More F-33 Details
November 14, 2014
By Ian Farrier
Multihulls Direct owner Michael Mallory and myself earlier this month at Subic Bay (Philippines), checking out the next F-33X which is being shipped to Tasmania.
On the shipping cradle and being slid into the container
While at Multihull Direct's factory I was again very impressed with the standard of their F-33 interiors, and particularly the light weight construction. This is due to all components currently being built by hand in place, with no heavy hull liners anywhere. Takes longer this way, but the end product is far superior, stronger, and lighter (ultimate 'high end' cars are also hand built). Fully molded interior components will be coming as the F-33 is taken towards full series production, but again without any hull liners.
All the original F-boats (F-24, F-27, F-28 and F-31) were built this way, with only basic minimal molded interior components, monohull style liners being avoided, with a light weight fabric or painted finish being preferred. Thus all the early F-boats were kept relatively light, which is an essential requirement for great all round performance and responsive handling, all of which helped establish the F-boat's excellent reputation. The importance of such lightness cannot be emphasized enough.
Hull liners can be common in many production multihulls, but this is something to be wary of if interested in the best performance. Interior liners were tried with the TPI built version of the F-31 way back in 1991 (against my advice), and these boats were around 1000lb heavier than the original F-31. I was thus proved right, and would not allow this boat to use the 'F-31' name, as the performance was just not up to standard. Liners are good for accountants (cheaper), or entertaining in the marina, but such boats should be regarded more as caravans than serious high performance sailing craft. The difference can be apparent visually - just compare how low such boats float at the bow and stern when at rest or sailing level. They will also tend to have a big bow wave as they push their way through the water.
Now few manufacturers would release photos of their unpainted interiors under construction, as they usually do not look too good. However, Multihulls Direct F-33 interiors are more 'works of art' than boat construction, as can be seen from the following:
A lightweight interior under construction - this particular boat will be heading to New Zealand
All interior panels are vacuum bagged epoxy foam core fiberglass (or carbon with all carbon boats)
The quality construction is again very obvious here, interior now being ready for fairing and painting
Being hand built, F-33 interiors can be built to order, and many different interior layouts may still be possible. However, this freedom of design factor will eventually disappear as molded components are implemented, so if interested in the lightest possible interior, and done how you prefer, then it would be wise not to delay ordering.
So if looking for a roomy, truly light cruiser/racer, with great all round performance, and an interior that well exceeds my design ideals, then the F-33 or F-33X is hard to beat.