F-48 which would you prefer to have available?

I am trying to determine the level of interest in the large multihull class - and potential for providing a boat - in various levels of completion. When responding - keep in mind possible cost of time and labor as you move from the hull parts up to the “ready-to-sail” option. Also, I am considering everything from styrene for a light weight, easy to assemble hulls, to more robust epoxy/glass layup to a set of carbon floats and hull.

Remember too - as the level of finish increases, so too does cost for parts and also for shipping - thus if you have a local source for masts, it is much less costly to ship only hulls than a complete rig.

I believe I have found a reputable builder for the hulls. It is a composite company that fabricates parts for full size race cars so they have experience, quality control, tools, and most importantly staff. They are interested since one of the pinciples and owner is a sailor and could fill in slack time with r/c boat hulls. Just trying to find out where the interest is. A suggeste retail price for $600 for a set of floats and hull was suggested, and the owner though it might be doable in glass - he wasn’t sure about carbon - and my guess is that one would still be upwards of $1500 (USD) or more for a complete ready to sail boat unless a single, multiple boat order was found where several could be done all at the same time. Also, I had discussed that I wanted hulls on the shelf so and order (or two) could be filled without having to wait for a layup.

Dick Lemke
F-48 #US-06
MultiONE #US-06
Class 3 Landyacht #US-196
Minnesota, USA

sounds good dick but you have too have people willing to pay the money ,i would like to see the multihull class take off because the are so fun too sail, but i think people wont want one because they do capsize ,i found if you use a smaller rig with a mast float they are more fun.
maybe they could be set up to come apart easily
maybe a stayless rig,ie a trainer, if you will cheap sails ,rig and radio gear,how much would vacum formed plastic hulls cost ?if they are cheaper you may find more buyers perhaps,i think they have to be cheap and easy for they people who are not to sure about them,but thats just me opinion,

such is life!


just heard back from the composite fabricator.

They received my line drawings for GHOST TRAIN. I chose this for several reasons:

  1. It has been a “standard” for quite a few years.
  2. It has proven itself both in sailing as well as in building.
  3. It isn’t a radical design

If an initial order is placed for 13 (or more) cost is $975 for three hulls made from 4 layers of carbon. Prepreg and bagged. Any fewer, and the cost of the tooling would need to be covered. I am assuming, the company knows what it is doing, and with the exception of the seam lines, it would be a gloss finish carbon.

Keep in mind, this consists of three hulls - the main and two floats. All are 48 inches (1.2 mtr) in length so please compare <u>three</u> hulls at this cost against one hull of an “M” Class, 10R - or even an IOM. At this time, we are looking at straight carbon tubes for cross beams. While the “gull-wing” variety “look cool”, they would need additional tooling (and cost) to produce.

How does this estimated cost seem? Any willing to consider being part of the initial order? I am willing to consider the initial prepayment to assure that no one is out $$$$$ until the hulls are ready to ship, although I might ask for at least 25% down at time of order. Will leave that in an escrow account. Have to give terms a bit more thought.

Also, I am still pursuing the vacuum formed styrene idea, but tooling for that is still needed and the costs may not come down very much. I would expect a cost for three hulls to be in the area of $500-$600 for a styrene hull set. This is just an estimate.

Need some feedback here folks.

I spent some time last week looking at the designing and building aspects of a tri or a cat. . . I was a little overwhelemed by the thought of having to build three hulls. Being the cheap skate I am though, I dont know if I can justify several hundered dollars for hulls. you are still talking in excess of 2-300 dollars per hull in carbon.

Are the lines for GHOST TRAIN publically available for use? If so, where?

As for the persons who are willing to make these hulls at the above noted price. . . what weight cloths are they using? 4 layers sounds like overkill and could result in really heavy boats. Do they have a prediction of the total weight of the three hulls? Many people who have not built models before dont realize how LITTLE reinforcement is needed in the “hull skin.” Perhaps this is influencing their pricing and could be an avenue persued to lower the cost. For the most part, one layer of finishing glass, and one layer of 4.7 oz cloth (especially on the floats) should be sufficient.

I wish you well with your endevours. Though I am not yet sailing one, I would like to see multis become more active in the US.


Excellent questions Todd - and will do my best to answeer.

  1. While it won’t help “your” budget, it will better put the multihull into perspective. First let’s consider the homebuilder. Yes, you (or anyone) can layup in carbon - or glass for less cost for materials - but labor, mold build, layup is the same regardless of which you are using. What is being offered is a set of three hulls with “retail” - not homebuild quality control. Secondly, excluding building a boat of your own - simply look at costs of a single hull in the monohull world. Assuming you had the budget - buying a professionally built monohull will run close to - or more - per hull. Is $200-$300 too much per carbon hull? Only the buyer can answer that. Take any hull and break down cost/inch and I think you will see a trend emerge. In fact, I recall doing that some years back. Might still be in archives.

  2. Cloth weights. I have not looked at that - and it would be a cost consideration. Also whether carbon or glass is a raw material cost difference ($4/yd. vs. $34/yd.) Four layers of half oz. versus 1 layer of 4 oz. - same weight but different strength and torsional attributes, especially if laid up on alternating diagonals - but you are right and I will address that with them.

  3. There will be much more torsional stiffness issues, with a beam of 4 feet, than for one at 8 inches. Each hull would be it’s own plus having to work and hold together two others. I will however remind them we aren’t racing these at 190+mph like some of their other products are.

  4. GHOST TRAIN Plans: From our multihull discussion board, here are the links.
    <u>NOTE:</u> Thanks to Alan Hayes for providing a website home for these.

<font color=“blue”>GHOST TRAIN is a trimaran designed by Andy McCulloch of Britain.

Through the courtesy of Alan Hayes in New Zealand, and Andy, these line drawings are made available at no charge. The line plans and the sail plans can be downloaded from these two links.

Lines: http://radioyachting.com/Files/gtrain.dwg

Sail Plan: http://radioyachting.com/Files/gt-sailp.dwg

NOTE: these are line drawings only. They DO NOT include instructions for building or rigging. The plans are approximately 3 feet x 5 feet in size and require a CAD viewer to read/print and a wide format printer or plotter to output to paper! </font id=“blue”>

  1. Currently, the fabricator is considering a method of “trapped tooling” using “captive molds”. This process is new to me, but would assume (like vacuum bagging) it assures of high quality layups, no excess resin, and a beautiful finish. Since it is something they are developing, I may not be at liberty to provide any process details, as intellectual property rights may be involved - but I will certainly ask.

Will do a little more homework and ask a few more questions. Also will see if I can find that archived cost comparison.

Just a quick glance at the Venom/Viper line of Kevlar (not carbon) hulls from Bob Sterne show a cost per hull (only) of $295 for the 36/600 Venom through $375 for the Viper Marblehead to $450 for the Viper 10R. (Marblehead and 10R are most closely associated size and rig wise to the F-48/Mini40.)

Anyway - thanks to those offering their opinions and views. All is important as I try to decide if I should press on, or let it die. If I do proceed, I can assure you it will <u>NOT</u> be like previous attempts - a product will arrive if ordered, and it is only a matter of price versus level of completion.

Dick Lemke
F-48 #US-06
MultiONE #US-06
Class 3 Landyacht #US-196
Minnesota, USA

Thanks for the response Dick, I appreciate the input and understand all of your points. Since we are having an educated conversation on this, lets keep it going.

  1. I may be intersted in participating in this venture if it works out. List me as a tentative.

  2. I have gone through the same analysis as you in figuring out bang for the buck in different composite schemes from glass to kevlar and carbon. Based on the materials at my disposal, I can actually make a one layer carbon US one meter hull for the same amount of money as a multilayer fiberglass hull (I just checked the carbon prices though . … boy have they jumped!!! kevlar has stayed about the same though). Stiffness comes out about the same, but weight is much less. Comming from a big boat background, I thought people were out to lunch that one layer was enough . . . but now I am a believer. This molding house though could be looking at 4 layers of VERY light carbon, and in that case, I am all for it and it is probably and appropriate price. It could be useful to send them a junk hull that is “stiff enough” to give them an idea of what there target is to avoid over designing.

  3. I agree with your point that this price is probably fair based on the cost of “retail hulls in the monohull world.” I can not dispute the point, which is why I became a home builder I guess, and will most likely remain one. I understand the labor associated and that these prices reflect the REAL labor associated with building the pieces. I still just cant justify it. Its funny that you mention bob sterne’s venom, because boy did I want one of those BAD when I started to get competative with my mistral. It was the venom that caused me to start building and designing. I thought that 295 for a hull was way out of line, and that I could get most of the way there for a fraction of the cost. I guess all I Am saying here, is that I think ALL the prices are outrageous, but, fair I guess, understanding the labor.

  4. Torsional stiffness. I half agree with you here, half disagree. as a boat, you have 48in of beam to deal with in torsional stiffness. As an individual hull, you have sections that are much closer to a round tube, and therefore a superior structure to the beamier monohulls. It is my ignorant belief, that the hulls could be built rather thin and light as long as the crossbeams and rigging were designed correctly to keep all the loads in the crossbeams and the rig and very little in the hulls.

  5. 190 mph+. . . right on. furthermore, they are most likely designing with a factor of safety someplace around 4 or 5 probably. in the model world, we can safely design at around a factor of safety of 1.5 to 2. if something breaks, we have to get in a row boat, but no one will die.

Once again, I wish you the best Dick! Keep me in the loop!


Since you’re asking for feedback, I must say that I won’t be be prepared to pay that sort of price. I’m not saying it’s unreasonable compared to other limited production runs, but it’s simply too high for me.A couple years ago, I asked Ian Sammis for a price on 2 bare hulls (for a catamaran) & he quoted a bit under $200 for glass. I guess I should have jumped at the price. I also wonder why the builder is planning on a 4 ply layup. Unless it’s very light cloth, it seems like overkill.Also, I’m not convinced that the weight saved with carbon is necessary or even desirable. Since the multihulls are losing several pounds of bulb weight, a few extra ounces in the hull will help keep it upright, but still be ALOT lighter

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”>Originally posted by ~tb

…I think ALL the prices are outrageous, but, fair I guess, understanding the labor.
<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

Thank you Todd - I love articulate responses and differences of opinion and views. For other readers, I want to build on your quote above - based on my own experiences when I started sailing my 18 Square big beach cat.

Back then, there was only one production manufacturer, and a few home builders (who since have gone on to much bigger things - Gino Morelli and PLAYSTATION), When I talked with a local home builder, he could easily build hulls at 38 lbs. compared to my factory hulls at 94 lbs. What a difference. I was surprised at what he charged for his hulls - but he put it into perspective… he response: " I can sell you the hulls for the cost of materials and labor to lay them up. Or - you can pay me to do the hours of sanding instead of you doing the sanding"! Thus - it came home quickly - do I pay him or do I pay myself? Since we all recognize the issues of fairing, sanding and repeated process - it was an easy decision. Now on that same topic - each of us reach a point where regardless of the cost - someone makes it better than I can - so it is time to buy.

I only wish that a few prior builders could/would have been successful in selling and getting the product on the water. Once seen it is a much easier sell than a vsual promo package printed on paper. The next step is once someone wants one - it has to be available, and not wait over a year to get one. If one were to show up at a variety of events, I think the boat would sell itself. Until then, we can only “suggest” the fun and speed and until it is witnessed, everything else is still “hot air”.

Hopefully a couple of options will come out of this effort, and price expectations can be met. I admit it is/will be a high end r/c boat - but so are Marbleheads, J Boats and a few others. Someone took the plunge with them, and I think that’s what is needed right now with multihulls. Just my opinion of course.

Dick Lemke
F-48 #US-06
MultiONE #US-06
Class 3 Landyacht #US-196
Minnesota, USA

Dick, the #13 Nightmare that I purchased from Ian Sammis will be on the water this Saturday (7-16) at the Cleveland Model Boat Club regatta. All are welcome, directions are at clevelandmodelboat.com website. Clyde

What happened to all the hulls and molds Ian made? How many were made? How many are finished? I can make plans ( shadows ) of the Nightmare if anyone is interested.

Clyde -

If I was back for Michigan visit, I’d drive down to see you and the boat. In the meantime, I am preparing an article for Model Yachting, so if at all possible, photos and a bit of a write would be most welcome. Heck - it is mandatory, or we send out the guys with baseball bats - and they know how to use them.

If you have some wind and anyone with a video camera, I would be happy to pay you for a tape of it sailing. Have a couple seconds of Bill’s (Hoj) boat in Hawaii and only stills when it was owned by Mark in Arizona before he sold it.

This is exciting !!! I was so “down” because lack of activity and then WOW ! Don’t worry about the capsizes first few times, as you are running full sail area and should pretty much blow anything else off the water that doesn’t have a motor.

Good luck ! And Thanks !

Dick Lemke
F-48 #US-06
MultiONE #US-06
Class 3 Landyacht #US-196
Minnesota, USA

Hi Bill (Hoj)

are you home again, or still traveling the country?

Ian moved to San Diego and my efforts to get in touch with him haven’t been successful. I must only assume he took molds with him. I understood he was getting into big cvat racing heavy - might explain his absence.

Dick Lemke
F-48 #US-06
MultiONE #US-06
Class 3 Landyacht #US-196
Minnesota, USA

Was supposed to be in Georgia for two weeks after the Detroit IOM Regionals but the three hurricanes told me to go home.

Dick, the main boom failed on the tri at the 7-16 regatta. ordered and received the repair parts from GBMY and repaired on 7-23. Now waiting for any wind to take pictures for you. PM to me where to send them. Clyde

Hello to all my friends! Here is my story. I am a contract engineer in the aerospace industry. I took a job in southern CA so I could concentrate on racing with the best HObie Tiger fleet in the USA. After 8 months of working for Northrop Grumman on the latest unmanned military fighter jet (JUCAS) all of us contractors were layed off. As a contract engineer my job relys on Government funds and sometimes those funds run out prematurly!!! So I took a job at Boeing Wichita and dragged my Hobie Tiger back to Kansas. I was back in kansas within 4 days of being layed off!! It was a 24 hour drive, I left at 9:00 pm and got back in town at 10 pm the folowing night!!!Ok, but i cheated…i flew a friend into long beach to help me with the drive. Anyways, I’m back in teh midwest with my Tiger and now building and racing RC boats again. I can be reached at icsammis@yahoo.com . Dick or Clyde…I read a post where you mentioned pics of #13 nightmare that I built awhile back. Can you send me the pics?

Thanks, Ian Sammis