A Solid Gold Nugget

22 October 2012     Editor    0 Comments.

I saw mention of this Piver Nugget restoration at Small Trimarans.

Sailing into history; restored trimaran on bay again after 39 years

The 24-foot, multi-hulled sailboat Kaija was built by Kurt Larsen of Pleasure Point in 1964, stored for almost 40 years and given to Niels Kisling of Capitola two years ago.

Kisling, a historian for the Santa Cruz Yacht Club and board member of the Capitola Historical Museum, held court Sunday at a relaunch party outside the yacht club.

Isn’t it great that multihulls are getting to the age where they are deemed worthy of restoration? Just think, that old Piver rotting out back of your marina might be the equivalent of finding a Duesenberg in your grandfather’s barn. Well, maybe not a Duesenberg, but certainly a Model T.

It’s probably time for an Arthur Piver retrospective. Truly a multihull pioneer, Piver’s gift for promotion, design and adventure certainly put the idea into every man’s head that the sailing life wasn’t just for the rich or the wood shop wizards anymore. A stack of plywood and some extra hours of labor and presto! The yacht of your dreams could be carrying you to Tahiti.

Piver had many detractors back in the day but I give him credit for igniting the multihull fire that still burns today. Back in the ‘60’s, the allure of multihulls wasn’t just that they were fast or stable, but that they were within economic reach. “Getting the lead out” was a metaphor for more than just boats, and they suited the spirit of the times. It was really something that a backyard builder could nail together a boat that would out perform the most expensive establishment keelboats on the bay.

Searching the web for pics, I see that both Jim Brown and Gary Dierking are former Nugget owners, an experience that only urged them on with their own multihull discoveries.

As multihulls have gained the mainstream, they’ve also collected the mainstream baggage. Cats and tris are now far more expensive than monohulls for the most part, and even the America’s Cup, the most established of the establishment, is racing in cats.

As multis grow ever more complex, carbonized and expensive, I wonder if there is any room left for guys like Piver. Guys who showed us that an intelligent frugality was as good as dollars, and quite possibly, even better.

 trimarans / history