Sailing: Multihulls-Catamarans andTrimarans

Written by Linda Cullum

History -The catamaran is one ofrepparttar oldest types of craft known. The word Catamaran has its origin in Malayan language -- Catu (to tie) and Maran ( log). Early Polynesians would lash two large canoes together and sail a whole village's worth people from one village to another, which usually meant sailing from one island to another. These people consideredrepparttar 140561 stability of a two hulled vessel to be safer than that of just one hull. Until two centuries ago Polynesia was totally isolated fromrepparttar 140562 rest ofrepparttar 140563 civilized world, which was developing boats along what we now think of as more traditional lines - single-hulled keel boats, or monohulls. Inrepparttar 140564 1780s Captain Cook reported seeing beautiful boats of up to 120 feet long which were built of painstakingly painted and polished wood. Exposure torepparttar 140565 outside world brought European diseases to these people, who had no immunities to them. The populations and societies were ravaged and these beautiful vessels rotted away. Outside of some native activity inrepparttar 140566 Hawaiian islandsrepparttar 140567 catamaran design disappeared. Then, inrepparttar 140568 late 1870s, Nathaniel Herreshoff designed and builtrepparttar 140569 25 foot catamaran Amaryllis. In 1876 he entered it inrepparttar 140570 New York Yacht Club's Centennial Regatta and easily beat every other boat inrepparttar 140571 fleet. That this upstart radical "new" design should win so handily was deemed unacceptable, and catamarans were barred from racing. This decision stoppedrepparttar 140572 further development of multihulls cold. Mr. Herreshoff and his son, L. Francis, continued to design and build them for themselves, adding centerboards to each hull for better maneuverability, but their designs never gained acceptance. 1952 -- in England,repparttar 140573 Prout brothers designed a U shaped hull, instead ofrepparttar 140574 V shape that had preceded it, and they included centerboards. Nowrepparttar 140575 boats would actually tack. They became popular in Europe because of their speed and comfort, andrepparttar 140576 long slow process of design evolution took a step forward. Byrepparttar 140577 late 50's there were quite a few sailors experimenting with new designs and building materials. Withrepparttar 140578 advent of fiberglass, resins, and marine plywood these boats could be built light and strong. Inrepparttar 140579 1960's Rudy Choy of Hawaii was designing and building race winning, ocean capable catamarans which are still viable today. Duringrepparttar 140580 1960's and 1970's an American designer named Arthur Piver was singularly responsable forrepparttar 140581 building of hundreds of trimarans inrepparttar 140582 backyards of would-be sailors. Unfortunately, some of his claims were not realistic- he maintained that anyone without carpentry or sailing experience could quickly and cheaply build one of his "non-capsizable" designs and sail aroundrepparttar 140583 world. There were so many of his boats under construction at one time that there was no way he could even attempt to ensure thatrepparttar 140584 builders were using proper construction techniques, or even sticking to his plans. This resulted in builders making major and often unsafe modifications to his designs, and in many boats being built poorly and with inferior materials. There are still many old Pivers out sailing that are safe and comfortable, but there are countless others that rotted away, capsized, or broke up at sea due to shoddy construction. Piver himself disappeared at sea on a boat of his own design, albeit one that he did not build himself. All of this did nothing to helprepparttar 140585 reputation of multihulls, a legacy that unfortunately exists inrepparttar 140586 minds of many today. Jim Brown, a protege of Piver, started designing his own trimarans, called Searunners. He designed them with a wider beam for a safer, more stable platform, along with other modifications. Soon Norm Cross, Lock Crowther, John Marples, and countless designers from all overrepparttar 140587 world were building onrepparttar 140588 lessons that could be learned from previous designs, both with trimarans and catamarans. These designers realizedrepparttar 140589 need for detailed, precise plans, and forrepparttar 140590 designer to be involved withrepparttar 140591 builder from day one of construction in order to help to create a safe, fast, comfortable vessel. The racing world is where multihulls have had a real chance to showrepparttar 140592 world their performance potential . Inrepparttar 140593 1976 OSTAR Mike Birch came in second place onrepparttar 140594 Third Turtle, Dick Newick's VAL design 31 foot trimaran. The first place winner that year was Eric Taberly on his 71 foot monohull. This wasrepparttar 140595 last year in which a monohull won this race. Dick Newick's designs also capturedrepparttar 140596 attention of Phil Weld, who wonrepparttar 140597 1980 OSTAR inrepparttar 140598 Newick trimaran, Moxie. The high profile of racing,repparttar 140599 money that racing has brought into their development and improvement, as well asrepparttar 140600 evolution of new, lightweight synthetic building materials have all contributed torepparttar 140601 high quality of multihull craft that is being built today. They have gained worldwide acceptance.

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