Little Catamarans Vs. Little Trimarans for Beachcamping

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by rayaldridge, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    A nutshell definition of the design thinking behind my Solo16 Sport trimaran.
    http://www.lunadadesign.com/fresh-take-on-the-solo16-s.html
    http://www.lunadadesign.com/solo16-sport-trimaran.html

    The first one is under build right now in North Carolina by Tom Raidna, the publisher/editor of the site, http://buildboats.com/


    I took the approach that solo coastal adventure sailing might be exciting for a person who looked at it as a waterborne back packing trip. This is the guy, or gal, who has a pile of lightweight gear from their interests in hiking and minimalist outdoor expressions. This person typically has a single wall, solo tent, or an all-weather bivvy sack, their mound of gear has been paired down to the essentials and weight has been clipped to the things they need the most.

    This kind of adventurer isn't necessarily in a hurry, but they want the option of being able to turn it on when the conditions are right, or perhaps they wish to make that next beach before it gets dark. This kind of thinking requires a hull design and rig that can give that kind of zip, even though it is going to be sailed at a much more sedate pace the majority of the time.

    This approach has been polished by many years of mountaineering and back country rock climbing trips in which I carved away at my gear list, trip after trip, until I had the kit necessary for my needs and not one bit extra. Oh, sure, I confess... I did stash a second paperback and maybe a couple of extra batteries for a headlamp when the potential for being shut-down by heavy weather was a reality of certain climbing locations, but that was pretty much my splurge factor... other than a good camera and one extra lens. ;-)

    These are the kinds of adventures where you quickly discover just what you really want to take with you... cause it all goes on your back. If you really need that aluminum framed folding camp chair, rather than the self-inflating style foldable camp seat that doubles as your sleeping pad at night, then by all means, strap that dude on your internal frame pack and head out. Like the light volume from a trusty Coleman lantern... hey, they're your legs that'll be doing the carrying, so step-up big boy.

    Shedding nearly all the excess comfy amenities in favor of a more Spartan experience allows one to draw-up a much different kind of solo cruising machine. Now, instead of a boat that is heavier by its very nature, you can go light and enjoy all that will come your way. Trailering is much simpler with a lighter boat and can be done easily with any car that can take even the simplest of hitches. The trailer is lighter, the boat is lighter. The whole thing moves into the realm of modern thinking where one takes advantage of much lighter materials and doesn't have to pay a price to do so.

    I know that this kind of sailing is not for everyone. Hey, it's not always for me anymore, either. I do, however, still enjoy the serene lack of clutter, the ability to transition out of a camp quickly and on to another vista because there just wasn't that much stuff to clean-up after an overnight stay.

    As you can see from the length of this discussion, there's more than one way to apply solutions to the business of small multihull use for coastal adventure cruising. The same holds true for monohulls for this same application.

    The one that's best...? Well, in my opinion, there isn't one that is "best" for all interested individuals. There is no perfect answer for everyone. It all depends on what you like for solutions and aesthetics and the way in which you might prefer to do your weekend, or longer, adventure sailing. If there were only one right way to solve this set of questions, then there wouldn't be hundreds of small boats out there, all of them with their own unique way of dealing with the same problems. That, to me, is the beauty of the whole thing. We don't all have to wear the same outfit when we seek to enjoy ourselves on the water.

    Happy New Year, folks. May the coming months bring you something wonderful with your family and friends. You might even be lucky enough to have it come your way while out on the water. We should all be so fortunate.
     
  2. edvb
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Location: Oshkosh,WI

    edvb Junior Member

    Chris

    Thanks for the compliment.

    The main reason I explored the water ballast idea was that on calmer days I still had to use both hands when on a starboard tack (one for the main sheet and one on the foil handle) as the ama was so light that any wind would lift it out of the water.

    I experimented adding weight and found in lighter air the boat still moved well but was much more stable and I did not need to use the foil most of the time.

    The ama can support over 200lbs and since you could load the sidecar with up to 140lbs I decided to try to make the water ballast idea work.

    The first thought was to open up the ama and glass in bulkheads to make a tank internally. I was going to use scuppers for the valve system controlled by line the same way the Gougeon 32 was done as this would be the lightest.

    The one problem that was the same as using the foil is that you need to be moving in order to add or remove ballast.

    It also took time to fill or drain.

    After reading about ballast bags used for ski boats I decided that would be a better way to go even with the weight penalty involved.

    It added 24lbs to the ama but also added stability in the lighter air on a starboard tack.

    The nice thing is with the water level indicator I know how much water I have in the tank. At anytime I can add or remove ballast with a flick of the switch.

    90 seconds to totally fill or dump a full load is fast enough for me and after flipping the switch on, I can be tacking or doing other things until I get to the ballast level I need.

    I did lose a bit of buoyancy when on a port tack and a little lost in top speed but the boat is so easy to sail now and the starboard tack equals the port tack speed when going upwind and on a reach.

    Gybing downwind is a blast and most of the time I just dump the ballast as it is not needed on either tack.


    Bruce Foil

    Plus
    Lighter
    Can lift ama on port tack
    Can have up to 200lbs down force.
    All mechanical

    Minus
    Need extra hand to use

    Slower in speed upwind that water ballast ( 1 to 1.5 knots )

    Foil hits water when in parked position on port tack in heavier air

    Water Ballast

    Plus
    Frees up one hand

    very easy to use.
    To fill. Turn valve to open and flip switch forward until level reached than flip switch to middle.Turn valve to close.
    To drain. Flip switch back until level reached than flip switch to middle.

    Can add or remove ballast manually if pump fails

    Faster than using the foil going upwind and on a reach.

    Boat is more stable overall.

    Minus
    Weighs more

    Not quite as much down force. (I have found that most of the time I only use 1/4 to 1/2 tank ballast and with full ballast I can have full sail out so not much of an issue now)

    Cost

    More complex with pumps, valves, battery and switch

    Slightly more drag on ama with the fill inlet. (It is streamlined and I have not noticed any more drag than normal)


    Overall the plus outweigh the minus and it was the best improvement I made on the boat.

    I use the sidecar as a sleeping platform and is pretty comfy for the naps I take on it.

    Overall for one person it is a great weekend adventure machine that has all the qualities people are looking for in this thread.

    Chris you should design something like this as I am sure there would be interest in this type of craft.

    I remember sailing last fall when the wind picked up and I was going upwind in a freshening breeze with full sail out. I added 3/4 ballast and the ama was just skimming the waves at a steady 7 knots on my knotmeter. One hand on the mainsheet and holding a drink in the other grinning ear to ear ,I heard myself saying it does not get any better than this as I scooted home.

    Water level indicator/vent. Remove cover to drain or fill manually. If boat flips cover can be remove to drain tank when righting.
    [​IMG]

    Valve and switch on sidecar
    [​IMG]

    Dumping a full ballast load. The boat can be sail fine on a port tack even with full ballast.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Oz going sailin
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Michigan

    Oz going sailin Junior Member

    Have you considered a little barrier express cat?

    Have you considered a Little barrier espress? Mine is 20ft x 8'3", weighs 1700lbs, has a draft of 12" board up, 3' board down, flies a screecher and spinaker, has a full size bed below, and you can stand in the companionway when you cook. Portapotti and space for 2 adults (no v berth) and gear, plus two kids on berths under the cockpit. Sets up in 1 hour. Mast is 25.5 feet and weighs 65lbs. I regularly do 6-8knots, in 12knots of wind, but can go faster with more wind or when I fly the big sails. Might be what you're looking for...
     

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  4. Oz going sailin
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Michigan

    Oz going sailin Junior Member

    another photo

    little barrier express
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  5. Oz going sailin
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Michigan

    Oz going sailin Junior Member

    another photo of little barrier

    little barrier express
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  6. Oz going sailin
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Michigan

    Oz going sailin Junior Member

    on last try

    the first upload worked...
     

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  7. Oz going sailin
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Michigan

    Oz going sailin Junior Member

    Ok, back to the first picture

    little barrier express
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  8. dstgean
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: Chicago Area

    dstgean Senior Member

    Here's another take...

    Richard Woods has both cats and tris in his design portfolio.

    His most recent boat is the Strike 16 and 18 trimarans using quality beachcat donor hulls and rigs. Makes sense to me. http://www.sailingcatamarans.com/Strike.htm

    I do like the short setup time an 8'6" cat has though. Step mast, launch, raise sail, & go. After putting my double Tamanu cat together for the first time in S. Texas, I came to appreciate the potential benifit of narrow beam or clever folding systems.
    http://wikiproa.pbworks.com/Texas-200-report

    Dan
     
  9. ThomD
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    Location: TO

    ThomD Senior Member

    I think that tri main hull is so horrendous, then one sees the sailing pics and it does look like fun. Seems as though it would be really easy to improve upon, but at the same time anyone could build that...
     
  10. Skywoolf
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Lantau, Hong Kong and Davao Philippines

    Skywoolf Junior Member

    Manie B,
    Can you point me to where I can see plans or more details of the cabin cruising cat in your pictures.

    Thanks

    Frank
     
  11. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Frank I am assuming you are refering to the pics of the 8m cat on my website. This is my own design which I am doing for a friend free of charge. I also visit the build site regularly to see if things are going to plan and will make adjustmenmts as we go along. I wont be selling plans simply because of the massive implications that comes with that kind of responsibility. For any designer to sit and do a complete set of plans for the "home builder" is simply not worth the efffort in todays market. The designers that have built up a good market presence are not making big money out of plans.

    In todays market I feel that Richard Woods has got everything covered and I recommend his plans for the home builder, if you cant find anything you like go and look at Easy.

    BTW the other little cat that I built was my take of an Jarcat
     
  12. Skywoolf
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Lantau, Hong Kong and Davao Philippines

    Skywoolf Junior Member

    OK Thanks. I will be starting on building a Slider for my beach house very soon which I think I can launch and retrieve using a lightweight trolley and a little help from my caretaker. If I put in a winch I could launch and retrieve something a bit bigger with a cabin so I am just casually looking around then looking and things like weight and size etc.
     
  13. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    I think for guys like you that have good beach cruising waters the Woods Strike 18 http://www.sailingcatamarans.com/ is a great boat. It would be very easy and cheap to build a bimini style canopy / tent for camping or rainy days.

    To my mind the design really makes sense as you can buy an old HobyCat and you can use everything including the trailer, mast, sails, fittings the whole bang shoot. I think it is a very innovative design with plenty space for camping.
     

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  14. Skywoolf
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Lantau, Hong Kong and Davao Philippines

    Skywoolf Junior Member

    Thanks Manny.
    That's an interesting and unusual design. Using Hobie cat parts would not be any benefit for me as there is only one that I know of within a few hundred square miles around here.

    I will take a look at the web site. One that I do like is Janus but that maybe a bit too big to haul in and out every time it is used.
     

  15. uncookedlentil
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Olympic peninsula Washington

    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    for the coastal cruiser in search of more pay load but still wants decent set up time, this http://www.jonesboats.com/Images/brshrimplan.jpg might prove to be a hot setup.

    it's a very simple fold for a 13 foot beam and the technology was well proven by hundreds of shark catamarans
     
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