Multihulls!

PROA FILE is devoted to design, experimenting, sailing, history and generally messing about with multihulls. Join us!

29 July 2014    3 comments

An original podcat

The 32’ Podcat was designed and built by D. Kirk Fuller in the late 1980’s. The iconoclast cat was featured in the March/April 1988 edition of Multihulls Magazine in a story written by Jim Brown. Apparently Jim and I were among the few who liked the design, because few, if any, were ever sold. Innovative in its day, the Podcat featured all composite construction with fiberglass truss beams and a carbon fiber free-standing mast. To…

 dock ranger catamarans

23 July 2014    3 comments

Proa Rig Options: Crab Claw

An overview of the potentials and problems of the remarkable rig of the native Pacific proa.

The Traditional Oceanic sprit rig (aka crab claw) has, in Western eyes, been considered a romantic if not particularly effective rig that most likely compared to the Mediterranean lateen in aerodynamic performance. That is, until famed sailboat aerodynamics researcher C. A. Marchaj published this startling graph in his research paper Planform…

 proas library crab claw

18 July 2014    0 comments

Dock Ranger: David Barker Dream Cat

Whenever we drive by a marina, we almost always have to duck in and take a quick look, to see if there are interesting multis lurking about. It’s called walking the dock, and the online version is perusing Craigslist and brokerage ads. When we stumble upon something interesting, we’ll post it here as Dock Ranger.

Sundreamer is the iconic performance cruising cat designed by New Zealand artist David Barker, and built by he and Fiona…

 dock ranger catamarans

18 July 2014    1 comments

Proa Rig Options: Overview

The proa has unique requirements for a sailboat rig, the main one being that it is reversible fore and aft. Since no Western craft have this ability, we who are developing the proa for use here in the West are truly in uncharted waters.

The obvious place to look for inspiration is with the traditional proa rig: the Oceanic sprit, developed over thousands of years of ocean voyaging by the Pacific Islanders. This rig, often called the…

 proas library

12 July 2014    1 comments

Happy is the man

Loïck Peyron: Triple winner of the Ostar, holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, champion of many other races including the Barcelona World Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre, and an America’s Cup helmsman in 2010 (Alinghi) and 2012 (Artemis). In 1986, he finished fifth overall and first in his class in the Route du Rhum (Saint Malo, France to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadalupe), despite a dismasting at the start. “One of my best races”!

After…

 trimarans reports racing just launched history

11 July 2014    1 comments

Hydrofoil Cruiser

Paul Bieker has announced this interesting new design on the Biekerboats blog. The foils resemble what is quickly becoming the standard on high performance race boats such as the A-class. We don’t think the B53 is intended to completely fly both hulls with this set up - the foils reduce displacement and provide dynamic stability.

Introducing the B53 high-performance cruising cat, just beginning construction at Gold Coast Yachts in the…

 new designs hydrofoils catamarans

08 July 2014    0 comments

The Proa File Primer

The illustrated glossary of bilaterally asymmetrical sailboats.

imageaerohydrofoil  Sailboat concept pioneered by Bernard Smith in the 1960’s and described in his seminal work The 40-Knot Sailboat. Smith’s analysis of sailboat kinetics led him to a groundbreaking design involving no traditional sail or hull, instead utilizing solid airfoils and buoyant hydrofoils, arranged in a proa-like formation. Many of today’s proa advocates credit the…

 proas library

24 April 2014    0 comments

Bit & Kontell Outrigger Pocket Cruiser

Yann Quenet has come up with a design for an 18’ sailing outrigger with some features we really like for a minimal multihull pocket cruiser.

Bit&Kontell 5.50: “Not really a cat or a tri or a proa, cruise freely combining storage volumes and light, and space for a kayak or various boards.”

He’s put the outrigger ama to good use, with the daggerboard and mizzen mounted there, as well as providing a big hatch and enough volume to carry…

 proas new designs

18 April 2014    0 comments

CHEERS poster benefit

Russell Brown at Port Townsend Watercraft is now offering posters of CHEERS to benefit the Newick family. It is a painting by Bruce Alderson depicting the proa in action, racing singlehanded across the North Atlantic in 1968. This is my favorite image of the most famous modern proa in history. The posters belonged to the late Richard C. Newick, and are in limited supply. Find out more here.

 proas history

17 March 2014    1 comments

Proa File forums spring update

Photo: Skip Johnson

Spring is in the air here in the northern latitudes - the ice is melting, trees are budding, and the forums are becoming more active. Some recent threads of interest:

Bionic Broomstick: Skip launched his 14’ proa on March 13 at Lake Somerville, Texas, for a successful first sail (nothing broke!). The boat is highly experimental and features a buoyant “floil”, stem mounted rudders and a cambered panel staysail. The…

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