plywood racers

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by rapscallion, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. rapscallion
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    rapscallion Senior Member

    I've always had an interest in racing multihulls built from plywood. I like the idea of building a trimaran out of wood that would be fast enough to compete against multis raced in that size range.

    The success of the i550 design leads me to believe a 21' to 25' trimaran should see some success in fleet building. I'm not sure why it hasn't happened already in the U.S.

    This is along the lines of what I had in mind. Are there any other interesting plywood racing designs out there?

    http://www.syasperformance.com/75m-trimaran-plywood.html

    The L7 is also a great design, light, fast and had a folding system that was easy to build as a home builder.

    The 8.5 box rule is successful down under, why don't we see a home built multi class in the states?
     
  2. rcnesneg
    Joined: Sep 2013
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    rcnesneg Senior Member

    I like the idea. Speaking for myself as a builder, I would want to make modifications to it and that might make it not class-legal any more.
     
  3. rapscallion
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    rapscallion Senior Member

    The same issues came up with the i550 class, and they seemed to have worked through it.
     
  4. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Looks like an illustration.
    Not enough to convince me it is a completed design.

    We have seen quite a few illustrations that never get past this stage.
     
  5. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Here's 8x8metre Sid.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. R.Finn
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    R.Finn Junior Member

    Gary, do you have any video of your bird sailing? That is quite a tall rig in that picture. It looks like an old C-class rig.

    Thanks.

    -R
     
  7. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    There is some pretty average Gopro stuff I shot; just search for Sid here or Google Sid video. The old sail is a combination of a B Class with lower section of Hobie 16 main sewed together 11.2 metre luff ... but my new North square top main and reacher are ready - for when the new mast goes up.
     
  8. redreuben
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    redreuben redreuben

    Well someone has to say it,

    Crowther Buccaneer 24 ?
     
  9. outside the box

    outside the box Previous Member

    Yes Reuben
    Or the ones people like Sam and Bruce have breathed upon a little.
    Ours should be a collation of alot of their work plus our own investment in the design.
     
  10. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    The reason there is no popular box rule multihull class is that it takes a combination of time and money that are too rare. Multihulls are just too unlimited in their performance to make a large but cheap class. The inevitable result will be a mid six figure boat that always wins and a cheaper fleet that wanders away.

    In our region multihulls are raced handicap.

    http://www.lake-eriemultihull.com/ron_white announcement GLMRA.htm
     
  11. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    8.5m Box class

    I think a few New Zealanders would disagree, their 8.5m class is very successful, albeit only in NZ.
     
  12. farjoe
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    farjoe Senior Member

    Not only New Zealanders. From half way around the world we look wistfully at Attitude.
     
  13. Skyak
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I think that NZ sailors are very fortunate and should enjoy it. If we had the sailing culture of NZ in the US it would be a billion dollar market.

    In the US used corsair 27s are cheap and plentiful. Work hours are longer and higher paid. The OP asked why, I answered and told him where to look. If anyone want's to join him in creating a local multihull class he will find them in GLMRA. Rather than criticize the truth why don't you offer to help the OP duplicate the NZ success in the US?

    BTW, how do you level the fleet of sub $100K boats with the guy who will spend $500k to win every regatta with a box rule?
     
  14. bruceb
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    bruceb Senior Member

    Another opinion

    Just what you need:rolleyes:
    Used wooden boats in the USA bring almost nothing on the resale market, and older glass ones are cheap. It is hard to invest very much in a project when there is no return for your cash and labor invested. Unfortunately, well used older designs are the only boats that give very much "bang for the buck".
    Also, to get down to the weight and performance of a modern Multi 23 style boat, wood is either too heavy or too fragile for most average sailors, and the climate in much of the southern US is very hard on wooden boats.
    Gary can build and sail them really light, but he seems to rebuild them pretty often too :D.
    Foam core panels assembled like a ply boat might be about the only workable solution, but it would cost at least twice as much as wood, and still probably wouldn't have much resale value.
    A different view- I estimate a Buc 24/like boat constructed with good new materials at about $20K US before labor cost - about 20% of the cost of a new F-22, so it might be worth considering anyway:cool: Maybe not quite the same, but the Buc will sail as well as a Corsair 24. :) I am assuming the F-22, being a much more modern boat, will be faster.
    B
     

  15. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    This sort of thread appears regularly, so I have written all this before.

    About 20 years ago I bought some standard grp 24ft Strider hulls at an estate sale for GBP1000. They came with crossbeams but nothing else. They had never been put in the water. I rigged it with an old mast we had and a used boom. I bought new sails.

    I raced it with my brother, who had never sailed a multihull before, in the 1992 UK Micromultihull national championships. Winds varied from flat calm to F7 (the last race one day was cancelled as everyone on the committee boat was seasick and they reported 40 knot gusts before dragging their anchor)

    We finished third overall. Fourth was Rodney Pattisson who sailed a F24. He had won two gold and one silver medal at the Olympics so knew how to sail. He had a faster rating than us, but still only beat us in one race over the line. I slept on board and sailed it to/from the regatta 120miles each way singlehanded.

    The Strider is still available built in plywood. But I think the Merlin and Gwahir are faster racing boats if kept light. For example this report from Zimbabwe

    "What great racing with four Striders on the water & Farrier 27 which we beat easily, and now Tim O'Leary has launched his new Farrier that he scaled up 15% and the sails 20% up! It went well, but we still beat him over 7 races."

    So don't ignore wooden catamarans if you want speed.

    Especially if you want a boat to go fast in more wind. The problem with small trimarans, as we all know, is that to get three bunks the main hull has to be fat and that isn't good for high speeds. It's easy to get four in a catamaran, and have deck space for a cockpit tent.

    It is also easy to build a 24ft catamaran in 4mm plywood that is strong and durable enough. That weighs about 1/2lb a sqft. We built our Gwahir in 1982 in cheap 4mm ply, unsheathed. It is still sailing.

    You have to be pretty clever to build a foam sandwich boat to match that weight.

    But we did do a one off Strider in foam sandwich. I remember we used only 60kgs of glass to build both hulls and decks. My wife and I could lift a complete hull. The racing weight was 480kgs including safety gear. That weighed a surprising 90kgs, but even so was pared down to the absolute legal minimum for racing. Again, that boat is still sailing.

    When I developed the micromultihull rules in 1982 I didn't want boats that were too big. I knew that they would have tall, heavy masts that would be tricky to raise unaided, and harder to trail. So I decided that 25ft was a sensible maximum length. Later it was increased to 8m.

    I also wanted boats to be competitive with just two crew (eg husband and wife). Interestingly, at its peak the micromultihull cat racers did sail with two, but the trimarans had three.

    Most of all I wanted racing boats that cost the same as a second car, not a second house. Later I wrote "some people don't seem to know how much a car costs"

    I also wanted to make the micromultihull rule a racer/cruiser rule, not a pure racer

    The French took the micro idea and tried the F28, a scaled down F40 rule. It only lasted a couple of years because the boats were too extreme, which meant too expensive and you had to be a good sailor to sail one safely. I have found that few people are actually skillful enough to sail a real racing multihull. So resale values plummet, and insurance costs rise.

    I raced one of my 22ft Wizard catamarans in S California against a L7. I didn't think it was fast, at any rate it was slower than us.

    As many of you know, I have designed a range of trimarans, specifically the Strike 18 and 16 that use beach cats for the rig and outriggers. Not really intended for racing, more for family daysailing. However our Strike 18 seems a fast boat, see here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycsGLNuA6FQ

    Next year I plan a proper 22-23ft racing boat based on the same concepts and probably using a newer 18ft beach cat as the basis.

    The one thing stopping me building (apart from the fact that we currently own 4 boats) is that a racing boat has such a low resale vale, even if wins. And I don't like losing money when I sell my boats, so never have.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
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