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Thread: Multihulls

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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!

  3. #38

    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    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:



    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.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    [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.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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

  6. #41

    Default Re: Multihulls

    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.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by slidercat View Post
    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

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan St Gean View Post
    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
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    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

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan St Gean View Post
    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!
    (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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan St Gean View Post
    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
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    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!
    (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

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    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

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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.....

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    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

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    I always thought multihull meant two or three hulls joined together.

    Rick

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    I always thought multihull meant two or three hulls joined together.


    Anyone ever tried four?

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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!

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryfeet View Post


    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.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    I'm surprised myself that Wharram seems to be the only cruising multi designer exploiting - or even referencing -
    traditional aesthetics.




  25. #60
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    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!



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


  26. #61
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    70 foot !!! Wow !
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Multihulls

    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

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