Plans for a True Small Trimaran at Chesapeake Light Craft
A new small trimaran may be in the works from the guys at Chesapeake Light Craft. It’s an idea that John Harris, President of CLC, has had for awhile. (I know this because I first spoke to him last year about it).
Actual development, however, sounded far off. So I was really appreciative when one of our readers here at smalltrimarans emailed me a link to the following webpage that he’d recently discovered on CLC’s website.
The article provides some excellent information about the performance challenges of setting a sail on a traditional kayak, putting double outriggers on it, and then automatically expecting Hobie Cat-like (or more appropriately, Windrider-like) performance.
It’s not gonna happen.
The reasons why are explained in great detail inside this article at Chesapeake Light Craft, which compares a kayak that has a sail on it versus a true sailing trimaran that is in the size and weight range of a kayak.
At the end of the article, the writer states the following:
“If you’ve read this far and wondered what it would take to compete with the fast cats in a stitch-and-glue design that you could still cartop, here it is. This soon-to-be-prototyped CLC kit is 15 feet long and will manage 15 knots. Alas, we don’t have a release date. We may need to break a few of them before letting this little racer go free in the wild!”
Click on the image below to see the enlarged version (I’ve linked directly to it at CLC’s website) …
So I contacted CLC and was able to gather a few of the goals (at least in theory) for this proposed new small trimaran design. Here is the short list:
– This craft would feature a powerful rig (unlike the one currently used on kayak/double-outrigger configurations)
– The crew, most of the time, would be on external seats, using the cockpit as a footwell
– In lighter conditions a sailor could sit down in the cockpit — Windrider-style
– The cockpit itself would be roomy (unlike a kayak) and the seating would be much higher and thus quite comfortable
– Final weight after construction would be as light as possible
The original Beta builder for this new proposed design ended up building a different boat. So an immediate prototype isn’t in the works yet. But here is hoping :-)
Having a truly light small trimaran on the market that offers speeds approaching 15-knots (in ideal conditions, of course) and is also relatively inexpensive to build would be very cool. The challenges of designing such a boat, as discussed in the above article, are formidable. If anyone has the means and ability to do it though, it’s the guys at Chesapeake Light Craft.
I hope they pull it off.
By the way, if you haven’t listened to the interview Jim Brown recently conducted with CLC’s owner/boat designer John Harris about John’s new proa, then you can click here to listen to the clip at OutRigMedia.