The Easiest Small Trimaran to Build?
Naval architect Bill Kristofferson started designing trimarans soon after the Piver Trimaran backyard-building wave hit in the late 60’s.
Bill actually sailed around the Pacific with his entire family on a couple of his large trimaran models. He never did much advertising in print or other media. But he still sold hundreds of his plans during the 70s and 80s.
Wherever Bill went cruising in his trimaran, it would generate a lot of interest. He’d take enthusiastic sailors out for a ride on his boat and then encourage them to sail on any other trimarans they could ride on before buying plans to build one of their own.
As it turned out, Bill’s own boat ended up becoming its own successful (and long running) advertisement. And plans for his “Kismet” trimarans were sold all over the world because his boat was often settled upon as the trimaran-of-choice.
As time when by, a lot people were asking Bill if he’d design a smaller trimaran for them. This is how his small tri called the “K24T” came to be.
One thing unique about the K24T is that I don’t know of a trimaran that’s easier to build (of comparable size). The process is even easier than simple stitch and glue technique because there is no stitching required at all.
The boat is simply put together with straight cut pieces of marine-grade plywood, which are fit around a very simple frame.
Does that sound easy enough?
Bill told me the entire main hull and 2 amas for his first K24T were fully constructed in a 2-day weekend. And to top it off, he said those 3 boat hulls were literally put together right under his carport.
The next weekend he glassed them (with fiberglass and epoxy). It turned out the whole K24T boat-building project was completed in 2 months during his spare time.
You bet. But what about the boat’s performance?
Bill said the first day he took the K24T out on the water near his home in western Canada the sailing conditions were perfect. The boat hit 17 knots without a hitch.
I suppose the K24T may not reach blistering speeds of 20+ knots … like a few other small tri models out there occasionally hit. But it’s certainly “high performance.” This seems remarkable considering the simplicity of its construction method.
The K24T is also easy to build for another reason.
Like all Kismet plans, the prints for the K24T are laid out in sequential order. A builder starts at page one, and then moves through the blueprints one page at a time. When he or she is done with one page they can permanently set it aside and move on to the next one … until the boat is completed.
In other words, a boat builder never has to “refer back” to previous pages.
If the above is true then the K24T could be the easiest (and certainly one of the most affordable) small trimarans to build with wood for a homebuilder.
If you want to read more about the K24T at Bill’s website then click on the link at the end of this article. I think the most comprehensive information about the K24T is found within a bonus chapter that is a part of Small Trimarans: An Introduction.
Talking with Bill about his experience as a multihull designer and sailor was a real treat. I hope you feel the same way if you read the transcription of our discussion.
Here is the link that will take you to Bill’s K24T webpage … http://www.smalltrimarans.com/r/K24T.html