Chris Cochrane's first trimaran design?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Corley, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I was reading an old Multihull World and it mentioned Chris Cochrane's first trimaran design prior to the home designed and built Timberwolf. It used tornado catamaran hulls as floats and an 18' skiff rig. It apparently also used helicopter blades for foil assist. I'm just wondering whether anyone saw the boat in the flesh or has any photos? It all sounded pretty interesting. The article is actually online on multihull.com.au good read on Timberwolf too.

    http://www.multihull.com.au/www/pdf/pdfs/t_wolf.pdf
     
  2. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    This from Light Brigade:

    IN THE LIGHT airs of the 1991 Auckland/Tauranga Race, Split Enz beat New Zealand’s fastest yacht Afterburner but the second boat home ahead of Afterburner and the large and new Elliott 17 metre monohull Future Shock, was a small 8 metre Tauranga built trimaran named Dragon. This lightweight craft (590 kgs) was designed by Chris Cochrane and was constructed with the rig and sails plus the cabin top coming from a secondhand Flying 18 (the inverted 18 hull was used for the cabin) while the extended floats came from a Tornado catamaran; the main hull however was Cochrane’s own design and was built in new plywood while the rudder and daggerboards came from outdated helicopter blades. Cochrane’s approach was classical old New Zealand style, scrounging and building in his spare time until the craft was complete and upon launching he delightedly found he had assembled a trimaran that could equal wind speed upwind and go one and a half times wind speed on a reach - plus also having the expected magical trimaran high performance in light airs. Later he sold Dragon to Auckland and began work on an extrapolation of this boat, slightly larger and with slightly more accommodation than Dragon but still a purist and minimal racing design: this was Timberwolf.
    Both Dragon and Timberwolf plus the earlier two Tennant Bamboo Bombers Supplejack and Superbird, also his trimaran Demon Tricycle and of course the first two decades of the Olympic Tornado as well as John Tetzloff’s This Way Up and my own Misguided Angel, were built in tensioned ply and then sheathed in epoxy laminates of glass, Kevlar and carbon fibre. Although considered an archaic method of construction by professional builders, this method allows the amateur to build lightly but also for a reasonable price, yet still end up with a strong enough craft. Arnie Duckworth, the livewire motivator in the establishment of West epoxies in New Zealand, had this to say at a forum on light yachts and construction: “I still think that compounded ply is a good, fast, easy way of getting a shape. And it’s probably not the worst form of construction in terms of considering specific mechanical properties too. For example, tortured ply Tornadoes are still as good as anything else they’ve come up with, including the latest multihulls (this is the early 1990’s) and their building methods, they’re still competitive and still win their share of races. Speaking of honeycombs on the other hand, a lot of honeycomb 18 footers have not been entirely successful either, I don’t think any of those boats have gone through a season without major structural repairs – and the weight of them is not really all that light either. If people complain of wood soaking up water, well, the Nomex 18’s find it hard to keep the water out too. A phenomenon of honeycomb is that sometime or other you get some water in there, now there is an area of negative pressure and any pressure that you have in the laminate is a very strong force – it sucks the water through and the result is the forcing off of the skins attached to the honeycomb.”
     

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  3. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Thanks Gary, so the foils were not of the lifting type but used for daggerboard and rudder. Thanks for the info and the picture it looks like a quick little boat I can well imagine it embarassing some more fancied competition. Have you heard if Dragon still exists?
     
  4. Samnz
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    Samnz Senior Member

    Dragon still is still kicking around Auckland. The latest owner is a bit of a tinkerer... likes building stuff more than sailing maybe...

    I think the story goes bought the boat 10 or 15 years ago, went racing twice and decided the floats were too small so he built new beams and new bigger floats...
    then did two races then decided it was underpowered now so he got a new taller rig and sails...
    then went racing and decided it needed curved float foils so did that modification but then realized they were in the wrong position so removed them...
    then went racing two more times and decided the main hull was too draggy so pulled the boat out again and built a whole new bottom for the main hull...
    just as he was about to go sailing Timberwolf and Frantic Drift (his main competition) both built new longer floats so last I heard he was extending the floats!!!!!!!

    Classic
     

  5. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Corley epoxy coated

    That sounds like a very familiar story. We have just been watching the arms race unfold at our club. One member ordered an F32 in carbon from Melvest Marine with lifting foils and all the rest. The commodore not to be outdone bought Bare Essentials the Grainger essential 8 with lifting foils. We also now have a carbon F22 at the club which has had a series of upgrades in the sail wardrobe. It all gets a bit silly in the end with boats built for line honours I'm just glad it's their money not mine. The rest of the members just sail what they have, seem to enjoy themselves just as much and still often win on handicap.
     
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