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Our previous blog post featured sailor Peter Lange sailing his Weta tri. In this post I am linking to Peter’s blog from a couple years back which detailed his preparation for and cruising to The Bahamas on a 19.5’ Tramp trimaran.

His name for this Tramp Tri was “AMA MAMA“. Once again, he features a lot of info about both his preparation and the trip itself.

This blog can be found at the following address: http://littleyellowtramp.blogspot.com/ (Go back to the 2015 entries and earlier to read about AMA MAMA.

I also asked Peter about what he had learned with regards to the handling of a smaller trimaran in open waters. Here was his reply…

“The biggest challenge was getting enough boat speed to cross the Gulf Stream in choppy seas against the current. I was trying to go Southeast with an East wind and a North current in 15 to 20 knots of wind. However, a number of factors come into play in a small, relatively heavy trimaran like a Tramp:

— The Tramp is heavy relative to sail plan and slow even in medium strength winds.
— Pushing a relatively light boat though 3 to 4 foot wind wave / chop is challenging even without a current.
— When the Gulf Stream is added in, the result was 0 knots boat speed! And that was on the West edge of the Gulf Stream; i.e not the maximum current.

The only way forward to me at the time was to eliminate the Gulf Stream as a factor and actual use it. So, I turned Northeast, was able to make slow progress to the East, but I did not make my intended anchorage at West End Grand Bahama. Instead, I anchored in the open on the Bahama Bank.

Of course, the wave/chop was not consistent in period or height, and I was taking waves over the bow and into the cockpit on a regular basis. The Tramp is a tank of a trimaran though, and was a good choice for the trip albeit slow. I would not do this trip in a Weta. If things would have turned worse, I was prepared to deploy a sea anchor until things settled down.

I was in a similar situation going up the Sea of Abaco; i.e. tacking into steep chop in a narrow tacking channel. Of course, this was without the Gulf Stream, but I was still only able to make about 2 knots VMG.

Bottom line – you and your boat need to be prepared for whatever the sea throws at you.”
— Peter Lange

When you visit Peter’s blog to read about this Tramp trimaran cruise to the Bahamas you’ll likely see the following YouTube video his family made about the trip...