When I started my quest to find the right design over Christmas, I had a few things going for me: I had a clear design brief, I’d also spent a good deal of time looking into the possibility of building a somewhat smaller trimaran in the weeks before, and had done some rough calculations showing that a tacking outrigger, even if it’s only 7m long, is actually viable option. The solution space is enormous though. Overall I considered everything ranging from modular hulls, to smaller proas, tacking proas, a small trimaran such Newick’s Tremolino design (where you take the rig and floats of a large beachcat and build a central hull yourself), an i550 (a small and very neat monohull sportsboat), to even a simple open sailing & rowing dory or perhaps something like a Goat Island Skiff.
A small proa (Petrel):
Large proa (Madness):
These and the other candidates are all pretty cool boats, and I feared it would be easy to drown in this ocean of possibilities, and be held up for months, with the question of what sort of boat to build. What I really needed, was a structured approach.