Tropical Sailing

I seem to have my head down this week submitting as many USCG heavier passenger documents as I can.  Pontoon boats are to blame for all this, but thats for a later time. So for now, a nice tease. Spirit of Lauderdale (formerly Yellowbird).  A KHSD 48.

And in the winter, they have the Moondance Cat (KHSD55) which normally resides in Buffalo in the summer.  And some other cat I don’t recognize (ya hear, Roger?)

Boat Insurance

I just added comprehensive and collision insurance to my liability policy with Progressive. This as the new owner wants to take a test drive of a week on the Geko. Added cost, $100, until end of November. That seems pretty damned great to me.

Basket of Sales Links

One of the best ways to see KHSD multis from far away is to see the brokers’ sites. I rarely get many pictures so this is a good way to see those pictures.  This 42 cat has been here before but  and

A CM 65 cat and—Kurt-Hughes—Custom-Catamara–97549730

a 63 cat

and my first design comission outside of my own boat, a 26 tri.

Big Amas Way Out There

This may be one of the best examples of why a trimaran needs big amas way out there.
It could happen to anyone, but a properly built KHSD tri could not push an ama under like that. Long ago when I used to sail the Shaman like a maniac I learned that first hand. We used to watch a foot or so of board sticking out the bottom of the main hull. Big amas way out there are a requirement.
I notice it is not very reefed. Another case of not playing “what-if?” I always tell people to play “what-if” on design features. Don’t accept a famous design because it is Travertine 33 or whatever. Ask “what -if” about all the features. Same thing with sailing.  What if we have to round up for some reason? How do we want to be configured when we turn the corner?

Unless its Simo, then all bets off.

New Phenomena

I get to philosophize about the biz once in a while here.
It was first brought to my attention years ago by boat guru Richard Elder that some of our customers are leaders in their fields. And by extension, they often believed that they could innately do multihull design as well as any unfamous designer. It went something like, after getting the lines, why bother to pay for what they could do as well or better just by who they were. A winner is a winner. When epoxy or the ocean proved them wrong, the bigger the ego, the happier they were to spend 10 times the amount of the skipped design fee to fix it with a sawsall. That does not happen as much anymore for a few reasons.
But a new, different and related phenomenon has begun happening more often. Several times this year already. Customers have chosen to skip paying a full design fee by hiring a kid with AutoCAD to finish the work. In every case I have seen, the results are luscious, but of course much of the work is wrong and won’t function properly. But it looks good!  Still, more often than not I end up with the shovel following the parade, cleaning up the mess.
Its not like my fees are excessive. Compared to a standard monohull design fee, or the multihull rock stars, they are low. Maybe it’s something to do with trying to help builders save money. I keep forgetting that means my design fee too? It’s a new paradigm that I have to sort out.

Faamu Sami pictures

Stumbled onto some interior and other pictures of Dick Saltonstall’s KHSD 46′ cruising tri. I had not seen the finished interior before. I like the functional look inside.  And Faamu was one of  Ocean Navigator Magazine’s top 50 yachts of 2001.′-Trimaran-1946989/United-States
and of course the rave from a couple of years ago:  I sailed on Faamu Sami, a custom Kurt Hughes 46′ tri, this past weekend and there’s no wire in the standing rigging.  BTW, the race was from Falmouth, ME to
Yarmouth, NS, 180 mi.  We set a course record lowering the time from 18 hrs 35 min to 12 hrs 20 min.  It was a blast!

Regards, Ira Heller

The Multihull Source
508 295-0095 


I had not paid attention to how many first-to-finishes Kevin Millett’s cruising boat has racked up over the last 7 years.  Kevin designed the boat, with KHSD doing the hull design. Unlike most racing multis, they also took a lap around the Pacific a few years back.  But look at these:(2010) “NAWILIWILI — Kalewa, a 50-foot cat, swooped in on the inside track, close to the jetty wall to take the lead, Thursday.
Kalewa held on to the lead through most of the race, but could not overcome its handicapping as Fast Company, piloted by Jim Saylor, settled a three-way race between the smaller boats to take the first race of the Gene Wells Memorial Series hosted by the Nawiliwili Yacht Club.
“Kalewa must have a huge, huge lead to win,” said Sharon Gibson, the NYC scorekeeper, watching the catamaran return in a strong lead position from the Ninini Point turnaround.”
and back in 2004, “Kalewa captures O’ahu-to-Kaua’i race: Kalewa, a 46-foot catamaran built by Kevin Millett, swept the Nawiliwili Yacht Club’s Kaua’i Channel Race this past weekend. Kalewa finished the race from Ko Olina, O’ahu, to Nawiliwili, Kaua’i, in 6 hours, 20 minutes, 16 seconds. In 13 previous races, the event started at the Ala Wai. Kalewa was first overall in elapsed time, time, corrected time (6:38:34) and in the multihull division in the 78-mile race.”

Kalewa sailing early on

Bulletin Board

“Mr. Hughes:
My name is Barry Neville.
I’m trying to locate Bill Anderson who built one of your catamaran designs and named it Feet.
Bill was my foreman for many years in Alameda Ca.
We were in touch by email for many years and now I am unable to contact him.
Have you heard from him? If so can you forward his new email address?
I must add the I had sailed on San Francisco Bay for more than 40 years when I took my first ride on Feet. I have never enjoyed as comfortable or as FAST a ride in my life. I still brag about it.
Thank you

Barry Neville”
See Matthew’s pictures of the boat at

Duck Dodge 1980

I stumbled onto this picture of my first tri sailing the Duck Dodge race in 1980. Note that the race is several laps long; we are not behind the fleet. And that is Chaak’s (40′ tri) spinnaker.  Most of all notice the smoke of the second Mt. St. Helens blast in the distance.

Duck Dodge and St. Helens blast