Catamaran Rule

Hi, some friends and I are doing our own race this spring, and we each have to design and build our own boats. The goal is a boat that is fun to sail and build, minimal time required for building, and fast out on the water, all while keeping the cost down. There aren’t many rules, but the few that exist are:

Hull Type: Catamaran
LOA: 4 feet
Max Beam: 2 Feet
Sail Area: Unlimited
Construction: Only can be built using wood or fiberglass…no carbon or kevlar.
Rig Type: Unlimited
Sails: Main, jib and spinnaker are all allowed, but none are required. They must be home built.
Foils: Hydrofoils and daggerboards are allowed, but none can remotely adjustable trim tabs.

Hello Tim,
It’s great to see your interest in building a multihull & the goals of a simple, economical build are commendable. You might want to check out (if you haven’t done so already) the build thread recently started by Dick Lemke in the Multihull section of this forum, as he’s pursuing the same goals. The thread got sort of sidetracked with other issues, but I’m sure Dick will be showing more construction details soon.

Without wanting to dampen your enthusiasm, I might point out just a couple things.

  1. restriction of 2’ max beam is far too narrow & will really limit potential speed, not to mention increase capsize potential. Multis can be very vulnerable to capsize & difficult to recover.
  2. Are you familiar with the Formula 48 Class?
    Why not simply design something within those constraints, rather that try to “reinvent the wheel” by setting rules for an entirely new class? Writng class rules is a whole project in itself, as can be seen in the recent threads about the new Footy Class.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with, please post some pictures of the results.
Bill K

As one of the poor sods who administers the Footy rule, dfon’t be too put off. The Footy is trying to produce a rule that will satisfy (or at least not put off) a very wide range of people with different views about what a Footy is all about. You are writing a rule for you and your mates. That is much easier. Be careful. Biuld in some ajudication mechamism for when you get it wrong (which you inevitab;y will in some respect) and have fun!

Hi Timothy:

Whether you and your friends ever manage to put together this fun-sounding project, I think you will find an equally rewarding, if unintended, consequence in your quest – the most excellent, courteous and helpful bunch of humans in shoe leather. Their manners are impecable, their counsel is invaluable.

I am fashionably senile and frequently need clarification (not to mention a clean bib now and again) of matters nautical. My first action is to visit this venue, usually starting with the FAQ section.

My Footy fetish disappeared (no willing comrades) before I had the opportunity to take advantage of Angus’ extensive wealth of sailing knowledge. But, Bill Korsgard and Dick Lemke (a catamaran fan too) kindly helped me find answers to questions they’ve, no doubt, answered many times before.

Tim, we have found the mother lode here . . . and should you and your mates find success with your project, share the details for the benefit of all.

Good luck and keep us posted,
Dave Manley
Kansas . . . the one next to Missouri