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Sailor David K. sent me the following report (a couple days ago) of the initial sea trial of his “quadmaran.” As you’ll read below, he is very happy with the result of his Hobie-Bravo-with-outriggers modification.

I’ll update this post with pics as soon as David sends them to us. (And many thanks to him for taking time to share this project craft with us!)


Quadmaran First Sail
by David Kagan

I launched the “quadmaran” today, and it was a blast. I didn’t get pictures today, because I left home solo about 5.30 am to launch and test without too many people around in case things went south. Next time out, I’ll have family with who can snap some pics.

I’ll report with pics later, but the tiller remains very balanced (fingertip control) and the bows showed absolutely no tendency to dive under wind load. These were the two big design unknowns, and no worries on either point. Lucky!

The boat is stable and sails pretty much flat handling winds of 10 to 15 mph easily. Very comfortable and now the cockpit seems so huge with two side seats. You can stand up anywhere on the boat without risk of capsize. While it was fun to ride the original Hobie Bravo configuration on edge on one hull, being stable and totally comfortable is a huge plus, too. Also, being able to mount a motor on the beams was a huge plus.

It was hard to tack the first several times. I’d get stuck and have to use the motor to finish the turn. After about 6 or 7 stalls like this, I got the hang of turning the rudder slower while keeping a sense of pressure on the blade as long as possible while doing the same pressure sense with the mainsheet, and then the boat came around just fine after that. Very easy to stall if you push the tiller too hard or fast or let the pressure off the mainsheet.

Very strong and solid structure. After sailing for about 3 hours, the insides of the outriggers were totally dry. No creaking or groaning anywhere. Of all things to fail, it wasn’t anything that I built, but something I bought. The pivoting bracket on my Minnkota motor broke at some point. After that, the motor would only hang down vertically. At least that’s the motoring position so it was still usable. I hope this is fixable, because it looks like the vertical shaft can fall out of the bracket, too. I bought the motor a couple years ago, and today was the first day I ever used it. So, not under warranty, but still disappointing that it failed so fast on the first use.

The boat is slower than the original configuration, but it still is not a dog at all. In fact, it moves very well. I just don’t see getting up on one or two hulls unless the wind were to be blowing too strong to be out.

I hope to be able to get out on the water again one of the mornings this week Wed to Fri.