

    So clearly the judges chose a trailable coastal cruiser rather than a real "Raid" boat. So its obvious that I agree with Steve Paskey's comment

    We are thinking of taking our Strike 18 to Mexico this winter. So I was interested to read that Chris will be doing the same thing. But we won't be sailing offshore in our boat. Personally I don't like sailing small multihulls more than 36 hours non stop, which makes 200 miles the sensible maximum limit. But that would be in absolutely ideal conditions, which (for me at any rate) rarely happens. Really anything over 70 miles is just too uncomfortable and I'd want the next day off to recover. Relieving oneself is the least of the problems of sailing small boats.

    The longest "daysail" I have done is from Plymouth, UK to Tallinn USSR. 1500 miles each way in a 24ft Strider catamaran. Surprisingly the longest sail was the 70 miles across Lyme Bay. Even so, that is less than sailing across the English Channel (but much further than Florida to the Bahamas).

    Sorry, rather an overlong post, but I thought there was a lot to answer in this thread

    Best wishes

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com

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    Default Re: DC-3 Trimaran wins Wooden Boat Design Challenge?

    Richard,

    Interesting comments. When I read the challenge rules, it says "inspired by" the raid events, but doesn't really say a raid boat is what was sought by the judges. And, of course, they showed a picture of a Hughes trimaran with the invitation for entries. So I never thought that they expected to see plans for boats that could be carried up a beach or drop their masts to duck under bridges. So it seemed logical to me that a boat pretty much like John Marples' would win the event.

    I agree that raising the mast is the trickiest part of setting up a bigger boat. The Farrier system works extremely well - most of the time getting the 37' mast up on my F27 is spent getting all the lines where they need to before I actually crank it up with the trailer winch. Once I get to that part it's easy. Dick Newick suggested a lug sail on his "Back to Basics" or B2 25' trimaran, for a really quick and easy setup, but I'm not aware that one was ever built. It did have a life with a conventional rig as the Argonauta.

    At any rate, if I'm going sailing for 3 or 4 days, 1 hour to get the boat in the water seems quick to me, and 2 hours not too much. The same pulling it out of the water. I've found that even if a bigger boat is kept in a slip, it takes a couple of hours to clean it up and button everything down before going home.

    And so at the end of the day, going from, say, a 20' boat to a 27' boat is not that big a leap in my experience, and the bigger boat is far more capable and comfortable.

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