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Newsletter No. 1 - the very first in July 1975

What's Happening?

This is a newsletter which I intend producing 2 or 3 times a year, giving new ideas, building hints, and any new developments in the Trailertri concept. I have compiled this in lieu of the new brochure to let you know of present progress. The new brochure will be sent to you when the plans are finished.

These are taking much longer than anticipated and are about 75% completed. Most of the time has been taken up by the detailed drawings relating to the folding system. Trailertri is a more complex boat than the normal trailer sailer but I estimate that building time will only be about 10%-20% longer. Cost will only be slightly more, due to lighter construction and overall she should be no more difficult to build.

There have been several changes in the layout due to the experience gained with the prototype. Float shape has been altered and the tortured ply floats have been dropped in favour of the more conventional construction as used by the prototype. The cabin has been shortened due to the need to keep the crew weight as far forward as possible, and this has resulted in a much more comfortable cockpit. Full length wing berths are still retained by utilizing the cockpit coammg for the foot of the berth. This restricts footroom compared to the original layout but no more than the usual quarter berths found on the monohull trailer sailer. One resultant benefit has been sufficient room under the cockpit for a really spacious berth, being 6'-3" by 2'-8". The prototype has a berth here and it's the most comfortable in the whole boat.

I intend building the first boat as soon as the plans are finished and will be taking many detailed photos of the construction in order to make up a complete construction manual. Prior to this I would prefer only experienced builders to begin as the initial building instructions will be fairly basic. Should you decide to build now then you are assured of being one of the first to own and sail the most unique and revolutionary trailer sailer in the world today.

Trailertri's stability even when folded is excellent.

As a result of the May N.Z. Sea Spray article, it looks as if there will soon be at least 10, possibly 15, boats building in N.Z. alone.

The only difficult part of the construction is the metal work involved in making the aluminium A frames. In this regard I intend to set up a jig and manufacture them myself and make a complete bolt-on folding kit available with the plans. Prices will be available in about two months. The A frames have nylon bush inserts at the pivot points and should these not be available in your area then I can supply them at $3 for the complete set.

The prototype is an earlier design version, 17'-1 1" overall, having a smaller cabin, and about 150Ib. overweight. This is due to the folding system being developed as construction proceeded, with several changes. The final version is further improved and besides being lighter is about 30% stronger. Freeboard has been increased and the cross beams are deeper in section, further increasing strength.

Though overweight, Trailertri's performance has been quite remarkable. Like any multihull she is fast in a blow, though not as fast as the more extreme narrower hulled racing trimarans. But in light to moderate conditions her performance is excellent. This, I believe, is due to her near semi-circular main hull having much less wetted surface. As a result she seems to have a much broader performance range, with the advantage of being able to absorb heavier loads. The 21' and 24' versions will be basically stretched versions of the 18' with the same overall appearance, but with considerably more room. However, I doubt if these plans will be available until next year.

Folding system is very strong and highly resistant to distortion. The designer's wife Alicia can fold the float while designer sits on the float bow. Note that there's no distortion visible in the folding struts. This is a very severe test and would never be duplicated in every day use.