A trimaran is a multihull boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls (amas), attached to the main hull with lateral struts (akas). The design and names for the trimaran components are derived from the original proa constructed by native Pacific Islanders.
BMW sponsored Oracle Racing trimaran
THE BENEFITS OF SAILING TRIMARANS
Quorning Boats was founded in 1967 by Borge Quorning to build high quality boats with good performance from 16' up to 52" high-tech yachts, but since 1981 production has been concentrated on the Dragonfly Trimarans only.
The first trimarans were built by indigenous Polynesians almost 4,000 years ago, and much of the current terminology is inherited from them. Multihull sailboats (catamarans and trimarans) gained favor during the 1960s and 1970s. Modern recreational trimarans are rooted in the same homebuilt tradition as other multihulls, though there are a number of production models now on the market, such as the folding, trailerable trimarans from Corsair Marine, Quorning Boats, Performance Cruising Inc., and Ian Farrier.
The Trimaran design is also becoming more widespread as a passenger ferry. Designs which can carry over 300 cars are now in production. The trimaran concept has also been considered for modern warships. The RV Triton was commissioned by UK defence research company QinetiQ in 2000. In October 2005, the U.S. Navy commissioned for evaluation a General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) trimaran designed by Austal.
Trimarans have a number of advantages over comparable monohulls (conventional, single-hulled sailboats). Given two boats of the same length, the trimaran has a shallower draft, a wider beam, less hull area, and is able to fly more sail area. In addition, because of the wide beam, trimarans do not need the weighted keel required in monohulls. As a result, the trimaran offers much better straight-line performance than a monohull, is able to sail in shallower water, and maintains its stability in stronger winds. However, its wider beam makes it a little more cumbersome to maneuver, so tacking and jibing can be trickier, and the narrower hulls provide less living space than an equivalently-sized monohull.
As the righting moment (the force that resists the opposite torque of the wind on the sails) is produced by a float on either side called an ama and not a heavy protruding keel, trimarans are lighter and faster than a monohull of equivalent length. A lightweight retractable keel, referred to as a centerboard is often employed to resist lateral movement, making many models easily beachable.
Most trimarans are nearly impossible to flip sideways given a reasonable degree of caution, however, trimarans can reach speeds so great in a storm that they can plow into a wave and flip end-over-end. This hazard is especially dangerous for a multihull because of their wide beam. The front of the boat, often covered by trampoline, acts as a giant paddle rather than a narrow monohull would. To avoid this unfortunate scenario owners of trimarans are advised to use trampolines with a large weave and employ parachute drogues and sea anchors whenever appropriate.
Motor powered trimaran designed by Nigel Irens
Overall, trimarans are much safer than a monohull as the lack of a heavy keel, combined with the two (usually sealed) amas makes for a nearly unsinkable boat.
Because of their stability and safety, trimarans such as the Challenger class have become popular with sailors who have restricted mobility.
Potential buyers of trimarans should look for one that is designed with amas with multiple sealed partitions, controls that all run to the cockpit, a collision bulkhead, partial or full cockpit coverings or windshields, and drain holes in the cockpit that can adequately drain the cockpit quickly, among other things.
The most important feature of any boat, its seaworthiness, is the most difficult one to assess. Seaworthiness is simply the capability of a boat to afford the crew safety and comfort in any condition. But it can take time before the seaworthiness of a new type of craft is fully understood even by designers and sailors. Especially so, since there are infinite possible combinations of wind, sea and hazard that a boat might be exposed to by any crew, in any state, attempting to execute any plan.
In the late 1950s when the pioneer catamaran designer, builder and sailor, James Wharram, was sailing catamarans across the oceans, very little was known about the seaworthiness of these craft. In the 60s and 70s offshore catamaran sailing and racing went up a steep learning curve with many "bleeding edge" multihulls crashing out spectacularly. This confirmed suspicions voiced at the time, that multihulls were unsafe. In the same period much more sturdy and secure designs were built and began safely to clock up ocean miles. However, without today's design know-how, many lacked performance. This confirmed suspicions that multihulls do not sail well to windward.
Now, thirty years on, multihull design has matured through the prolonged exposure of thousands of different craft to a generation of world-wide sailing experience. Safety records over the years are second to none and consequently, catamarans and trimarans have earned their place in the mainstream of the boat market. Even so they are still viewed with distrust by many of the seafaring community. However, there is no reason to doubt that the glowing safety record of multihulls will not continue to grow, and that misgivings will diminish with more time.
So far it can be said with total confidence that a multihull, as a type of vessel, is at least as safe in any condition as a monohull. Possibly multihulls are safer. Naturally, they have different strengths and weaknesses than monohulls in their "capability to afford comfort and safety in any conditions." No boat is ever 100% seaworthy.
Flying boat - trimaran hydrofoil racer
CHOOSING YOUR BOAT
It is often accurately remarked that when you buy a boat, you can choose from any two of the following three: Performance; Comfort; Economy, but that you can never have all three. There are no very fast, cheap, luxurious boats out there. Probably the same is true of cars and horses as well, but we should keep the discussion to boats. Multihulls have more potential to offer speed and comfort than monohulls, this is why they are such compelling craft, so it is particularly important to see how these trade off against each other and against cost. The bottom line for any of us who venture on the sea, though, is seaworthiness: find the safety of multihulls and monohulls compared in these sections.
Speed is fun. Thrilling even, and not exclusively for the race course. For some, overhauling other craft is always delicious meat for the ego. But apart from that, there is a rich pleasure in feeling a loved boat get up on her legs in a breeze. Faster passage-making means extended cruising range and possibly less crew fatigue. Speedy boats can better skirt storms to avoid exposure to danger. However, few would want speed at any price.
The cost of speed might be in the boat price, crew discomfort or increased risk of mishap. Most will be interested in what it takes to get maximum performance in line with other wishes, like lots of cabin space and maximum seaworthiness. Good performance should be had on any day and on any course too.
A power trimaran is kind of an odd looking bird when you first look at one. Long skinny hull with very short amas. We have gotten used to seeing amas that are more than half as long as the main hull in sailing vessels. But of course the power tri needs a much smaller righting moment since there is no sail to rotate the boat around it's axis. They are much more stable that the equivalent monohull of course, and most of the recent long range power boat records have been set by trimarans of this type. An non stop crossing of the pacific was done several years ago with a pair of slightly modified 9.9 yamaha engines and the UK navy has had a development program in place for some years and has begun to acquire a few.
You can write to us at:
Phone or fax us on:
+44 (0)1752 823900
You get a boat that pleases racers as well as cruisers. Multi-Winds International, LLC., uses the highest standards and materials, making boats that are easy to sail, fast, and comfortable.
MULTI WINDS INTERNATIONAL, LLC
Maid Marion Hill
We are very aware of sailor's needs. We bring two types of experience into our catamaran designs. We have designed multi hulls since 1980. And we have lived in our "PELICAN" (one of our designs), on the Mediterranean sea for 11 years. Our portfolio includes a wide range of catamarans.
Ground effect plane/boat
At K-designs, we design fast water craft. We have been consulting in this industry for over 25 years and we sell multi-hull construction plans for home builders and professionals alike. New designs are developed on a regular base . Almost all boats are extreme light weight wood/glass/epoxy composite constructions.
Goondi Street, Rainbow Beach QLD, Australia 4581
Ph (07) 5486 3393 http://www.catamaransaustralia.com
52 Manooka Drive Rainbow Beach QLD Australia 4581
Ph (07) 5486 3610 Fax (07) 5486 3690
SUNSET HARBOUR - Carlo Point, Rainbow Beach QLD Australia 4581
Phone (07) 5486 3610 http://www.usail2.com
The designers and builders of the Aegean Catri 27 wanted to make a superior folding, trailerable trimaran that advanced the 'state of the art.' It had to be a competitively-priced boat that would beat the competition in all other qualities, including offering luxurious accommodations. The first prototype of this boat, called the Catri 26, was built and tested in Europe in 1997 where it showed higher speeds and smoother rides than the best racing trimarans of its class: the Corsair F28R and Dragonfly 920.
Catri 27' trimaran
of Fourteen Study Plans!!!
White Wings 36' trimaran
SAILBOATS, CO. 103 Center Street, Garwood, NJ 07027
Inc., 1338 N. Melrose Drive, Unit K., Vista, California
email@example.com (John Slattebo) Tel. (760) 945-3958 Fax. (760) 945-3958
Design and supply of catamaran plans for sailing and power catamaran yachts is Bloomfield Innovation's area of expertise. We have extensive experience in the development of composite and aluminium catamarans, including sailing and power catamaran yachts, commercial ferry catamarans and workboats. Bloomfield Innovation supply naval architect and engineering design services for composite and aluminium catamarans from 6m (20') up to 60m (200'). Our range includes trawler catamarans, power catamaran yachts and racing and cruising sailing catamaran designs. All designs may be constructed to survey or classification society rules using aluminium or composite (fibreglass, carbon fibre,…) materials. We are exclusive agents for sales of Crowther Multihulls range of sailing design catamaran plans covering racing and cruising designs up to 60' and have access to the entire Crowther Multihulls intellectual property base on multihull sailing design. We have close relationships with a number of multihull boat builder companies around the world or we can provide design plans and support service to your choice of boat builder.
Innovation Pty Ltd., PO Box 349, St Kilda, Victoria
is a new brand but from a well established stable with a
of record breaking multihulls. Of course high speed
requires that the boat should have low drag and this is
achieved with the narrow hulls of the trimaran and the
lift of the hydrofoils.
A major concern in multihull sailing is the possibility of a nosedive/pitchpole in challenging wind/wave conditions. Prevention of this must be a major consideration in the development of a new design.
In the CATRI lengthwise stability has been maximised by designing the centre of mass as far aft as possible, with a large main hull stern volume and the rear foils supporting this, full length floats, and a major contribution to stability from the forward hydrofoils. In a wind gust or wave conditions which may bury the bows of another design, the CATRI will lift the rear of the float and rear foil from the water, thus stopping lift from the rear foil, and allowing the aft distributed centre of mass to act maximally in preventing nosediving or a pitchpole (see diagram below). The forward foil, as well as the bouyancy of the forward part of the float continue to provide substantial lift, resulting in considerably more fore-aft stability than that of a traditional trimaran design. This is further enhanced by the wave-piercing design of the float. The hydrofoil system adds an extra margin of safety compared to the conventional trimaran.
large beam enhances stability, as does the dynamic lift
provided by the foil system. When underway, the foil
system lifts most of the float clear of the water (so
that the bottom of the float skims the water surface,
minimising drag), leaving considerable reserve bouyancy.
What do you think - e-mail us
The 42.5m 'Adasta' luxury trimaran yacht turns a few heads wherever it goes
At Gato Verde we provide clients of all ages and abilities with a fun and unique outdoor sailing adventure. Customized sailing lessons or carefree skippered sailing charters can run from 1.5 hours to seven days aboard our comfortable and efficient 42 foot long catamaran. Either charter option will provide our clients of all ages & abilities with a memorable outdoor adventure.
Gato Verde is based in Bellingham, Washington at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Historic Fairhaven, the southern terminus of the Alaska Ferry. Bellingham is located just 90 minutes North of Seattle and 60 minutes South of Vancouver, BC. Consider a sunset cruise or hosting an event out on beautiful Bellingham Bay in the shadow of Mount Baker.
Building a catamaran for most people is converting a dream into reality. However it can very easily turn into a nightmare. It requires a major commitment of time, money and family life. I began building a Schionning Waterline 1160 on December 16th in 1997 and launched it 2 years later. I documented and photographed the building process in detail and then produced a CD-ROM which will hopefully give you an idea of what building a modern catamaran entails. If you decide to build a catamaran it will give you a "step by step" guide, or at the least heaps of ideas to save you money and time.
Bruce Hodgens - P.O. Box 6022, Townsville, Qld, 4810. Australia.
KHSD is a Custom and Commercial Design Service for Multihulls in Power and Sail - Creating Catamarans, Trimarans, and Proas at the Cutting Edge of Sailing Technology
Kurt Hughes 71' flared hull trimaran design
I have the most up-to-date, uncompromising catamarans and trimaran designs available today. To begin planning your custom watership, please go to Custom Designs. (Very slow to load website)
Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs
I first got into multihulls as a child growing up in Zamboanga, Phillippines, where we sailed and skindived off of double outrigger sailing canoes (vintas) built of mahogany, rattan, and bamboo. An fisherman named Tajani built a special "racing" version in our front yard one season, with a lightweight tarred rattan hull upper section. the sails looked something like this. Unfortunately, just like an immaculately finished dingy i built some years later, it proved too attractive to a thieverish eye and disappeared off the beach shortly after launching, never to return. (i built another bolger dinghy just like it, and had my six year old daughter go after it with a spray can and instructions to paint our phone number large. Later on i built another bolger boat, an AS39 named Wizard)
Several (quite a few) years later i started sailing hobie cats, wearing out several, and while getting a degree in computer science at new college, ran the (very small) sailing program there for a while, and somehow managed to build a 7-meter Wharram cat for myself in my spare time. That led to a number of projects including the aforementioned bolger, cabins for a 40' cat, a full refinish on a 1926 S-boat, and a general gutting and refit of a Lagoon 47 for circumnavigation. An affinity for wood has led me to an appreciation especially of Kurt Hughes and Chris White's multihull designs. However, building in structural foam is getting easier and cheaper, and we will be using more of it.
Trimaran design by Hank Brooks F31
Simple & Light. At LIGHTSPEED we believe a simple, light boat is faster, safer, easier to handle, less expensive to buy and maintain, and -- most importantly -- more fun to sail.
The carbon-nomex LIGHTSPEED 32 has a target weight of just 2200 pounds / 1,000 kg, (that’s all-up ex crew) -- incredibly light for a 32’ boat designed and engineered to race safely offshore.
The LIGHTSPEED is simple and easy to sail. With a self-tacking jib and VMG gennaker on a roller furler, the LIGHTSPEED 32’s layout is clean and uncluttered. Major controls are led to each side of the cockpit where they are within easy reach. The accommodations are simple and light, with no extraneous
welcome boat sellers to contact us for advice on pricing
and marketing, and boat buyers to discover how easy
selecting the right boat can be with the aid of a
Contact Channel Island Boat Sales.
10-12 Commercial Buildings, St.Helier, Jersey, United Kingdom
Catamaran boat yard
Thornham Marina is a haven of peace and tranquillity, favoured by boat owners who hanker after marina facilities with the flavour of a working DIY boatyard. Situated in beautiful Chichester Harbour, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you will find us at the head of Prinsted Bay, on the east side of Thorney Island. By road, we are conveniently located near Emsworth, about 10 minutes from the bottom of the A3 (approx. 1 hour from London and 15 minutes from Portsmouth).
Tel: 01243 375335 Fax: 01243 371522 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thornham Marina - Thornham Lane, Prinsted, Nr. Emsworth, Hants. PO10 8DD
Which boat suits you best depends on what turns you on most in a sailing boat. If it is traditional nautical looks, you might have to look at a lot of multihulls before they start to look as handsome as a classic monohull with swept teak decks. If it is sailing at 10 degrees of heel in a blow, then no amount of ballast in a monohull will provide what a cat gives without complaint. Don’t be mistaken, there are beautiful multihulls, as there are some that don’t sail as well as you might hope to think. Here you can find out (in what level of detail you need) what governs the key issues, including: Performance, Safety, Handling, Comfort and Price. It will help you along the way to making an informed decision with confidence.
Pipkin Meade Ltd., P.O. Box 143, Valletta CMR01, Malta
Tel: +356 2122 0270 email@example.com
Pick up any sailing magazine with a picture of sailors having a great time and you'll see a picture of a catamaran. Sailors have come to appreciate the speed, comfort, and convenience of sailing flat. Unlike catamarans, (cats), monohull sailboats must drag the weight of a mid-size car underneath their keels to keep the boat upright in a strong wind. Cats provide a stable platform and a shallow draft (3'3") that allows the boat to navigate areas monohullers wouldn't dream of. With four water tight compartments (one on each hull corner) and cored construction, Prout cats are unsinkable and are very stable. (A Prout catamaran has never rolled over, ever.) In a very extreme case of rolling a catamaran, the cabin can be accessed to safely retrieve food and stores while waiting for help. Compare this to the alternative available to monohullers of waiting in a rubber raft with minimal stowage.
38' Prout Cat for Sale Ready to cruise-Lying Annapolis, MD
Jerry Taylor - 703-567-0308 firstname.lastname@example.org
Women Sailing San Diego
Vacation in San Diego and learn to sail. Voted one of America's top 10 sailing destinations, San Diego Bay offers the perfect venue for a sailing holiday. Stay aboard a luxury yacht and learn the art of sailing in a comfortable, stimulating,
non-threatening and genuinely fun environment. All classes are American Sailing Association Certified and are taught by a U.S. Coast Guard licensed female captain. Choose any of the two day classes, or take all three of the classes in a six day live aboard package.
It’s more than just a sailing school. Enjoy morning stretches or yoga, a mid week massage and evening strolls along the scenic skyline of San Diego. The bay is home to sea lions and seals, while just offshore whales, dolphins and pelagic birds can be seen.
Arrive a day early or stay an extra day and visit the Zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park, Gas lamp District, Old Town, Coronado Island or just relax by the pool. Your stay aboard a luxury yacht and healthy gourmet style cuisine is all included in the price. It is a time to embrace the friendship of other women and to renew your sense of accomplishment. Do something for yourself, or it’s great to share with mom, sister or grab a friend and set off to America’s Finest City for a wonderful sailing holiday. No experience needed.
Once you have mastered the basics of sailing, join us in paradise for sailing . For the adventurous woman who likes to travel, join a carefree sailing holiday in Australia, Tonga, French Polynesia or the Balearics. See places only sailors can visit. All with the security of an experienced woman skipper, bring only an adventurous attitude and the desire to realize your dreams.
Corsair Trimarans www.corsairmarine.com
Email email@example.com or Corsair Marine, 150 Reed Court, Chula Vista, CA 91911, 1-877 FAST TRI, (619) 585-3005, fax (619) 585-3092.
are celebrating the Dufour
365 crowned BOAT
OF THE YEAR 2006
Tél: +33 (0)5 46 30 07 60 Fax: +33 (0)5 46 45 46 96
Aerial view of a beautiful trimaran blue water sailing
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Marine Mentors - Our licensed Captains specialize in training new boat and yacht owners, to handle their own vessels with confidence, patience and safety in mind.
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It All Here - Web site built for boaters by
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A modern Moby Dick adventure
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