Why don't lots more people sail multis..???

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by buzzman, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. buzzman
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    buzzman Senior Member

    This thread developed from a discussion on the Historic Multihulls thread, so have moved it here so as not to clog the other thread with OT chatter....
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/multihulls/historical-multihulls-42019-39.html

    "Another issue for potential multi sailors in the smaller LWL sizes is, who do you sail with on weekends (as opposed to simply racing...)

    While there are clubs for Trailer Sailers, most of them are monos to 24ft, and most of them are older boats now, few new boats being sold due to economic uncertainty etc...

    I hop on the TSP forum occasionally and AFAIK there is only one or maybe two guys there with multis.

    But I agree with Corley - if there is an opportunity to get new sailors into multis, it's the trailable ones that can kick it, which makes it even more regrettable that Ian has stopped selling plans for his boats.

    I know, I know, the guy has to make a living, and supporting home builders is not viable economically,hence why he has stopped doing so, but even so, not everyone can afford $30-50K for a new tri, especially when a mono with the same utility (small cabin, room for 4 to sleep etc) can be had for anywhere between $4K and $25.

    For that reason, I'd suggest something like Ray Kendrick's Scarabs, which are available as DIY plan sets - quite inexpensively - are just as likely to encourage home builders.

    Or for the less experienced builder loking for something super simple, especially in ply, Richard Woods' Strikes are an option.

    I suspect there is a lot more to it than simply the cost of the boats, mooring fees and the *antagonism* of mono sailors.....there is also the lack of leisure time and other demands that weren't as marked 30 years ago.

    I remeber as an apprentic being able to go surfing after work in the seventies. Most workers these days are lucky to get off work at 5.00pm, which apart from high summer and Daylight Saving Time, doesn't leave much time for boatbuilding or even sailing for that matter.

    Again, it's horses for courses, and most people, I believe, with all the family pressures around these days [ like kids sports and so on - just don't have the available time that we old farts had/have to indulge in what is after all an expensive hobby/pastime.

    I don't know of any schools that offer sailing as a 'school sport', so apart from a few places where local clubs have put in huge efforts to get junior classes up and running, there isn't much real encouragement for younger people to get into sailing, never mind into multihulls.

    And the junior classes, like Optimists and so forth, do tend to be all monos.

    Do any of the Kiwis know of clubs that have junior races for Wetas maybe?

    Another thig 've noticed, culturally speaking, is that most smaller 'sailing clubs' (as opposed to larger big budget yacht clubs) tend to have pretty basic and minimalist websites, so nothing much there to encourage the 'web gen' to get involved....

    ....sorry, we're getting seriously off topic.....maybe we should start a new thread elsewhere to discuss this issue....."
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  2. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I think Ian is right that home building is going to become a thing of the past. There are lots of reasons to build a boat but I cant see saving money being one of them certainly not in larger sizes anyway. The question is how much do you value your time it's a different world we live in now with less time available for leisure activities. Lots of cashed up individuals now live in townhouses with no space to build a boat and perhaps even short on room to park a boat a smaller trailerable multihull might make them a viable target buyer.

    Most of the future I see being occupied by production boats of one type or another as I've noted previously boats like the Hobie Wave and various indigenous and imported beach cats are a low cost avenue into the sport of multihull sailing. The problem seems to be the lack of boats to step up to there are lots of monohull trailer sailors available at a very reasonable price. In trailerable catamarans the Red Baron catamaran, Windrush 600, International 23 and Seawind 24 seemed like a pretty good option but out of production now. The folding trimaran is generally just a better mousetrap with quicker setup and more functional space onboard.

    As to why don't more people sail multis, I think there are a lot of reasons. I think it's symptomatic of the greater malaise and sporting clubs in general (not just sailing) are scratching their heads on how to get and keep more people involved they often have flourishing youth programs but once the kids become teenagers or adults they look elsewhere for entertainment. It's worse for sailing multis because they are a niche of the sailing scene and smaller groups see problems sooner than large. One of the chief subjects on the agenda at a recent Yachting Victoria seminar I attended was attracting and retaining members something that sailing clubs are working hard at doing.
     
  3. buzzman
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    buzzman Senior Member

    + 1 from me on that.

    It's not just "leisure" time that's harder for most people to find, but time for anything at all, and with all the conflicting demands, especially for those with young families......

    I agree that the production boat is simpler and quicker to get on the water, but the cost of boats built in Oz or any other 1st world country is prohibitive for a lot of people, and I think that's probably what turns more people away.

    If smaller boats could be built in developing nations, like those just to our north, this would greatly improve the cost factor and perhaps encourage more people to get out on the water on a multi.

    Sure, the big powered trailer boats can be over $40K, but these are mostly bought by those with angling pretensions, and the modern range of boats with soft seats, porta loos and so on that can double as family dayboats are still selling reasonably well.

    So a Farrier or similar for $40-50K should not be out of the question, economically, but if the same boat could be built for half the price in Indonesia or Vietnam, and put on the water for $20-25K, it would attract more punters.

    And if we could figure out a way to solve the 'self-righting' *problem* to put people's mind at rest, then I think more people might be tempted into trailable tris.

    Cats, as you say, are an issue, because anything over 16ft long can't be trailed or its beam is too narrow, so they need to be demountable, rather than folding, like the Farriers and Scarabs.

    There is a 30ft Farrier design that could still be trailed, but no way a cat that length could be trailed without significant disassembly, so folding tris are the more practical option.

    What we need, maybe are more "Open Days" for the wannabes to come and try them out.....groan....tri them out.... ;)

    Our local kayak retailer holds Open Days for kayaks and canoes regularly, so people can come and try them out.

    So not just at the annual boat show, but at a more accessible venue for families....
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  4. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    you have to get kids started early, perhaps organize a demonstration sailing day with a boy scout troop, youth club, local parks and recreation department.

    when I was 12 our elementary school had a great shop program. there the "rich" kids had their parents by them a kit for an El Toro pram, which they would build and take sailing in the local raggattas. I wanted one of those so bad, but the $300 for a kit was money that was way out of reach. Ever since then I have always salvaged lumber and boat building supplies, build my own self designed skiff a year later, than in high school me and a friend found a skin-on-frame two man kayak in the trash. We rebuilt it and since than I have built over 20 small boats, they were all lots of fun and none costs very much.

    I know there are scout troops and other groups that just need some guildance on teaching youth to build a small boat. A number of them will move on from there to other interest, but many will keep with it and build more boats later in life.

    So to keep the craft of amateur boat building alive, it will take you old retired boat builders to seek out places you can share your knowledge and enthusiasm with a younger generation. Or it will die off and the youth will be buying nothing but tupper ware plastic boats made by communists and sold at costco along side cases of apple sauce and laundry detergent.
     
  5. buzzman
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    buzzman Senior Member

    Now, now, no *red* baiting.....Vietnam is much less 'red' than it's neighbour, and very pro-business.....but if that's a problem for you, the Phillipines, INdonesia or even India for that matter could be options. :)

    But I think you're right...it needs a few of the older boatbuilders to actively seek out those who *might* become interested in sailing and boatbuilding and assist them to be encouraged.

    I'm involved in the local TARS group (Swallows and Amazons club) and have encouraged at least one family who didn't think they could afford a boat to lash out on a $400 Mirror dinghy, a step up from their borrowed canoe.

    Tell you what....I'm a graphic designer by profession....so if anyone from here comes up with a plan for *their* local community and needs some help with a brochure or training materials, PM me and I'll put something together for you FOC.

    There, that's a gauntlet thrown down.... ;)

    :) :)
     
  6. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    I think you are on the money Buzz but for me many boats don't make sense if all we do is carbon and speed up every year or two. Focus on cruising and less on speed - but tris can't do much for cruising in the small sizes but they sail and fold beautifully.

    A case in point is the accommodations in a small tri. The galley is probably within arm distance of the toilet which may put some off, or the lack of privacy. I think the cat does a better job of making a cruising boat work in the amenity department - separate eating and cleaning areas, well separate bunks. Getting them to fold as quickly as a Farrier (or almost - on the water, no carbon, low tech materials, no special trailer, secure feel when extended) is the hard part.

    I hope to have my next prototype folding cat on the water in three months. Then you can see what I think the next gen small cruising multi should be like.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  7. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    How about an early cat sketch, catsketcher Phil.
     
  8. SteveMellet
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    SteveMellet Senior Member

    I would think that the Wizard 22ft cat by Richard Woods is probably the best design I've seen that solves all the problems of a catamaran folding and trailering, quick set-up time, a saloon with small galley that doubles as a double bunk, 2 singles could be in one hull with the portaloo and storage in the other hull. I think it makes much better use of space than most tris in the size range.
    If this design had been mass-produced then there would be used ones on the market, making the entry cost of small family cruiser-racer catamarans more accessible. I would gladly have bought a used one rather than the trailerable keelboat I have, but the cost of building one is far higher than the used price of a trailer-sailer, which is why most folks wanting a boat they can overnight on or sail with family, opt for monohulls.
     
  9. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    ???

    WTF ???
     
  10. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    This is ground that has been covered many times by people smarter than me. People don't sail in general due to lack of money, insufficient leisure time and unawareness of the activity in general. The elitist perception of "yachting" doesn't help either. I can't imagine any of the few remaining endangered species middle class folks want to announce to their peers they will be going yachting in the Hamptons this weekend.

    People don't sail multihulls for all the above reasons plus the increased problems of transport, storage, docking facilities and again awareness they exist. Most monohull sailors & clubs still persist in holding on to the anti-multihull bias of past centuries, and local one-design monohull racing fleets actively try to embrace newbies and promote their fleets as the only viable social/racing options out there.

    The only venues in which the sailing world has grudgingly conceded acceptance to multihulls is charter yachting and extreme high end racing circuits/record chasers. The beach cat boom has gone bust.

    Building multihulls is a tough sell. Two (or more) hulls to build, to fair, to sand and paint. More expensive rotating mast rigging. More space needed to build. More materials. Very limited social scene. Even smaller racing scene here in the true North. Bad resale scene, except perhaps Farriers.

    I understand the logic of buying a used monohull. It make economic sense.

    That's why I'm designing and building a multihull. People will think I'm crazy. And they will probably be right.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    it is sarcasm Red. it is short hand for mass produced injection/rotation molded fat plastic boats made in china or some such place, sold in department store or warehouse type chain stores. Cheap and usually very poor performers, easy to get bored using them, so interest in boating seldom goes beyound using them on a summer picnic or camping trip for an hour at a time.
     
  12. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I cant gel the idea of performance to my childhood recollections about sailing. The first boat I had was a small plywood monohull sailing dinghy called an aquanaut it was conservatively rigged father and son fractional rig type dinghy with non rotating mast about 10ft long. I recall being absolutely excited about sailing on it even though the boat speed would be pretty low by modern standards. So I think the most important thing is to get people (note I don't say just kids why should we ignore teenagers or adults?) out on boats and experiencing sailing. That it seems is more vital than what boat they go sailing on. From that point they can go on and explore what are their own personal preferences in sailing. From a multihull perspective the most important thing is to have some beach cats or larger multihulls available for them to explore the option as a possible pathway for their future sailing.
     
  13. buzzman
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    buzzman Senior Member

    + 1

    Encourage. Facilitate. Mentor.

    In other words: convince people; make it happen for them (somehow); and keep following up to ensure they do....

    Maybe we need a national/international "Go Sailing" movement....

    Here's the slogan:

    "Sailing? Just go!"

    OR...

    "Sailing? You'll <heart> it!"

    And for those already involved, the T-shirt:

    "I <heart> sailing"

    And the bumper sticker:

    "Follow me! I'm going sailing!"
     
  14. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Perhaps yacht clubs bias against multihulls is more a logistical one, they take up lots of space which most clubs simply don't have, even the small hardstand based clubs struggle for space. A Multi can occupy twice the space so that equates to half the revenue, not just from storage but from memberships, so it may be in there interests to perpetuate old biases even if they are no longer relevant.
     

  15. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I think this a very legitimate observation I've often thought a folding beach cat would be a great option if you could fold the boat for storage the actual space it would occupy would be low. I believe it would be excessively time consuming to assemble demountable cats for each sail.

    I'm struck by this everytime I go past Frankston Yacht Club they have a natural restriction on the size their club F18 catamaran fleet can reach the boats are stored mast up on trailers and the yard is chock full of F18's to the point where you couldn't fit anymore in.

    Folding has I believe has been a driving force in larger trailerable multihull acceptance in predominantly monohull yacht clubs a farrier can fold and does not occupy more space than a sport boat or trailer sailer. It really removes one of the prime objections of inviting a multihull sailor to use yacht club property and drysail their craft.
     
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