Summer Outdoors and Sports Gear For the Irish Vale or BurrenWritten by Kriss Hammond
Summer Outdoors and Sports Gear For Irish Vale or Burren
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When pavement sizzles in Vegas it is time to visit green vales of Ireland — to test out some of latest cool outdoors and sports equipment and apparel for summer, and then off to boulder strewn Burren in western Ireland to really put test in rugged high gear; Burren was never conquered by Cromwell or Vikings.
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Sailing: Multihulls-Catamarans andTrimarans Written by Linda Cullum
History -The catamaran is one of 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 considered stability of a two hulled vessel to be safer than that of just one hull. Until two centuries ago Polynesia was totally isolated from rest of civilized world, which was developing boats along what we now think of as more traditional lines - single-hulled keel boats, or monohulls. In 1780s Captain Cook reported seeing beautiful boats of up to 120 feet long which were built of painstakingly painted and polished wood. Exposure to 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 in Hawaiian islands catamaran design disappeared. Then, in late 1870s, Nathaniel Herreshoff designed and built 25 foot catamaran Amaryllis. In 1876 he entered it in New York Yacht Club's Centennial Regatta and easily beat every other boat in fleet. That this upstart radical "new" design should win so handily was deemed unacceptable, and catamarans were barred from racing. This decision stopped 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, Prout brothers designed a U shaped hull, instead of V shape that had preceded it, and they included centerboards. Now boats would actually tack. They became popular in Europe because of their speed and comfort, and long slow process of design evolution took a step forward. By late 50's there were quite a few sailors experimenting with new designs and building materials. With advent of fiberglass, resins, and marine plywood these boats could be built light and strong. In 1960's Rudy Choy of Hawaii was designing and building race winning, ocean capable catamarans which are still viable today. During 1960's and 1970's an American designer named Arthur Piver was singularly responsable for building of hundreds of trimarans in 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 around world. There were so many of his boats under construction at one time that there was no way he could even attempt to ensure that 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 help reputation of multihulls, a legacy that unfortunately exists in 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 over world were building on lessons that could be learned from previous designs, both with trimarans and catamarans. These designers realized need for detailed, precise plans, and for designer to be involved with 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 show world their performance potential . In 1976 OSTAR Mike Birch came in second place on 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 was last year in which a monohull won this race. Dick Newick's designs also captured attention of Phil Weld, who won 1980 OSTAR in Newick trimaran, Moxie. The high profile of racing, money that racing has brought into their development and improvement, as well as evolution of new, lightweight synthetic building materials have all contributed to high quality of multihull craft that is being built today. They have gained worldwide acceptance.