A legend within the World of Trimaran Enthusiasts (WTE): 35 Feet Trimaran ADAGIO…

Its impressive, that “old trimarans” with more than 30-40 years of living can be competitive so long…. wowh.

Trimaran Adagio

Trimaran Adagio

The 35 Feet Trimaran ADAGIO is a legend within the World of Trimaran Enthusiasts (WTE) and a “pioneer of speed”. This powerful boat was built in 1969/70 (wood-epoxy) and designed by Meade and Jan Gougeon…well known in the world of boat building as Gougeon brothers who invented the WEST SYSTEM® epoxy (being used as standard method for building canoes, kayaks, kit boats or super yachts.)

Tri Adagio made many excellent places in Port Huron-to-Mackinac race: 1998 second, 1999 first, 2000 first, 2002 first, 2003 fifth, 2004 fifth, 2005 first, 2006 first, 2007 fifth, 2008 fifth, 2009 second. – Same in the Chicago-to-Mackinac race: 1998 first, 2000 first to finish, 2002 first to finish, 2006 first to finish.

Why we see very often such “old Trimarans” battling successfully on the regatta courses, and still participate competitively in single-handed and  short handed races ?

There are some very few reasons as I see it… and the answers seem simple:

  • An excellent design by one of the extra ordinary designers (e.g. Kurt Hughes (USA), Nigel Irens (U.K.), Dick Newick (USA, 1926-2013), Ian Farrier (New Zealand), Chris White (USA), Renaud Bañuls (France),  Marc Van Peteghem (France), Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (France), Tony Grainger (Australia) and some few others) is of high substance and timeless
  • … and follows the same rules again and again with every new model:
    simplicity (handling) – strength (of construction) = safetynessfast (light displacement)
  • Trimaran Fujifilm (1987, Nigel irens Design)

    French Skipper Loick Peiron’s 60 foot Tri Fujifilm (1987, Nigel Irens Design)

    A trimaran which can stand the stress test off-shore in high seas over long distances has the substance given by its construction of three hulls (main hull + floaters / outrigger (amas)) for less drag and modern beam constructions (e.g. X-form as we know it since Trimaran Fujifilm) giving its stability.

  • Light displacement construction, materials (marine plywood-epoxy, carbon, kevlar) and methods (vacuum infusion, vacuum high temperature autoclaves) keep the boats light weighted, fast and competitive.

Elder Trimarans easily (but costly) can be modernized by refitting, new wardrobe with modern sails (e.g. 3D head square main sail) and cutter rig (jib, genaker) plus trimming units like central daggerboard, T-rudders, lifting Foils and wing rotation mast. Some even have canting masts and water ballast (e.g. ORMA open 60).

Other aspects come into account to keep old Trimarans over decades alive:

  • To build three hulls is a complexe process, time intensive and costly. Such investments look for longer caring.
  • The owners and sailors of Trimarans have an extra ordinary passion for their boats and never stop to progress the potentials of their racing mashines … to sail with average speeds nowadays of 18-19 knots, in peak >35 knots.
  • Its a small community of extreme sailors around the world. Most skippers and crew members know each other and with the Internet nowadays they keep connected to learn quickly from each other.
  • The characters of Tri sailors have the spirit taking (higher) risks and experiments (compared to monohull sailors) and therefore are willing to implement new technologies more quickly into their “old boats”.

In my understanding Trimarans can fulfill the ecological aspect of sustainability in best form.

Vids with Trimaran ADAGIO in action…
it’s 38 years old in the clip.


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