Much of it, after the actual design is done, is achieving the effect. “Effect” may seem shallow, vacuous but it’s important in some ways:
1. For a start, you have to live with her for long periods, so the overall combination of design, accommodation, colours and sailability or canalability is pretty important.
2. Ted Brewer wrote that no boat under 40′ should have portholes and he’s right – it looks silly, it’s a small craft trying to act like a big ship. The rig, the windows, the keel, should all blend into a whole which is appropriate for the size of boat.
3. This last point is exacerbated when going multihull. Even the trimaran, the most “boaty” looking of them, can’t really carry a full schooner rig and not be laughed at. It’s bad enough having four masts and three hulls but as “tri” suggests modern, though it’s actually ancient, there are ways around it.
One of those is to run lug sails rather than gaffs [they’re gaffs in the photo at the top] and to reduce to one jaunty headsail [roller furled]. All the courses [the main sails on masts] roller reef onto the booms, which use jaws [as in the photo at the top]. They also use lazyjacks from the masthead, under the booms and back up again, to keep everything ship-shape.
There’s been a quite deliberate attempt – it took ages to achieve – to reduce the mast length to 17′ maximum [15′ for the aft jigger. This quite excessive “lowness” is not really for stability, as it is a trimaran and is stable enough anyway but to enable the carrying of more sail, coupled with distributing it over the length of the boat – as it is a shoal keel and the pontoons act as blades too, the whole rig and foil combination must be elongated.
This has the effect of making “helm” less critical, i.e. it doesn’t really matter how much of which sail is up, it will not drift downwind or swing upwind. It’s also easily trimmed.
Even though she’s a trimaran, I still feel the side elevation is one of elegance.
This is the view from the bow:
The crossbeams or akas don’t look so elegant but they’re painted in the duller red/brown so they don’t stand out. The walkways are on the lower side of the frames, multiplying the usable space. There is 3′ of walkway either side of the main hull and netting from there to the pontoons [amas]. Overall beam is 21’8″.
Excuse the iPad pics which distort the scale – this is folded, as on the canal:
This might sound stupid but her excessively fast speed – this hull will do 20 knots if the lug sails don’t backwind, is a bit of a problem at sea. You want fast but not this fast. Note the twin rudders – idea is to mount them on the sides so they don’t fall behind a transom but behind skegs.
The major advantage of the fast hulls is that so much less sail area can be carried and the various numbers become “nice” – that’s a long, lean boat, which designers would always want but can’t afford with large crew/passenger carrying. Mine carries three adults or two kids for any adult.
And that’s it – somwhere in the compromise you must pay and I pay in payload.
Pleased to say, on this Brexit weekend, that should she ever be launched, she’ll be flying the red ensign from the staff at the stern, with her home port stencilled onto the transom. She will never never never fly the flag of slavery of the EU.