A recent decision not to include the WindRider AS trimaran in the Paralympics is very disappointing given our more cost effective and inclusive product.There is a better choice to advance and increase participation in sailing, especially sailing for people with disabilities - the WindRider AS sailing trimaran.
With many years of experience serving this community and hundreds of disabled sailors already sailing the WindRider AS trimaran, only minor modifications were required to develop the racing models WindRider AS1 and WindRider AS2 for the Paralympics.
Here is the recent proposal to set up active grassroots sailing and organize local competitions in both one-person and two-person classes, not including any volume discounts:
Para World Sailing proposal, minimal requirement: 6x Weta x $18,000 (after mods), for minimal disability, one-person class: $ 108,000, 6x Hansa 303 x $8,000 (after mods), for severe disability, two-person class: $ 48,000 (providing launch ramp and pontoon are available), 6x 2.4m x $25,000 (after mods), for minimal disability, extra one-person class: $150,000 (providing crane facilities are available), Total minimum cost boats only: $156,000 ($ 306,000 including 2.4m class)
Here is the WindRider AS proposal: 6x WindRider AS1 / AS2 x $ 14,000 (after mods): $84,000, which takes the task of; 6 x WindRider AS grassroots version four-person, severe and minimal disability, 6 x WindRider AS1 performance one-person class, minimal disability, 6 x WindRider AS2 performance two-person class, severe and minimal disability. Total cost boats only: $84,000$84,000 Investment or $306,000 Investment - which is going to help grow sailing participation?Compared to the competition, the WindRider AS has a lower cost and broader appeal for general club or racing use. I hope you will read more in the attached paper and consider the WindRider AS trimaran in your program - and recommend the same to World Sailing.Thank you for your consideration.
Here is a write up by Erwin Jansen who is leading the AS1 effort for the paralympics.
Last year’s decision that sailing was not to be part of the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo came as a huge disappointment for the sport worldwide. Sailing offers disabled people unique opportunities to participate in sport with many varied disabilities competing on equal terms. The main reason stated was that only sports widely and regularly practiced in a large enough number of countries will be considered for inclusion in the Paralympic Games.
So it is time for a change, and we at WindRider believe we can make a very positive contribution to the efforts of growing the disabled sailing sport as a whole, and bringing back sailing to future Paralympic Games in particular. World Sailing invited WindRider to take part in an equipment evaluation in early May in Italy and a second one early June in The Netherlands.
Looking at the main criteria set out by World Sailing, which are believed to result in a rapid increase in competitive disabled sailing participation, and done so in more countries and regions than ever before, we have taken the original WindRider philosophy of ‘Sailing Simplified’ a step further, and designed new adaptive versions of the original WindRider 17 Trimaran.
This new WindRider AS (up to four people for recreational purposes), and the upgraded race versions AS1 (one-person) and AS2 (two-person) - where AS stands for Adaptive Sailing - combine the thrill, attractiveness and performance of sailing a fast open multihull with the accessibility and safety of current Paralympic boats.
- The WindRider AS’s durability and extremely low maintenance requirements will result in a much lower cost over the long run.
- Its draft of less than 50 cm allows for racing very close to shore, making it more exciting for spectators to follow.
- It also opens up many new urban sailing areas, which cannot be used by boats with keels.
- Launching can be done from nearly any ramp or beach, reducing the burden on event organizers.
There are already over 1.500 original WindRiders 17’s in use around the world. Any existing WindRider 17 build from 2007 onwards can easily be upgraded at reasonable cost to become an AS, AS1 or AS2 version. Such older upgraded boats fitted with new sails will be just as competitive as a brand new boat. This allows potential WindRider Paralympians to use existing WindRider 17’s from a Sailability or rental fleet, or acquire an affordable second-hand WindRider 17, and by adding the ‘AS’ Upgrade Kit can compete under WindRider AS class rules.
What now follows is a report from WindRider’s European dealer who represented WindRider during both evaluation events. In total there were 3 monohulls present, being the Hansa 303, Hansa Liberty and RS Venture, and 2 multihulls, being the Weta trimaran and WindRider AS1 / AS2 trimaran.
The first test location was Malcesine, Italy. It is located on the beautiful Lake Garda. Both test days were generally quiet with less than 5 knots of wind, but with some more wind for brief periods in the afternoon (up to 10 knots). There were a number of sailors with varying types of disabilities eager to try out the boats and share their experiences.
The little Hansa boats showed their popularity in disabled sailing, as most test sailors were familiar with them already. Once they are in the water and docked, they are easy to board and to sail. They also offer a standard solution for most types of disabilities.
The two-person RS Venture was left on shore and had to be launched using the slipway. The boat shown was fitted with two seats next to one another and hand-steering. Overall the layout was tidy and the boat looked well designed. A drawback was the fact that there were no solutions presented for sailors with limited arm or hand function, and launching the boat had to be done with the sailors inside. This resulted in needing at least 4 strong people to help launch and retrieve the boat.
The Weta which similarly to the WindRider was presented as both a one-person and two-person boat had the same launch problem as the RS Venture. And although the Venture can also be docked and then boarded using a crane, with a trimaran this becomes very difficult due to its width. Because the Weta is fitted with a rudder and daggerboard that go fairly deep and the boat is very light and quite fragile, the launch and retrieval had to be done carefully and with a number of assistants. The Weta had very limited adaptive options installed. It was the standard boat designed to be sailed from the trampoline, but fitted with a seat in the center hull and two rods to allow steering by hand while facing forward. In effect it couldn’t be sailed by one disabled person to its full ability due to the lack of cleats. Most worrying was the concern that the Weta could capsize with the crew in the center cockpit. For a multihull which subsequently can turn all the way upside down this is very dangerous for a crew with limited swimming abilities or strapped inside a seat. Weta only showed the boats with a reduced size mainsail, and with the very light winds during the first trial it was not possible to truly test this though. In any case, as a two-person boat, due to the small space inside the main hull, it would mean one crew would be sitting on the trampoline and will act as ballast, reducing the risk of a capsize. This does significantly reduce the types of disabilities that are able to sail this boat though.
The WindRider was boarded while on the slipway. A single assistant could help the sailor(s) in boarding the boat and push the boat of. Due to the polyethylene hull material and its unique shape, there was no risk in damaging the rudder and a daggerboard is not present. Coming back in was just a matter of sliding the boat onto the slipway without any assistance. The WindRider AS which was presented is fully designed for adaptive sailing, with both hand steering and foot steering from either crew position. The front cockpit furthermore sports an ergonomic cleat console where all sheets, trim- and control lines come together. The WindRider saw sailors with the largest variety of types of disabilities take it out for a spin, either solo or with two. The position inside the hull, similar to the Hansa boats, in stead of sitting on top as with the RS Venture and Weta, gave the sailors a safe feeling. An automatic mast flotation device was hoisted in the mast to prevent the boat going upside down in the very unlikely event of a capsize, allowing the crew to always stay above the waterline even when strapped inside their seats.
On the water all boats performed as they were to be expected given the low to moderate wind conditions, with the multihulls obviously faster and more exciting to look at then the slower monohulls.
The second test location was in Medemblik, The Netherlands. It is located on Western Europe’s largest lake; the IJsselmeer, famous for its difficult choppy water. The first day offered moderate winds ranging from 10 to 15 knots, and on the second day the wind increased gradually to reach 20 knots with gusts up to 25 knots in the afternoon.
Apart from evaluating the boats, the second trial also allowed World Sailing to try out a new box course format, by match racing two identical boats in an upwind/downwind slalom with an added reach. This proved quite successful in terms of sailors’ expectations, tactical skill required and from a spectator’s point of view. It was certainly much better geared towards the high performance trimarans taking part, compared to the standard Olympic triangle course.
The RS team decided not to attend this second trial, so the boats which could be tested were the Hansa 303, Hansa Liberty, the Weta trimaran and the WindRider AS1 / AS2 trimaran.
The Hansa boats performed as expected. Most test sailors present were at the venue to compete in the Hansa World Championships that were to start a few days later, so they were already more than familiar with these boats. Also during the second day in which the boats and sailors would experience quite strong wind and big choppy waves, the little Hansa boats sailed the course without issues, partly due to the ease of which the mainsail and jib could be reduced in size. From a spectator’s point of view, the lack of boat speed on the water was partly made up by the variety of colorful sails.
The conditions during this second trial should have been perfect for the Weta to proof their suitability for disabled sailing. Unfortunately that was not to be the case. The two Wetas presented were not equipped with any adaptive options, and as such could not be sailed by any of the disabled test sailors present. On the first day the Weta owner and the local dealer each took a boat out, sailing them from the trampoline. On the second day they gave a great demonstration on the water by having two professional 49’er sailors race the Wetas around the buoys of the test course. Overall Weta has proven to be quite an exciting boat for abled sailors, but unfortunately have not shown any suitability whatsoever towards using the boat for disabled sailing and exacerbated the fear it could be dangerous in moderate or strong wind conditions when sailed from the center hull only.
Even though the number of test sailors present during the trials was limited, the WindRider managed to attract most of them, and in two days nine different sailors –again with a wide variety of different types of disabilities- had the chance to take out the boats, and race the course. After the first trials in Italy the WindRider was slightly adapted to reduce sheet load and to solve some annoyance with unfurling the reacher and jib. It further sported an improved hand steering solution that allowed for a quick change of steering position between the front and aft cockpit. The feedback during the second trial was 100% positive. Several of the experienced Hansa test sailors were in awe with the stability, speed and handling and praised the ergonomic layout of the sheet plan. Even during the second afternoon with quite harsh conditions the WindRiders proved to be perfect for disabled sailing. Three members of the Sailability Club from Western Australia tried the WindRider and afterwards fantasized about where to dump the boats they brought with them in a shipping container, and filling it up with WindRiders to take back to Perth in stead.
Summing it up, World sailing’s initiative to introduce new sailing classes and courses with the aim to rapidly grow the appeal and participation in disabled sailing is very positive. World Sailing will have some tough choices to make in the coming months, both in regards to which boats will keep a Paralympic status and which new boats will join or replace these. Looking at a variety of factors, such as overall cost and durability, the usability and safety for disabled sailors, attractiveness to abled sailors, level of skill required, performance, attractiveness for spectators, current fleet size, versatility for other non-regatta purposes, such as rentals or instruction, and certainly not forgetting how easy or expensive it is to transport and launch the boats for events, we can compare the different boats and identify their strong and weak points. At WindRider we may be biased towards the WindRider, but looking at the overview below, it becomes quite clear how the WindRider stands head and shoulders above its competitors, hopefully making the decision for World Sailing a lot easier.
Regardless of World Sailing’s decision and the future of Paralympic sailing after 2016, WindRider intends to take the new line up of the AS and AS1 / AS2 into production in the coming months and will continue its efforts to grow disabled sailing around the world.
Here is a submission by one of our Astus 20.2 owners.
The Mug race is a very popular sailboat race in North East Florida. It has been organized for well over a half decade by the Rudder Club. It is a distance race on the St Johns river going from Palatka to Jacksonville. This is a perfect fit for the Astus 20.2 and this year myself and a friend of mine Steven decided to give it a go.
After preparing the boat for a few days, ensuring things like having fresh layers of Hullkote and that the centerboard gasket was flat and flush, I trailered the boat to Palatka the night before. There is a hotel with a dock just by the start line. Steven and I had set out tone for the race: “Go as hard as we can, as long as it stays fun”. We had a pre-race strategy meeting at breakfast reviewing forecast, current and start. This was going to be a sunny day, with upwind legs 90% of the way and 2 current shifts.
We got the boat out well ahead of time and enjoyed navigating with the 80 or so other boats crowding the start box. We had a number of spectators on the bridge looking at the fleet in the rising sun from the bridge behind the start line. We got in a good starting position, had to duck a slower boat at the last minute but still got to a running start with good air. We watched the 30 feet race cats pull away quickly. At the first bend in the river we got our only reaching leg of the day, 20 minutes under Gennaker, peaking at 13 knots and making tons of ground on everyone. But that was just a teaser because soon we turned back north for 30 more miles of upwind leg in light air. But the wind was there, and the temperature was just right. We spent the day choosing the most favored side of the river, which changed at times. We had the boat dialed-in and the weight well forward. One of us would be lounging in the foredeck while checking gusts, current and depth charts – As we were skirting all the time with the edge of the river to stay out of the current. The second would be driving and trimming either in the cockpit or lying down on the trampoline. We commented that there were really worse ways to make your boat go fast….
We passed right by Scratch Ankle (yes that is actually a name), then the sandbar South of Green Cove which is a popular swimming and partying destination, then the Shands bridge. A couple of hours upwind of the Shands the tide reversed again and so we shifted to the middle of the river to get flushed toward the finish line. That paid-off and we made tons of ground. The wind was getting shiftier and edging the angle at which we could wear the gennaker upwind. We alternated the front sails with most of the gusts.
Soon we passed Jullington Creek and made the last turn to the finish line. We had a lot of beach cats still in view in front of us and a couple behind. We were really happy about that. The wind turned with us denying us from completely finishing under gennaker, save for the last half mile where a shift allowed us to finish –symbolically- wearing all the cloth!
Right after the finish we discussed how easy and comfortable the day was onboard. We were in good shape after 10 hours on the water. That was very nice.
We sailed back to the Rudder club, and Steven went home to his family. It was a bit crowded to put the boat on the trailer so I picked-up my overnight kit from the truck and left right after dinner to anchor in the little cove north of the Rudder Club. In the morning, it was a lot quieter and I pulled out and came home just in time to make breakfast for the family.
This was a very fun experience. Longer distance coastal day-sailing is definitely a strong point for the 20.2. We actually ended-up doing well in the race, especially in compensated time. I had some feed-back in the tone of “What is this boat and where did you guys come from?” In fairness, we had a bit of help because the really fast boats did not benefit from 3 hours of ebb at the end of the race, which catapulted some 10 boats ahead on corrected time.
All in all that was a great racing experience. Definitely something we’ll try to do again!
The photo is of Larry Knauer as he prepares to leave the "winter home" of RAVE V in Sarasota Florida to return to the midwest. Testing over the winter has resulted in reducing the sail area and identification of the need to increase the diameter of the tubular inlet on the foils which we will begin to work on in about a week.
But we can share the perspective of someone who is looking forward to owning one:
I had the special opportunity to sail the RAVE V prototype in Sarasota last month, so I wanted to add my two cents worth.
My first impression, walking along the dock toward the boat, was that the twin masts and the unique inverted V design are real attention-grabbers. And while that in itself isn’t necessarily an attribute one might pursue, it will surely be good for garnering interest among other sailors and thereby great advertising.
In about 10 knots of wind, Larry and Robert each took the boat out during three trips with adjustments to the mast rake in-between. Turns out, upwind agility in the light winds is highly sensitive to rake angle. Tacking was rather challenging in the light winds with the more forward rake, making leaving and returning to the marina a bit sporty. Before the third trip out, and half the initial forward rake adjustment removed, the boat sailed quite nicely. Later, the winds calmed such that we secured the boat and quit for the day.
Given the light winds on day two, I picked up a 70hp deckboat from Little Sarasota bay. After lunch we hooked the tow boat up to the RAVE to test foiling under tow with Larry at the helm. We brought the boat up to about 10 knots. The RAVE was riding particularly nose high, trying to fly with the forward foils dominating. I added a bit more throttle, and at about 12 knots, the port foil broke off after hitting an underwater object. Fortunately, the composite material floats and we were able to locate and retrieve the broken foil.
On day four, I got my turn at the helm, albeit with a single forward foil. The boat sails very well, points extremely high, and tacks and gybes easily. Wing-on-wing with two mainsails is quite a new experience, though I found it much more difficult to coax and retain the two sails to opposite sides of the boat than with a typical main/foresail arrangement. Larry had an easier time of it than I did. Visibility from the cockpit under the booms is spectacular, something I had worried would be sacrificed with this design. We also sailed briefly with the remaining foil retracted. In this configuration, tacking was more difficult and leeway predictably much greater. Finally, we performed an impromptu “max load test”, adding two brave souls, one to each trampoline. The boat handled just as impressively with four aboard as it did with one. Like the WR-17 the trampoline is a similarly wet place to ride.
The light winds were insufficient to get the RAVE to foil during any of our tests, so we were limited to more traditional sailing with the foils simply performing as a keel. However, in this arrangement it seemed as though we could point 25 degrees to wind—an impressive achievement. Overall, I came away excited to be an early owner of the RAVE V.
If I were a sailboat, I'd want to be in the water, my sails propelling me to an exotic port, not idling in a dock or under a tarp in a backyard. Sure, it's not always possible to take your boat out and give her the treatment she deserves (you have to pay for the darn thing after all) but there are simple ways to gain knowledge, reduce costs and increase your enjoyment of sailboat ownership.
1) Partner with a more experienced sailor. Even if you feel confident in the basics, sailing with someone more experienced will make each voyage an enriching and educational experience. Sailing know-how, the proper trim, the right gear and the best way to maintain it is knowledge that has been handed down from sailor to sailor for centuries. Keep the tradition alive.
2) Get certified by the American Sailing Association (ASA). The more comfortable you feel, the more likely you are to enjoy your sail, and classes will help you establish your confidence and a safe sailing routine.
3) Challenge yourself a little by sailing under weather conditions you might otherwise consider avoiding. Do you usually reef your main in port before going out? Try it at sea.
4) Review those anchoring drills. Learn how to drop anchor under a variety of wave and weather conditions.
5) Throw away the GPS (so to speak) and learn to navigate by the stars. A challenge? Definitely. And maybe, just maybe, a life-saver.
6) Get "knotted." Practice tying the most used knots. Basic, perhaps, but knowing your knots inside and out will save you time and improve safety.
7) Practice and practice again your rescue drills; they could be the most important skills you will ever master.
1) Share costs with a partner. Many experienced sailors do not own their own boat. They can bring knowledge along with financial benefits. Less experienced partner-sailors can keep you motivated to learn along with them. Either way, you are taking the boat out more often.
2) Getting ASA Certified may reduce your insurance costs depending on your carrier.
3) If your insurance allows it, consider offering the boat up for charters. If you are confident at the helm (and certified), you can captain these charters, or you can allow your boat to be taken out by other certified sailors.
4) If your boat is docked in or near a popular city, putting your vessel up as a potential Airbnb rental can bring in welcome cash. Again, be certain to check with your insurance company and your marina to avoid penalties.
More Fun in the Sun
1) Join your local sailing club. Clubs are usually open to sailors of all skill levels, are a great way to meet new people, and will keep you motivated to continue sailing. You may even want to join a hosted regatta or a flotilla cruise.
2) Challenge yourself by charting a new course. Many weekend sailors navigate themselves into a rut. Go where no man (or at least you) has gone before.
3) Outfit the boat for an overnight stay. At-dock camping can be fun for families. The more they enjoy the boating life, the more likely you are to sail together on weekends and vacations.
4) Do you often work from home? Head for open waters and heave-to. As long as you don't accidentally drop your laptop in the ocean, it makes for a quiet and sunny office-away-from-the-office.
5) There's nothing more romantic than a sunset cruise. Pack a picnic basket, and enjoy watching the sun dip below the horizon with your special someone.
Any or all of these tips may help you get back on the water with more comfort and greater enjoyment during your sailing season. Now, Go Sail!
Winch Handle Review: A look at 5 different handles by Harken, Anderson, Ronstan and Sea Dog
Those beautiful thousand dollar winches don’t mean much without the right winch handle. Here is an in-depth look at 5 winch handles by 4 manufacturers.
Here are the factors we are looking at:
Length --Winch handles typically come in either 8 or 10in models. All of these winch handles are the 10in models, but everything still applies for the shorter ones. We usually recommend 10in models, as giving the extra power for a longer turns is usually advantageous. However, if you have limited space, or strong and want or need to winch in quickly, the 8in ones will be better. Basically, you are sacrificing 20% more power for 20% smaller rotation.
Weight – All of these winch handles are within a few ounces of each other, so while something to consider, it should be a lower priority to ergonomics.
Grip – Single handed, double grip or the palm/speed grip. Single handed is the classic look and grip. We prefer the palm or speed grips. This allows for easy singled handed operation, but when you need to go fast or hard, the ability to put your other hand on the handle is a big benefit. The cost difference between the two styles is usually only a few dollars, so for that versatility we recommend the palm or speed grip options. The Double grip is really only necessary when you have consistent high load grinding.
Material – In this review of winch handles we are looking at aluminum, stainless steel, composite and plastic winch handles. For the most part material matter outside of look. All the materials are strong enough(outside of the Sea Dog handle, which should only be used on smaller lower load winches), and thus comes down to preference of look and feel.
Locking Mechanism – All of these are locking winch handles. You can find ones without locks for quicker insertion and removal, but we ask why? With the Harken Carbo or the Ronstan Quick release, you can easily insert or remove the handle with one hand and you run a much smaller risk of losing your 100 dollar winch handle.
Release mechanism – This is the more important for racers who need the ability to quickly and efficiently switch the winch handle from one location to another.
Price - Obviously price is important, most of these handles are within the same price range
Sea Dog Floating Winch Handle - 5th Place
9.76oz| Single Handed|Fiberglass|Plastic Square|Top Knob|$23.50
This light weight winch handle has a few good things going for it: It floats and it is cheap. If you have low load operations and frequently drop your winch handle overboard, this is the handle for you.
The plastic lock-in mechanism seems like it will easily break if not careful. The release has a fairly low turn weight, so it is easy for a thumb to switch it. The grip does have ball bearings so does rotate easily. Another nice feature is the release knob does go either way, so it is easier for lefties to use.
Who it is for: Looking for a low cost, handle that isn't worried about performance and works under low loads.
Buy it here: Sea Dog Winch Handle - 10in
Anderson Stainless Steel Winch Handle - 4th Place
15.8oz|Single Handed|Polished Stainless Steel|Metal Square|Top Knob|$70.00
This handle is for those cruisers that want their handle to match their nice chrome winches. It is low profile and fairly light weight. The locking mechanism is robust, so we don't think it would wear down easily.
The release knob on the top is quite small. It also only swings one way, so lefties will have a bit more trouble with releasing the winch handle. The grip doesn't have ball bearings, so it doesn't spin as easily as the other options in this head to head.
Who it is for:For the cruiser who is looking to match their chrome winches.
Buy it here: Anderson Stainless Winch Handle
Harken Aluminum Winch Handle - 3rd Place
17.6oz|Single Handed|Aluminum|Metal Square|Top Knob|$94.44
This is a good all around winch handle. The release knob is larger than the Anderson handle, but a bit smaller than the Sea Dog. It does go both ways, so lefties will be able to more easily release the lock. It has the most robust lock on it, but the knob is harder to turn than the other handles, so if you have weaker grip, this may not be the best option. This model is the single handed grip(they do make one that is a speed grip, that we think would be a better option). It has ball bearings so the handle spins freely.
Who it is for: Not sure. If you are brand loyal to Harken, go with the (linked here)B10ASG, which is the speed grip version of this. Otherwise go with the Ronstan Quick-lock.
Buy it here: Harken Aluminum Winch Handle
Harken Carbo OneTouch Lock-in Winch Handle - 2nd Place
20.8oz|Palm Grip|Composite|Locking Pin|Full Grip|$90.00
This is our 2nd favorite handle, and possibly, depending on use could be our #1 choice. If you always have to quickly move the handle from place to place and 1 handed operation is paramount, then this is the handle for you. It is bulkier than all the other handles, partially because the release button covers the entire length of the handle, but also we suspect is that Harken had to incorporate more material to make the composite material as strong as metal. This means that it doesn't fit in all winch handle bags.
The Harken Speed Grip is probably the best in the business. The palm portion is independent of the rest of the handle which is nice. It also has a rubber palm grip compared to the all plastic on the Ronstan.
The locking mechanism is the weak point on this winch handle. The 2 detents provide a looser fit compared to other winch handles. The small size of them, and the way they go in and out make us slightly concerned that they will wear our faster than the other locking mechanisms.
Who it is for: The racer or person that needs to quickly move their winch handle from one location to another.
Buy it here: Harken Carbo OneTouch Winch Handle
Ronstan Quick-Lock Winch Handle - Winner
18.5oz|Palm Grip|Aluminum|Auto Latch|Half Grip|$107.91
This is our favorite winch handle. It is the best all-around handle in this showdown. The quick release is 2nd easiest to use behind the Harken carbo, with easy 1 handed operation. The easiest way to release the handle is via the thumb pressing down on the release(which covers about half the handle). The latch mechanism works really well in that you don't have to push the button or turn the knob to insert it into the winch, this makes it faster and easier to do.
Its lower profile means that it fits into any handle storage container, the latch mechanism is more robust than the Harken.
We do wish that the palm grip portion had independent ball bearings and rather than a smooth plastic grip, a textured or rubber grip. Still this is our favorite.
Who it is for:A person looking for a good all around winch handle.
Buy it here: Ronstan Quick-Lock Winch Handle
Press Release Contact: Dean Sanberg, President December 31, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A. 612-338-2170
Merger of WindRider International and Nickels Boat Works
WindRider International has merged with Nickels Boat Works to provide a more comprehensive product and service lineup to the sailing community. Nickels Boat Works, with a 30-plus year history of quality boat building, is the manufacturing division for WindRider and will now build nine models of sailboats at the Flint, Michigan plant, plus import five models of sailing trimarans from Astus in France. WindRider distributes parts and accessories sailboats and now www.windrider.com will be the exclusive supplier of Nickels Boat Works parts, including parts for the Lightning, Buccaneer, Mutineer, and JY15.
Nickels Boat Works is a world-renowned builder of one-design sailboats and other fiberglass products. It is the prime supplier of the 19 foot Lightning, whose class has over 15,000 boats built since its introduction, and also builds the JY15, Buccaneer, Rebel, Mutineer and Snipe. Innovations at Nickels Boat Works include approved class refinements in hull shape and refined deck layouts resulting in World, Pan American and North American victories. WindRider trimaran models include the WR17, WR16, WRTango; plus Astus models 16.5, 18.2, 20.2, 22 and 24.
About WindRider: WindRider encourages people to Go Sail™ by providing products and online information resources that simplify the sailing experience for sailors in all stages of life. From accessible, fun sailboats and accessories to their communities of sailors interacting on-line and on-water, WindRider has everything you need to Go Sail™. Visit www.windrider.com for more information.
The RAVE V has migrated south for the winter. We ran out of warm enough weather to continue testing the boat in Ohio, so at the beginning of December we brought it with us to Sarasota, FL. Due to the St Petersburg boat show, we were only able to sail the boat twice, but we did get some positive results and learned more about the boat.
The first day of sailing the winds were blowing about 14mph. The sails were reefed from the 26ft to about 23ft in length. We were unable to get the boat to foil as we were driving the bow of the leeward ama into the water before we got sufficient speeds to foil.
After discussing the issue with Larry, we decided to try increase the rake of the masts and reef the sail more the next outing.
On the next outing we rolled the sail up further(winds were about 12-14 again), so we had about 20ft of luff and we increased rake by about 4 degrees. While sailing, we found that it performed much better in terms of the leeward bow burying, however we did run into other issues before we got fully foiling.
While we were able to get about 1/3 of the mainhull and about 1/4 of the leeward ama to raise out of the water, we weren't able to get the boat fully up. The biggest issue we encountered is that with increasing the rake of the mast and the rolling of the sail, the clew of the mainsail was too far down to be able to get sufficient tension on the mainsheet. This led to spilling of air in the leech.
We are sending the sails back to the sailmaker to have them recut the sails. We will be removing about 3ft from the foot, which will leave us with about 23ft on the luff, they will be adding a new set of reef points and adjusting the foot of the sail, so the clew rises about 3in from the tack.
We will be going back down in January for more extensive testing. While slightly disappointed that we didn't get the boat to fully foil on this trip we are encouraged overall with the boat.
There is no single trimaran that is best for everyone. Where some prefer luxury cruisers for long trips with family and friends, others might opt for a high performance racing tri for thrilling rides at breakneck speeds. With the recent spike in trimaran popularity, these days there is a perfect tri for every sailor. So to help prospective trimaran owners decide which boat is just right for them, we here at WindRider have put together a comprehensive list of the best trimarans on the market today! Read through for simple at-a-glance trimaran comparisons of boats both big and small, exhilarating and relaxing, and for all price points.
Known for their award-winning luxury trimarans, NEEL is based in La Rochelle, the capital city of sailing in France. NEEL trimarans are built for fast cruising with an average cruising speed of about 10 knots, and are even configured to facilitate that sustained speed under motor propulsion. The NEEL 45 was notably named Cruising World’s Most Innovative Vessel in 2013, and by all accounts is an easy-to-sail, high performance boat that is just plain fun.
At a glance:
Models: NEEL 45, 65
Length: 45’ – 65’
Use: Luxury cruiser
A fan favorite, Weta trimarans are fast, stable, and remarkably easy to rig. This single-sailor tri has a capacity of up to three, and the ease with which it can be transported and stored makes this a great, versatile boat for beginners. The Weta was named Sailing World’s 2010 Boat of the Year, and one ride is enough to know why: simply put, the Weta is an absolute ton of fun to sail regardless of skill level.
At a glance:
The high-end Corsair trimaran definitely holds its own in the categories of versatility, performance, and convenience. Boasting a rigging time of 30 minutes from trailer to sailor, the Corsair 42 – whose convenient folding amas makes trailering possible – is a simple option even for single sailors, though cabin space is suitable for two adults. These boats are wicked fast, capable of reaching speeds of 20+ knots, and were made for skilled sailors seeking solid construction and high performance vessels, not for beginners.
At a glance:
Models: Pulse 600, Sprint 750 MKII, Dash 750 MKII, Corsair 28, Cruze 970, Corsair 37, Corsair 42
Length: 19’8” – 37’
Use: Sports cruisers
Built for the sailor who wants to maximize the joys of sailing while minimizing any hassle, WindRider trimarans are notoriously fast, very safe, and a blast to sail from start to finish. With several models that can hold between 1 and 6 riders, including adaptive designs to allow participation from sailors of all levels of mobility, there’s something to suit every sailor’s needs. The WindRider 17, an exhilarating ride perfect for families or camper sailors, has been known to reach speeds of up to 20mph. This easy day sailor goes from trailer to sailing in under 30 minutes and is sure to fit in perfectly with whatever adventures you have planned.
At a glance:
Models: WR 16, 17, Tango, Rave V
Length: 10’11” – 18’3”
Use: Day sailor
The Danish-built Dragonfly trimarans come in a variety of models ranging from 25’ – 35’, all known for their spry performance, comfortable ride, and ease of use. Every model comes equipped with the unique “SwingWing” feature, a motorized system that can unfold the amas even while the boat is already underway – making it accessible to marinas and slips, and even makes trailering possible. Perfect for those who don’t want to sacrifice their comfort for high performance, the Dragonfly can breeze along at 13 knots while remaining one of the quietest compact cruisers out there.
At a glance:
Models: Dragonfly 25, 28, 32, 35, 1200
Length: 25’ – 39’
Use: Luxury cruiser
Designed for both safe cruising as well as for high speed racing, Catri trimarans will make your day. Especially noteworthy is the Catri 25, a stable yet wildly fast foiling trimaran with accommodations for up to 6 people. With profiles optimized for speeds of 25+ knots when foiling, this is no beginner’s sailboat. The special attention paid to stability in the foil design allows the Catri to be a single sailor vessel, even at foiling speed, with no special physical abilities. Whether you’re taking a small crew for longer rides at shuddering speeds or bringing the whole family along for a shorter, but still thrilling sail, the Catri is truly one of a kind.
At a glance:
Models: Catri 25
A popular brand of trimaran in Europe, Astus has recently made its way to the US market to the delight of sailors on this side of the pond. Designed to offer maximum pleasure with minimum hassle, all models of Astus trimarans are fast to set up, quick on the water, inherently stable, and always a joy to sail. Their outriggers are mounted on telescopic tubes for easy stowage and towing, and can even be extended and retracted on the water for access to narrow passageways and monohull slips in marinas. With models in all sizes and price points, Astus trimarans are a great option for any sailor.
At a glance:
Models: Astus 16.5, 18.2, 20.2, 22, 24
Cabin: Some models
Length: 16’ – 24’
Use: Sport cruisers
Great for beginners and adventurers alike, the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island series is nothing if not just plain fun. With the option to use as a kayak or as a very basic trimaran, the Hobie is transportable, versatile, unintimidating, lightweight, and wonderfully affordable. The pedal system known as “Mirage Drive” allows a person to pedal the kayak using their legs for an extra kick of movement in slow winds. Amas tuck close to the main hull for docking or car-topping, adding serious ease and convenience to the exhilarating experience of the Hobie.
At a glance:
Models: Hobie Mirage Adventure Island, Mirage Tandem Island
Length: 16’7” – 18’6”
Use: Convertible kayak/trimarans
Best known for its use in camp cruising excursions, the Sea Pearl offers a roomy main hull and particular ability to sail in very shallow waters, making beaching and launching a breeze. The lightweight Sea Pearl trimaran is easy to tow, and the larger-than-expected cabin opens this vessel up for overnight adventures with plenty of storage space. The simple design makes the Sea Pearl notoriously low maintenance, and the ease it takes to rig and sail it add to the overall delight of owning this boat.
At a glance:
Models: Sea Pearl
Use: Camper cruiser
Quick, lightweight, roomy, and trailerable, Farrier trimarans are made for versatility to fit every sailor’s needs. Different Farrier models are available in plan or kit boat form for those who appreciate building their boat themselves, but of course, also as the full production sail-away boat for the rest of us. Single-handed rigging and launching takes under 10 minutes from start to finish, minimizing hassle and getting you on the water fast. All non-racing Farrier designs use a minimum wind capsize speed of 30 knots or more to ensure safety for all those aboard. Add the roomy cabin and high speed capabilities to the equation and you’ve got a boat that is great fun for everyone.
At a glance:
Models: F-22, 24, 25, 82, 27, 28, 31, 9A, 9AX, 9R, 32, 33, 33R, 33ST, 36, 39, 41, 44R
Length: 23’ – 39’4”
Use: Sport cruisers/racers
One of the biggest names in the game, SeaCart is internationally noted for its high performance trimarans that far exceed expectations for a production boat of its size. The SeaCart trimaran performs as brilliantly off the water as it does on with its super-light and efficient harbor folding system, making light work of trailering. Notoriously easy to manage and maintain, the SeaCart 26 One Design is the ultimate day racing trimaran, designed for both course and inshore/coastal distance racing. Absolutely worth the international buzz it has garnered, the SeaCart is a thrill from beginning to end.
At a glance:
Models: SeaCart 26
A high performance racer class, the Multi 23 is a lightweight, powerful trimaran known for its wicked speed of up to 25 knots. Multi trimarans of both available configurations were designed to give beach cat thrills and speed without any of the stability or seaworthy concerns. Open ocean sailing is no issue for the Multi’s big bows, which do their job to keep her stable. Built for sailors with a need for speed, the Multi makes a perfect weekend boat for racers, especially those with a taste for boat camping.
At a glance:
Models: Multi 23
Another dual outrigger sailing kayak/canoe design, the Triak trimaran was designed to be effortless and fun, especially for beginners. Paddle the kayak with sails furled, use the foot pedals for an extra kick of momentum, or sail with just the mainsail – the only boat in its class to feature an asymmetrical spinnaker – for exhilarating speeds and a blast on the water. Car-top the Triak anywhere for a quick sail or plan for a week long expedition, but always count on having a great time on this easy little boat.
At a glance:
Use: Convertible kayak/trimaran
SeaRail trimarans are known for being affordable, light weight, trailerable trimarans that offer the perfect combination of exciting and relaxing experiences to a wide range of sailors. Whether it’s day sailing with your family, resort or camper sailing, SeaRail trimarans are ideal leisure vessels. Leave the hassle to the other boats – the SeaRail takes you from trailer to sailor in 15 minutes. But don’t let its reputation as a leisure tri fool you: if speed is what you want, rest assured that the SeaRail can deliver that as well.
At a glance:
Models: SeaRail 19
Use: Day sailor
Warren Lightcraft trimarans, another example of a convertible kayak-to-sailboat option, are known for their aesthetically pleasing designs that are also, as the name implies, very light for simple transportation and ease of use. Convert the kayak into a fast, high performance sailboat in just minutes, fly around on the waves all day long, then simply car-top the 68lb Warren for a maximum enjoyment, low-hassle day on the water. Perfect for sailors and paddlers of all skill levels, the Warren Lightcraft is the best of both worlds and an absolute joy to sail.
At a glance:
Models: Warren Lightcraft
Use: Convertible kayak/trimaran
Built strictly with racing in mind, the Diam 24 is a light, powerful one-design class trimaran and a notoriously exceptional performer. Boasting blistering speeds of up to 30 knots, Diam trimarans are not intended for beginners. For racers who crave the very best in terms of intense speeds, smooth handling and impeccable performance, the Diam is the red-hot one-design racing tri for you.
At a glance:
Models: Diam 24
For the sailor who prefers the finer things in life, the Radikal 26 delivers. Perfect for bringing the whole family out for a day on the water, this high performance, trailerable sailing trimaran strikes the most luxurious balance between quicksilver speeds and a smooth, comfortable ride. The Radikal 26 trimaran is as convenient to transport and set up as it is pleasant to sail, with a folding system that minimizes rigging hassle and also makes this a trailerable tri. Built for a fast and comfortable sail rather than a hold-onto-your-seats thrill, one-the-water safety and overall pleasure makes the Radikal 26 what it is.
At a glance:
Models: Radikal 26
Use: Sport cruiser
A solidly-built, single-handed trimaran, the Challenger also doubles as an adaptive design – meaning it is made to accommodate sailors of all levels of physical mobility. Best suited to lakes, the Challenger is a very safe, seaworthy boat for sailors of all ages and experience levels. Add to this the ease of owning, transporting and maintaining the Challenger trimaran and what you get is a simple, fun sailboat perfect both for beginners and those seeking a cheap thrill alike.
At a glance:
Use: Day sailor
At a glance comparison:
MODELS COST LENGTH USE CABIN ASTUS Astus 16.5, 18.2, 20.2, 22, 24 $$$$$ 16’ – 24’ Sport cruiser Some models CATRI Catri 25 $$$$$ 25’ Cruiser/racer Y CHALLENGER Challenger $$$$$ - Day sailor N CORSAIR Pulse 600, Sprint 750 MKII, Dash 750 MKII, Cruze 970, Corsair 28, 37, 42 $$$$$ 19’8” – 37’ Sport cruisers Y DIAM Diam 24 $$$$$ 24’ Racer N DRAGONFLY Dragonfly 25, 28, 32, 35, 1200 $$$$$ 25’ – 39’ Luxury cruiser Y FARRIER F-22, 24, 25, 82, 27, 28, 31, 9A, 9AX, 9R, 32, 33, 33R, 33ST, 36, 39, 41, 44R $$$$$ 23’ – 39’ 4” Sport cruisers/racers Y HOBIE Mirage Island, Mirage Tandem Island $$$$$ 16’7” – 18’6” Convertible kayak/trimarans N MULTI 23 Multi 23 $$$$$ 22’ Racer Y NEEL NEEL 45, 65 $$$$$ 44’ – 65’ Luxury cruiser Y RADIKAL 26 Radikal 26 $$$$$ 26’ Sport cruiser Y SEA PEARL Sea Pearl $$$$$ 21’ Camper cruiser Y SEACART SeaCart 26 $$$$$ 26’ Racer Y SEARAIL SeaRail 19 $$$$$ 18’ Day sailor N TRIAK Triak $$$$$ 18’ Convertible kayak/trimaran N WARREN LIGHTCRAFT Warren Lightcraft $$$$$ 15’6” Convertible kayak/trimaran N WETA Weta $$$$$ 14’5” Racer N WINDRIDER WR 16, 17, Tango, Rave V $$$$$ 10’11” – 18’3” Day sailor N
Did we miss one? Let us know. Tell us what you sail and what you like about each boat in the comments below.
This past week we finally had enough wind(about 10mph) to get the RAVE V to foil, unfortunately it only partially did. The windward side and the mainhull were rising, however, front aka was twisting causing the leeward ama and foil to change the angle of attack and actually cause negative lift. You can watch a short clip here to see it happening.
We took the masts down to add some structural reinforcement to the front aka and decided to do a tow test to otherwise test the foiling ability. The first test the front of the boat rose well, however the rudder wasn't generating the lift we needed. We took the rudder off the boat and changed the sonic tube on the foil from a 4in to a 6in tube. With this increase it generates about 2.5x more lift. We then did more tow testing the next day and the boat fully foiled.
What we learned and the tweaks we are making:
1. With the twisting in the akas we need more torsional rigidity. We will switching from 2.5in tubes and going to a custom D profile. This D profile will still allow us to telescope the amas in and out, but will provide more stiffness.
2. The rudder foil was too small, but the tubes on the main foils are just right. We will be going back to the original design of a 6in tube on the rudder foil, but keeping the 4in tube on the V-foils.
3. Sail plan was aggressive. We found that with the 26ft masts and the sails, we had too much sail area. The boat sailed better when we reefed the sails. We will be decreasing the mast length from 26ft to 23ft and decreasing the sail area.
4. The RAVE V is fastest on a close reach. Unlike the WR17, the RAVE V is fastest when sailing closer to the wind. The other interesting thing to note here is that it points about 15degrees higher than the WR17
5. Freeboard of the mainhull is too much. We will be removing between 4 and 6in of freeboard from the production boat. This will give us better clearance over the water, helping to reduce the effects of hitting waves.
6. Lowering the mainhull side V foil. To get the boat out of the water sooner and allow it to ride higher over the water, we will be lowering the main hull connection point of the main V foils. This will put about 10 more inches of foil into the water right off the bat.
7. Fixed angle of attack on the rudder. Our prototype has an adjustable rudder, but we have found that about 6degrees of angle of attack on the rudder is about perfect for all conditions. For simplicity we are looking at keeping it a fixed position instead of having it adjustable. This will mean that while sailing, you won't ever have to touch the foils, the only thing you will need to do is trim the sails and steer the boat.