Saturday, June 27, 2009

New designs: Fast cruising in comfort - Langevin's Trial 1100

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

The Discovery Route will have to wait as the French head for New York

Following several months of waiting for a suitable weather window which never arrived ("pas de fenetre météo favourable"), two of the world's most advanced trimarans have abandoned their attempts on the Discovery Route record for now - and both are headed to New York for an attempt on the North Atlantic record.
The crew of the 40m (131ft) Banque Populaire V under the leadership of Pascal Bidégorry have left their stand-by port of Cadiz in Spain and headed for New York via their regular home base of Lorient, expecting to be on stand-by for the record attempt by June 26th.
At the same time, Thomas Coville and a small crew are currently sailing Sodeb'O from La Trinité-sur-Mer to New York to stand-by for a solo attempt on the North Atlantic record.
The North Atlantic route takes sailors from New York to Lizard Point in Cornwall, the southern-most point in the UK. The current record holder is Groupama 3, sailed by Franck Cammas and a crew of 9. They made the crossing in 4 days 3 hours 57 minutes and 54 seconds - an average speed of 28.65 knots over the 2,925 mile course.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Arabian 100 coming together in Salalah

Photo © Oman Sail, used with permission

Trimaran Cool has been following the exciting trimaran activities of Oman Sail for a while. Following their team's round-the-world voyage on Musandam (the former B&Q/Castorama), they are now working hard to create a new class of maxi-racing trimaran, the Arabian 100. Following construction of the first boat at Boatspeed in Australia and then shipping via India, the Oman Sail team are now assembling the un-named trimaran in Salalah, on the southern coast of Oman. The previously unreleased cell-phone shot above shows the progress made as of yesterday - she is really starting to look like a fast machine!

Some more details come from Oman Sail: The first Arabian 100, a new class of 105’ trimaran, has arrived in Mina Salalah for final assembly. Built by Boatspeed in Australia, the three hulls and connecting beams were shipped on deck to Salalah via India. On Saturday the 2nd of May, the parts were transferred to the only shed in Salalah that could accommodate what will be one of the biggest racing trimarans in the world. Salalah was chosen not only because of the facilities available, but also because the project that Oman Sail has undertaken spans the length of Oman’s coastline and includes all cities, towns and villages of Oman. The project is already a few days ahead of schedule with the beams and amas (the shorter outer hulls), having been connected.

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!