Help choosing Tri Design

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by cmclaughlin, May 7, 2014.

  1. cmclaughlin
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: NE USA

    cmclaughlin Junior Member

    Hello all,

    Looking to start building a tri soon: - my first and would appreciate all advice and opinions with a few questions and concerns that I have.

    My first and most likely choice is
    If I choose this I would go with wood/epoxy beams which I have discussed with the designer.

    My other choice is the first boats bigger brother:

    Looking through the material lists, hardware lists etc its clear the 40 will cost somewhat more, but its not a prohibitive increase. Also, the major dimensions (& weights) of many of the components are more similar than they might first appear: the beams of the 40 are just 4' longer, the floats are just 6' longer and the scantlings are also quite similar: the biggest difference is in the number of layers of ply in the main hulls (31 has 2, 40 has 3). The board and rudder appear to only have modest increases also.

    The accomodation on both boats is simple, but the 40 offers comforts that would allow potential long term use while the 31 would be limited to overnighting.

    Essentially the thing that’s bothering me about building the 31 would be that so many of the steps will be similar but with the 40 the end result will be better, so looking at the build in terms of an investment of my time I would get a better return, so to speak.

    Perhaps someone with more experience in these matters could comment on what the real differences would likely be in terms of costs & time i.e. what I’m missing.

    Of great importance also is the use of the boat: daysailing with occasional overnight trips, a week here and there in the summers (eastern USA). Down the road perhaps longer term cruising, depending on how the missus likes/dislikes cruising. The obvious conclusion from this is: build the smaller boat but then again I come back to the time/investment quandary… Also, a more comfortable boat should make the long-term cruising dream more likely to become a reality.

    Another point is that I prefer how the 40’ looks as it has a lower freeboard to length ratio than the smaller boat. I fear there would be an annoying voice in the back of my head if I were to build the 31 that I’m spending thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars on something that ‘nearly’ looks good.

    Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
  2. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Corley epoxy coated

    I think the decision really depends on what sort of sailing program you have in mind. If you are mostly going to sail from one point and don't mind doing passages the 40' is probably the go. If you want to trailer and demount frequently the 30' is more suitable. The 40' tri is demountable but it will be a much bigger job and more of a semi trailer type load in a shipping cradle than a private vehicle job and trailer to transport.

    As Kurt notes you can make a judgement on the relative costs of construction in mostly non exotics by looking at the weight of the boat. You have to consider that the larger and heavier boat will also require heavier mast section, more expensive and stronger sails, running and standing rigging, winches etc. It's also more area to construct, fair, paint and antifoul so that has to factor into your ongoing cost of ownership calculation.

    I reckon 35'-40' in a performance trimaran design is about the minimum for a decent payload if your cruising for a week. It also allows you enough to carry a decent anchor and length of chain. I like the option of an inboard on the 40' cruising trimaran better than the 8hp outboard option that's listed and I think the addition of a bow thruster would also be handy. I also think it's worth building the boat so that it's demountable it could come in handy down the track and it's good to have that option even if you never choose to do it.
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  3. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: South Lake Western Australia

    redreuben redreuben

  4. multihuler
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Location: Reno NV

    multihuler Junior Member

    CRAZY to build

    Trimarans are selling for 20 cents on the dollar, less than the materials cost, so you want to built for what reason? Scout cost $350k to built and is for sale for $135k, Wings/Harris 38 cost almost the same but older and is under $60k. Condors are selling for under $60k. I have a brand new unfinished Marples 35' with $40k worth of new parts for under $30k. By the way I bought Kurt Hughes #1..
  5. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: South Lake Western Australia

    redreuben redreuben

    If you like 40yo + design.
  6. cmclaughlin
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: NE USA

    cmclaughlin Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies.
    Redreuben, i have looked at that boat and agree that the interior is much better, perhaps even than the 40`, but its just not for me. I really like the elegance and (apparent) simplicity of racing tris and the two boats i was considering are about the closest to a racer but with more useful interiors.

    Multihuller, I'd like to build as i think i will enjoy the process, I'd like to be able to do any and all repairs and maintenance myself and the knowledge gained during building will be valuable here, and i can't find anything i really like for sale.

    I did choose the 31` although kurt is going to lengthen it a little as well as draw new ply carbon beams. I will be starting in a month or so.
  7. Samnz
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: Auckland

    Samnz Senior Member

    I would suggest getting a ball park price for the rig, deck gear and sails from a local supplier for a 30ft vs a 40ft tri. You might be in for quite a shock.
    If you can afford the time and money to build the 40 its obviously the way to go but don't underestimate the extra expense of the bigger boat.
  8. cavalier mk2
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Pacific NW North America

    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Building features tend to take longer than surface area. A small panel with frames /furniture takes almost as much time as the same features with a larger panel etc....A 30' to 40' design is however more than twice as much surface area to construct and the gear is much more expensive. Norm Cross' caution was that the 2 biggest mistakes were to build a boat too small for your needs or one too large for your budget. If you've worked out the budget you've made the right choice.

  9. pipeline
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Location: Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii

    pipeline Junior Member

    i own two hughes tri's...

    one inboard (63') diesel engine, and one outboard (46") 25hp with extra long shaft, merc. i much prefer the outboard 25hp on the smaller (46') boat. i like to sail fast, and once you tip the engine away from the water, so the prop is out of the water with a line rigged to a 2-1 set up, the boat bottom is as slick as a hobie. dragging a prop through the water for the rest of your life is not the best if you want a clean hull. more room below, no grease, and no smells. someone in every port can fix an outboard. my two cents.
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