I have three used trimarans for sale in conditions varying from good to excellent. The Magnum 21 is already visible in the used boat section.
But I now have details of a 2010 Astus 20.2 Sport in lovely condition that I hope to put up and notify everybody about this weekend.
And shortly I will also have details of a beautiful blue and grey Magnum 18. Watch out for that one.
Call me on my mobile (+44 7985 043 981) and try to catch me (as I'll be at a conference this weekend in London) or text or leave a message or email me if any of these interests you.
There was a severe gale in the Irish Sea today which, when combined with the high spring tide at Liverpool led to exciting waves along the promenade at New Brighton on the Wirral where I grew up.
My father used to take us kids down to see this spectacle whenever there was a gale or storm and we still remember dodging the waves. Nowadays I prefer to stay in the car but actually the wind direction today meant that the spray was directed back to the sea so dodging would have been a doddle.
Difficult to imagine that I sailed along here in a Magnum 21 trimaran about 8 years ago. Check out my earlier blog entries.
Check out this playlist:
But take heart. You do not need to take crazy risks like this as capsize is entirely preventable and has been since 1975! Watch the video to find out why and how.
If you Google "news atlantic sailing record" you may discover that Alex Thompson broke the Transatlantic Record, single-handed in a monohull in 8 days 22 hours 8 minutes in July 2012.
However, if you include the name of Frenchman, Francis Joyon, in your search you will discover that a couple of days ago a new single-handed Transatlantic Record was set of 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds. Somewhat faster!
This is not because Francis Joyon is a much, much better sailor than Alex Thompson. He may or may not be. No the record is so much faster because Francis Joyon was sailing in a trimaran!
Whether you are a multihull-maniac or not I hope you will enjoy this series of short videos that I have produced explaining why trimarans triumph when it comes to sailing fast at sea. Check it out!
Nearly time to get afloat and if you have forgotten how to rig your Magnum 18 or Magnum 21 trimaran or you just need a reminder of some part of the procedure then follow this link: Assembly & Rigging Instructional Videos and follow the instructions to gain access.
Compared with catamarans of similar size, say 19ft, they are much more comfortable to sail because you are not scrambling around on your hands and knees, ducking under a low boom. You are able to sit in them comfortably and the boom is at a safe height. And they tack as easily as monohulls do because of their centre-boards, whereas catamarans are difficult to tack.
And when compared to keel boats the benefits are legion!
Check out this new video I've just uploaded about the NEW boats that I will have available for next year.
They include 4 trimarans and a motor catamaran. No I've not lost the plot! This catamaran has the green credentials of a multihull, low fuel consumption compared to a monohull, high speed and much greater comfort. No pounding and no sea sickness. Well much less anyway.
And in amongst those exciting trimarans, which range from 18 to 34 ft is a modern take on a motor sailer, again with higher speed and greater fuel economy.
"No doubt at all about this stuff, Stephen.
This is exactly the main reason for which I bought my Magnum, together with the greater speed.
My best regards, Alberto Flisi"
Ahoy-Boats has just taken over the UK & Ireland agency for Astus Boats trimarans from Pascal & Claire Guignabaudet who are returning to France where their young family can continue their education.
In 2005 Astus picked up the small trimaran day boat idea, created by NoŽl Louvet of VirusBoats at the beginning of the millennium, and have run with it, producing a range that now extends from 14 to 22 feet. So now we have something for everybody including a small inexpensive starter boat and even boats with small cabins. Somewhere to put the children at last when it turns nasty! Or to sleep in at an anchorage.
We will gradually be integrating the ExAqua web site (have a look at the range!) with the Ahoy-Boats web site over the coming weeks but emails have already been diverted to Ahoy-Boats.
We also hope to have an Astus 20.2S demonstrator within a few weeks.
I am delighted to be able to offer you this exciting range of day boats and look forward to discussing your options with you. Do contact me for advice.
Here is a test by Multihulls World of the Magnum 21 trimaran too.
Here is a video showing how easy it is to put a Magnum 21 trimaran together. It only covers the standing rigging. Assembly & Rigging Instructional Videos
Don't forget the North Wales Boat Show at the Vaynol Estate on the A55 near Bangor, Friday 25th to Sunday 27th July.
I'll be exhibiting a Magnum 21 and the NEW Magnum 18.
Perfect weather for a demo, should you want one, at the moment.
Why not call me and give me an excuse to get the Magnum 21 on the water?
The Magnum 18 web site is all but complete now. Videos of the assembly and launch uploaded and a description of the boat and its purpose and raison d'etre.
All that remains is to complete the menus so that you may navigate easily around the site.
The NATIONAL BOAT, CARAVAN & OUTDOOR SHOW starts on Saturday at the NEC in Birmingham and continues till the 25th Feb.
Ahoy-Boats will have a well located stand this time, near the entrance to Hall 5.
I shall be exhibiting a Magnum 21 with the new quick-assembly system.
If you wish to buy a boat or to chat with me about trimarans or rowing boats then why not come to Birmingham? I'll be there the whole time.
If you wish to trial a Magnum 21 or a CATRI 24 then this can be done by appointment after the show in the spring.
I am offering a discount of 5% on all Magnum 21 and 21S trimarans ordered at the show.
The National Exhibition Centre is very easy to get to. It is adjacent to Birmingham International Airport and the Railway Station and of course it is next to the M42. There is ample FREE parking!
With TARDIS, the CATRI 24 trimaran, now in Pwllheli Marina I am still able to offer demonstrations during October, weather permitting, of course (I want you to enjoy the boat). So keep an eye on the forecast and let me know if you want a demo. I shall not be available on the w/e of 14th/15th at all and I am racing in Chester on 21st and I am busy already till end of Tuesday 10th. But still there are some dates and maybe you can find some spare time to come to North Wales if you are interested in buying the boat from the future NOW.
I continue also to give demonstrations with the Magnum 21 trimarans.
Thanks to everybody who turned up at the Southampton International Boat Show to see the Magnum 21S trimaran that I was displaying or to talk with me about the Catri 24. I felt that the show was a good one for me. The weather was great except for just one wet morning and the new assembly system and the 21S were both extremely well received.
I shall be leaving that Magnum 21S in Southampton initially whilst I return home to Chester.
During the week I can forsee that I may be able to give a demonstration of the CATRI 24 at Abersoch on Thursday if the weather is OK. If I can, I will take TARDIS from Abersoch to Pwllheli. However, the harbourmaster says that the harbour is full for the time being so I may have to take her elsewhere or take her off the water altogether. I shall be planning this on Monday and Tuesday. If you wish to be the lucky person who gets the demo then please call me on Tuesday. A contribution to expenses will be welcomed.
The following week (the first in October) I hope to return to the south coast briefly to meet up with some journalists so there will be an opportunity to try out the MAGNUM 21 for those down south, weather permitting. But I will plan my visit to coincide with good weather, during the working week, hopefully. I will keep you posted on this weblog. call me if you are interested.
I have a demo to do in Pembrokeshire and then all others will be in North Wales.
We visited Quiberon last weekend to pick up a new boat for a customer and participate in the annual gathering of VirusBoats trimaran owners when we all sail to Houat, just outside Quiberon Bay.
We had a bit of trouble with a tangled anchor warp before we set off and then I launched the spinnaker upside down and we had to take it down again but we were not the last to arrive.
On this next photo you can see the relative sizes of the sails and masts on the classic Magnum 21 and the new sportier Magnum 21.S.
The traditional Pastis (tastes like Pernod). The three girls on the left were my crew. The couple on the right are the German agents for VirusBoats
A rare photograph of me. I usually have the camera in my hand.
This little character stole the show. He was very good at begging.
On the return trip from Houat to Port Haliguen we managed to get back first! Britannia rules the waves!
En-route to Roskoff with a new boat we stopped of at Chateaulin, which is where my relationship with VirusBoats started in 1998. Full circle.
Now I'm off to Latvia to collect a CATRI 24 by sea. The start of a new adventure.
What a splendid weekend we've just had in Cornwall. First a reunion near Bodmin of the university crew I rowed in 35 years ago followed by some sailing and rowing demonstrations at Falmouth. The tide was out all day at Padstow or we'd have done them there. We did cycle to Padstow from Wadebridge on Saturday afternoon though. I can recommend that.
At Falmouth the first snag we encountered was that one of the rigging screws had fallen off the mast on the journey down. However, I was able to jury rig something with the purchase of the cunningham and we ended up with a very satisfactory sail shape. Actually it was better than I managed to achieve on Monday.
The conditions were perfect on Sunday for instructing a customer who had little or no knowledge of sailing. Enough wind but not too much. We even managed to pick up a buoy under sail on our return. I always think that being head to wind on a mooring buoy is the easiest way of getting the main sail up and down.
The next day I was able to source a new rigging screw but the wind was so light that I might as well have had no mast stiffening at all. Whilst I was out sailing poor Sue managed to scrape somebody's car in the car park with the trailer and so we went for a sail together in the afternoon to chill out and give ourselves a little reward.
Almost immediately the forecast wind of about force 3 arrived and we were scooting across Carrick Roads at 12 knots. We quickly sailed across the harbour to have a look at the picturesque village of St Mawes before leaving Falmouth harbour altogether with the gennaker up to go and look from the sea at The Three Mackeral restaurant, where we had dined the evening before. Out at sea there was relatively little wind.
But when we got back to Carrick Roads we were beating at 7.5 knots and I couldn't resist the temptation of a reach. There were little crests on top of the waves so I guess the wind force was 3 gusting 4. We were flying along again at almost 12 knots with both of us sitting out on the edge of the trampoline, as we are both lightweights. This is where the telescopic tiller comes in handy. I guess the only way we could have gone faster would have been if one of us had taken to the trapeze.
On the final reach back in we were dazzled by the sun reflecting off the water and afterwards my face was red and throbbing like a belisha beacon.
This time we took the main down whilst adrift with plenty of sea-room in the lee of a hill. If you let go of everything the boat behaves very well, gently tacking upwind. The main has become easier to put up each time we have sailed the boat. It was very stiff the first time. Now I am reassured that it actually does fit the mast.
So it's a thumbs up for the sailing experience provided by the Magnum 21S trimaran. The downside has to be the time it takes to rig and derig compared to the standard boat, which I now find very straightforward. I am getting faster at it though. One thing I am going to try next time is to attach the outer shrouds before raising the mast. This will keep them out of the way and enable me to check the running of all the halyards before the mast is up. So far, each time, I have found a halyard or two threaded through the diamond of stiffening stays on the mast. Not a big deal; it just wastes sailing time sorting out these little problems.
Of course we couln't have had such a great weekend without some problems. Sue developed a very heavy cold on Sunday and I had it too on Monday. Then there was the slow puncture on the trailer tyre that was noticed by a following motorist somewhere between Tintern Abbey and Monmouth. Thank goodness for my four wheel drive. I had no idea there was anything wrong till we stopped at the traffic lights on Monmouth Bridge and there was a knock on the window.
The last time I had an incident at Monmouth Bridge was when I was coxing an eight on the river Wye there in 1973 and managed to break it into a coxless five and a coxed three! But that's another story.
Check out the new mouth-watering pictures of the magnificent Magnum 21.S. We had to wait for the right weather conditions to get these but it was worth the wait.
To book a trial, phone 0870 770 2728.
Meantime I am off to sail from Rhos-on-Sea tomorrow. Probably will go round the Great Orme to Puffin Island and anchor for lunch.
Quick change of plan. As the wind will back from SW to SE we're going to sail from Beaumaris to Llandudno and back, otherwise we would spend the day beating against the wind. This way we can use the spinnaker lots :-). This is the sort of change of plan that you can make at the last minute with a trailer sailer such as the Magnum 21.
First Magnum 21 trimaran demonstration of the season took place today in a force 6 off Rhos-on-Sea. We had a problem with a batten near the top of the sail poking through the sail where it shouldn't have been. This was a new sail and I hadn't noticed that the batten wasn't seated properly whilst I was hoisting the main so we had to drop the main in case of further damage in the strong winds (gust up to 40 knots).
So we sailed on the jib alone and made 9 knots anyway. Only things we couln't do were beat effectively and tack. So we reached and gybed. We dared not run with the wind as we made 4 knots under bare poles after we'd furled the jib and if we'd left the sail up we'd have been at Heysham by tea time. It's on occasions like this that you're glad of the engine to get you back home. Thank goodness for Tohatsu's Japanese reliability. It started first time.
The customer was thrilled and has placed an order.
Why choose a trimaran? Visit this new page on trimarans and find out.
On the day that the London Boat Show started a customer telephoned me to say that he and his son had been out in a standard Magnum 21 in a Force 8, gusting 9, on Kielder Water, a large reservoir (so no tidal assistance) in the far north of England, and had achieved speeds of 25 - 26 knots, according to his GPS.
We already knew that the boat was capable of achieving speeds of 20 - 22 knots in force 7. However, few customers are brave enough to go out in this sort of weather.
What this shows is not so much how fast the boat is but how big the margin of safety is when sailing in normal weather conditions. Most of us who go out in what we would term "good sailing conditions" should be sailing in the 10 - 15 knots range.
The owner of this boat told me when I delivered his second Magnum 21 (as he is so pleased with the first) that he has done 20 knots in it with 6 people on board. He does not reef the main sail except when he has children on board and it is very windy.
The owner of this beautiful red boat is downgrading to a less attractive boat because of all the interest that local kids show in it when it is on his mooring, which dries out and is all too accessible. The boat is now safely garaged.
So here is a good boat in excellent condition that was our show boat the first time we attended the London International Boat Show so it has lots of extras and all Harken fittings.
Phone me if you're interested on 0870 770 2728. Specification below.
Red hull with white antifouling over epoxy primer
2nd reefing point in mainsail (1st is standard)
Furling Gennaker kit
Spinnaker Kit incl. bowsprit
Road Trailer with lights and suspension
Tohatsu 6HP 4 stroke outboard engine
List price for this boat today would be 16,672.
On the 12 August I managed to get down south for a taste of Cowes week with Roy Pace, a 1948 Olympian and an ardent fan of the event.
We launched at the excellent Calshot slipway and with a stiff southwesterly we quickly decided to take a reef given that there were only the two of us on board. There was likely to be a nasty chop out on the Solent and of course the added complication of the massed multitudes of racing yachts.
Roy knew exactly where we were all the time and what was going on, thankfully, and we beat to Cowes in about one and a half hours cutting across racing lines of boats with confidence and even crossing the finish line ourselves, though not racing, of course. A quick tour of the sights from the congested river, a hastily consumed lunch on somebody elses mooring and a pootle along the line of big yachts moored outside the river and it was time to head back.
The wind had dropped to a 3 but before the reach home we managed to get a couple of pics of another trimaran, that of Ellen McArthur!
The next day there was a Force 7 blowing! David Harding came down for a test sail so he could prepare an article for Practical Boat Owner. My twin sister was on board and she is not a sailor so we took two reefs. The Magnum 21 was the only small boat on the water and according to onlookers it was regularly disappearing below the 5ft waves. But beating in the general direction of Cowes we were holding our own against 40ft yachts! 7.5 knots uphill; not bad with two reefs in. We just managed 10.5 knots downhill but again safety was more in our minds than speed. Ruth just lay on the trampoline and giggled the whole time. She was pleased that the water was warm.
Upon our return to Calshot I took the helm whilst Ruth and David went ashore and an intrepid but delighted HobieCat sailor joined me as the wind stiffened yet more and sky blackened in the background. After one gybe with the mainsheet traveller in fairly tight she heeled over at what for me was an alarming angle but as soon as I let the sheet out she came back upright again. My crew exclaimed, "It feels so safe!"
For photos of this epic adventure (the windiest conditions I have have ever sailed in personally) you will have to keep a look out in PBO.
The next day I took out two sailors from Calshot Cat Club. The wind was less, maybe a 4, but with the gennaker out we still managed 10.5 knots. My passengers were very happy and a constant flow of compliments about the boat's handling and comfort streamed forth.
Next trip with the Magnum 21 is to Pembrokeshire for the Bank Holiday weekend. Then it's all systems go for the Southampton International Boat Show. See you there.
2nd Hand Magnum 21 available. Details below. If you're interested call me on 0870 770 2728.
VirusBoats Magnum 21 trimaran day boat in WHITE with BLUE flash in main sail.
2nd reefing point on mainsail (1st reef point is standard).
Lazybag attached to boom for catching main sail.
Road trailer with winch, rollers, suspension & lights.
Furling Gennaker Kit for Magnum 21 (incl. 16sqm gennaker, Harken furler, halyard, guy & rachet pullies) (WHITE & BLUE).
Antifouling paint with epoxy primer in white.
New Mercury 4hp 4 stroke engine.
Full wireless navigation system including boat/wind speed, GPS depth etc.
Would be about £16,000 new with all these extras.
The owner bought this boat originally for single handed day sailing. He loves this boat but wants now to travel further afield when the assistance of crew is necessary. Whilst he is happy to sleep on the trampolines his crew is not necessarily so he is planning to move up to a trimaran with a lid on it.
This boat is now SOLD.
Last Saturday's demonstrations at Southend were a great success with my afternoon client remaining completely dry in a force 4 until he jumped in the water to disembark.
On Sunday with a SE force 6 we decamped to Bradwell Marina on the Blackwater River, something it is easy to do with a lightweight trailer-sailer like the Magnum 21. And there we had what can only be described as an exhilarating time.
On Bank Holiday Monday, 3rd May, it looks as though I'll be going to Kielder Water in the dim and distant frozen north of England for demonstrations. Yes there are good places to sail that are even farther north than Chester!
If you want to take advantage of this opportunity for a demo then please call me on 0870 770 2728.
Every year VirusBoats organises a gathering of VirusBoats trimaran owners and we all go for a day sail together. We have found that Quiberon is an excellent site as it is protected from the worst of the Atlantic swells and one can sail from there on almost any occasion.
The French National Sailing School is situated at Port-Haliguen on the eastern tip of the Quiberon peninsula (presqu'Ile - nearly an Island, as the French so elegantly put it) and this is where we sail from. Sometimes we sail to the Island of Ouat and sometimes we don't. Last year we sailed at fantastic speed across Quiberon Bay to Carnac. This is the trip that is covered on the video that you may have seen on show at the London Boat Show. There was a good force 5 blowing and we had a terrific sail. Smiles all round!
The Bretons are very hospitable and we have lunch on a beach and then in the evening we have a big meal with Breton dancing and singing. The occasion has a strong cultural feel.
This is a very good occasion to collect a boat if you have ordered one. Instead of having it delivered to England, Ahoy-Boats will pay for you to have a nice little holiday and collect your boat at the same time. We will cover your ferry costs and accommodation in Quiberon.
If you have not already ordered then NOW is an excellent time to do it. Delivery for a Magnum 21 trimaran is currently 8 weeks and the Quiberon weekend jamboree takes place on the last weekend in May, the Monday following being a public holiday in France.
The general form for the weekend is for everybody to arrive on the Saturday and get their boats ready. Then we sail all together on Sunday and celebrate in the evening. Then departure takes place at leisure on Sunday or later if you wish to stay longer.
Call me on 0870 770 2728 if you would like a copy of the video on CD-ROM. Both the Magnum 21 and the VirusPlus are shown on it. There are some clips here.