The micromultihull rule

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by rayaldridge, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Am I wrong or has this design niche fallen out of favor? Most of the material I've seen on the web is a little elderly.

    I'm hoping Richard Woods will see this and comment on it, since his Strider catamaran was one of the first successful boats designed to this rule. But even the stuff on his website that address the rule seems fairly old.

    I'm interested in knowing if there is still any organized racing under this rule, since I have an idea for a boat that fits it. It struck me as a great set of parameters for those who'd like a small fast cruising boat.
     
  2. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I don't think I can help much as I've not raced in the UK for some years.

    Having said that, although the Micro rule may now have served its time, there are still many opportunities to race small trailable multihulls. Just most of them these days are Farrier tris.

    When I first started promoting and developing the rule in the UK back in the early 1980's there was basically no inshore racing for multihulls and thus the only racing multihulls were large ones. Now of course there are hardly any offshore multihull races in the UK

    As I said at the time, there was a need to run races races for those who can afford a second car, not just those who can afford a second house.

    Later I said "some people don't know the price of cars"

    I think the New Zealanders are now trying to do something similar.

    It will interesting to see what you come up with

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  3. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    It may be that the time is coming again when smallish multihulls will be more appealing, considering the economic situation. I did run across the New Zealanders you mention-- I think they're developing a 8.5 meter box rule, and a number of boats descended from Tennant's cats have already been designed. Good -looking cats, some of them.
     
  4. joz
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    joz Senior Member

    I like your idea ray but its should not be limited to 8.5 mt loa rather have various sizes and budget restrictions from 6 metres to 30 metres.
     
  5. yipster
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    yipster designer

    is not a handicap to prefer over size and budget ruling :confused:
     
  6. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I think that there aren't enough boats, or for that matter, enough sailors to populate a large number of development classes,

    I'd be happy to see just one set of rules that spawned active racing in small multis, so that I could try my ideas out against those of other designers. So far I've drawn two boats, and neither is speed-oriented, in fact they're not much faster than most monohulls of similar length. Now I'd like to take a crack at building a near-shore budget racer with moderately luxurious accomodations-- a difficult thing to achieve in an easily trailerable boat. I have no interest in replowing ground already thoroughly harrowed by better designers, so it has to be something new.
     
  7. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    A couple of years ago the UK multihull magazine Multihull Review ran a series on performance multihulls. I wrote a couple of articles as did Erik Lerouge.

    I have just put those articles on my website (on the Articles pages) for those who didn't see the original magazine.

    They may help any discussion on multihull racing

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  8. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Thanks, Richard. Very interesting stuff.

    It's hard to know what to think about the way the boatbuilding business has gone, with regard to multis. It's a pretty tough way to make a living, apparently. I've reviewed a couple of those "20 Best Sailboats from X to Y feet" books, for Living Aboard Magazine and one of the sad facts that emerges about almost every boat reviewed is that the company that built it has since gone out of business.

    Of course, none of those boats were multihulls. Partly, I suppose, that's because the resale value of multis holds up better than monohull cruisers, or so it seems to me-- making them less of a bargain in comparison with these older monohulls. Partly it might be because there aren't as many older multis that are common enough on the market to be good choices.

    It would be nice if there were more choices in the small trailerable catamaran market-- something with the speed of a Strider Turbo, but enough cruising luxury to tempt folks to make extended coastwise passages. For the most part, as I think Richard mentioned, the Farrier tris have the small cruising multihull market wrapped up-- not surprising, considering that their accomodations are far more appealing than most of the trailerable cats on the market. Richard has several boats could, I think, compete well against the Farriers, with his demountable center cuddies, but you have to build your own to get one, for the most part.

    One of the biggest problems for small trailerable cruising cats, however, is that currently it's so much more difficult to get a small cat from trailer to water than it is to get a Farrier tri set up. I really like Phil's folding cat, but it still limits designers to 4 foot wide cabins-- and those sight lines inside the cabin are going to be a little claustrophobic, compared to a tri.

    But on the other hand, once you get a cat assembled and into the water, it's a much more comfortable platform for cruising, in my opinion. Apart from that, it's the cramped interior of small trailerable cats that keeps them from competing on a level playing field. At the dock, where boats are sold, the spouse shoehorns herself into a manhole and then has to slither into a coffin-sized berth. She doesn't have an opportunity to realize how pleasant all that open center deck is underway. She walks across the dock and steps down into a Farrier and it's a proper little yacht, in comparison.

    Anyway, the thing I liked so much about the micromultihull rule was the idea that the boat must be multipurpose-- that it should be possible to take it for a cruise between races. I wish the rule were still the center of a lot of development energy, because it would make it easier to sell a more luxurious micro racer.

    Just thinking out loud....
     
  9. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

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  10. bill broome
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    bill broome Senior Member

    ross turner suggested a solution, with a demountable, and palatial, transverse deckhouse on his 'j7'.

    not successful because of the schooner rig and size, which made set up hard even without the deckhouse.

    but i think a 6m sloop rig with just two sliding crossbeams could provide a fast daysailer/racer that turns into a cruiser with competitive accommodation for long weekends with the family on board.
     
  11. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    That is something similar to what we do with our Merlin catamaran.

    In race trim the boat has racing sails with a low boom. In cruising trim we raise the boom, fit cruising sails and also a small central cuddy. This fits easily on the back of our pickup truck (sometimes we sleep in it on the truck) and takes only a few minutes to slide onto the Merlin. In fact we did exactly that only yesterday (I have just come back from a night on board). It took less than an hour to motor from our dock to the beach, back the truck into position, slide the cuddy on, lash it down and motor back to our dock. It would be quicker still with two men instead of Jetti and I.

    It is way more comfortable than the open deck version, especially as we use the central cuddy for sleeping which means that we can set up a good galley on one hull and a heads in the other without worrying about putting them away to get to the bunks.

    You can see more of both Merlin versions on my website (of course!)

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  12. bill broome
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    bill broome Senior Member

    i like the pop-on cuddy plan, as it preserves hull integrity. less total space than a transverse deckhouse, but privacy as compensation. particularly suited to merlin, as it is performance oriented.

    but the equally great problem is competing with folding tris for launch/retrieve time. needs something a bit clever to allow the hulls to accordion together. if it were easy, it would be done already, but new gadgets may make progress possible.

    till then, a swing mooring is an even faster way to get afloat, than a trailertri.
     
  13. rzj7l2
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    rzj7l2 Junior Member

    I have seen two concepts that could do it
    http://www.cat2fold.com/
    http://www.foldingcats.com/

    But they never really took off :( .

    The Dandee8m has a hard to beat price tag (2008 prices: From "Sailaway" in China 80.000 USD to 90.000 with some options when delivered to US). But I have yet to see a high quality product from China. Maybe _this_ is the exception, who knows ?
     
  14. rzj7l2
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    rzj7l2 Junior Member

    Dandee

    I Forgot: The Dandee is really a John Shuttleworth design, the Cheetah 8m. I ordered the study plans a couple of years ago. The design is a bit complicated, everything has a compound curve. Some exotic materials was specified

    I just took the bridgedeck clearance from the drawings: 75cm under the deck but at the outboard pod only 0,35m :eek:
     

  15. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Their claims for the boat are extraordinarily modest. I noticed they said a "lightly loaded" boat could reach at 10 knots. My little heavy 16' open cruising cat, with only 8.5 feet of beam and a very modest sprit sloop rig has hit 8.5 knots on several occasions, and I'm pretty sure that I could get her up to 10 in the right conditions.

    In any case, this isn't really a trailerable boat in the conventional sense, because it wouldn't be highway legal without a wide-load permit, and putting it in the water would not be a quick job.
     
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