September 17, 2014

Test sailing CATRI 25 trimaran

If you want a demonstration of this amazing new boat than please contact me on +44 (0)7985 043 981.

If you know anything about sailing trimarans you'll know that you need a smooth flow of air around the sails to go fast. So you need a stable, steady boat. If the boat pitches then the top of the sails will never be set properly. As the boat picthes forward the topsails will be moving fast and as the boat pitches backward the topsails will be moving slowly through the wind. So the sails will never be set correctly.

When Aldis Eglajs set out to design fast but safe boats he fully understood that stability was an essential prerequisite for high speed sailing and so this is what he has created. The wave piercing hulls cut evenly through the waves without altering their attitude and without slowing the boat down.

The leeward outrigger never loses contact with the water and thus it is constantly monitoring and adjusting the trim. This is a major difference between the CATRI concept and the scary, hydrofoiling boats such as Hydroptere and the Americas Cup boats, which are designed to sail clear of the waves and are thus very susceptible to pitchpole. I've seen video of people being swept overboard from an AC72 when the leeward hull dug in and worse things have happened. A British sailor was killed! You would not be able to sail such a boat from San Fransisco to Honolulu.

But the CATRI is designed for safe cruising as well as for high speed racing. Stability, safety and speed go hand in hand.

So check out the video above from my latest trip to Latvia to see this new creation of Aldis Eglajs, the world authority on foiling trimarans.

You'll notice how easy it is to cant the mast. I was flabbergasted by how easy this was. You do it just before the tack so that the wind helps you. The advantage, of course, is that instead of spilling wind when the boat is slightly heeled, the sails may be kept upright and thus they are more effective.

Watch out for the self tacking bowsprit, that is adjustable so that you can optimise the flow of air around the other two sails.

Notice the step in the hull above the waterline. You might wonder what this is for when you see the boat on such flat water as on Lake Burtnieks but when the waves are bigger this step helps to keep the boat in foiling mode and also deflects spray downwards.

Check out the Bruce foils at the front of the amas. They have a different profile from those on the Catri 24, TARDIS, that I sailed back to England from Latvia in 2005. And there is a curved extension to these foils that very effectively reduces both leeway and pitching.

The pair of foilets at the aft end of each ama are adjustable in two dimensions on this boat so that the angle of attack can be optimised and the drag from the flow of water over them minimised.

You cannot see the major foil on the rudder, which is under the water the whole time but you can see its effect if you watch carefully. The engine mounting is the clue. It would have been raised if it had an engine on it of course.

When I saw that there was no engine I immediately realised that we were going to have to pick up our mooring under sail, something I have never attempted. But the designer, Aldis Eglajs was skippering so I thought that I would be able to learn from a master of sailing. He has been sailing for over 60 years after all. But no. As the end of our expedition approached Aldis handed me the tiller and said that I could get us alongside the dinghy that was on the mooring!

The dinghy was secured by its stern but fortunately Edgars told me this or I would have been turning downwind to bring this valuable prototype (the only one of its kind in the world) to a standstill instead of turning upwind. I realised that my reputation as a sailor was on the line!

It turned out alright and I was praised for perfect parking, thank goodness.

So check out the video and get in touch directly if you wish to have a demonstration yourself. Call me on +44 (0) 7985 043 981.

Posted by Stephen Walker at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)