Trimaran Conversion on the Cheap

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Chuckles, May 4, 2015.

  1. Chuckles
    Joined: May 2015
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    Location: South Dakota

    Chuckles New Member

    Wow. Many thanks to all of you who have responded! I have some more brainstorming to do with lots of great new ideas. As many of you have intuited, my primary goal here is to create a fun sailing experience for my wife and baby. I'm very lucky to have a wife who is supportive of my need for little projects like this and an eager edge towards adventure, but yes, she will certainly be more inclined towards the gradual progression of sailing as you have mentioned Petros. She has watched my friends and I push the Prindle a bit too much to be eager to jump on it with our baby, so I am definitely more inclined towards the trimaran conversion for the sake of comfort and stability. I have some more looking around to do but if I could really get into making a suitable tri center hull for the $500ish range, that would certainly be a go!

    I'm very humbled by the gracious responses. Thank you and I am eager to keep reading through some of these threads as my brainstorming continues!
     
  2. Chuckles
    Joined: May 2015
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    Location: South Dakota

    Chuckles New Member

    And hump101, I am eagerly awaiting my son flying around on the Prindle trapeze in no time!
     
  3. Delane
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Okinawa, Japan

    Delane Senior Member

    Hobie/J-24 Tri Conversion

    Hello,

    Look up my project for ideas. Also I have 3 Youtube videos of her under sail. Search for Delane Rivenbark.

    D
     
  4. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    FWIW, something as simple as a plywood hull like this with a little fiberglass over the outside would probably sail a lot better. If you and your wife don't care what it looks like, it doesn't take a complex hull form to sail pretty well.

    http://www.outsideconnection.com/gallant/bluetri/justBuilt/
     
  5. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

  6. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    My friend (in blue shirt) and I built this 16' tri out of 4mm marine plywood and selected lumber from a big box store in 3 days, for about $250. including the simple tarp junk rig sail. It was for a boat building contest in Pt Townend last year. Sailed it out in Puget Sound with the tall ships at the end of the weekend. It will easily carry 4 comfortably with trampoline decks on the beams. Those beams are just simple 10 ft 2x4s, and the mast is a cantalevered 12' 2x4 (milled and tapered to save weight). The center hull is no more complex than the one pictured above. The dimensions were determined b the size of the sheets of plywood that would make good use of the sheets.

    photo was by Richard Woods btw.
     

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  7. markstrimaran
    Joined: Dec 2014
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    Location: usa

    markstrimaran Senior Member

    trimaran power boat conversion

    I live in Iowa and sail on a similar lake. I did what your contemplating. I am a welder by trade and have a very small work space. My main goal was to have a trimaran hull wide enough to sleep on. With a small enclosure. And fit in my garage for construction. I have blogged it on this site.
    Most of the purists here have more cash invested in their boats paint job. Than the cost of my entire boat.
    It helps to have a heated garage to spend the winter.
    My 14.5' fishing boat is attached to a 18' sol cat catamaran. Aft masted and non typical. It will function as a sail boat. But not as a high performance super tri.
    It requires an engineering mind. As their will be things that cause problems. Double the safe working load.
    I started out with 1.5" electrical tube for a 14.5' mast. I Have a $ 50.00 a Hobe cat mast now.
     

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  8. aussiebushman
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Taralga NSW

    aussiebushman Innovator

    The only problem I have with a trimaran is the complication of the centre hull being fitted onto a trailer, unless overall beam is very small or the amas are folded. Additionally, you get more accommodation on a cat of the same width, with a more usable cockpit too.

    I guess I had the advantage (if you can call it that) of having lots of bits recovered from my trashed and torched trimaran, including the hulls and rig. The centre hull was completely destroyed.

    Here is a picture of the new trailer custom built to take the hulls on rollers outboard of the trailer wheels. The raised rollers support fore and aft stringers bolted and epoxied to the lateral beams under the deck. The other picture is the hulls after repair - now being faired under the direction of the Quality Control Manager!

    Mark - I envy your heated garage. My shed is pretty open and the temperature has already dropped to -4C overnight and the epoxy is taking days to harden
     

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  9. markstrimaran
    Joined: Dec 2014
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    Location: usa

    markstrimaran Senior Member

    16' foot wide cat would be great.

    My old canoe cat was 10 foot wide overall. It sailed well but it had too low of clearance for the waves if loaded for camping. Kind of scary with 8" inches of free board in 2 foot waves. The bilge pumps ran alot.
    I like the ease of wood working but rot and delamination from thaw frost action in the cold winter. Keep me from that method.
    My current center hull is also able to drop the out riggers and be a simple fishing boat. Nice in the fall and early spring when it's too cold to go sailing, but the walleye are biting in the river.
    The thought crossed my mind to maybe split an old fiberglass sail boat in half and narrow it a few feet , but it needs to fit in my small garage.
     
  10. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Location: USA

    Jetboy Senior Member

    Looks like a fun toy. I think it's really apples and oranges here compared to using a big heavy fiberglass boat and a small aluminum fishing boat though. The small fishing boat isn't a terrible choice. It's light, it planes, and did I mention it's light? The 3,000lb fishing boat isn't going to be very easily driven through the water.

    Merging an aluminum canoe and your fishing boat would result in a pretty darn close replication of small trimaran designs - and could be pretty cheap as well.
     

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  11. rcnesneg
    Joined: Sep 2013
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    Location: Utah

    rcnesneg Senior Member

    Not quite, a canoe has a completely different shape, If you chop off the rear third of the canoe, give it a flat back end, and extend the bow about a third of the length of the boat to be long and narrow, yes you're replicating small trimaran designs.
     

  12. markstrimaran
    Joined: Dec 2014
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    Location: usa

    markstrimaran Senior Member

    Great for a french fur trapper

    I gained 2 mph in hull speed by replacing with 18' sol cat hulls.
     

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