Small trimarans under 20'

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    The pod cat idea has been tried quite extensively and you wind up with a heavier boat than a trimaran and the weight saving mostly ends up being eaten up by the heavier beams that are required not to mention the higher CG if you are looking for square length/beam ratio they are also quite stodgy since you cant fly the windward hull easily as no dihedral to lift the windward hull clear like a trimaran and when you do fly your already stepping outside of a beneficial righting curve.

    I'm a trimaran enthusiast and would like to see a small beach trimaran taken to the max I was just making the point in my earlier post that it is hard to make a business case for it and the only boats of this racing type we are likely to see are custom designed and constructed not production. If someone feels they can ante up with the money to make a boat like that a production reality at an affordable cost I'd be part of the queue to buy it.
     
  2. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Corley,

    What is your idea of a reasonable cost for a production boat?
    $30K like the boat in the start of the thread?

    Lets just start with a 20' boat for talking purposes.
     
  3. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I think 30k is a reasonable target for a high performance production daysailor to target. The question would be where do you make your compromises. Maybe carbon fibre beams, mast, rudder and daggerboard? Focus on the areas where you can make real weight savings. Match this with infused glass hulls as standard with carbon fibre hulls as an extra cost option? Should a trailer and launching dolly be included in the price or an extra cost option? On a performance boat you would want the best sails so that would not be an area where you would want compromise. What do you think?
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ----------------------
    I think thats right on target. But I'd like to see a smaller boat done-like a 12 footer maybe -just to demo the technology. A bigger boat-18-20 will be ideal as time goes by.I think a performance tri must use foils or the weight and performance gains won't be there. An ama foil is absolutely critical in allowing a very small ama to be used-which saves lots of weight and cost. Main hull foils are critical in allowing the thing to fly the main hull in light air and to control the ama+ ama foil in pitch-without them she won't fly often because the wind will have to be 15k +. Flying the main hull early with the crew sitting in the middle goes toward maximum comfort and dryness.
    I wish I could have finished the Dream Flyer to prove this stuff beyond a shadow of a doubt. If anyone in the US -particularly Florida- wants to do this and can present the qualifications so that I'm confident they will do it well-I will give them the main hull(not ideal, but workable with bow mods) and the main hydrofoils(made by Fastacraft). I want so much to see this done because it will change how people think about small trimarans forever.
     
  5. 2far2drive
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    2far2drive Senior Member

    no cats in the 20-30ft range with performace and some cruising? reynolds, stiletto, seawind, richard woods (were we discussing production only?)

    and only Gunboat making 40+ performance cruisers? I used to crew on a friends Contour 50 (pretty fast boat for cruising comforts). Chris White Atlantic designs, or the CW Hammerhead tri? or... was this just specific to production boats.

    Maybe Im not in the same stage of life as some of you guys but 30K for a >20ft trimaran to me, personally, is totally insane. I spent the last 2 years traveling and surfing and boatbuilding for less than that! That tri better be able to set the hair on fire of Fboat sailors and disgust beach cat sailors. but perhaps Im too young to understand...

    Doug, I think foiling is a good way to go to get her onto one ama and everything else clear of the water. That way its controlled, or else, you have crew hiked out to keep her somewhat on her feet which eliminates your stated goals. I would be interested to see soemthing like this, even though it would possibly be beyond my humble home building skills.
     
  6. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Corely,

    I am too cheap to consider $30K for a daysailor. I am probably showing my age with a whine that it didn't use to cost so much.

    I'll probably just go with whatever I can use as a wooden homebuilder, but I haven't seen something I like to start with. Maybe the Kraken 25 was a good boat after all.

     
  7. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    If you want to have a top performance boat 30k is actually quite reasonable. Costs add up quickly and the builder has to make some money as well (they are not a charity). I've built a few boats myself so have a clear picture of where the money would go not to mention amortising the cost of tooling over a small number of semi custom boats we would be talking full cnc female molds here so expensive to start with if you used conventional hand building techniques the cost in labour would be too high. Keep in mind the standard of production finish and standard equipment that a new owner of your swish high performance trimaran would demand and a quality set of racing sails and your 30k dissapears very quickly. If you were building yourself you dont have to pay labour and would only build the basic molds etc. Something most dont consider is the support that would be expected to be provided to the purchaser of the boat by the manufacturer. If something breaks in the first twelve months you can bet they would want to rock up for repairs and replacement under warranty thats an out of pocket expense for the builder of a high performance boat with high loads that will be pushed hard.

    If you think you can make $$$ building a boat of top performance for that price why dont you throw yourself into doing it should be a good business for you. I think you will be shocked and stop before you even build one boat.
     
  8. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    It's a problem of maths about small tris that penalizes them:
    -you can't go much lower in the scantlings as there are efforts you can't reduce as the stresses induced by weight of the skipper on the decks. Calculate the stresses induced but a 190 pounds guy on one foot on a beach boat, and you'll understand...
    -Tri=3 hulls with the hulls' big surface (and you need a minimal scantling...) plus long and "heavy" beams as you need enough rigidity for staying the mast. It's worst if you want foldable arms...
    -it's a longer and more complicated building.
    That ends in 2 possible ways:
    * Using common materials and the tri is not competitive with the cats. Even making it fly on a hull (and that's another engineering problem). It will be more expensive than a cat of similar size.
    * Using very high tech composites (far beyond the reach of a home builder), very clever design, outstanding engineering, and that will be indecently expensive. No market for such a boat.
    That has been tried and retried on sport beach boats.
    The transformation of a high sport cat in tri has never given a tri faster than the catamaran donor of the hulls (but that can make some good coastal cruising tris) although the amas' volumes and centers are not ideal. The idea is more than 40 years old...
    We have tried a 24 feet tri with Tornado hulls as amas and rig against a 24' cat made from modified Tornado hulls but keeping the same rig and arms. The tri had not any accommodation, just a pure beach tri. No match; as calculated the cat was faster a solid 10% overall. We used spis and genakers. The tri was 120 pounds heavier, and the amas were badly overpowered so no possibility of using more sail. The price was also more than 50% higher. The same construction was used: tortured gaboon plywood, epoxy and tutti quanti.

    The tris finally killed the formula 40 in 1989 because of their cost. They were faster but the cost of one 40' tri was more about 3 millions francs (600K USD), a catamaran was less than half this price...Far too expensive.
    At 60 feet the factors are not the same...
    At 30K a beach tri is impossible to sell...except maybe for a few rich old boys in the States. Add the actual crisis and it's buried in the cemetery of the odd dreams.
    I do remark that all the leisure sport market (bikes, cars, small planes etc...) is struggling to survive nowadays, except the very luxury part of this market. Small beach tris are not a luxury niche.
     
  9. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Salient points there Ilan trimarans definetly make more sense as the size of the boat increases but in small sizes it's hard to justify.

    A large part of the problem is what we see written large in the posts here. Sailors particularly want the world but want to pay very little for it. When you look at the total number of sailing boats sold versus power boats you start to understand the magnitude of the problem and how unlikely a production proposal like this is ever likely to ever fly there is just not enough demand for mass production it's a niche of a miniscule niche.

    All that said if a 20' production high performance daysailor trimaran came on the market for 30k I'd buy it. Somehow I dont think boatbuilders will be jumping into action to satisfy my own particular fetish :D.

    Tri's may have killed off F40 in the end but what a way for it to go! Fantastic trimarans they were Adrenalin, Biscuits Cantreau 1,2,3 and 4, Full Pelt all just amazing boats.
     
  10. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    In the realm of I'm going to the boat show with a wad of money there are many choices. Look at what the larger volume multihull manufacturers offer in boat with cruising ability compared to the monos. Except for Gun Boat I can't think of many "sport cruisers" or "cruiser/racers" from volume multihull builders. I would think that is there was a demand for such boats someone would build them. Benateau and J-Boats offer higher performance versions of their cruisers, basically race boats with cruising stuff included. I don't see that from Catana, Leopard, Lagoon, Seawind, Nautitech, etc.

    This is relevant to this thread when we look at what is available as a day sailing boat.

    In the 15-20 ft range what is available?
    What sort of sailing performance do the boats that do sell to this market have?
    Lightnings?
    The original O'Day Day Sailer?
    Coronado 15?
    Snipe?

    One data point is a Corsair 750 Sprint ... My personal experience is that 60k buys you a boat that will sail with 45 foot monos on a race course. Over 20 and way expensive for a 24 foot boat with a single berth (sleeps two skinny folk), no galley, and uses the porta potty as a step into the "cabin".

    A second data point is I've watched a Hobie 16 sail through a fleet of monos after starting 10 minutes behind.

    To be fast and fun compared to the available "comfy to sail" small boats should not require a 30k ante.

    To be faster than a current generation high performance cat 30k might not be enough.

    What is the point? You probably won't get to race against the fast cats. You probably won't get to race against 40ft+ monos either.

    There are several designs available that are most probably faster than a Hobie 16 and have sit in cockpits. A Hobie 16 is $10,000 the last time I checked.

    How does 30k compare with the cost of a Nacra 17?

    I'm not being negative at all. I just wonder if there is a practical goal here other than "gee that would be cool".

    I really like the idea of a performance daysailing trimaran. Hobie 16 speed at a Hobie 16 price point would work for me. I'll send my 10k and come pick it up.

    If it takes 3x the money to go a bit faster than a Hobie I'll stand back and say "gee that's neat".

    The Weta is 14k ... there is the boat you have to beat.

    Cockpit comfortable enough for two adults and faster than a Weta for a Hobie 16 price and you have a winner.

    IMO the W-17 comes darn close to filling the bill but you have to build it yourself.

    Just my thoughts.

    R
     
  11. 2far2drive
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    2far2drive Senior Member

    Ok, first of all, I never even said I was interested in such a business. I would be interested in such a boat if it were not totally impossible for the home builder to construct one and save on such things labor costs and warrenties. :rolleyes:

    Second, like I stated, perhaps Im not in the same stage of life. Ill sacrifice speed to save a little $$

    A production boat of specified type would indeed be cool. The topic title is what attracted me in the first place but I guess the hobie killing small tri of my dreams is beyond what Im willing to pay for. I guess I didnt think of allthe things a company production boat would have to go through to pull it off and still make profit.

    I totally agree with RHough's last post. I too would be all over it for Hobie pricetag.

    I too am a fan of the W-17, perhaps we could see a production run of this boat in the future?
     
  12. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I quite like Ted Warren's 23 foot daysailing trimaran bigger than 20' though. You wont build it for 10k though but it's a much more capable boat than a hobie 16. Ted Warren claims the boat can be built on a short budget of $7500 USD which I find hard to believe but maybe. He also claims it has beachcat killing performance looking at the specs he is probably right it also has decent displacement which would make it a workable daysailor as well.

    http://www.warrenmultihulls.com/w-23.htm

    A big unspoken advantage about a trimaran as a beach boat is the access it gives you to beaches that are hard to get onto with a bolted together beach cat. With my supernova 15' trimaran I've carried it in pieces through narrow walkways and high fences with narrow gates where you could not physically take a cat. The demounting process makes for smaller bits that are much easier to move around and store. No trapeze on the mast allows a lighter two piece mast that can be broken into two halves.

    I agree with Doug that the floats have to be low buoyancy if your striving for lightest weight in a small package, foil augmentation seems to be the logical approach there. If fast beachcats are using foils there is no reason not too use them on a small trimaran. The other good thing about low buoyancy floats is you can right the boat easily in the case of a capsize. Righting my supernova is easier than many beachcats of equivalent size.
     
  13. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Lots of interesting comments on the cost of a production daysailing Tri.
    Can anyone break down the costs of the parts?
    I am perfectly happy with the truth that a builder has to make a profit and has to absorb the cost of warrenties.

    It is all very well to casually say that foils have to be a part of the package, but another to understand the price.
    Carbon is another choice. Nice to have but at what price? Where?

    Thanks

    Corley,
    Nice to see the Warren 23 again, but I don't think the expanding spiral of going to 25' to allow 8 people on board is the direction I'd want. Comparing a 16 or 18 foot daysailor to a 25' boat is stretching it a little. 350# compared to 850# and 218 sq ft compared to 415 sq ft.
    The boat does question the need to go to lifting foils and small amas. 200% displacement with no lifting foil and still able to "... pass the beachcats when fully loaded and teach them a lesson or two when single handed." Of course that's advertisement copy. Anyone sailed or built this boat?

    It might be interesting to compare the boat to the Kraken 25 you are building. The Warren 23 or really 25 would be heavier, more sail, taller wing mast, and wider. Any comments on the likely performance? Of course it has "better" accommodation and the Kraken uses 2 trapeeze (more like a beach cat).
     
  14. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    I don't believe a "homebuilt" 18-20 tri has to be 30,000 nor do I think the hulls have to be 100% carbon.I think a properly designed production high performance tri will cost between 10 and 20% more that a cat of similar length and weigh the same or less.
    A boat like my 18' Dream Flyer:
    1) Main hull(built for you) $5,000(mine was 3,800 in 2002) and was carbon foam and Vinylester. (You could use a single cat hull that had equivalent weight)
    2) Carbon racing mast $2600
    3) sails incl asy spin $3500
    4) Amas(10') carbon +styro: carved and laid up by someone else: $950
    for two. Cut off 40% if you do the laminating, 60% if you carve the styro and carbonate.(use the right kind of styro). Could use 3mm Okume.
    5) Beams $3600 for 28' from Forte(Beam 18' including foils)
    6) you do assembly
    7) Foils( two main foils-rudder +daggerboard and two ama foils DSS or curved)-you do carbonating- $1600. There are many places that can cut a foil core for you very reasonably. Much simpler than the hype would have you believe-but you have to be skilled in composites! Or buy them made for an additional $3-5000.
    TOTAL based on figures accurate 1 month ago: $17,250( this can be reduced a lot by using a suitable cat hull for the main hull and doing your own 10' ama).
    TOTAL WEIGHT-310lb(F18 cat= 396lb)
    Based on the Dream Flyer I almost built. ( http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/dream-flyer-fl-18-daysailing-trimaran-42340.html )

    Of course a smaller singlehander would cost somewhat less.
    Under 20' high performance tri design is a huge untapped area of development-either homebuilt or production. If it doesn't have foils----it won't fly! Remember the comparison at the begining of this thread was with the actual high performance catamarans available now on the market-most of which have foils for foil assist. For a high performance under 20' tri there was no casual mention of foils: they are absolutely required! But I know many people are scared of foils-that can be overcome. A under 20' trimaran without foils can be an excellent daysailer but it will never fly the main hull in 6-8 knots of wind and could never compete with a small tri designed to use foils as "foil assist"-and thats the whole point. Small trimarans have the reputation as nice but slow compared to cats-it simply shouldn't be true.
     

  15. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Just as a reference the Nacra F20C is $32,000 to purchase I'm not sure whether that includes a trailer and/or launching dolly. That is a full carbon platform of course with no glass parts so the 30k estimate for a 20' high performance beach trimaran is not that far off if you assume 10% cost increase due to extra hull as Doug suggests. Generally I agree with Doug's numbers but think that a trailer or at least a launching dolly should be included in the cost because you wont drag an expensive boat like this across the sand Id envisage a dolly adding say $800 to the cost and a trailer perhaps $3000?

    As to Kraken 25 vs Warren 23(25) it's hard to say they arrive at a similar point through very different design approaches. The Kraken 25 focusses on lightweight with small low buoyancy floats, crew and skipper on trapeze and a relatively large low aspect rig. The Kraken25 is certainly the more physically demanding of the two boats to sail in that configuration. I think the Warren 23 would probably win out due to it's superior hull shapes, large high aspect rig and greater beam for more righting moment but it would be a close run race. I would have built the Warren 23 if I was starting with a clean sheet and no sentimental reasons, cant beat progress.
     
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