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Thread: trimaran plans?

  1. #1
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    Default trimaran plans?

    Hi to all

    Been awhile since I have posted here.

    Anyways a friend of mine is interested in building a trimaran. He was thinking of a cat but figures it may flip pver to much so wants a tri. Also no rescue boat where we sail.

    Are there any plans online for these? Did try a search but did not find any (may have done it wrong)

    Looking for a very basic tri plan nothing exotic. And if the plans are free that is even better

    Anyone have any leads?

    Jeff
    Alberta

  2. #2
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    Hey Jeff -

    try the "multihull" section of this forum - and start with topic "Trimaran Plans"

    Currently I know of 3 free ones.... GHOST TRAIN and WATER RESIST (both F-48/Mini40 size) and my small set for a MultiONE called IMPULSE that just hit the water this fall.

    For around $13.00 you can also order a set of line drawing for SNAPDRAGON an F-48/Mini40 through Traplet Publications, and I have a set for PULSE which is in either 1 Meter or F-48//Mini40 size at approximately $35.00. (These are full size 3' x 5' drawings and also include a royalty payment to designer Mike Friend)

    Remember - most are line drawings and cross sections - not "building instructions" - and when printed to full size they require a wide format priner capable of 3 foot x 5 foot sheets of paper!

    Regardless which you choose - if you are an experienced builder you can build one of these using the drawing and cross sections along with monohull guides such as the US1Meter construction tips. Don't want to plank? WATERESIST, PULSE and IMPULSE are all designed and can be built as glass over foam for a quick, easy build. Any questions - email me. I suppose you can also use Ernst's plans that he has posted on the web as well.

    Dick

    <font color="blue"><u>EDIT\ADDED:</u> I was just thinking of a possible "hybrid" construction method ... one using glass over foam AND balsa plank. Basically you can shape the bow and very stern of of the main hull .... and the full lengh of both floats using foam, and then only have to plank the mid sections of the main hull to keep it hollow for winch, rudder servo, mast base and keel! In a sense, you are simply gluing up the balsa planks in a "U" shape for only the area of the hull that carries the radio gear and where the mast and board connects. The remainder of the hull is simple house insulation styrofoam (extruded - not expanded) that can easily and quickly be shaped by coarse files and sandpaper - and then covered with glass. For any areas where shrouds attach or cross beams attach - just drill a hole and glue a piece of wood dowel of sufficient size into the hole. Then attach your shroud or mount your cross beams as needed to these reinforced points.

    This will give you a very quick and easy build (and inexpensive) set of hulls. No need to build a nice plug, then a nice female mold. Just get the foam and balsa smooth and shaped, add a layer of glass outside, and a light layer inside the balsa section, and fair off the exterior and paint. Again - as noted - unless you are racing in Europe, a slightly heavier build using this technique will be hard to distinguish from a much more expensive lighter one. It's an inexpensive way of getting started and trying out a multihull with a minimum investment. Use a standard 1 Meter rig and you can see how a lighter weight boat (without lead) will perform. You can always build a taller mast and bigger sails later - and if there is a need for even more speed, then later on you can decide to build or buy using carbon or Kevlar! Just another idea for building an inexpensive platform of either 1 Meter or F-48 size. </font id="blue">

  3. #3
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    Do you have the shadows posted anywhere. It could be built if they had the shadows. Not enough information to build a model with what you show. I still haven't received the plans you offered for the hulls you sent me. I sent my address as you requested.

  4. #4
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    Here are mine for the <font color="red">MultiONE</font id="red"> "IMPULSE". In fact, it is sort of a documentation of some of the building step details of the trimaran.

    http://public.fotki.com/rcsailor/multione/

  5. #5
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    Hi Dick,

    Thanks for posting the constuction photos of your Impulse. This is really helpful from a beginners point of view. I've been lurking around on the list for a couple of months trying to figure out how to start construction of a trimaran. This really gives a step by step breakdown of the construction sequence. Can you give the newcomers an idea of how many hours that you have invested in the project? I've noticed alot of discussion about building plugs for making molds of the hull. Do the weight savings and corresponding performance increase justify the increased building complexity of building a mold first instead of just covering the foam with a layer of fiberglass? Another question that comes to mind is this: Once you have the two hull halves constructed, how are they joined and the seam made waterproof? Is it a simple matter of gluing the two halves together using the foam formers shown in the photos and covering the seam with another layer of fiberglass? How many layers of 1/2 oz cloth are necessary? Are your sails and mast scratch built? If not, where is the best place to get the hardware needed to complete the boat? I'm getting ready to start construction on a Freight Train trimaran. Received the plans and they look very complete. Probably detailed enough for a first time builder to complete. Sorry for asking so many questions. Thanks in advance for any help that anyone can provide.

    Regards,
    Mark Aulfinger

  6. #6
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    Hi Mark - will try to take the questions one at a time.

    1. Time involved: I never kept track, and there was a lot of procrastination on my part. Would think of something and never get out in the garage to give it a try. Boat was done over about a two year period (excluding winter when too cold in garage). But the foam cutouts and glue up of the small pieces to form a full hull took me just over 3 hours. Obviously if I left the foam inside, You could add another 2 hours total to get the hull and floats shaped and covered. Jack Ronda in Washington did his "PULSE" 1 Meter in several weeks as I recall. Just depends on how much time you have available to devote full time. During my build, I was also working on an F-48 r/c size, and was involved in horse training and showing which also took a big chunk of time away from building - plus work and grandkids !!! Whew. All in all, I have (maybe) 160 full hours involved spread over many months and in minutes and hours as I worked on different things. My design of the boat's name for instance took me about 1 hour on the PC using Corel Draw to do the graphics - and would be included in the above estimate of time. I know of one German builder who did a box section F-48 size trimaran in two weeks.....

    2. The time to build a hollow set of hulls is involved in the final fairing and finish. I see no benefit in making a mold first unless you are going to build 3 or more hulls. On a glass-over type of build, you will be putting in the same amount of time to finish the outside of the hull as you would making a plug. Add in the time to then build a female mold and you probably double the time to finish as the inside of the female mold needs to be faired and polished to make sure the hull layup is smooth. Yes, there is a weight gain leaving foam inside - but for first efforts, and without other "hollow" boats around, you may not see the difference. It is definitely a quick method. You can do what I did - cover the foam in plastic packaging tape and layup a 4 oz. and a second layer of lighter cloth and then peel off from the packing tape covered foam to end up with a hollow hull. Once you start racing, you may want to opt for hollow hulls if everyone else is doing it. Locally - if you can get friends to agree to foam hulls and will have a one-design feature going and all will weigh the same.

    3. I joined my hull halves using 1 inch wide glass tape and faired/filled where the tape lapped over the hull sides.

    4. As noted I used a layer of 4 oz. cloth and a layer of 1/2 oz. to provide a nice small weave finish which didn't take a lot of resin to fill the weave pattern. I laid in a second internal layer of 4 oz. where the keel trunk is located and it runs from gunwale to gunwale. Also a small strip of the 1 inch tape where cross beams attach. If you grab the main hull and squeeze the sides, they WILL "oilcan" so unless they fail I feel I have just the right amount of strength and don't feel it is overbuilt. For an F-48 with foam inside the same would be fine. If you want hollow hulls on an F-48 I would probably go to 2 layers of 4 oz. and one of 1/2 oz.

    5. Sails and mast were scratch built. I used SAILCUT software to make up sail patterns and as noted in photos, built my sails out of paper first. These became a pattern for the ripstop nylon fabric. It is a coated 1.5 oz. cloth. I made up a metal sail building board out of aluminum to help with the camber and seams are just taped, although leading edges were sewn. I don't think the taped seams will open up from all that I have seen or heard. You can also use mylar drafting film for the sails.

    6. Mast was also scratch built. Actually it was recycled. I hooked up with a cross-country ski pole manufacturer and they are willing to send me all the broken poles I want. Usually tips are broken, and the mast is a tapered carbon pole and is very stiff. I don't feel I will need to add spreaders to stiffen more. In fact I took two poles and made up a mast for the F-48 which is 8 feet long. (Need to trim down a bit) - but that one will probably have spreaders. Right now it is holding a set of sails from the Marblehead class.

    7. Hardware can be home built using aluminum or brass and screw eyes. Other parts and supplies can be found through the list of AMYA suppliers. I am partial to Great Basin (GBMY) as they have good prices and are quick to ship. Also email Ian Sammis as he may be putting together sails and rigs for his F-48 boats and might be willing to add on to his order. I recall he is using Bob Sterne mast and sails. Another option, once you have designed your sails is to send the x-y coordinates off to Climate Boat Works. Peter will laser cut you your panels and you just assemble them. Very accurate method of cutting panels.

    Do visit the AMYA website - and also check out the US 1 Meter Class pages - they have a great downloadable manual for building boats. It will help a lot, and much of the monohull info can be used for a multihull. Also - FREIGHT TRAIN is a great boat, but has a little bit too much underwater surface for my liking. One nice thing is that it is a proven design. Be sure to build it as light as possible - especially the main backbone of the boat. Stay light, and if you build using balsa - you only will need a single layer of 1/2 oz. glass on exterior. Be sure to waterproof interior. The balsa and glass will be plenty strong, and you can always reinforce around the keel trunk and cross beam (wing) attachment with 1 or 2 layers of the 1/2 oz. cloth just to make it a bit more sturdy.

    Finally - feel free to post questions, as we do have a few builders, sailmakers and radio people here on this site that are willing to help with answers. Good luck - keep us posted on your progress.

  7. #7

    Default Re: trimaran plans?

    salt_water_frog@yahoo.comI started out with the idea of building a 'tri'. My orginal thought was to have the main hull when turned upside down would be the outside floats. After sanding and sanding and sanding I decided to build a 'cat'. I made a plug then the mold and to date have taken 4 hulls out of the mold with each one getting lighter. I am going to try a 'free standing mast' along with one rudder and daggerboard in the center compartment which will house all the gear. The sails have arrived from England and now I ma in the process of selecting a servo and winch. Any suggestions????????????????????
    Julian

  8. #8

    Default Re: trimaran plans?

    There is a gent over at RCU who is offering free plans of his Nightmare designs: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_7611491/tm.htm

    One of our club members is working on the plans now for a spring project. Am sure looking forward to seeing this sail on Xi Hu!

    Chuck
    Last edited by Xiaoshan Sailor; 01-25-2009 at 08:10 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: trimaran plans?

    The "gent" you refer to is Ernst Zeamann (aka "Idealist") who has less than a stellar reputation in the r/c multihull world for a "few" issues of selling boats but not shipping for a long, long time. Some even threatened legal action.

    Now (as I understand it) he is dumping free designs on the internet and letting others build. Not sure how good/bad his designs are as I've never seen any national racing results from Europe or U.K.

    Good luck if you decide to follow-up and build one. His earlier designs were very thin in bow and did not have enough buoyancy. Perhaps his plans have improved?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: trimaran plans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Julian View Post
    salt_water_frog@yahoo.com now I ma in the process of selecting a servo and winch. Any suggestions
    Depends on your budget.

    1) Cost
    2) Speed of winch
    3) Torque (holding power) of winch

    Almost any mid-size servo can be used for rudder, since the rudder is balanced and once it starts to turn, the part of the rudder in front of rudder post helps/assists in turning the rudder that remains behind the post.

    Best choice - the Guyatt series of "smart" winches - they have power, speed and great reliability. Used by many in the IOM community as well as other big designs. Great reputation and Rob (owner) is easy to contact for any technical information needed. This is a "drum" type winch - not an arm type. Futaba also makes a drum type winch which is nearly as spendy. Reasonably good reputation and probably one step below the Guyatt winches.
    Both Futaba and Guyatt drum winches run in the $150 price range.

    Don't consider the smaller and less costly Hitec drum winch, as it is too slow to react to multihull sheeting speed needs.

    Hitec has a 1/4 scale arm winch - the 815BB - which is both strong and exteremly fast. If you buy from ServoCity, you can purchase several modifications - like 180 degree arm movement or continuous rotation. I'm not familiar witht he continuous modification as to speed - I think I read where it was three turns, but could be wrong. Since it is based on the 815 arm winch, power and speed should be similar. Cost is in the $50-$80 range as I recall.

    Note - one issue of the arm winch is enough clearance below decks for the arm swing. On my MultiONE trimaran (1 Meter) I had to position arm above deck. The continuous version wasn't available at the time of build so I would guess it might be able to be fitted with a drum instead of an arm.

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