A production sailboat known as the Malabar trimaran was apparently produced (in a very limited number) a while back. The following info and details about this small, lovely tri comes to us from Coleman B. in Canada.
Cole peaked my interest with the following words, “She’s a head turner out on the water (as I pass them). She’s sleek, fast and lightweight and was part of a small production run.”
So I asked Cole some more questions about his Malabar trimaran. Although his knowledge of the historical background was very limited, he was enthusiastically able to share some specifics about the boat itself.
Malabar Trimaran in Canada
by Coleman B.
I found her an ad in (printed) Quebec-based sail magazine. The designer was Pierre Chevalier, a Quebec-based multihull designer / builder with several dozen designs under his belt. They designed and built them out of passion, not profit, and as such chose the best materials and improved with design.
Pierre and a small group of people built the multihull boats over many years, of various different sizes, mostly in their free time. Although many of the boats were entirely custom, several boats like Malabar were produced.
“Malabar” is the third boat built in a series of custom-made ultralight sport trimaran sailboats. Instead of using heavy fiberglass, the designer chose instead to use mahogany, reinforced at strategic areas with fiberglass, resulting in a significant weight savings. All sides are incredibly smooth so if it was in fact a strip-plank boat, you would not be able to tell. The fiberglass reinforcement is at critical areas only such as at the mast support, where the pontoons meet the supports etc.
Each hull is compartmentalized, ensuring that if there is a breach, the boat will remain afloat. Because of its light weight and construction, this trimaran is intended to be dry sailed (stored on land as opposed to in the water) and includes a beach dolly (no special equipment needed to launch / retrieve).
Unlike larger boats, this trimaran can easily be brought up on a beach. The boat disassembles easily for transport, and although it could be assembled / disassembled for each sail, it is best kept up on a beach on the dolly.
In order to maximize aerodynamics, the mast pivots, and the centerboard can be lowered or raised. The boat can easily hold its own against a Hobie catamaran and overtakes Laser I, II, Bytes and most other single hull sailboats with ease. Malabar is an absolute thrill to sail.
My previous experience was with Laser I / II, Bytes, Hobie cat, <30' cruisers. The experience of riding 2 feet above the water (much like a catamaran) is thrilling. The pontoons provide added safety and the configuration allows one person to sail it comfortably. I can only think of three possible design features to make it the "ideal" sailboat: 1) Trapeze for the second person 2) Mesh net between the supports 3) Have the pontoons swing towards the front for storage. I would be scared to add a spinnaker simply because the boat is fast enough on a run. The very thin, hydrodynamic hull design and professional construction make this boat an absolute pleasure to look at in and out of the water.
Although the boat is 17′ long by 13.5′ wide, and includes both a mainsail and jib, the layout is such that it only needs one person to sail. The current rig is custom (fractional sloop), though I had considered replacing it with that of a Tornado.
Instead of sitting close to the hull, the skipper has the luxury of a sliding seat (one on either side) located on the rear support which moves from the center hull to the outer pontoon. A telescoping tiller means the sailor will always be comfortable.
— Cole B.