Bernie Rodriguez LC 32

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by zigzag, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. zigzag
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    zigzag Junior Member

    Bernie designed a very attractive 32' trimaran in 1970. Does anyone have any history on this designer or knowledge on existing boats?
  2. bregalad
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    bregalad Senior Member

    Lc 32

    I knew that boat pretty well. I was friends with the people who commissioned it and visited Bernie during construction a handful of times.

    I crewed on the boat sailing from Puerto Rico to NY non-stop. A fine sailing boat. I shared a few anchorages with the boat, then named SurfBird, while the owners were sailing south to FL and I was aboard my own boat.

    Last seen in FL a very long time ago.
  3. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    I knew that boat also. I saw it docked on Houseboat Row in Key West in the early 1980's. Was owned by a guy named Mike who was a civil engineer and he lived aboard.

    He claimed Bernie was a diciple of Arthur Piver but the trimaram I'm talking about was of the next generation. Open beam, much wider than the first gen tri's, light. Mike claimed the mast had been 10ft or so taller but the previous owner shortened it for some reason.

    Unfortunately I never had the chance to sail her, she looked fast.

  4. bregalad
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    bregalad Senior Member

    Lc 32

    Piver achieved fame mostly for the Pi series .... simple shapes and solid wings. He had also designed the Dart series which were sleeker, faster open wing designs. Bernie built a 25' Dart called Amistad which he sailed to England and raced back in the OSTAR. Piver sailed a 33' Dart that was quite fast. In it he won the World Multihull Championship in '67 sailing mostly against other, much slower, boats of his own designs. I crewed on a Pi 35 in that race and he left us far behind.

    Bernie designed the LC 32 with the 33' dart in mind. It was constructed with what he called "tortured plywood". The entire boat was single skin 1/4" plywood. Many of the panels were about 2'x4' and had to be repetitively soaked with boiling water while clamps persuaded them into place. After they had become accustomed to the shape and dried they were glued and nailed into place. I lent a hand installing a few panels; he could make plywood accept some slippery shapes.

    I spent one of my most terrifying night on that boat. At the end of our passage from Puerto Rico we spent a moonless night becalmed in the Ambrose - Nantucket separation zone. We couldn't muster steerage way and hoped we wouldn't be run down within sight of land.

    I'm sad to hear that someone gave her mast a haircut. She wasn't over canvassed to begin with. Bernie built her with the intent that he would sail her in the '72 OSTAR. He didn't get finished in time so he sailed her to Puerto Rico himself, and moored her in Bahia de Guanilla for the winter. The owner and I retrieved her the following spring. With 10' less rig she'd be very slow in light airs.
  5. cavalier mk2
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I'm not sure Piver classified Stilletto as a Dart which were offered in 25' and 36' versions. The Stilletto had that angled to the front cabin and a art-deco look while the Darts were more conventionally streamlined above the deck. Stilletto sort of had a chopped roadster look and preceded the Dart. I've often wondered if his draftman at the time had a hand in the Dart styling as it is so different from his earlier work.

  6. rfin
    Joined: Jul 2016
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    rfin New Member

    I sailed with Bernie on the 32's maiden hurricane voyage. I was 19, coming out of Colorado, I knew nothing.
    3 months finishing off the boat, a week of breakdown sailing on the Hudson, and off we went.
    1000 miles east of Bermuda we spent 5 days in a trough between a hurricane and a tropical storm. Bouncing like a cork the whole time, but I doubt a monohull would have made it. Peaks like mountains and I was clueless, thankfully. Even went up the mast to retrieve a halyard in the midst it.
    We eventually ran to Bermuda, got blown up on the reef at the harbor master's anchorage, and then blew the fleet away on the end of storm season run the the Carib. We only had an RDF for navigation and Bernie didn't report in to the fleet. We were just sitting at the dock in Antigua when they all started arriving. Great fun, especially living through it.
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