converting convential mono sail to tri-haul/outrig

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by dem45133, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. dem45133
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dem45133 Junior Member

    I started into this site when I got turned back onto water and spotted a sportfisherman in my low (read as almost non-existant, but there is a small means) boating budget. But when I calculated the $1.60 per MINUTE to feed the thing under way, I've re-thought that approach.

    I'm handy... real handy.. and can design build most anything if I research it enough.

    Thinking now on sail, as I have enjoyed that the few times (once on a 5 day criuse on the Manatou out of Traverse City MI.. NEAT Boat!).

    But here's the 1st catch... To get big enough on sail to do extended multi week criuses (you know ...actually go somewhere...) require at least 28ft or more if I can afford it. But about 28 feet or so is the limit for self hauling behind a heavy 3/4 ton even with a wide trailer permit. The weight is now getting into the equation. Mostly due to ballast.

    The second catch is an affliction my wife has called Maneir's (sp?) Disease ... an inner ear problem which cause balance issues when the eyes can't lock to things and maintain equalibrium. (and no... you will not call my wife dizzi... and she's not blond.... and she'd likely kick your you-know-what in a heartbeat if you did... ). It really is a disease... and will only get worse with time. She does real well with it most days, but extreme heeling over will be an issue. No sense in it at all if she will not be comfortable. She been my partner through thick and thin for many years now... not interested in it if she's not there.

    Both of these got me thinking about multi-hulls. A breif search did not locate anything affordable... This got me thinking about modifying an older 30 or 32 narrow to be more or less a shallow draft partial V bottom... and adding 22 or 24 foot (or ??) outriggers... and intead of going with a single large (read as tall) mast, go with the shorter twin masted ketch rig. This oughta, at least in thought, allow for a relative stable shallow drafted and roomy semi-live aboard that one does not need to be a millionare to afford.

    I want to sail portions of the great lakes, so what ever I do needs to be able to handle 6 ft seas on occation (yea I know thats only if it caught me or the weatherman offguard and am now headed for cover somewhere... but no doubt it will happen on those lakes!). Do outrigged vessels hand rough sea very well?

    Anybody seen anything along these lines anywhere or did it yourselves?

    Thanks again.
  2. catsketcher
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    they are out there

    Hello Dave,

    Before you go building yourself a converted boat I would look carefully at the Farrier trimarans available. The older Trailertri 720's are good boats and affordable. Dragonflys are also good boats and will be less costly in the end because you will be able to sell it for a good price later. It took about 20 years for this to sink in - you want to have a boat you can sell if it costs much money.

    Converting monos is rarely successful and the engineering problems are severe. One reason there are mainly Farrier tris around (in the trailering department) is that the engineering of his boats is one of the very few ways to have demountabilty and seaworthiness. Many thousands of hours have been spent on this problem so my advice would be to do lots of talking to lots of people who know trailerable multihulls and learn from what they know.

    My back ground on this has been developing a folding catamaran. This has taken over my life for 5 years and I am an experienced sailor/builder and trained in physics and I am not there yet. You gotta be a little crazy!


    Phil Thompson
  3. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    tspeer Senior Member

    I'll second Phil's recommendation - take a serious look at the Farrier trimarans. They are specifically designed for the kind of sailing you want to do.

    You can legally tow a 33' tri, and a boat like the F-27 would be a very good fit for what you want to do. An F-31 has a lot more room and carrying capacity, but everything is bigger and harder to handle. The weight is easily handled by a 3/4T because there's no ballast and the structure is a lightweight composite sandwich.

    A trimaran is an integrated system - it's not a "monohull with training wheels". If you try to convert a monohull into a multiull, you get the worst of both worlds. The unfortunate fact is that you can't build a boat for less than buying a used boat that does what you really want. And when you're done, you will have a boat that is essentially un-sell-able, so all the money you put into it is lost. A viable folding mechanism is also a tricky thing to engineer and build.

    The F-27's have pretty much depreciated to a stable value by now, so you can buy a boat, sail it for a few years, and sell it for what you bought it for. So the net cost of ownership is low, although the capital requirements are signifcant.

    If you can't afford one outright, you ought to consider a partnership. Nobody sails their boat all the time, and by giving up a certain amount of flexibility, you gain a lot in terms of financing the boat and caring for it. I own an F-24 in a partnership with 3 other guys, and it works out well. I could afford to buy outright any Farrier design I want, but I stick with the partnership because its advantages outweigh the drawbacks for the kind of sailing I do now.

    With a trailerable trimaran, you can definitely go places. "15 knots by sea, 55 knots by land," is the motto. Farrier designs handle waves very well, since Farrier was originally from Australia and designs his boats to handle the rough conditions there. Their speed helps you make the most of weather windows. And being able to fold on the water means you can get into a regular slip, which for me has often made the difference between being able to get into a marina's guest moorage or anchoring out.
    1 person likes this.
  4. sigurd
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    sigurd Pompuous Pangolin


    Maybe you would like to look at Rob Denney's proas; .
    They are said to be cheap for the accomodation since they don't use a lot of material. But there are probably none second hand. Some are trailable but I don't remember what sort of mechanism they had. They are opposite from trad. proas in that most weight and the accomodation is to windward so they should heel very little. Rob visits these fora from time to time at least. Good luck, hope you find a nice boat.
  5. nero
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    nero Senior Member

    Some 8 meter cats are demountable and can be towed at one time. There is one in Shuttleworth's collection that has been sailed across the atlantic. This should survive the great lakes (all tho the waves are probably steeper)

    Rob's proas are interesting also. He is into building things in the least expensive manner. His plans are affordable also.

    As an idea, I posted a .dxf file of a harry proa. It has the lightbulb hulls in order to get some more living space inside. With Rob's help you could maybe work that into something doable.

    All the above is if you plan on building. There is also k-design. The have some cats that look quick to build. One of them uses a novel sideways fin. No daggerboards or keels.
  6. dem45133
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dem45133 Junior Member

    Thanks all. I appreciate it, and I will be taking a look at your suggestions.

    AS yet, I have not sailed on a modern sail. The sailing I've done was on a small 16ft cat, or on the Manitou... neither of which really count toward experience... but are credited with creating the big tease. We got 12 knots out of the Manatou...which is hull speed... and it was really neat!.

    And before you all say it... I will not be sailing any open water great lakes until I've I gain some time and experience in protected waters. (we won't talk about when I took my little 1962 14 ft Sea Mac w/35 Evinrude [a plywood runabout built in Toms River NJ] out to the Otter Island of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior loaded to the gunnels with camping equipment and a 16ft kayak.... all went well, but the 4 ft chop coming back was interesting...although she handled it well at about 1/3 throttle... or about taking her out the Barnigate Bay inlet... ocean swells are real strange in a little boat BTW... but I was 20 then not 53). I still have that little boat although she hasn't been wet in 15 years. I keep threatening to restore her and use it antique boat parades. Still ran fine last time out. (Although the State of Ohio wants Titles which never existed... I bought her for $100 when I was 17... I traded a motorcycle for the 1959 Big Twin Evinrude at 19... and even though I can show a PA and Wisconsin registrations they won't take it!!!!!!! AGGGH! So it’s not been use since moving here. Just sits in the shed gathering dust and probably some more dry rot. I know I talk too much.

    Keep feeding...I need to learn a lot... the designer in me thinks too much and as Phil stated above... you’ve got to be a little crazy... Yea... It fits... just ask my wife.

  7. dem45133
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dem45133 Junior Member

    As quoted from Tom Speer above "A trimaran is an integrated system - it's not a "monohull with training wheels". If you try to convert a monohull into a multiull, you get the worst of both worlds."

    Tom, con you expound on the above statement? Since I am still in the infancy learning stage...please expand on what is the "worst of both worlds".

    My curiousity hurts. Thanks.

    Hillsboro, Ohio
  8. SeaSpark
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    SeaSpark -

  9. hansp77
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    I thought you said you wanted to stick with the wife?:p ;) :D

  10. dem45133
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dem45133 Junior Member

    hansp77, I will, and her concerns are part of all decisions.
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