[MHml] Miami Sail-Off (longish)
multihulls at steamradio.com
Thu Mar 1 11:22:39 EST 2001
Ok, I heard someone ask for a TRT representative. I am the owner of the TRT
in question. Please note: I do not represent the dealer (Windcraft, Inc) or
TRT Multihulls in any way, the opinions expressed are purely my own, etc.
I hope that the FOMA newsletter editor will not publish this report without
a response from an official representative from Osborn Boats and TRT. I
find the find the message attached below very strange and feel like much of
the derogatory comments about the TRT are unfounded and/or misinformed. I
have added my comments below to aid in an understanding of how I chose the
TRT, why this TRT is setup the way it is and what I might change in the
future (once I have "gotten to know" the boat for a while).
My requirements when deciding on the TRT included the following
1) Cruise 80%/Race 20%
2) Easily handled by my wife and I (or single-handed)
3) As fast as a Corsair F-31R
4) Capable of doing 650nm+ offshore races
5) Room enough that my wife would be willing to do 3+ month cruises
5) Crew capable of cooking, eating, sleeping, navigating, etc. below decks
6) Large cockpit with a bimini cover (I live in Texas where it is HOT in
7) Dual engines for redundancy and maneuverability
BTW, this boat was brought to the US in very nearly kit form and 95%
finished out at my home in the Houston area in order to be exhibited at the
Miami Boat Show. Due to meeting shipping dates to Houston it was taken from
the factory in Bulgaria a month early. The superhuman efforts of the TRT
team in even getting the boat to the Miami Boat Show must be noted. The
final finishing touches to bring her up to the expected US level of finish
will be applied by TRT Multihulls in the near future.
> The following was submitted for the FOMA newsletter by Peter Wormwood
> designer of the Gulfstream 35 Merlin ... I thought you all might be
> interested in light of some of the other comments.
> Dear Ron,
> All week long during the boat show Merlin was tied next to
> the TRT 1200 from
> Norway/Bulgaria. This is an interesting boat. Like the
> Shuttleworths, it
> has a chine running down the sides of the hulls, inside and
> out, about a
> foot above the water. Below the chine is a slender racing catamaran
> Above the chine the hull fills out dramatically to provide a volumous
Interior volume was one of my prime considerations. These volumous bows
provide very comfortable vee berths in each hull. They also allow the boat
to be pressed harder off the wind without bow burying.
> Each day they would do demo sails, taking a number
> of guests out
> each time. Invariably, they would return with the guests raving about
> fast the boat was.
I was steering when we hit 21kts (verified by GPS and knot log) during a
gust . We were close reaching with the 120 genoa and full main at a steady
17-18 knots of boat speed (11 people on board). Yes, someone was manning
both sheets and the traveler. The high reserve buoyancy of the bows
definitely help at this speed as we were flying the windward hull and the
leeward hull was well pressed. BTW, the delivery crew reports reaching a
max speed of 26 knots during the delivery from Houston to Miami with a
triple reefed main and small jib broad reaching in 30-35 knots of breeze.
> As you can imagine, day after day listening to
> of speeds that Merlin rarely, if ever, achieves; we were getting
> that they had created something that we couldn't match - a longer,
> lighter, faster, less expensive boat.
Yes, longer and less expensive. Regarding being lighter at an estimated
6700lbs vs. Merlin's verified 7000lbs I would say maybe, as I haven't
weighed the boat but she is "on her lines". Regarding being faster,
eventually, see comments below.
> We knew that we had them on looks, the TRT is
> pretty bulbous up close (she does look better sailing, from further
No arguments here. Merlin is a beautiful design that is well executed.
> On the other side of us was the Osborne 42, boxy to the
> roundness, yet a bit more slinky. Unlike the TRT, the Osborne did
> Merlin by a couple hundred pounds, but it also has 7 more feet of
> and a MUCH bigger sail plan.
The Osborne 42 is beautiful. That Awlgrip paint job is awesome. I look
forward to seeing the completed interior.
> The TRT's mast and boom were both about a
> meter longer than Merlin's. Although finished on the exterior, the
> had absolutely no interior, not even paint. Once she is fitted out, I
> expect that her weight will increase significantly and her performance
> fall off correspondingly.
> Rounding out the fleet were a 32' Shuttleworth and a standard F-31,
> as a baseline boat. The Shuttleworth was sailed by her designer; but
> severely handicapped by her owner's refusal to allow the boat to be
> of an incredible amount of stores and cruising gear. It was really a
> because I thought that the Shuttleworth was a very cool
> little boat with
> great speed and cruising potential. I was very impressed with it's
> and layout and would definitely choose it over the MainCat 30 if the
> costs were anywhere the same. I'm sure that the sailing
> performance would be
> better. The F-31 was the aft cabin model, sailed by Steve Marsh, hot
> and the Florida dealer. Steve feels that the standard F-31 offers
> racing vs. rating potential than the F-31R. He does,
> however, sail with a
> non-standard carbon rig because that, apparently, is not taken into
> account by the rating rule. (Ahhhh rule beating...)
> The comparison sail-off, or Cat Fight as it became known, was
> not a race per
> se. We would all start somewhat together, sail some distance in the
> direction, regroup, and then take off in a new direction to
> test another
> point of sail. Fortunately, Charles Chiodi had the good sense to run
> test out in the ocean rather than in Biscayne Bay. This allowed the
> to show their stuff in rougher water - the kind that most of
> us actually go
> cruising in. The wind, which had been blowing strong for
> several days,
> chose the morning of the test to lighten up. As a result, all but the
> started the first leg, a one-tack beat, with screachers up. I heard
> that the TRT crew thought that we weren't supposed to carry screachers
> upwind. (Upon hearing that, one of my crew remarked that that was like
> taking a knife to a gun fight!) The question also came up
> about whether we
> should use chutes or not, but it was quickly pointed out that
> these were PERFORMANCE cruisers.
My boat is not set up with a Screacher or a bowsprit. My dock at home is
41ft x 28ft (the TRT is 40ft x 25ft) so a fixed bowsprit was not an option.
I was very interested in seeing the bowsprit setup on both the BN42 and
Merlin as they are both well thought out solutions that can be articulated.
As a long time Corsair F-27 owner/racer with a very successful racing
history, I know the value of a screacher and asymmetric spinnaker. Marius
Rosvold (the "R" in TRT) races predominately in the narrow upper Oslo Fjord
where deeper off wind angles are a necessity. Consequently, more effort has
been put in to optimizing the boat for very narrow windward leeward courses
(can you imagine tacking a screacher up a narrow fjord or how many jibes you
would need with an asymmetric...). I expect that I will settle on an
appropriate bowsprit design and go knocking on Randy Smyth or Dave Calvert's
door for a screacher and asymmetric spinnaker in the next year or two. I'm
guessing that if the other boats had not used their screachers as originally
agreed in the skippers meeting, the results would have been different...
> There was a fair amount of confusion about the starting procedure, so
> boats got off in a rather ragged procession on the first, upwind leg.
> Unfortunately, we on Merlin were caught to leeward and behind
> the fleet
> the announcement came over the radio that we had started.
> Gritting our
> teeth, we settled down to sailing the boat, focusing on boat speed,
> than pointing, in order to sail straight ahead, out of the dirty air.
> F-31, as the rabbit, was leading. Behind her were the TRT,
> farthest to
> windward; the Osbourne; and ourselves behind and to leeward. The
> Shuttleworth 32 was aft of us and to weather. As the leg wore on, all
> big cats gained on the F-31. We were, after all, bigger with bigger
> and longer waterlines. Most dramatic, however, was the performance of
> Gulfstream 35, Merlin. We were able to sail through the dirty air of
> the bigger cats and the F-31; and then, once we had clear air, proceed
> point higher, sailing up across all of the boats bows, including the
> At that point we could have continued to climb to weather on them but
> Charles had set the course low enough that none of us had to tack. In
> mind, that was a mistake because we didn't have a chance to test
> speeds through a tack, and the ability to get going after
> one. we were the
> only boat to actually pass the F-31 upwind.
Not completely true, Steve Marsh luffed up the TRT as they were driving over
him (there was also not to be any luffing) forcing them to sail though his
lee, which they did.
> I think that the TRT would have
> done a bit better with a screacher, but I suspect that punching the
> of those hulls above the chines into the waves was slowing them down
> more than their lack of a screacher.
Interestingly, the water line shapes of the GS 35 and the TRT are VERY
similar. The main thing that was slowing them down was no screacher!
> They probably don't have to deal with as
> much rough water as we do sailing in the archipelagoes of
> Norway, where she was designed.
The conditions in the lower Oslo Fjord, where Arild Tolfsen (one of "T" in
TRT) sails his TRT can be quite rough. This boat was not designed as a
daysailor/weekender (like the GS 35 "performance daysailing & overnight"),
but as a very capable offshore cruising/racing design. I know that Arild
Tolfsen sailed through every conceivable sea state and wind strength (short
of the southern ocean) when delivering his boat from Bulgaria to Norway. He
has some very interesting stories of sailing in 60+knots of wind...
> We didn't stop at the end of the beat. Instead, we peeled off on a
The plan BTW was for all boats to regroup at the end of each leg.
> Merlin, now firmly in the lead, set her jib inside the screacher and
> proceeded to stretch her lead on the reach. By this time,
> even the TRT had their screacher set.
A true racer, he never looks in the rearview mirror. My boat doesn't have a
> The Osbourne 42 seemed to have similar speed to
> at times. They were, however, working out to weather, so they slowed
> coming down at the end. The rest of the boats fell further behind on
> this reaching leg.
> At the end of the reach, we stopped, ate lunch, and waited
> for the other
> boats to catch up and regroup. The next leg was a run. Having now
> out the starting procedure (or lack thereof) we positioned
> ourselves for a
> clear air start. When we restarted, the Osbourne 42 was
> having trouble with
> their spinnaker halyard and had to proceed with a screacher. The TRT
> set a symmetrical spinnaker from her bows, without a pole.
> (Between the lack of a
> screacher on the upwind leg, and an old fashioned symmetrical chute
> downwind, I can only conclude that the Norwegians don't get
> out much to find out what the rest of the world is up to!)
Horses for courses and they were in your backyard! Why the attack on
Norwegians?? Try asking questions about their reasoning rather than
attacking. I think you will find that they are quite open to the current US
multihull sailplan (remember that mine is the first TRT in the US). In
fact, Dave Calvert was consulted several months ago regarding changes to the
> The Shuttleworth was burdened not
> only by her weight, but also by the owner's refusal to have and use a
> spinnaker. John Shuttleworth, who had flown over from
> England for this
> event, must have been going crazy to not be able to show what his
> girl could do! Anyway, once we restarted, Merlin again showed her
> stretching away from the fleet with the F-31 being the closest
> Halfway down the run in towards the south end of Key Biscayne we all
> and regrouped again. While we waited, the Osbourne sent a
> man up their
> to sort out the halyard problem. Once we restarted, they had a chute
> showed good speed, and actually caught us on Merlin. We wouldn't let
> pass though, meanies that we are! The F-31 also showed good speed,
> hanging in there pretty good once we caught and passed them.
The spinnaker on my boat is much more moderate than the giant light air
chutes Merlin and the BN42 were carrying. I really have to get one of
> To summarize the results, Merlin was definitely the fastest boat. The
> Osbourne 42 showed good speed, particularly off the wind. As
> time goes by
> and they sort her out, I suspect that she will prove to be faster than
> Merlin in some conditions, perhaps all. Given her sail area, sailing
> and weight, this is as it should be. The TRT will be faster in smooth
> and with better sail selection. She has a higher speed hull
> shape than
> Merlin below the chine. That plus her longer sailing length, lighter
> and greater sail area should make her capable of higher top
> speeds than
> Merlin. In fact, she has, according to her builder achieved speeds in
> 24-26 knot range. The best that Merlin has done (when we were paying
> attention to the speed) is 22 knots. Merlin, however, was
> not designed for
> the best top speed. Rather, she was designed for high
> average speeds in
> rough water. For those who have raced on and against her,
> we know that she does "high average" quite well.
The TRT hull is also designed to "high average" by allowing the crew to stay
on the power through a very broad range of wind and sea conditions. While
we all like to talk of top speeds, very few designers/boatbuilders are
foolish enough to build cruising sprinters (kind of an oxymoron) as
> The F-31 showed the
> performance that we all
> expect of her, being always in the hunt - faster than the TRT, similar
> the Osbourne 42, and slower than Merlin. The Shuttleworth never really
> to show her stuff, so she will remain a mystery. I suspect that, even
> with the right sails, she will be a bit slower than the F-31...but not
> Certainly faster and more fun to sail than what else is out
> you consider a few jacked up Stilettos that lurk in Sarasota.
> Oh, one other comment - The TRT is built with less glass and thinner
> than Merlin, accounting for her lighter weight.
Are you inferring that the TRT is built overly light? Have you looked at
the lay-up schedules to determine if they are adequate?? Marius Rosvold is
a consulting structural engineer for Marstrom and was a lead composites
engineer for Diab (producers of structural foams), I trust his calculations.
Ask Torbjorn if he trusts Marius' calculations...
> Walking on her foredecks
> you could see a slight deflection in the deck when you
> stepped down. I
> wonder if she will become spongy with time. I'm not sure what the
> Osbourne's construction is. Anyway, to see if any of that
> mattered, we did
> a bounce test, hopping up and down on each of the boats bows to see
> flexed most. Merlin was definitely stiffer than either of
> the other two
> boats. Hopping on her would result in a very slight shiver running
> the boat. The Osbourne was the most flexible, probably due
> to her boxy
> panels flexing. The TRT was slightly stiffer. probably due
> to her more
> rounded shapes. Not very scientific, but it does point to the boat's
> longevity as well as parasitic energy losses sailing in waves...
You bring up a very interesting point about the TRT, the use of compound
curvature to increase stiffness. The hulls and deck were very carefully
designed to limit flat planes to less than 1 square meter in all areas
except the cockpit floor.
All this for one afternoon's sail in 5-10kts of breeze and lumpy seas.
Imagine if they had better conditions. I can just hear the chest pounding.
TRT 1200 GT #8 (no name, yet)
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