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Multihull enthusiast Reuben Filsell sent the following link to me. The webpage offers booklets that feature compiled information from old articles and boat plans.

This page contains a booklet for a vintage small trimaran … a Piver 24′ Nugget. The booklet isn’t expensive, and might make for some fun reading for multihullers who love those early classic designs. Here is the link to the page featuring the Piver Nugget 24-foot small trimaran booklet.

I also asked Mike Waters’ (from www.SmallTrimaranDesign.com) if he’d like to share a few comments about the Piver ‘Nugget’. He wrote the following …

“I knew many of his early designs fairly well. In the 60’s, Piver had 7 standard designs and literally 100’s were built … including the 24′ Nugget, 30′ Nimble, 35’Lodestars etc.

Here are the front and rear covers of a 1962 AYRS Bulletin from the UK., called “Trimarans.” (60 pages for $1 at the time ;-)

Claims of the Nugget design being ‘ocean ready’ were really nonsense of course, though Piver did cross the Atlantic in his 30′ Nimble and there may have been one Nugget that made one crossing. But Piver was super enthusiastic … and clearly the man most responsible for the start of the multihull craze. (Piver was a do-it-yourselfer with no training in boat design but as a WWll pilot, had an engineering bent).

Others were in there too … but it’s Piver who made and sold plans for homebuilding ‘that anyone can build’, that really caught the imagination of the dreamers of the world in the 60’s. They even have a link to modern day … as Derek Kelsall once completed a kit Lodestar and was the first to actually race a bona-fide trimaran across the Atlantic .. the OSTAR of 1964.

Piver was a great promoter of his designs .. and for the period, they were indeed remarkable. Sadly, about half the Piver designs built were by those with ZERO idea on using tools etc … and are what ultimately gave them a poor reputation. Many were poorly built, many not even with marine ply and as there was no readily available epoxy at the time .. they were sheathed with polyester (which some today, say can’t be done ;-). Many rotted prematurely and they were often too heavy and slow and so disappointed their owners after all the hype.

Most early tris had very small floats at that time. (That’s ok for a dayboat but not a cruiser). The Vee’d hulls had high wetted surface and the upper superstructure offered lots of windage.

The larger boats like the Lodestar and 40′ Victress were actually more successful, as they were proportionally lower. Other important multihull designers that I remember from the 60’s were: Rudy Choy, Maclean & Harris; Geoffrey Prout and Viktor Tchetchet – who preceeded Piver by about 10 years and was credited with giving the name ‘Trimaran’ to 3-hulled multihulls.

Following those noted above, came the likes of Jim Brown, Norman Cross, Lock Crowther and another fellow from CA, who name slips my mind. Even Derek Kelsall was in there as the first pioneer to use a foam-polyester sandwich in the mid 60’s …. experimenting on both monohulls and his 42ft ‘Toria’, a break-through trimaran that went on to win the 1966 Round Britain race, named after his daughter who was about 2 at the time. [The imaginative Derek Kelsall is STILL pushing the envelope with new ideas and I’ll be reporting on these soon through my website].

Of course, Herreshoff’s first catamaran (Amaryllis) preceeded them all ;-)

After winning it’s first race by a large margin, the 2-hull ‘format’ was then banned from all competition. That was in 1877!

Later, faced with lots of new competition, Piver went on to develop a new series of trimarans called the AA series .. (to be built by Advanced Amateurs) .. but they never came to much as other designs by Brown, Cross, Crowther etc with more refined engineering, were eventually preferred by the growing crop of multihull enthusiasts.” Some of the large Pivers are still sailing in the Caribbean and with a few mods to their keels etc, have at least provided happy vacation homes for their owners.”

— Mike W