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trikanu-trimaran-3Today we hear again from sailor Travis Haggard. I asked Travis some questions about the Venture-Hobie trimaran he is building and he also shared about a self-designed, self-built sailing canoe he built as his first small trimaran.

His newest project, by the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, is shown here.

His story perfectly exemplifies someone in the “DIY small tri group.” See below for details … (and thanks for sharing this with us Travis :-)


Trikanu & Venture-Hobie Trimaran
by Travis Haggard

I’ve been sailing since about 2005. I started out with a US1 racing dinghy sailboat which was too much boat for me to handle at the time since I was just learning to sail so I sold it. But I was already hooked on sailing at that point. I have owned a Trinka 12 dinghy, and a Catalina 25 since then. Then I decided built a small canoe style trimaran. That got me hooked on multihulls and boat building. You can see it in action if you search YouTube for “Trikanu”…

Following are a few photos of “Trikanu.” It was built using rope to hold the parts together similar to the way the Wharram catamarans are designed. The amas and akas fit in the center hull for easy storage and transportation.

Double outrigger ready for sailing

Double outrigger ready for sailing

The tiny sailor says it's a nice towing package

The tiny sailor says it’s a nice towing package

Pretty picture of the double outrigger sailing canoe on the beach

Pretty picture of the double outrigger sailing canoe on the beach

Multihulls are attractive because of their stability, shallow draft and speed they offer. Also, I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Shallow draft is a must if you plan to do much coastal cruising in this area. I like small tris because they are an excellent choice if you want a trailerable multihull under 25ft in length. They are easier to set up and in most cases they offer more cabin and deck space for their size.

With regards to merging Venture 21 with Hobie 18 amas…

I originally planned to use the Hobie amas and build the center hull myself ( it would have been similar to Richard Woods small trimaran designs) but I found the Venture 21 on craigslist for $100. By using it I was able to save a lot of money and time compared to building my own center hull. I have seen other monohulls successfully converted to trimarans (you have a couple on your site) so I figured, “Why Not?” Speed was not my major goal in building a trimaran. I was mainly looking comfort, the ability to cruise in shallow waters and the ability to pull the boat up to the beach. As far a speed goes, other monohull to trimaran conversions have been known to cruise at 10 to 15 knots or more without an issue. That’s plenty fast for me. In fact, there is another Venture 21 trimaran conversion on the internet. You can find it by googling “Venture 21 trimaran” and then search the images tab to see the photos (it’s a yellow color boat). The owner of that boat reported very good speeds with the boat. The Venture 21 is a light boat so even as a monohull it has been known to plane at 10 knots in the right conditions.


With regards to positioning of the amas in relation to the main hull…

I love to be creative and work with my hands so for fun I have studied boat building for awhile now. I have read many forums and sites like yours and followed written advice that has been posted from some of the multihull greats like Richard Woods, Jim Brown, James Wharram and other professional and amateurs builders as well. I successfully built my Trikanu trimaran that I designed myself. It sailed very well. Through trial and error with it I know how to position amas, centerboards, mast and other items so they work correctly.


I’m building the current boat because I wanted something a little larger to be able to take other people out sailing with me and also to be able to do some extended cruising trips. As you know, if you put more than two people in a sailing canoe it usually loses most, if not all of its performance. I want to play around with building another boat the size of yours after I finish the current project. I like the smaller boats from a building point of view because it’s easy to play around with different sail configurations and make modes. If you do that on a larger boat it can get really expensive really quick. I’m really attracted to the proas as well. I love the whole concept of them so I’ve been itching to build one. I may build a new main hull and use the trikanu amas and akas on a proa setup at some point.