Smaller even than our Comet design the TRIBABY 17 is an early version and is also designed as an easy to build, high performance trimaran in a size that is small enough to be readily trailerable. The design requirements were established as follows: simple and economical to build using standard plywood boatbuilding techniques, trailerable, beachable, weight not to exceed 450 lbs. (main hull 200 lbs.), efficient performance, unsinkable.
The TRIBABY is definitely a bathing suit boat as you sit out on the cross arms with your feet in the main hull. Having designed and built various types of boats over the years, we have found that the trimaran has several advantages over more conventional single hull craft including high stability, low resistance, shoal draft, light displacement (no need for ballast), all while still preserving the practicality of a center hull. Most importantly the combination of high sail carrying ability and low wave making resistance makes for exhilarating speed potential not found in more conventional types of
The TRIBABY measures in at 17’overall length, 12’ overall beam, 8” to 36” draft, 600 lbs. displacement (includes crew and), 425 lbs. empty weight, and 148 square ft. of sail. The main hull (vaka) is single-chined with a narrow flat bottom, graceful stem profile, and vertical stern to carry the kick-up rudder. The boat is built of marine plywood over a light spruce frame. The topsides are ¼” (6mm) while the bottom and decks are 3/8” (9mm). The main hull features two watertight bulkheads and a self-bailing foot-well.
The pontoons (amas) are a V-section type also made of ¼” plywood using the “stitch and glue” method. The cross beams (akas) are a hollow box section made of laminated spruce and fir. The TRIBABY utilizes a standard Hobie 14 rig: mast, mainsail, standard rigging. The jib is custom made and mounts on a roller
furling unit. The rig is readily available new or used. The Hobie rig is efficient and practical and makes an ideal “power plants” for the TRIBABY.
The plan set consists of…
This design represents our concept of a small practical trimaran and builds on our experience designing and building larger craft of this type. To build and sail the TRIBABY 17 is not only to experience the fun of building your own quality boat but also to come to know first-hand the joy of sailing at dazzling speed while still retaining easy tacking and light air performance.