I recently contacted Thayer Ridgway, from www.TriakSports.com, and asked him if he could tell us some more about the TRIAK Trimaran Kayak. He did, and also shared these great pics.
Unlike many kayaks type vessels that have had a sail added as an afterthought, the TRIAK is different. This fun craft was designed with sailing in mind from the get-go, which is why (as Thayer explains below) the term “Born to Sail” is associated with this paddle-sailer. This info about the TRIAK trimaran is compiled from responses to the questions I sent to him.
TRIAK Trimaran Kayak – Born to Sail
by Thayer Ridgway
I personally have been sailing my entire life. Since I can remember, I have always had a love for all types of boats and being on the water. I grew up sailing with my Great Uncle Ash Bown in San Diego on his 1940 40’ Owens Cutter the Carousel. He was an amazing character and awesome sailor and he instilled the sailing bug in me at a young age. I’m much more of a sailor than paddler but I do enjoy sea kayaking, especially in new areas while traveling – getting close to the coastline and seeing things up close in a peaceful way.
The TRIAK has a colorful history. There have been many people who have been a part of TRIAK over the years and given good energy and expertise toward the project because of their love and respect of the boat, which is all a testament to the father of the TRIAK, Charlton Bullock. Mr. Bullock is Englishman who lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada.
In the late 70s Charlton had a winning International-14 design that won the Worlds event in England for several years. He moved to Victoria with his new family as Sea Kayaking was growing. Charlton owned a kayak company called Northern Lights, a high quality designed composite sea kayak. A customer wished to have a stabilized version and commissioned Charlton to build one.
Charlton is a brilliant designer and very creative – and a total sailing junky. The stability of the sea kayak lead him to think, “Well, this would be great with a sail!” He quickly came up the first TRIAK, much of which is still an integral part of the current design.
His goal straight away was to have a very good performing boat, both under paddle and sail. Hence, he didn’t take a kayak and add things, but designed the boat from the ground up for its dual purpose instead … thus our slogan, “Born to Sail”.
This is why the TRIAK is so special; everything from the hull, wing, floats, rig and assembly was created as a cohesive design. Charlton first designed the TRIAK in the late 1990s (97-99ish) and went into production shortly thereafter. He was way ahead of his time and the market – especially with the hydrofoils.
Today, it is an honor to have Morrelli & Melvin add their expertise to evolve the boat even further. Working with Pete Melvin and Gino Morrelli, our goals were to keep the heart of Charlton’s excellent design, improve the boat’s overall performance, and make it as easy to use as possible to maximize the fun-factor. Charlton and everyone involved are very happy with the new 2010 TRIAK and we plan to keep evolving and innovating.
To me, the what really sets the TRIAK apart from other crafts of its type is the sexiness and quality of its design, especially the new 2010 TRIAK. Another big feature is the boat’s overall simplicity combined with fantastic sailing performance. The spinnaker itself is one-of-a-kind in a craft of this size, especially a hybrid boat like this.
Our customers love the ability to both paddle and sail in one boat. The ease of transport and storage is a big one too – many of our customers have other boats, such as a 30 foot sailboat, and they can never get anyone to go sailing with them! So the fact they can go off by themselves is a big factor. Many use it as a day sailor/paddler but a good percentage actually do at least one multi-day expedition/camping trip a year. The TRIAK is an amazing boat for camping and exploring with its sailing, paddling, stability and dry storage.
In average conditions of say 8-12 knots of breeze, with only the mainsail, you’ll easily average 4-8 knots of boat speed. The spinnaker turns up the fun factor, with average speeds of 8+ knots (easy) and if you’re good, you can easily do 10+. With 15+ knots of wind one can reach 10-12+ knots with the spinnaker.
The new deck-mounted spinnaker snuffer makes hoists and take downs a snap – and you stay completely dry too. The TRIAK points very well, about 30 degrees off the wind and sometimes better, and overall sails smooth and fast in pretty much all points. Obviously reaching and broad-reaching with the spinnaker is the fastest and most fun.
Overall, the TRIAK is a very dry ride considering you’re so close to the water. That is a big feature for those in colder climates or who wish to stay dry and comfortable!
Another indirect feature of the 2010 TRIAK is the ability to paddle it without the sailing rig in. It’s nice if you want to just go for a paddle or work out, or if you have a family member or friend who is a beginner paddler and wants the stability. It’s also great for any potential rental business customers.
With our new team of designers and builders we’re really delivering an amazing, top-quality product. We’re going to keep our special price of $4,999 and FREE shipping to the US for as long as possible to get new boats in customer’s hands. With all the quality gear (North Sails, Harken, Ritchie) the TRIAK is a great value for the price and delivers years of fun.
Included with each 2010 TRIAK is the battened furling mainsail, spinnaker with snuffer, deck-mounted Ritchie compass, gorgeous two-piece paddle, Owner’s Manual, CE Certificate, instructional DVD, and of course, our iron one-year warranty. They are available in Viper Red, Tigershark Blue and Safety Yellow.
Thanks for sharing about the TRIAK with us Thayer! — Small Tri Guy Click here to visit TriakSports.com and learn even more about the TRIAK Trimaran Kayak