Beachcat vs. Beachtri?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Robin Larsson, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Robin Larsson
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 37
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

    Robin Larsson Junior Member

    God evening, atleast here in Sweden:)

    Which is really the fastest? I´ve only sailed cats at a few occansions, just once in a Hobie 16 i light airs, and a couple of times in and old NewCat 14. So not much experience i multihulls, so I ask you guys:)
    I would like to build a multi, something like 16 foot, preferably plywood or some other method to build fast. Maybe the KSS method? I´m open to ideas:)But l prefer working in wood, but have experience in one off FRP to.

    What would be best, a tri or a cat? Is there really a big performance differnce? I read somewhere that cats have a higher speed potential, but that tris normaly were easier to sail, and thus faster. I dont know if its true, and maybe only for bigger boats?
    A cat should be lighter? But a tri would have more RM due to wider platform?

    I want a boat that is a bit overcanvased, but possible to sail both single and doublehanded, maybe single without jib or something. I want a almost skiff style bowsprit and assy:)
    Trapezes depending on conditions.

    Maybe a skiff would be better, But it feels like a tri would be the easiest to sail?

    Difficult question maybe, but you guys are experts:)

    Best Regars
    Robin Larsson
  2. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    beach cat or tri

    Robin, a tri can be faster and more comfortable(I hate sitting on a flat tramp) but there are few sources of plans for trimarans in the size range you're talking about that are trully powered up enough to be beachcat killers. Look at some of the tri designers like Kurt Hughes.
    Your description sounded a lot like Bethwaites HSP shown in THE BOOK:" High Performance Sailing". There are numerous threads here dealing with different aspects of high performance small multihulls. Good Luck!
  3. Robin Larsson
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 37
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

    Robin Larsson Junior Member

    Thanks Doug!
    I´ve found Kurt Hughes site earlier today, his 16foot tri got me thinking about a tri again:)

    Just read a couple of long threads about small performance multis:) Interesting reading to say the least!

    Yeah, I see what you mean about comfort, the cats I´ve sailed were rather uncomfortable, it feels like the trapezes were the best choice:)
    In a tri I guess one can have a more traditional cockpit in the mainhull. But one out hiking its the same:)

    Doug, on the two trimarans I´ve read that you have built, did you use trapezes?
    Btw, seems to be some problem with your site, microsail?

    What is it that gives the tri the ability to be faster then a cat? It is after all carrying a bit more weight. I mean, look at the Seacart 30, really fast boat, almost always sails on one hull, then whats the point of having the mainhull? Of course, accomondation, but from a sailing standpoint?
    I read about a cat called Alinghi an its "offspring" in the Swiss lakes, they built a cat with a center hull that never touches the water, they had it only to support the rigging...

    I´ll have to see if I can find that book:)

    But one of the reasons to why I would like o build a tri is because I like them:) Would want to build a larger(liveaboard) one one day, but would like to start with a dinghy first:)

    The problem with the designs available, not being powerd up enough, isnt that easy to fix, just more sailarea? And maybe then stronger structure:)

    I dont really need to kill the beachcats, just sail as good, but of course, killing would be nicer:)

    Thanks for the respons so far! Hope to get more!

    1 person likes this.
  4. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    killer tri's

    Robin, read the "Ultimate 18' tri" thread where I compare the U18 to a Hobie Tiger-that should explain what a tri can be when really powered up. In my opinion, for a beachcat killer tri the main hull must fly,the boat must be square or over square and the boat must use foils and or planing amas. Check out the comparison numbers. That takes care of high speed. At low speed or for just daysailing you have a boat that can be depowered so that it could be sailed just from the cockpit -a real cockpit where your feet hang down(!). And the main hull plus an ama just kissing will probably have less wetted surface than the two cat hulls sitting level in lite air-and way more SA. So it's faster in light or heavy air, more comfortable in light to moderate air with less chance of pitchpole than a cat that doesn't use foils for pitch stability.
    Neither of my tri's used a trapeze but the U18 would use two.
    Thanks for the heads up but I just checked and and they were ok. What seemed to be the problem?
  5. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Be Careful

    Hey Robin,

    Have fun with your discussion thread about cats and tris. Keep in mind that Doug doesn't actually build anything. He paints pictures in the air with vapor trails and makes use of your thread to promote his vacuous ideas about a boat that will never see the light of day.

    If you want to see a beach trimaran that is a cat killer, look at the Nitro tri design out of France. You can see a few photos of the boat here: Go to the gallery section of the site and click on the image at the far right side of the page. No trick foils, no overly radical beam and structure issues, no planing amas that absolutely suck at low speed sailing scenarios, just a straight forward foam and carbon build from a well-designed boat that easily flies the center hull.

    We've been around Doug's action for quite a while now and there has been absolutely no boats of any kind from Doug over the last several years... only big noises, a few vague drawings and lots of hyperbole being spread around for his benefit.

    Doug was just challenged to provide photos of the boat he's been championing for nearly a year and as of tonight... nothing but more vapor.

    Ask him to show you any full sized examples of a performance oriented, working tri or cat he's done in the last couple of years. Ask him to produce the name and email of the person who now owns the boat, just in case he blabbers about having sold it to make room for his next project. I bet he folds his cards and vanishes. One might say that there's a credibility issue there.

    Chris Ostlind
  6. frosh
    Joined: Jan 2005
    Posts: 621
    Likes: 14, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 44
    Location: AUSTRALIA

    frosh Senior Member

    HI Robin, how big a project do you want to commit to? And, what is capability as a boatbuilder, honestly? If you are looking for a fairly easy multi to build, and absolute performance is not the highest priority, I suggest that you look at the link in this thread:

    If you want to go all out for the highest performance and the cost and complexity of the design are not a problem for you, then I would also recommend the Nitro from France as did Chris Ostlind.
    Beware of any suggestions at all from Doug. He has his own agenda which is not related at all to giving anyone good quality advice on what to build.
    Good luck, and think about your project very carefully before you make a decision.
    Regards, Sam
  7. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,316
    Likes: 100, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 871
    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member


    Quite the uncool vibe going on, people gotta throw some ideas around to develop anything including interest even if its their own, must be more to the story on agendas. Asides that these mini tris do look like fun & more comfort than beachcats plus more space for a picnic. Regards from Jeff:D
  8. Robin Larsson
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 37
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

    Robin Larsson Junior Member

    Thanks for all the respons guys!

    Hmm, yeah, I´ve read the U18 thread, interesting stuff, no doubt!
    And the rather popular oppinion about Doug, I kinda figured that one out, but I´m to much of a nice guy to pick sides just yet:)

    But as Chris say, Doug, would be nice to se some drawings, or rather, pics of your previus two trimaran builds!

    As to my own experience as a boatbuilder, Well, I´m a young guy, just 24, so off course I dont have all the experience that many of you here, But, I´m schooled to become a boatbuilder at a boatbuilding school on Orust, you now the island where Najad, Hallberg Rassy, Malö, Nordwest and the most other high quality yachts are built:)
    So, nowadays I dont work at a true boatyard, we build windows and other stainless stuff for boats, but we´ve just finished the build of the boss´s new 32feet penisenlarment(Motorboat) If I may use that kind of language.
    I work with the cad-drawing and run the abrasive waterjet.
    Berfore I worked at a small custom boatyard, we build the Swedish Match 40 yachts for Maxi, and amon other things rebuild some motorboats and did the hullplugg for Sweden Yachts new 54footer.

    So okey, I definitly have somethings to learn, but I now my way around a workshop, has access to one:) I would say that I could finish a rather complicated build if I wanted to. But, cost is an issue also, as is time.
    I´not going for any speedrecords here, sure, would love to build a carbon nomex boat, but I dont really see that happing now, cause of money.
    The boat would have to be a bit fast, thats the point of a multi:) If I could keep up with a Hobie in the same size, I would be more then pleased:)

    Oh, yeah, this I forgot, I´m already in the middle of a build, but thats a 44feet, slim monohull, a Wasa 55. So, the tribuild would probably not happen in some time, depends on a few other things to, would be nice to have a sideproject to get away from the big boat. But probably not until the Wasa is in the water, which could happen around August:)

    I would like to have a set of drawings to atleast begin from, maybe just change small things, or maybe build, sail, and se what can be betterd later:)

    So I say thanks for the links, I will continue to follow the progress of Frosh´s boat!

    But there seems to be the opinion that a tri could perform atleast as good as a standard beachcat? With some advantages:)

    By the way, Frosh, I´ve read the link about that cat you linked to, I like it, but there is something thats missing for me o really like it:) Maybe its just the missing vaka:) But thanks, could most certanly be an option.

    And be the way, the really small Kurt Hughes tris, the on thats like 3meters, anyone here knows how they sail? Maybe that could be a nice compromise to:) Looks kinda cool atleast! Maybe it could be tricked out with lifting daggerboards/foils like the Orma 60 and a big assy:)
    Would really like something that looked like the Orma 60s, those are incredible boats!

    Was thinking about building a 2.4m (mini12) theres a set of hullmolds here in Gothenburg that one can rent for not much money. But then I rather build a small multi!

    Thanks again guys!
  9. grob
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 216
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 53
    Location: Cotswolds Waterpark, UK


    From your criterea I would think a catamaran would give you the fastest boat, for the money and effort.

    The F16 range most closely meets your requirements.I would personally go for a Blade. see,en/

    All the best

  10. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    killer tris

    Robin, it is possble to build a beachcat killer tri but just because you build a tri there is no guarantee that it will beat a well designed beachcat. You have to look carefully at the numbers and at how the design works. There are important factors to consider like the weight difference ,wetted surface difference ,size and design of ama, does it fly the main hull(and at what angle), if it is powered up(how much?) how is the pitch issue handled etc,etc. And the probability is that a tri capable of beating a beachcat will be more expensive than the beachcat.
  11. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Yeah, Doug, even Robin is suggesting that you to put your proof on the table. So, where is it, Doug? How do we know that you have even the slightest clue as to what you are speaking about if you can't present even a collection of photographs of what you have done with regards to boats of this type?

    You could, at least, honor the request of a new member by showing him the photos of your past efforts in this field.

    I somehow sense that Doug is about to go into hybernation and attempt to ignore your request, Robin. Welcome to the club of those who have tried to get Doug to substantiate his experience. We've asked for more than photos of the work of others and an endless stream of foamy blabber on all things technical for what ails sailboats.

    Best of luck in your pursuit. If Doug does supply you with some photos of his work in the area, Robin, please share them with us here or write a private email with the images attached, so that we can all benefit from the towering intellect that is Doug Lord.

  12. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    killer tris

    Robin,as you know I have two websites with pictures (and some video) that show some of my work over the last 15 years but the two(non rc) tri's I built were done in the 70's(and I have a picture of one of them). And in addition to the production design and tooling of the rc models I have done numerous experimental foiler,catamaran and trimran test models as well as developed and experimented with rig design(Wing Tip Rig™) and Power Ballast Systems™. I've used rc models(microMOTH,for example) to experiment with manual altitude control, buoyancy pods etc.
    I was the first-to my knowledge -to use manual control of the mainfoil flap to control foiler altitude.
    However,unlike Mr. Ostlind and Mr. Frosh, I back up almost every proposal I have made on this forum with detailed numbers. I did so with the U18 in a detailed comparison with the Hobie Tiger.And I've done so in the "60'(+or- 20') Monofoiler" thread, the "Sportboats-Design for Flight" thread as well as in the "X18T"(21) thread which is the boat I am developing now. In addition to which I have 4 US Patents (and more on the shelf) and fairly recently sold a trademark( 3D SAILING). I have a proven 40+ year track record of innovative design and development-but the most important thing is as I just said: I back up what I say with numbers that anyone can doublecheck- you would be hard pressed to find anyone on these forums- most especially including Frosh and Ostlind- that have made any boat design proposals or answered any questions with as much detail as I generally present.
    Ostlind-I know you're upset that I exposed your fabrication of the details of the 2006 Moth Worlds(Moth on Foils "thread) but you really should just apologise and put it behind you.
  13. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    It's time to breathe, Doug... There will be no apology forthcoming. If anyone is offended by my take on the events, they can always sue me in court.

    Your patents for boaty things, by the way, are very nearly useless. I'm sure that you try to milk the potential for all it's worth with anyone who will listen and has no idea as to the relative value, but they are virtually impossible to defend in court. Even if they were, Doug, you don't have anything even close to the required cash to mount the proper legal process for doing so. That means they are beyond virtually worthless. A patent is only as good as your ability to prosecute the claims, as made.

    As usual, you have expressed your foamy exhalations in a useless spinning of the wheels exercise, with little to show for it. It's fascinating. Just think what you might have had built already if you had used the filing fees, as well as the time to prepare said claims, in the pursuit of a finished boat such as you have been foaming about for years now? You might actually be regarded as a guy who can produce something besides hyperbole and sloganeering....

    70's trimarans...? Really now. Perhaps you have something just a bit more current to show us? Something that actually worked as intended? Something that is full sized so that you don't just sit on the grass, mouth breathing, while you drive it?

    Doesn't Robin deserve better than these whiffing gestures of self-importance?
  14. Robin Larsson
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 37
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

    Robin Larsson Junior Member

    Sorry to take so long to reply, have been without internet during the weekend:)

    Doug, I cant get in to either of your websites, or have I mispelled?
    You dont think you could post a pic or two here instead?

    Thanks for your defence Chris!:)

    But to get back to one of my previus questions, I askes wether anyone knew anytingh more about Kurt Hughes really small tris, or

    I´m not completly sure what size I really want, of course I´d prefer an ORMA 60, but hey, cant afford that right now:)
    Seems like those two minitri´s could be fun to! Could probably be changed somewhat to become almost 1:6 scalemodels of the 60's:)

    But do they sail somewhat good? Do you think we´re even talking two digit speed in good conditions?

    Hope you can stand my misspelings and stuff like that, I´m from Sweden after all.

    Robin Larsson

  15. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Hughes Trimarans

    I can't give you any specific info on the two models about which you inquired, Robin. I can give you this info about Kurt as general background, though.

    Kurt's a pretty good guy to talk to, professional and very unselfish in his willingness to share ideas and opinions. He is extremely approachable, so an email about the two designs would be very well received. His breadth of knowledge on multihulls is astounding with design work across the board from small tri's to really big, commercially operated cats.

    The 19' Trikala design was actually in production in Spain some years ago and several boats were produced before the manufacturer ceased production for a reason unknown to me. Just background on this, as the boat is outside your interest at present.

    There is, apparently, a fleet of the 3 meter tris operating out of the Seattle/Vancouver area of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. They have regular races and beach party style get-togethers. The original boats in this class were designed by John Marples and I'm not sure if any of the current fleet is from the Hughes design. More possible info at: They can probably answer your questions about Hughes boats that are sailing in the class.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.