Restoring a Newick Designed Argonauta Trimaran

Trailerable trimaran enthusiast Abel D. sent me the following 4 photos of the Argonauta trimaran he is restoring. The Argonauta is certainly on the larger side of “small” tris. But since it can be trailered (because of its folding amas) we include it here.

It’s hard not to be amazed at the ingenuity of the Argonauta’s designer, Dick Newick. At 27′ LOA, the main bunk is directly behind the sailing cockpit. And the sailor gets to face straight ahead and steer the boat with a wheel instead of an aft tiller.

Another Newick design, the Somersault 26 trimaran, can be seen here.

When Abel sent me these pics, he said the sailboat was in need of lots of TLC when he bought it a year and a half ago. It has obviously undergone a lot of work since then. But Abel hopes to have it painted within the next few weeks. This will allow him to take time during the winter to carefully bolting pieces back together while preparing for a spring (re)launch of this classic tri.

Ama sections for a Newick-designed Argonauta trimaran

Argonauta trimaran amas

Front view of an Argonauta trimaran under restoration

Side view of Abel’s Argonauta trimaran

The small number of Argonauta’s produced were factory-built at the Tremolino Boat Company, which is now closed. A friend of Mr. Newick was the chief entrepreneur/boatbuilder during its operation. And I’ve heard this gentleman really loved building the trimarans designed by Dick, especially the smaller (and better known) Tremolino model.

The following photos (just below) are linked to from this webpage, which contains a very good summary article about the Argonauta design. They show how Abel’s boat is going to look after it finally gets on the water again.

The ARGONAUTA Trimaran designed by Dick Newick

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4 Responses to “Restoring a Newick Designed Argonauta Trimaran”

  1. ian Says:

    I think Newick’s influence still hasn’t been full realized yet- he was arguably the first person who made it OK to go out on a limb with really radical design concepts that treated multis as purpose built sailing machines and didn’t slavishly follow traditional ideas just for the sake of tradition.

    But he also has a great understanding and appreciation of the reasoning behind why Polynesians did what they did when developing the first multihulls, and he’s equally willing to do things the old way when it makes the most sense, only upgrading to better materials like with the very traditionally shaped curved akas that are something of a signature.

    I think it’s safe to say that Dick Newick’s designs opened the door to the whole water spider-like maxi-tri phenomenon and in so doing did a lot to break trimaran design away from the grip of very fundamentalist notions about how boats “should” be built and/or look.

    Before boats like “Moxie” blew everyone away, tris had a pretty checkered history as far as being consistently safe ocean passage makers, let alone really fast ones…Newick proved again and again that his successes were not flukes, and that tris didn’t *have* to be unsafe or unsound in extreme conditions, and also proved that the proper direction to achieve this end was to embrace the whole light/spindly thing and exploit its advantages rather than try to build a boat that remains rigid in the face of ocean swells.

  2. Philip Says:

    I confused why it called an Argonauta 30. Another recently cited Argonata (Zoom)was likewise labeled 30. Contacting Mr.Newick he does not recollect any 30, only a 26 and 27. I am very interested in these trimarans but am just confused. LOA doesn’t include rudders or bow sprit if any. One thing I have noticed is the considerable vertical growth of the forward cabin between a 26 and a 27; hence perhaps accounting for most of the advertised weight difference (1400/2000 vs 2500 lbs.)

    I look forward to your progess. I am wanting to learn more.

  3. Small Tri Guy Says:

    Hi Philip,

    The 30′ designation was my mistake. Sorry for the confusion! You are correct. As far as I know, the Argonauta was produced as a 26 and 27 footer.

  4. Duane Hillabush Says:

    I acquired the molds for this Tri after the owner of Tremolino boat company died.
    I still have them in storage here in California. I having been planning on building one since. Am curious how your project is going.

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