Weekend in a Wavelength 780 Trimaran
Wavelength 780 trimaran designer Bob Forster recently published another newsletter. I always enjoy reading it and he let me excerpt a part of it for this post.
As you’ll see, a bunch of multihull sailors from New Zealand and Australia have made these trailerable tris their boat of choice. The following short story was written by Bob’s friend, Tony Murray, who helped crew Bob’s sailboat for a recent outing. (Please also note the photos I’ve posted are all taken from the newsletter and a couple of them feature a boat named “New Horizons.” … thanks for letting me post these guys!)
This Wavelength design is well-suited for both racing and camp-cruising. But I suspect another part of what attracts builders/sailors is the fact that a great hull shape can be achieved by building with ply/glass/epoxy instead of foam/glass.
Bob brings a wonderful expertise, enthusiasm and unique technique to the whole small tri development/building process. This approach will surely inspire conversations (and small tri building) for years to come.
Click here to visit Bob’s website. And click here to go directly to the newsletter archive page, where you can download previous issues (in pdf). There is a ton of great Wavelength stories and tri info inside them.
“Reflections on a Cruisy Racing Weekend”
By Tony Murray
The dual cruise/racing personality of the Wavelength trailable trimaran was nicely demonstrated in the recent Otter Rock Plate race weekend sailed out of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, Sandgate, when designer/owner/skipper Bob Forster invited two fellow retirees to extend the race weekend with a little cruising either side.
So the itinerary was: Depart Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Manly on Friday afternoon for a leisurely cruise to Sandgate, overnight Friday night at the QCYC Cabbage Tree Creek marina, overnight Saturday night at the Scarborough Boat Club’s marina on the Redcliffe Peninsula after a day’s racing, back to Cabbage Tree Creek for Sunday night after another day’s racing, then finally, cruise back to Manly on Monday morning.
Normally a very satisfied F-24 Trailer Tri sailor, I am always up for a different sail and was delighted to respond to the invitation away from my Hervey Bay home base. Those who know Bob, his fund of knowledge on trailer multi design, the quality of his on-board wine cellar, and his culinary skills, would understand my ready acceptance. And as this was day one of my long-anticipated retirement, I could not think of a better way to kick it off.
First, for those unfamiliar, Wavelength is a neat boat – home built with glass over ply, but with the curves more expected of a production boat from a mould. Performance wise, it is well set up as an efficient racer and holds its own among the more familiar F-boats of similar length, but is more than equal in accommodation and cruising capacity. I have had many good races against Bob in my F-24, but for about an extra foot in length, the Wavelength has a disproportionate advantage in the things that matter in cruising – generous interior space, proper galley with built-in sink and stove provision, load carrying, and height of the nets above water for a dryer boat in bigger seas. With a generous double vberth forward, and two singles either side of the cabin plus plenty of storage, we had a more-than-comfortable craft for our complement of three on board.
Friday afternoon from Manly to Sandgate was a lovely sail in fading breeze and light – with Wavelength pulling a respectable seven to eight knots under screecher in little wind as we approached the flashing light of the Fisheries Beacon off the Cabbage Tree Creek entrance. The narrow dogleg entrance leads of Cabbage Tree Creek gave a nice opportunity to try the Navionics ap on my iPhone which proved remarkably accurate in picking the channel boundaries as we motored to the marina berth at QCYC. We rewarded our cruising efforts at the QCYC club restaurant with dinner of veryacceptable snapper topped with soft-shell crab washed down with house red, before repairing to Wavelength for a nightcap of aged shiraz.
The sun rose over a magic Moreton Bay on Saturday, with clear skies and a benign weather forecast. After a day’s competitive and concentrated racing in fluky light air en route to Scarborough marina, we treated ourselves to a well rounded cabernet after a dinner in the clubhouse. In fact, the cruising lifestyle proved quite a curiosity to fellow competitors who were clearly interested in pursuing certain prominent aspects of it. After dinner, Wavelength, in prime position on the club’s visitor pontoon, played host to eighteen sailors who helped the resident crew evaluate blue, brie and vintage cheddar cheese as suitable cruising fare, and also reduce the cruising ballast in the wine cellar to something closer to racing weight. The significant observation to be made here is that while thirteen souls crowded in the cockpit of my F-24 will sink the stern with water to the traveller, Bob’s Wavelength cockpit was still high and dry with eighteen aboard! This is an important boat-on-boat comparison that warrants further investigation in different anchorages!
After a hearty clubhouse breakfast, and a bucket of seawater to cleanse the cockpit floor of the evidence of festivities of the previous night, it was time to head out for the start-line under clear skies once more. However, the Sunday racing back to Sandgate did not go so well – not the boat, not a navigation problem, just the lack of a simple figureeight knot resulted in the halyard for the big kite disappearing up the mast. Oops, not what you wish for on the long downwind finish leg to Otter Rock in a fading breeze after rounding the windward mark.
With a forecast for freshening overnight wind, the QCYC marina was again a comfy haven on Sunday night. After hot showers all round, Bob demonstrated his customary on-board hospitality, along with the efficiency of his built-in icebox and the winter warmth of the dual-burner metho stove. Very soon on the plates before us were delicious boatcooked meals of spaghetti bolognaise topped with parmesan and fresh-chopped parsley, accompanied by McLaren Vale velvet. Nothing less would be fitting on the Wavelength’s woodtrimmed dining table.
We were not sorry Monday morning when the forecast of freshening breeze failed to appear, and instead light winds delivered cruising under screecher back to Manly. Here, we found a gap at the ramp between hoards of dinghy championship sailors, and had the boat folded, retrieved and secure on the hardstand within the hour.
Nice weekend, thanks Bob, and nice demonstration of the ease and racing/cruising versatility of the Wavelength.
– Tony Murray