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