Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The damage occurred to a bulkhead inside the rear part of the port float. Image © Groupama, used with permission.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The "2-element" wing is raised from the port side with a massive gin-pole. The aft "element" of the wing is divided into 6 sections which appear to be controlled independently, allowing its "twist" to be tuned.
Getting the BOR 90 away from the dock after the wing was attached for the first time was a complicated process. The wing needed to be attached to the boat in near calm conditions, before helmsman James Spithill carefully maneuvered away from the dock with the wing down, in a horizontal position, assisted by numerous RIBs. Apparently, while the wing is attached the boat swing at a mooring - since it won't be possible to de-power the rig at the dock.
All photos © Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle Racing. Used with permission.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
With the boat now in Brest, some final preparations are under way, including the removal of the engine and propellor-shaft as well as loading provisions (once the bilges have been cleaned).
The Jules Verne trophy is currently held by Bruno Peyron aboard Orange 2, with a time of 50 days 16 hours and 20 minutes, set in 2005. This is the second attempt at the Jules Verne trophy by Groupama 3 - she abandoned her last attempt after losing a float off New Zealand in February 2008. She became the first sailing boat to pass the 800 miles per day record with 857 miles in 24 hours on her recent North-Atlantic crossing.
Groupama 3 berthed at the new port of Le Château. Image © SEA&CO /Benoit Stichelbaut, used with permission.
The single largest change made was to remove the four "coffee grinders" powering the winches and replace them with an engine and hydraulics. The boat now sails with a smaller crew, the engine providing the horsepower previously supplied by manual "grinders". The deck layout for the winches has been extensively modified now that there is more room to fit everything.
There were several other changes visible from yesterday's sailing photos. The rudder and dagger-board have been removed from the main hull and longer J-shaped foils (the previous foils were C-shaped) have been fitted to the floats (amas). The bow-sprit appears to have been lengthened and its braces have new struts below and above. Finally, the trampolines no longer extend all the way to the floats, only reaching about one-third of the distance out from the main hull.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The two new records were ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council on September 24th, making Hydroptère the fastest sailing machine on the planet.This amazing foiler turned 28 knots of breeze into 51 knots of boat speed. Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget / L'Hydroptère, used with permission.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
On the third day of the crossing, Banque Populaire V also established a new record for the distance covered in a 24 hour period, covering an incredible 907 nautical miles (1,044 miles or 1,680km) at an average speed of 37.79 knots (70 km/h). The fastest speed achieved on the crossing by the world’s largest trimaran was 46 knots (85 km/h).
Both trimarans decided to depart from New York city into the same weather window, and after a slow start on day 1 they were rewarded with around 30 knots of wind at an ideal angle (130°) by day 2. Groupama 3 was the faster of the two boats when the winds were below 20 knots, but when the winds went over 25 knots Banque Populaire V was the faster boat, taking advantage of her longer waterline.
On breaking the record, Pascal Bidégorry said “I did not think we could go through so quickly. We did not ask whether we could better the time of 2007. We stayed focused on the weather, strategy and progress of the boat, obsessed only with squeezing the most speed out of the boat. Banque Populaire V is unique and we are all extremely proud to sail on this exceptional boat.”
Arriving off Lizard Point after breaking the North Atlantic record. Image © BPCE/Benoit Stichelbaut, used with permission
This was a truly awesome drag-race between two of the most advanced sailing machines on the planet – and they are likely to meet again as both boats go into preparation for an around-the-world attempt for the Jules Verne trophy.
The team aboard Groupama 3 arriving off Lizard Point. They broke their 2007 record, but were not as fast as the larger Banque Populaire V. Image © SEA&CO /Benoit Stichelbaut, used with permission
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A flock of Maoras, showing some of the rig options and colours available. Image © Nautylys, used with permission.
Well, it would be hard to beat the Maora, a new design by Stephan Vallet being produced by Nautylys in France. Built for fun and simplicity, the Maora is being targeted for sale to schools and resorts, where it offers ease of sailing and peace of mind (against capsize) for beginners. The base version of the Maora trimaran with a 5m² (53.8 ft²) semi-battened sail is offered for sale in Europe for €1,590, and the sport version with a larger 6m² (64.6 ft²) fully-battened sail is offered for €1,990 (plus delivery from the factory), making this the least expensive production trimaran of which I’m aware.
The Maora is designed for simplicity. All the major components (main hull, floats, “nacelle” and rudder/tiller) are roto-molded from high-impact thermoplastic resin. The aluminium tube beams which support the floats are locked to the main hull by a “nacelle” which is bolted to integrally-molded bolts in the main hull. The “nacelle” also provides an anchor-point for the mainsheet and wings which spread outboard of the main hull, forming a generous seat on each side. Each of the main components can be molded in 9 different colours, so you can choose a boat of one colour, or mix and match all you like.
Low-cost fun! Image © Nautylys, used with permission.
The un-stayed rig comes in 3 versions: the “Classic” rig of 5m² (53.8ft²) with horizontal top-battens; the “School” rig also 5m² with vertical top-battens enabling sail area to be reduced by rolling around the mast; and finally the larger fully-battened square-topped “Sport” rig of 6m². The mast drops into a tube molded into the hull fore-deck “Laser-style”. A simple vang keeps the boom under control, and simple down-haul and out-haul lines give control over the sail shape. The mast breaks down into three sections for transport – the whole boat can be transported on car-top roof-racks. You can also slide a pair of wheels over the aft beams to roll the boat (upside down) to and from the water.
The main hull features a long shallow “skeg” (no centre-board) and a low aspect-ratio shallow-draft rudder to avoid damage from beaching – ensuring simplicity and ease of use for beginners. Check out all the details and prices on the Maora website.
This looks like a fun off-the-beach boat, for very little outlay. That’s trimaran cool!
Image © Nautylys, used with permission.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Trial 1100 fast cruising trimaran. Image © Sylvestre Langevin, used with permission
For those of us outside France, the name Sylvestre Langevin may not immediately come to mind as an accomplished trimaran designer. However this should be rectified, as Sylvestre has a long history of high-performance multihull design over the last 20 years, including record-breaking designs like the 18m (60ft) aluminium foiling trimaran Mecarillos, first to reach 30 knots during an Atlantic race.
Sylvestre has recently announced his new Trial 1100 design, an 11m (34ft) “swing-wing” design intended for fast comfortable cruising. The design includes many of Sylvestre’s signature touches, including wide lines aft (above the water-line) for maximum cockpit space, a clean deck devoid of raised coach-roof, multi-chined hull constructed in aluminium; and a self-tacking jib for easy handling while cruising.
The floats swing towards the aft for marina berthing, and are locked in their sailing position with a bracing strut aft from the rear beam and a wire forward from the front beam. With the floats swung in-board, they extend beyond the stern and the overall length increases to 13.2m (43ft).
Sylvestre describes the Trial 1100 in his own words: Among the sailors who have experienced a trimaran, not all are able to repeat the experience. But all of them have dreamed of a trimaran that combines the advantages of the monohull (good interior volume) and the catamaran (stability and speed) and provides a sensation beyond the ordinary.
At low speeds in confined spaces the handling is equivalent to that of a monohull of the same size, but at higher speeds when let loose a little trimaran accelerates dramatically. Under power, the fineness of the 3 hulls enables fast cruising with low power.
Designing a fast trimaran without concessions to comfort is relatively easy. But to reconcile an efficient hull with internal volume sufficient to allow long-term cruising requires a real knowledge of trimarans. On the Trial 1100, I decided to create a "step" in the main hull above the waterline while maintaining a fine and powerful hull. This has resulted in a design not found in any trimaran of this size. It includes a double berth aft, a forward cabin with double berth, two raised beds in the main cabin, a spacious L-shaped kitchen, a bathroom, a navigation station and many storage areas. The intended engine is an inboard shaft-drive 20 HP diesel.
Internal layout of the Trial 1100. Image © Sylvestre Langevin, used with permission
On deck, the useable deck area is impressive and equivalent to a monohull larger than 18m. The oversized cockpit allows 10 people around the table for lunch. Obviously, the arms are pivoted and when returning to port the beam of 10m (32.8ft) can be reduced to 4.6m (15ft). Beaching is facilitated by a pivoting rudder and centre-boards placed in the floats to allow for easy movement in the central hull. We chose pivoting boards and rudder because who knows, you can always hit something hard ... inadvertently.
Wetted surface area remains moderate because the displacement of the Trial 1100 does not exceed 3,100kg. However, the hull and structures were calculated to enable 1,000kg of payload, allowing a week-long cruise with a crew of 6 people in full independence. Water (300 liters) and fuel (120 liters) capacity will match the needs of such a cruise, and remain very exceptional on a trimaran of this size.
Finally, the choice of aluminum construction provides great strength and durability – both important, and contrary to general thinking, is not heavier in comparison to fiberglass molded construction.
In short, if you enjoy speeds of 15 knots under sail and 10 knots under power, and if you like to moor right on the beach, all while keeping a comfortable living environment, then the Trial 1100 is for you!
The Trial 1100 features a fully battened large-roached main with self-tacking jib. Image © Sylvestre Langevin, used with permission
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Over the next three months the spars will arrive from Southern Spars in Auckland, New Zealand whilst the Harken deck gear and winches have already arrived from Italy. Before the trimaran is launched near the end of August, during the annual Khareef, for sea trials, a full set of North Sails will arrive from France. Originally designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret, the Arabian 100 is a close sister ship to the very successful and very famous Sodeb’O campaigned by Thomas Coville. Sodeb’O has set many records around the world and her design was a perfect platform on which to develop a new class of racing trimarans that also offer optimal training platforms.
Here are the amas being unloaded in Salalah:
Photo © Oman Sail, used with permission
Here is what she will look like when complete:
Photo © Oman Sail, used with permission
The Nigel Irens design influences and her family likeness to sister-ship Sodeb'O is very apparent. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project... that's Trimaran Cool!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This makes it record number 5 for the 31.5 metre (105 feet) trimaran, the first since she lost a float near New Zealand in an attempt on the round-the-world Jules Verne Trophy.
All the details can be seen on the Groupama website.
Image courtesy of Pline, Wikimedia commons.
Friday, May 15, 2009
This attempt to beat the record held by a catamaran may be prophetic for the challenge facing Cammas in the coming America's Cup deed of gift match. If the rumors are correct Cammas, the multihull brains of the BMW Oracle Racing team will be facing a maxi-cat from the Alinghi team in their battle for the America's Cup...
Watch the Groupama 3 progress on their website.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Gregg Boone in Texas owns one of these machines, and he described a recent enjoyable outing on a trimaran community website. He gave me permission to re-print his story here, enjoy the read:
"Overnight in a Sprint. I know what you’re thinking – does a Sprint even have a cabin? Depends on your definition of cabin. After the 2nd summer of daysailing on Sundays most weekends, we finally discovered a new element of what we all can enjoy as Corsair and F-boat owners, our first 2 day cruise.
It was Saturday morning in mid September. We had experienced the most brutal week in a vicious year. Stress needed to be released before a mental breakdown occurred. 12:15pm my wife comes up with a brilliant plan, let’s spend the night on the boat . I definitely married the right woman. We had been planning to overnight all summer – and summer she is gone. Started packing food and gear. We love to go tent camping, and go frequently. However we live in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex along with 6.1 million other humans (mostly human, a few I’m not so sure). This means you must have reservations a month in advance to go camping anywhere within a 3 hour drive. But we own a boat that does not require advance notice.
Took about 30 minutes extra to load the extra food and gear aboard. 5:15pm and we are just pulling out of the marina., this is a new experience. My general policy is to go back to the marina when my wife makes me, typically around 6-7pm. She is the First Mate when sailing, however she is the Admiral when deciding when the fleet should return.
We have our Sprint on a lift at the one marina on Lake Ray Roberts north of Dallas. The lake is a Corps of Engineers lake. This means there is very little development allowed. There is one small 30 room hotel, one marina, and not much else built on-shore. The lake shoreline is mainly covered by trees.
There is only 5 knots of wind, got the screecher up going upwind, cool beverage in my hand, just my wife and I, and the stress is starting to be released. We’re not going fast, but we are moving at warp speed into another dimension away from the big city with it’s traffic and stress, and into a relaxing nature experience. Flocks of birds are flying overhead back toward their evening roosts. The trees look greener with the sun getting lower.
Our first anchorage has 4 boats there already, this won’t do. We keep going. 2nd anchorage is right by the dam and I can hear traffic going over it. We keep going. About 10 miles from the marina we come to a horseshoe shaped cove with no one there. The wind has died so I motor in and prepare to drop the “cruising” anchor that I have never used.
North Texas summers can have unpredicted thunderstorms that hit you by surprise. I wanted an anchor that would hold in the killer winds of thunderstorm. I got a 24lb. Delta with 16 lbs of chain. The anchor locker on a Sprint is 4.0” deep. Obviously the Delta is not going to fit in there. When I removed the daysailing anchor and put the cruising anchor onboard I moved them in 2 pieces and shackled them together. The only place the anchor will fit is underneath the cockpit. This is accessible from inside the cabin. You have to sit on the cabin floor bend over, grab heavy anchor and lift up onto the cockpit floor. This is not easy with 16lbs of chain dragging but I manage without smashing fingers or gelcoat. I think maybe this much anchor and chain is overkill!
Anchor sets no problem and I attach the bridle that another group member described to the amas. I put the Coleman stove on the cockpit seat and fire up the burgers. As we eat our dinner we watch the sun set. It’s a brilliant orange-red beauty. Here we sit surrounded by nature, frogs croaking on shore, storks flying over and croaking at us because we are in the middle of their normally deserted cove (I did not know that a bird could croak). He gave up in a few minutes and decided he could share the water with us. It’s 80 degrees and the water is warm.
The sun sets and I see something you cannot see in a city of millions, stars. The moon has not risen yet and we can see thousands of stars. We can even see different colors, some bluish, some reddish. In the city only 10-12 stars are visible. Amazing that most people are scared of the dark and have to have their nightlights on all night.
We have good tunes playing, drinking cold beer watching the brilliant stars. Suddenly I hear loud music. We are offshore of a state park and there are no campsites in this area. It could only be a jerk ski boat with a massive stereo. After a minute I wonder if a ski boat could even carry a system this large. It sounds like a sizable system. I realize it’s a Stevie Ray Vaughn song playing, I love Stevie Ray!!!. Several minutes later I realize it’s not Stevie Ray playing, it’s a live band playing (or maybe a recording of a live band) Stevie’s songs and they are great. Now there is nothing but wilderness around me, no lights of any kind on shore (except or distant radio tower lights). Where could this band be? The only thing possible is the one hotel on the lake, but it’s 1.5 miles away with a hill between us. The wind has dropped to dead calm and the music is carrying across the hill. We can still hear the frogs
singing along with the blues band.
The band quits at 10pm. I don’t know if I’ll ever hear another live band that I love while anchored on my boat without seeing another human again. I feel like Scotty has beamed me to another sparsely inhabited planet. I’m amazed to be only 50 miles from downtown Dallas and to be alone with nature (well with a blues band in hearing range). And the stress of my regular world has vanished. The stars have never looked prettier. The moon rises and seems to be 3 times the size it normally is, or is it magnified by the Dos Equis? We’ll never know. Now I know another element of the magic of our boats, the other dimension of a world completely separate from the stress of the everyday, the world at anchor. There is no traffic, no deadlines, no decisions to strain about except do I want the next Dos Equis with or without lime.
We sleep out on the nets in a sleeping bag underneath the stars. It’s quite comfortable there and you can’t find a better view.
Next morning I cook breakfast and brew coffee. This is my first coffee onboard. I go to haul the anchor up. Oh my god this thing is heavy!! Perhaps 40lbs of anchor and chain is overkill. At least it’s a good upper body workout. Of course if we had been hit by a storm the big anchor would not have felt like overkill. I think I’ll at least get lighter chain.
I feel like a new man, most of the stress has evaporated and I am happy once again.
I can’t wait until it warms up. We will definitely be overnighting a lot more this year."
Sprint 750 #50 Obsession
Lake Ray Roberts
Fort Worth, Texas
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Photos from this year's event are not online yet, but you can check out the gallery by Peter Macgowan from last year's event for great shots of trimarans racing
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
(I also have to admit that I liked it so much, I now have a set of plans and I’m s l o w l y building one myself)
The F-22 cruiser and its all-carbon F-22R racer sibling are highly-developed designs, benefiting from Ian’s many years of folding trimaran experience and incorporating the latest design and construction features from some of his larger boats. His strategy for offering construction plans for home-builders before his own production is established will get the design off and running faster, and allowing only factory-built beams and beam mounts (although more expensive than home-built beams) will ensure that buyers of home-built boats can trust the integrity of these critical structural components.
With a length of 6.96 metres (22 feet 10 inches) and a beam of 5.51 metres (18 feet 1 inch) or 2.5 metres (8 feet 2 inches) folded, the F-22 may be built in numerous configurations – the standard cruising cabin with or without an aft cabin, a cuddy-cabin day-sailer with or without the aft cabin (resulting in a very roomy cockpit for the size of the boat), and the option of a sliding daggerboard or pivoting centreboard (offset slightly to free up leg-room inside). The standard cabin actually offers more interior room than the earlier F-24, with the 3rd generation beams taking up very little internal volume. Another interesting option on the F-22 is a boomless main, which reduces weight and enables an un-cluttered cockpit with the traveler mounted a long way aft. The sail may still be slab-reefed using cam-cleats at the foot of the leech.
The F-22 is constructed in temporary female frames from foam sandwich, using Farrier’s “vertical strip planking” process. To qualify for the F-22R designation, the sandwich should be laminated with carbon fiber, and a carbon-fibre wing-mast fitted. Target weights for the F-22 and F-22R are between 590 - 680kg (1,300 - 1,500 lbs). The F-22R also has a taller mast and more sail area - 35.9m² (386 ft²) compared with 30.2m² (325 ft²) for higher performance.
What will an F-22 cost you? Farrier’s latest estimate is around US$45,000 for a sail-away home-built boat, depending on which design options you select and how economically you can source your materials. Of course the F-22R would cost more on top of this due to the more expensive materials. With so many options to select and careful purchasing of materials you may get away with a little less, but this estimate appears realistic (based on what I’ve spent already and what I have yet to spend!).
There is a great deal more information on Ian’s F-22 web page.
With 80 boats already under construction and 4 already on the water, this looks like a new boat with a great future that may open up a new market for entry-level trailable trimarans. That’s trailable trimaran cool!
(Image courtesy of Farrier Marine)
Friday, April 10, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
For around 6 months, the team from BMW Oracle Racing have been conducting sea trials and tuning their new 27 metre (90 foot) “BOR 90” trimaran near San Diego. And following a ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals in favour of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, it looks like the boat will get to race! (the ruling is surprisingly readable, and sheds light on some interesting aspects of AC history – you can view a copy at the BYM News website).
We have yet to see the new trimaran that Alinghi are also building, but this Deed of Gift match-race between two of the largest and most technical trimarans ever constructed will be a huge boost to the “cool-appeal” of trimarans.
As the two teams prepare to go head-to-head in boats which have never contested an Americas’ Cup event - the only previous multihull to contest an AC race was Dennis Connor’s 18 metre (60 foot) Stars & Stripes wing-sailed catamaran in 1988 - we will see many new names not familiar to regular AC fans. The BMW Oracle Racing activities are being coordinated by French trimaran guru Franck Cammas (holder of 4 speed records on Groupama 3), and the boat has been designed by French multihull experts Van Peteghen Lauriot Prévost.
VPLP have followed a conservative design approach (apart from the incredible size of the boat) - she is essentially an enlarged version of the ORMA 60 class trimarans, featuring carbon-fibre construction, canting mast, curved asymmetric lifting foils in the floats, triple rudders and a Bruce ratio of 1 (beam divided by length).
Friday, March 6, 2009
One of the great things about the world of sailing trimarans is the incredible diversity you can find - this post comes from the top end of the “Trimaran Cool Richter scale”… the world’s largest sailing trimaran is about to start stretching her legs on the first of several warm-up runs in preparation for an attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy (fastest non-stop crewed lap of the planet).
The boat is Banque Populaire V, the latest in a range of vessels campaigned by Frenchman Pascal Bidégorry. She is a 40m long behemoth, designed on the CAD workstations at VPLP and built by JMV Industrie in Cherbourg (main hull) and CDK Technologies in La Forêt Fouesnant (floats and beams). Her first warm-up run is an attempt at the Discovery route record, which is currently held by Frank Cammas on Groupama 3, at 7 days 10 hours 58 minutes and 53 seconds, an average speed of 21.79 knots.
Banque Populaire V after her launch in Nantes, October 2008 (photo by Pymouss44)
The Discovery Route (la Route de la Découverte) - from the port of Cadiz on Spain’s Atlantic coast to the island of San Salvador island in the Bahamas - is named in honour of the first voyage of discovery made by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Columbus’ fleet of 3 boats took around 30 days for the original voyage.
As I write this Banque Populaire V is on stand-by in Cadiz waiting for a favourable weather window. This Discovery Route attempt will be the first serious sailing for the new boat, however she already reached 40 knots during the overnight positioning journey from her regular base in Lorient to the starting point in Cadiz.
The Banque Populaire website has lots of details as well as a route map which will show the boat’s progress once she sets off. There are also some great videos showing her at speed. The site is all in French, but you can get a reasonable translation using Google Translate.
I’m looking forward to seeing Banque Populaire V show her stuff…
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
As I write this, the Oman Sail crew skippered by Loik Gallon are passing between the North and South islands of New Zealand, more than a third of the way through their circumnavigation.
Cool video of the freshly-painted Musandam:
As a reminder, B&Q/Castorama is 22.9m in length, has a beam of 16.2m and weighs in at 8,300kg. Her mast is 30.6m high. Designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret of Nigel Irens Design, her hulls were built at Boatspeed in Australia, mast and spars by Southern Spars in New Zealand, sails by North Sails in the United States (finished in France) and foils in the UK.
Dame Ellen MacArthur departed from Ushant, France on November 28th, 2004 and returned on February 7th, 2005 for an elapsed time of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds, taking 1 day, 8 hours and 35 minutes of the previous record held by Francis Joyon.
The Oman Sail website has lots of detail on the round-the-world voyage, including the usual route tracker so you can see where the crew are sailing at any time, and blogs from on board, all powered by the OC Vision web-hosting service.
Its good to see B&Q/Castorama getting out again for another lap. That's trimaran cool!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Ever since I was about 5 years old, I've been fascinated by these yachts with 3 hulls. I guess its mostly the speed, but there is also a curious grace in seeing three bows sailing together in such tight formation. So this blog will reflect my fascination with trimarans - and hopefully what I find and pass on will fascinate you too.
Trimarans range all the way from hundred-foot carbon-fibre record breakers to open canoes with beams and floats (also known as vakas and akas) added for stability. As long as its cool, it will feature here. That's trimaran cool!