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w17 trimaran plans

This is an ultra efficient, modern folding trimaran design with advanced features not found elsewhere. As WoodenBoat Magazine confirmed in their 2017 independent test report (WB#254), she is of uniquely easy construction, yet with sophisticated engineering and great looks; is easy handling and fast, yet dry and comfortable, and is more rough-water capable than most boats her size. Designed, as the ultimate fun boat for those of all ages who no longer want to hang over the rail and get soaked, by an experienced multihull sailor with over 70 years of small boat sailing and 40 years with multihulls. Be you 40 or 80, you will be thrilled (and feel secure) to sail this boat. Can be raced, day sailed or camp-cruised.The designer is proud to offer this boat in plywood as it’s still a superior material and one that is more environmentally green and recyclable than when 100% plastic. If well built and maintained, such boats can last 50 years or more. First boat has already sailed and camp-cruised nearly 2000 miles. The design is continuously supported by the well-qualified designer, through an encyclopedic website that is highly popular and appreciated worldwide for its FREE yet high quality multihull design information. Supported only by the sale of a few designs, the website offers help to all builders regardless of their design choice, so that well informed, quality information can be available to all.The W17 trimaran is now available as a plywood kit with all 17 sheets of plywood parts cut to size with CNC precision. Such kits are available in Australia, Europe (via UK) and from CLC Boats in the USA and all use quality marine plywood. Plans for assembly still come directly from the designer. Plans come complete with an richly illustrated manual of some 100 pages and the designer is only an email away if you have some unique question. Its all-round good looks, versatility and excellent performance is making this exciting boat popular world wide and plans have already sold to 33 countries. Yes, trimarans have 3 hulls and two beams to make but the work is straight forward and well explained and once completed you will own a boat that is admired by everyone who sees it. Compare and then get started .. as boat building is a wonderfully rewarding hobby that can teach you many things.

Design Specifications

Designer questionnaire at above website where plans can also be purchased .. see W17 Main Page

W17 Trimaran ashore


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W17 Estuary Sailing Trimaran - Small Trimaran Design

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W22 <strong>Sailing</strong> <strong>Trimaran</strong><br />

designed by<br />

mike waters n.a.<br />

2011<br />


www.smalltrimarandesign.com<br />

Copyright © 2011 mike waters<br />

Edition: March 31, 2011

Edition: March 31, 2011<br />

Study Profile of the W22 <strong>Sailing</strong> <strong>Trimaran</strong><br />

With the development of the <strong>W17</strong> and other projects taking much of my<br />

time, the W22 has been delayed more than I had hoped, but I'm finally<br />

making progress. As mentioned in earlier bulletins, the W22 is designed<br />

to fall in the slot between the totally open-cockpit boat (like the <strong>W17</strong> and<br />

M23) and the full-cabin boats (such as the L7, F22 and Scarab 22 etc).<br />

By selecting this niche, the boat will offer more cockpit space than the<br />

cabin boats, yet still have overnight accommodation under a closeable<br />

cuddy, with the option of fully enclosing the large cockpit with a tent for<br />

dining inside under full protection, for family and friends. By keeping the<br />

boat interior as simple is possible and (initially at least) using a proven<br />

and easy-to-use demountable system for the amas, the boat can be as<br />

light as boats of more complex hi-tech construction, and be less<br />

expensive, easier to build, and with potentially even better performance.<br />

As for all my designs, this boat will offer above average comfort,<br />

performance and dryness and is created to give an excellent return-oninvestment.<br />

The relatively simple construction system has some unique<br />

twists, and combines the best of two worlds with a rounded underwater<br />

section and spray-deflecting knuckle, with fast-to-assemble plywood<br />

panels for the topside, all sheathed for long life. All the stations and<br />

bulkheads will be available on *.dxf files for printing out full size or CNC<br />

cutting and ply panels will have developed offsets for easy fitting.<br />

As I said for the <strong>W17</strong>, many sailors are intrigued or already bitten by the<br />

multihull bug, but not everyone is ready to put thousands of hours into<br />

building, or dollars into buying boats now on the market. So for those<br />

looking for something really neat looking that will really perform in all<br />

conditions AND also be affordable, then the W22 could well be your<br />

answer. Below are her specs. and outlines.<br />

As with all my designs, I am personally looking for "Overall Performance"<br />

and by that I mean a blend of attributes that makes my boats a real<br />

pleasure to own and sail. First of all, I want them 'to feel right' and<br />

perform efficiently. I also want them cost effective, comfortable and<br />

Copyright © 2011 mike waters

drier than their competitors, and finally, provide the deep sailing<br />

satisfaction that brings the owner home with a big smile.<br />

There is something extremely satisfying about building your own boat as<br />

many in the past have learned. But there are not many new designs out<br />

there that still use familiar materials like strip cedar and marine plywood<br />

that are available almost the world over. Its combination with epoxy and<br />

glass now goes a long way to prolonging its life too if used as<br />

recommended. As for the <strong>W17</strong>, the W22 is designed with a optional<br />

rotating wingmast in mind; one that can be homebuilt from plans available<br />

to those who submit photo proof that their W22 is under construction.<br />

With space for 4–5 to daysail or for enjoying some fast sailing for 2–3,<br />

this boat will change the way you think about sailing for ever. She is<br />

unapologetically based on my 16 years of experience with "Magic Hempel"<br />

and even though I'd already sailed for 45 years when I bought her, that<br />

boat changed my sailing life in a major way and went on to inspire the<br />

W22 even after she was sold.<br />

Basic DESIGN DATA:<br />

Displacement at DWL: 1900 lbs<br />

Buoyancy of Ama: 1700 lbs<br />

Estimated weight: 1200 lbs (~545 kg)<br />

Estimated construction time: 800 hrs<br />

Estimated cost of materials: $13000-$16000<br />

depending on source and quality<br />

<strong>Design</strong>ed by: mike waters n.a.<br />

LOA: 6.74 m (22'-1")<br />

LWL: 6.70 m (22'-0")<br />

Beam sailing: 5.49 m (18'-0")<br />

Beam folded:

The molded, lower part of the main hull will be built on a simple building frame, using<br />

computer-generated faired sections and cedar strips, all epoxy sheathed.<br />


Description Quantity (main items only)<br />

Plywood 4' x 8' (1.22 m x 2.44 m) x 6 mm 22 sheets<br />

Plywood 4' x 8' (1.22 m x 2.44 m) x 4 mm 5 sheets<br />

Strip Cedar: ¾” x 3/8" 2200 lineal feet<br />

Spruce/Pine/Cedar (stringers) 60 bd-ft (0.2 cu.m)<br />

Hardwood - mahogany 10 bd-ft (0.03 cu.m)<br />

Epoxy resin & hardener, fillers 10 gallons - depending on sheathing<br />

Fibreglass cloth (6-oz) 200 sq-yd - depending on sheathing<br />

Fibreglass - 45/45 Bias and Unidirectional cloth 20 sq-yd<br />

Paint - Varnish to finish 6 gallons<br />

LIST of PLANS<br />

W22 - 01 SailPlan<br />

W22 - 02 Lower Main Hull assembly<br />

W22 - 03 Building stations for lower hull<br />

W22 - 04 Profile of Main hull<br />

W22 - 05 Centerboard Case details<br />

W22 - 06 Bulkheads and CL web<br />

W22 - 07 Deck Plan<br />

W22 - 08 Ama hulls<br />

W22 - 09 Ama bulkheads and deck<br />

W22 - 10 Cross beam sockets<br />

W22 - 11 Cockpit details<br />

W22 - 12 Cuddy<br />

W22 - 13 Centerboard, boom, waterstays &<br />

tiller<br />

W22 - 14 Rudders<br />

W22 - 15 Rigging<br />

W22 - 16 Miscellaneous<br />

  • Recommendations

W22 <strong>Sailing</strong> <strong>Trimaran</strong> designed by mike waters n.a. 2011 STUDY PROFILE www.smalltrimarandesign.com Copyright © 2011 mike waters Edition: March 31, 2011

  • Page 2 and 3: Edition: March 31, 2011 Study Profi
  • Page 4 and 5: Basic DESIGN DATA: Displacement at
  • Page 6 and 7: Edition: March 31, 2011 The molded,

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w17 trimaran plans

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More On the W17 Trimaran (Wooden Beach Tri)

by Small Tri Guy | Dec 4, 2009 | Self-built Small Trimarans , Small Tri Info - All | 0 comments

In a follow up to the last post about the coming W17 beach trimaran , here is a fuller description of this new “beach tri made with wood.” Michael Waters has posted a detailed description at SmallTrimaranDesign.com on the boat’s development.

To my knowledge, a few of the main goals for this particular design are: — Relatively modest cost — Simple construction — Nice performance while staying as dry as possible (not bad for a small, fast boat).

(For specs, plus a description of the drawings included in the plans, email mike at wate100 AT earthlink DOT net with the subject line referenced to the W17).

Here is Mike’s article/summary for the W17 …

Designing the W17 Trimaran

Once having decided that I wanted a small, inexpensive day-sailing trimaran to get out on the water as often as possible, I figured I had better use my own fairly extensive design and building experience to come up with a unique design that I could share with others. The first thing I do with ANY design is to identify the target user and the attributes that I want the boat to excel in. In this case, the user was to be me and the top attributes were to be speed, comfort, relative dryness and ease of handling, both sailing and ashore. And all this from a rather small budget along with a relatively short build time using readily available materials. Hmmm… quite a challenge!

So where to start? The budget and build time would lean me towards plywood hulls, and having already written about the various options on my website, it was pretty clear which hull shape I should consider. Something with a narrow flat bottom that was kept well below the waterline tied to flat sides that would simply divide the water without much disturbance. This would be easy to build and sit neatly on a flat surface or trailer. But would this simple shape give me enough performance to satisfy my hunger for speed and efficiency? I would have to find out.

So when I had the opportunity to test sail a small tri of this configuration, I jumped at the opportunity. A fine furniture-making contact from the North East had made a number of boats for his personal use and friends using this narrow-flat-bottom configuration and as he was looking to sail on picturesque Lake Champlain on the Vermont-New York border, it was a great fit. So last September we got together and had a great time test-sailing his little 12’ folding trimaran and talking boats. So what was the result?

Click here to read more about the W17 .

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The fast and comfortable W17 sailing trimaran

W17 Trimaran

W17 Trimaran plywood kit £3300

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Product Description

This fast, efficient, comfortable and trailerable trimaran was designed by Canadian naval architect Mike Waters. Quite a few have been built around the world. Plans have been shipped to 32 countries.

Kits include all of the plywood parts cut on our CNC machine. For shipping, the parts are left tabbed-in to the plywood sheets (18 sheets in total). Epoxy, fibreglass and solid timber is available separately. The instructions will walk you through acquiring and assembling the mast, rigging and sails and include an option for an optional 195-square-foot racing rig.

You will need to order the detailed plans and instructions from the Small Trimaran Design website . Mike Waters will be providing all technical support for builders. Contact him here with any questions .

Read more about design and construction on the official W17 page .

Many sailors are intrigued or already bitten by the multihull bug, but not everyone is ready to put thousands of hours into building a boat, or piles of cash into buying boats now on the market. For those seeking to experience the pleasures of sailing flat and fast, a beach cat has been the usual way. But though exciting, those designs do tend to be very wet, have almost no storage, are often uncomfortable and have a tendency to flip with little warning. Today, from racing around the globe to the prestigious America's Cup, winning boats are often trimarans. A small trimaran like the W17 is an attractive alternative. The W17 has been designed not only for home construction at relatively low cost, but also to improve significantly on the attributes of a beach cat without many of the disadvantages. With my own designs I am looking for overall performance. By that I mean a blend of features that makes my boats a real pleasure to own and sail. First of all, I want the boats to perform efficiently. I also want them cost effective, comfortable and drier than their competitors and to provide a sailing satisfaction that brings the lucky owners home with big smiles on their faces. I am confident that the W17 is such a boat. Whether daysailing 3-4 or enjoying ultra-fast sailing for 1-2, this boat will change the way you think about small boat sailing. This boat folds easily to only 7′ 3″ (2.2 m) – less than most day catamarans – and can be trailed on a flat-bed trailer or parked on the sand. She is stable and roomy yet still moves with the ease and feel of a thoroughbred. She is designed with a rotating wingmast in mind; one that can be homebuilt with plans available as a free bonus to those who build the W17. And I'd wager that the W17 plans and build manual are more detailed than any previous 17-footer out there on the market! So take a read through my website and give a small trimaran a try. There is something extremely satisfying about building your own boat, as so many have learned. There are not many new designs out there that use marine plywood really efficiently. The combination of plywood, epoxy and fibreglass has proven itself as light, strong and durable.

Mike Waters, W17 designer

Plywood-only kit

We do not supply a complete kit of this boat, only the pre-cut plywood panels. The plans are required to build the boat – these are available from the designer, Mike Waters .

Recommended Products

The Trika 540 trimaran can be built from plywood at home

A pretty little demountable trimaran designed for speed and easy handling by one or two people on lakes, rivers and bays.

A kayak fitted with outriggers

Sailing Outriggers

Outrigger floats to turn a canoe or kayak into a fast sailing trimaran.

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  • Fyne Boat Kits — Old Cooperage Yard, Gatebeck, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 0HW
  • Telephone: +44 (0)1539 567 148
  • Email: info [at] fyneboatkits.co.uk

Copyright © Fyne Boat Kits

Wednesday 13 August 2014

  • W17 trimaran plans

The Buccaneer 24 Trimaran 442 x 637 25 kb gif scarab 650 trimaran sports folding trimaran http Intro Part 3—W17 Trimaran Build Manual &amp; Plans Boathouse design ideas_Boat House Floor Plans House boat plans images taken from various sources for illustration only W17 trimaran plans

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Review of the W17 ..... by a noted European racer

INTRODUCTION:   In 2020, I was contacted by a Farrier racer in Germany who was interested in upscaling his F82R for race performance.  He had already built and mounted new amas of a more modern design as well as adding C-foils for added stability, so was now looking to update his rig.   With new sails planned, I ended up designing a new Mark.ll Wingmast for him and the excellent results he had with this in subsequent years led this intrepid skipper to become interested in the new design work I was undertaking, presently represented by the W17.    As an engineer with an enquiring mind, he expressed an interest to come out to North America to see and test the W17 for himself, something that I was totally supportive of.    His name is Andr é  Baetz and as there was another W17R not too far away, I organized that Andr é  and I would trail my boat out to Maine on the US East Coast, so that he would have a 2nd boat to sail and therefore not confine his input to just one source.   As Andr é is a respected and successful skipper in Europe, I consider his observations worth sharing, so after a week sailing in Maine and another two in Vermont, Andr é returned home with an agreement that I would get a report from him in the coming days or weeks.   True to his word, I now have it.

So here it is with some pics added.   I have added Andr é 's sailing bio at the end.                                                      Mike.


My Review of the W17 trimaran  ,.....   (by André Baetz,  August 2023) 

w17 trimaran plans

My very first reaction came when I prepared to lower the rudder.   Compared to my long deep transom-hung foil on my F82R, this one looked like a postage stamp!   I was told it was small to be able to sail in shallow draft but also, that because it was installed UNDER the bottom as a spade rudder, it was more efficient.  This way the bottom of the main hull works as an endplate, something which is not possible on my F82R where I partly fly the main hull. The rudder blade of the W17 also has an upper fence to cut risk of ventilation when heeled, but I was still skeptical, and rather condemned it even before trying it.

After pushing off, my first sense was that the boat was very quiet and seemed to just slip through waves like it was specially lubricated .  Rather eerie but also very satisfying. 

I have to admit that although the main hull looks like a box in section (something I had never sailed in before), as soon as I was sailing, that thought was completely erased, as the boat sails far better than any box I could have imagined!   The amas have an asymmetrical trapezoidal shape that I came to appreciate only later when working upwind and also sailing in waves .. but more on that later.       ( Image: Andr é being dropped off for a test sail )

w17 trimaran plans

Once under way, the light helm was no surprise to me either … but I have to admit, the boat responded better to that ‘pocket handkerchief of a rudder’ than I expected. Guess the effect of being tucked completely under the main hull is worth more than I first thought.   Related to any change or correction of the boats course. the rudder angle is higher than on my F82R so I still think that a rudder with the same area but of higher aspect ratio could make steering even more immediate and further reduce the drag of the boat.  Of course, that tweak will depend on whether sailing in shallow water is a requirement or not.

The rudder of the W17 still kicked up easily when it hit the bottom and this brought with it a wedge of the hull bottom .. an arrangement I had not seen before.  But with a wide alloy hinge at the deck and being pocketed in at the hull bottom, it would be even stronger than the standard 'pintles and gudgeons' used on most small boats I’d seen.

In fact, the design is bristling with new ideas which is fine with me, but only if they work better than other proven solutions.   Surprisingly, they all seemed to.

For example, the halyards that exit the mast wall are kept tight to the surface with a new circular disc cleat that Mike developed.   This allows the rope tension to ‘pinch’ the rope after one revolution, so that the small flat camcleat below it, only has to hold the end down.  It’s light, compact, low cost and fast to use and was still working well after 8 seasons of use on the designers personal boat.  

Tiller extensions are 2 meter long, but virtually unbreakable as they are inexpensive PVC tubes.  If the tiller load were high, these would not work well in compression, but the load is hardly measurable so they are a great solution for this particular boat.

Unlike most small boats with a daggerboard, this one is designed to kick back about 30 degrees, so absorbing the initial shock on any underwater obstacle. As I once sailed my rigid daggerboard onto a rock, I really like this one.   But with the slightly overlength case and slot, I was surprised how little water slopped up, as the cockpit floor is only about 5cm above the waterlevel when sailing. Although I could not see it, I was told this was mainly due to the rear of the case interior having 3 large inverted ‘teeth’ that serve to kill any synchronous slop.    If so, it’s simple and it works.

During most of the days I sailed, there was no water or spray coming on board so I’d rate the boat as much drier than most as the near vertical sides of all 3 hulls just slice through the slop and leave it remarkably undisturbed.  It has to be the main reason it’s also so quiet. Between the main hull and the amas of my own boat I always observed two waves, one from the main hull and one from the ama bow which meet in the middle of the gap between the hulls causing a wave crest. These waves just don't exist on  the W17 so I’m guessing that the wave making drag must be measureably lower.

(Image: note the low bow wave from each hull)

w17 trimaran plans

Mind you, it would be hard for me to accept that this boat would not do even better with the board fully down, but this would have to be carefully measured to be sure, as more board is more drag.    But with rounded hulls that have precious little side grip, a long board adds more lift than drag so clearly pays off.  With the W17, I am now not so sure that still applies.

I also had a day when it was blowing 20k so it was a chance to try out the storm mainsail.   On the W17, the aft-facing wingmast-tiller needs access to the boom to limit mast rotation but on this boat, the mainsail rolls around the boom.  So the designer has suggested a tight strap to go around the rolled sail, with a D-ring for attaching the mast-tiller line.   We had a prototype of this strap on-board but the high load on the tiller dragged it forward, so allowing excessive mast rotation.  But we figured out a solution,  By lashing the strap back to the outhaul, it could no longer slide forward.  That worked much better.  I could now concentrate on the reduced rig.

The boat handled this so easily that there was no panic in the strong wind and we continued to make good ground to windward.    We had strapped up the ½ furled jib to try and balance the rig but the jib partly pulled out high up, so the shape became pretty inefficient.   In the short waves, we missed a couple of tacks and had to sail in reverse to get on the new tack.  We also stuffed the bow under a couple of times in the near 1 meter waves that were also very short, but never lost way, so that ‘pocket handkerchief rudder’ continued to surprise me.  

After talking with the designer, we went out on another windy day, this time with the full jib.  He explained how it’s often beneficial to trim weight aft when tacking in waves and sure enough, I did not miss another tack after that.   So, like all new boats, there are little tricks to learn and then they become endearing to you as part of your growing unity with your boat.

w17 trimaran plans

(Image: Andre sails Magic across the bow of Merlin )

I also got to sail the boat singlehanded and the reduced displacement was immediately apparent as the boat really accelerated in the puffs in a most satisfying manner and the boat was frankly a thrill to sail like this as it demanded very little physical effort from me.   Clearly worth keeping it light.

Overall, for what is still a small boat (mine is 27ft after all), the W17 felt very stable and seemed perfectly capable of looking after me in all realistic conditions.  With her ama buoyancy well forward of the main hull buoyancy, much pitching is dampened out so pitching was never an issue in the 3 weeks I spent sailing the two boats.

There are lots of different places to sit and they are mostly very comfortable ones.  There are also no less than 8 small ‘deck’ lockers to stuff things into, excluding the two large ‘holds’ forward and aft.  All great for any future camp cruising.

I started to imagine what a larger boat with these hulls and general layout would be like and the thought is so appealing that I left thinking there might well be a W19 in my future in a few years.

Overall, this is one impressive boat and I can see why it has become so popular for older sailors who still want efficient performance without all the backache and jumping around that a mono of this length would bring.   This boat is also very different from say 'an outrigger' like the W R 17 (Windrider) as it's higher off the water, has a far more spacious cockpit, goes way better upwind and is much drier and more wave-capable too.  So where you place the ‘R’ in the designation is important.  I mention this as I have seen occasional confusion on boat Forums. What I was testing was a W17R, not a WR17 ;).    For myself, I would not consider the Cruising rig as the boat is very stable and sail area can always be reduced.  Having more for the lighter winds would be what I would be looking for, but then, I still have racing in my blood and that’s not everyone's choice.   It does after all take extra discipline to reef early.

Image: Andre returns Magic to the ramp after another day of sailing

w17 trimaran plans

So yes, after 3 weeks of playing with this new toy, I have to give this design a very positive ‘thumbs up’ and if its design goals match yours, just plan a couple of years boat building as this one is not a production boat …. at least, not yet.

Plywood kits are apparently available though: .... in Europe, Australia and North America, and the CNC tape can also be purchased individually from the designer for making a kit using your own plywood.   

As the health gurus say “JUST DO IT!”

Regards, André   


BIO of  André Baetz Ing. (European  trimaran racer)

w17 trimaran plans

Since writing this review, Andr é returned to the European racing scene and in Sept 2023, entered the most popular race in Europe, the SilverRudder … where 450 boats race the 130 miles around a large Danish island.    There were two multihull classes, “Over and Under 28ft”.  Andr é made the Small Multi group but was up against a couple of very fast demountable DIAM 24 trimarans’-  lightweight hi-tech open day boats just perfect for the moderate conditions.   In this hotly contested race and despite not having enough wind to benefit from his added foil stability, Andr é still took a 2 nd place.”

Here is the boat that Andr é owns and races in Europe .. a much modified F82R, here sporting her new sails and Mk.ll wingmast.

Congrats to Andr é once again, and many thanks for his effort to cross an ocean to check out the W17 for himself.   He said, "it was definitely worth it".

POSTSCRIPT:  Andr é and his boat Flaneur will be a major feature this fall in YACHT, one of the principal yachting magazines in Germany.

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W17 Trimaran contact

Discussion in ' Multihulls ' started by fzr1483 , Sep 22, 2018 .


fzr1483 New Member

Hi there, I have been interested in building a small, daysailor trimaran for a while with the following requirements: -must be able to single hand as I will most often be sailing with 2 toddlers as crew -relatively dry sailing. The main reason I want to build a tri, is that I'd like to have a cockpit and some dry storage. I ruled out commercially available boats like the Hobie IA, Weta (which I can't afford anyway), or beach cats for the reasons above. -LOA less than 18 ft due to workspace contraints. -trailerable and easy to launch with one adult. This requirement leads me to folding tri's with a shallow draft -intented sailing will mostly be in inland or sheltered water. However coastal capability for raid style event would be ideal. -I don't plan to race. For sailing with my girls, I'd prefer something that is lively but not difficult to handle. -self bailing cockpit i feel is crucial. I don't expect 2 toddlers to be very helpful when it comes to bailing. -since I have never built a boat before, I would be a plus if either 1) several boats have already been built, where I could find build logs or ask builders if I have wuestions or 2) the designer is actively supporting the design. My short list consists of the W-17, Strike 15, and Seaclipper 16 OC. I think all 3 boats fit the bill. I have read a few sailing reports and magazine articles on each of the boats. Any additional feedback regarding which boat may be most suitable would be greatly appreciated. Does anyone know if Mr. Mike Waters is still actively supporting the W17? Is he W17 Designer on this forum? I had submitted some questions regarding his W17 on the smalltridesign website and haven't heard back. I do really the design of the W17 and the option of a wing mast. I already know that the initial rig for whichever boat I build, will most likely be a used beach cat rig. But as an engineer, I like to geek out about the possibility of building a wing mast.  


Pshapiro New Member

I’m starting to build a W17 myself, and can confirm that Mike Waters is still actively supporting the W17, and is W17 Designer on this forum. I’ve found that he always replies to questions, but it may take a couple of days, and he seems to take weekends off. I looked at the same options you mention while trying to decide which tri I was going to build, with many of the same requirements, and ultimately decided the W17 was my best choice. My thinking on the other two ran as follows: 1. Seaclipper: I now sail a CLC kayak with their SailRig option, and after two summers with it, really miss being able to move around, so anything with kayak seating was out of the question. It’s just too limiting for me. 2. Strike 15: I went as far as buying the plans for this one, but was unable to find a lot of support from other builders, and it seemed to me that the designer sailed the prototype a few times and then sold it, so not a lot of ongoing development. I also spent a lot of time searching for the used rig components and found that the good ones available weren’t cheap. When I did a cost comparison between this design and the W17, there really wasn’t enough difference to push strongly in favor of the Strike. And once I found myself trying to modify the looks of the Strike to more closely resemble the W17, I realized that obviously the W17 was what I really wanted, so I ordered the plans from Mike Waters. While I have yet to really start construction, I can verify that his plans are incredibly detailed and his manual is very complete, and he has been quick to reply to my questions. He is actively involved with updating the plans and manual as improvements are made by other builders and himself. I still feel that I made the right decision.  


upchurchmr Senior Member

fzr, Check out this previous thread. W17 Trimaran? https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/w17-trimaran.57083/ We have similar desires. The W17 Designer replied, but I think he got irritated with me. Good luck.  

Doug Lord

Doug Lord Flight Ready

upchurchmr said: ↑ fzr, Check out this previous thread. W17 Trimaran? https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/w17-trimaran.57083/ We have similar desires. The W17 Designer replied, but I think he got irritated with me. Good luck. Click to expand...
I never worried about it while thinking about a tri. A catamaran doesn't require a big heel angle, which is all I have experience with. But I have flown a cat (daysailor) at 45 degrees, but it was just for fun, you don't sail well at such a high heel. I wouldn't want to have the ama's in the water at rest, due to poor performance in light air - which is the major way I know to reduce heel angle. Another way is to insure low total weight, so the main hull doesn't have to be fat and deep. The only other way I know is to have ama's that are relatively wide for their buoyancy, so they don't immerse deeply. But that is reported to cause a jerky ride when waves hit the ama's - not that I would care in a daysailor (I think). You'd be better off discussing this with a F-27 sailor (or 25, 24, 22, 28, etc.)  
I was just curious what you'd want in a tri. I read that you wanted a tri that would fly the main hull so I thought maybe you had given the angle some thought.......  
I just don't consider it important. People have been sailing mono's for 100's of years with varying degrees of heel. A generic tri should be less heel, until it's going upside down - not very desirable. So you will have to actively control a tri more than a mono. That is just part of the package. It's like saying you should not run a car off the road. People just accept that as part of the limits of driving a car and don't think about it much.  
thank you all for the quick responses. PShapiro, good luck on your build. Realistically, I don't believe that I will have a work space cleared out for another few months. I hope that you will have made some headway on your build by them. Then I can pick your brain if I run into any problems. Upchurchmr, your thread was one of the many that I read while doing my research. Since that post, the articles Mr. Waters referred to have been made available on his website. I have read those as well. For my SOR, I believe that ultimate performance and the ability to fly the main hull is not a very high priority. That is not to say that I wouldn't consider letting a friend, who is a much better sailor than I am, skipper and see what the boat could do. So knowing and understanding the design limits of the boat is still very useful information.  
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We all have different requirements, desires, and bias. This may be a very good boat for your SOR. Many do not need or want to fly a main hull. Some other famous designers have taken the path of relatively small amas to prevent flying. Good luck. I would suggest looking at a Cross 18, but the person who could supply plans appears to not care any more. To my knowledge no one can contact him. P.S.: I did have a conversation with a Cross 18 owner. He described sailing in a high wind when he believed he was "planning" the boat. Given the displacement hull form, I believe he had flown the main hull, noticed an increase in speed and a decrease in water noise - but didn't understand what had happened. Apparently it was not frightening or a concern in any manner. Of course, he might not have understood how close he "might have been" to flipping the boat, since the stability curve drops off fairly quickly.  


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Boat Design Net


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  1. W17 Trimaran

    The links page for all information about the W17 folding, homebuildable trimaran - concept, design, plans, build manual, boats under construction, and boats sailing. ... BUY W17 BUILDING PLANS (March 1, 2010, updated April 2020) CNC-cut Plywood Kit for the W17 (February 18, ...

  2. Intro Part 1—The W17

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    Some actually start building with them! As this is a folding trimaran, each beam (aka) is made up of 3 parts. Two curved ends and one straight part stretching over the main hull. As these beams take a high bending load, they are substantially built, using interior wood framework with an outer covering of plywood.

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    W17 Trimaran. 03-27-2023, 11:29 AM. I just enjoyed reading through Lee's thread on his build. It coincided with me bumping into the W17 ( https://smalltridesign.com) I have been reviewing designs for a while now, was enjoying reading about the Wharram cats but two wet for me.

  7. W17 trimaran

    WoodenBoat is a bimonthly magazine that delivers a blend of traditional and evolving methods of boat design, construction, repair, and related crafts—as well as profiles of unique boats and people. In each of our lavishly illustrated, carefully researched and written issues, we aim to educate and inspire our readers while conveying quality ...

  8. W17 Trimaran Sailboat Kit by SmallTrimaranDesign.com

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  9. W17 Trimaran?

    The W17 is essentially a modified Cross 18 with a more primitive Piver ama (triangle with the tip cut off. The main hull is also more primitive than a Cross18 being a simple rectangular section. The rocker is much less in a more modern style. upchurchmr, Jan 15, 2017. #4.

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    So the plans give 21-24". First work will be to use the platform for the construction of parts like bulkheads, stem-piece, central main hull web, and dagger-board case. Another plus with the W17 plans is that they include detailed nesting sheets to show how the plywood is to be laid out and cut—a great material and time saver.

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    This fast, efficient, comfortable and trailerable trimaran was designed by Canadian naval architect Mike Waters. Quite a few have been built around the world. Plans have been shipped to 32 countries. Kits include all of the plywood parts cut on our CNC machine. For shipping, the parts are left tabbed-in to the plywood sheets (18 sheets in total).

  15. W17 trimaran...What do ya think??

    But as all small multihulls (particularly trimarans) are very weight sensitive, I have suggested that if a particular owner is very heavy or expects to build heavy, then he should first contact me for my specific recommendations on this. But for 95% of cases, the updated plans and instruction will work just fine.

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  18. W17 Study Profile

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    When I did a cost comparison between this design and the W17, there really wasn't enough difference to push strongly in favor of the Strike. And once I found myself trying to modify the looks of the Strike to more closely resemble the W17, I realized that obviously the W17 was what I really wanted, so I ordered the plans from Mike Waters ...