Is Background and Experience Important?
If thinking of buying or building any multihull then the answer is an emphatic yes!
Before making any decision you should first compare the designer's track record, and experience. Has he built or sailed any of his own designs? Do they actually have a race or sailing record to match the claims? Is the designer readily accessible and responsive?
If considering building yourself, are the plans fully detailed with photos, instructions, and easy to follow three dimensional views with step by step instructions? Do they include extensive Full Size Patterns, and a comprehensive materials list?
If considering a production multihull, is the manufacturer experienced, and do they respond to customer questions or concerns? Do they have skilled, knowledgeable staff, with good technical expertise and quality controls? Do they back their product, and, very importantly, who designed or engineered that product, and is that someone prepared to put their name on it?
There is no university or school that teaches multihull design or construction, nor are there scantling rules, as exist for monohulls. The only teacher has been years of practical building and sailing experience. Only experience will tell the loadings and correct safety factors for the many critical areas of a multihull. A competent engineer may have the skills to design beams that will not break for a given load, but if he doesn't know what that load is, or in what directions it can act, then even the best engineering skills are of little help.
There are a number of excellent multihull designers and builders, but choose carefully, as this is very important to the safety and security of your family, the ease and cost of construction, and the final resale value.
We currently have five F-9AX's on southern Vancouver Island with two F-27's and more F-Boats
Who is Ian Farrier?
Ian Farrier first started sailing multihulls virtually by accident, being a twenty year old New Zealand engineering student and monohull sailor, looking for a keelboat to do some offshore cruising.
Nothing suitable was available, but then an unfinished 30 trimaran was advertised, and this was purchased after some research. After two years of hard work and rebuilding, his first multihull was launched in 1969.
It was not a perfect multihull, but it was reasonably fast and forgiving. It was also good enough to sail single-handed from his home town Christchurch to Auckland, surviving two mid-winter roaring-forties storms on the way. However, some design limitations were apparent, and confidence was lacking for a long ocean voyage, so he jumped ship to a 38 keelboat bound for Tonga. The contrast in comfort, handling and safety aspects observed during this trip convinced him that a well designed multihull was the way to go.
In 1972 he arrived in Brisbane, Australia, where the growing popularity of the monohull trailer sailer was noted while crewing on a local trimaran. A trailerable trimaran appeared to have many advantages over trailerable monohulls, so he decided to look at what could be done. The Farrier Folding System was then invented, patented, and the prototype Trailertri 18 was built and launched in 1974. It worked beautifully and he then built five more Trailertris of various sizes, while trying out many different configurations. Over this period the folding trailerable trimaran slowly began to establish itself as a practical and exciting option, to eventually become one of the fastest growing segments of sailing.
In 1984 Ian and his family moved to Chula Vista (San Diego), where financial backing had been found to set up Corsair Marine. He then designed the F-27, built the prototype, and developed and established Corsair's full production system and quality controls. With 100 boats being produced every year, and an excellent reputation established, it was time to concentrate on new designs, so he resigned from Corsair in 1991, and moved to Bellevue (Seattle). Corsair was subsequently licensed to build the F-24, F-28 and F-31 designs, in a productive ongoing relationship, though rocky at times, with varying ownership/management at Corsair.
Having ended all relationship with Corsair in December 2000, he is now once again working on his own as Farrier Marine, Inc., and will be concentrating on new projects via other avenues.