Rapido 60

When the Rapido 60 trimaran first appeared, I figured it was some kind of a joke. The styling recalled an F27 from 20 years ago. I teased that they owed Ian royalties. It’s beam overall was just over 38’, which some of mine, and most modern 40’ + trimarans, equal.  My GS 60 beam overall, from 25 years ago, in E-glass, was 44.5’. Everybody knows that when you push a multi, wide is what keeps you right side up. So making it not wide had to be something to push onto the unsuspecting, right?


Almost all the pictures I saw of them had the crazy camouflage paint so it was never clear what was going on. I figured that they were not serious and didn’t think much more about them.
It was just pointed out to me that the R60s don’t have continuous mainstrength beams. Blew me away. Followers of this over the years have seen the importance of continuous fibers, fiber orientation, co-curing of mission-critical parts, not forcing composites into sharp turns…..
And here is one design that seems to ignore all that. What gives?
And that explains the narrow overall beam. That’s the only way to keep the loads down, besides throwing carbon at the problem.

Again, I have always declared that with enough carbon and enough money, one can have almost anything designed. This seems to be a prime example.
If we assume 24,000 lbs sailing weight, and a 12’ cantilever of the beam, then hit it with a shock load on one of the beams. The moment at the root will be something like a quarter million foot pounds. If the bury is 3’, then the load to resist will be some 80,000 lbs.
No wonder it is so heavy. Yes, heavy. 20,000 lbs. lightship. It is all carbon, right? That carbon has some 5 to 7 times the modulus of E-glass. Compare to my GS60 at 13,000 lbs., as designed, in mostly E-glass.
Main point. You can’t beat a continuous D section for the most beam strength and stiffness, the least weight, and least cost to build.
And again, all boats inhabit a place on a continuum between a habitat and a vehicle.
The R60 seems a bit confused.  All the carbon tells me vehicle, but chopping up the lightest, strongest possible connecting beams to get more cabin space is right back to a 1960s Horstman; habitat.
None the less, I’m sure they will sell a lot of them. The owners can “Hey baby, I got a carbon boat.”
I prefer direct, simple solutions to magical ones.

11 thoughts on “Rapido 60”

  1. It was designed to be a 60ft Farrier – to fold in dock – but they skip that later (costs). It explains the narrow beam og that the beams are not in one piece. This is a cruiser – not a racer – so thats ok in this concept – they have interior space as a big factor. But given that – why cant they make the main-hull wider – at the floor level – they will get a lot more useful space – and still light – the main hull will be very easy to plane in speeds anyway.

  2. Horstman’s message in his designs was that thin structures are weaker. Go getting the cross arms opened up to what 3x means less of the load bearing in the narrow as a cost reduction from the standpoint of transfered to this is less carbon.

    His boats weren’t as light as they could have been but when you put them in the class of condo maran they didn’t look that bad in terms of bad windage, and weight.

    From a design standpoint the simple beam running the length of the beam has a real purity in understanding flex etc. With “newer” structural software it maybe possible to design an equivalent socket/bulkhead systems to get the same effect with a wider structure to carry the load reducing carbon requirements.

  3. I’ve wondered that, this approach to demountability seems to add a lot of weight. I’ve seen a similar structural approach taken to Three Little Birds in that case the beam inserted and was retained in a square section carbon support which was heavily laminated into the surrounding structure. I’d guess this is done in a similar way. It looked like it relied on the ring frame/bulkhead it was inserted into to distribute the loads. There is some build photos over at Aquidneck Custom boat builders: http://www.aquidneckcustom.com/shop-log/pt11-project/pt-11-construction-begins

  4. Kurt,

    Why do you always poor-mouth others designs? I read this blog every now and then and I’m confused how you treat others. Like this post nothing to say just “shit design I can do better?” Look at your boats they look like a Volkswagen KdF-Wagen from 1938.

    Performance? Have we seen your boats on big races lately? Any big achivements on 2000 centrury?

    fuck that it that and stop posting shit like this

  5. Agree with that KURT. Without your post re this design many would not have learnt all that has been posted on this particular design and other possible construction methods.
    Most interested that it was originally designed as a farrier design. Question. :: By WHOM, the same Designer?

    However the poster criticizing you has some valid points also. The present design is and has been marketed like no other designer, particularly you.

    For instance take a look at and the format with photos,

    https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=opXB55cpupX

    Perhaps if you had of done likewise with your designs, particularly your 63ft red feature design and your other successful designs then there would probably be a lot more sailing, your design skills would probably be immensely greater and larger design Trimarans would be present today.
    Most of other new designs from other designers and this design [ Rapido 60 ] started with full study plan type color CAD’S.
    3D CADS as a marketing tool to stimulate interest, attract attention, capture the imagination, motivate enquiries rather than manual drawings is a proven successful marketing strategy.

    The latest 3D CAD programmes, software are a must and automatic if one wants to be a successful yacht designer marketer selling designs, I would have thought. No offence intended KURT.
    On the side Watcher.

  6. Here is the latest entry by an Australian Designer into the DIY Southern Hemph [ Cory territory home build market that looks be hide the times. Strait cross beams.

    http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/upl/website/1500tri/15mTriRen01030_srcset-large.jpg

    http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/upl/website/1500tri/15mTriRenInt03010_srcset-large.jpg

    look forward to your analysis and opinion.

    Can’t quite understand the two entrances from the main saloon to the net seating areas. Don’t think people would be sitting there unless it’s a day charter boat, and only when motor sailing with very little sail on. How does one get from the curved mainsail track area to the main saloon interior? Does the helmsman also operate all the winches whilst helming? He would have to be pretty agile, alert and quick would they not? The berth in the floats with Toilet. In such a small area. It would pong a bit would it not. No air vents. Pitty if you wanted to use it whist sailing with the hatch closed night sailing.

    On the side watcher.

  7. Here is the latest entry by an Australian Designer into the DIY Southern Hemph [ Cory territory home build market that looks be hide the times. Strait cross beams.

    http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/upl/website/1500tri/15mTriRen01030_srcset-large.jpg

    http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/upl/website/1500tri/15mTriRenInt03010_srcset-large.jpg

    look forward to your analysis and opinion.

    Can’t quite understand the two entrances from the main saloon to the net seating areas. Don’t think people would be sitting there unless it’s a day charter boat, and only when motor sailing with very little sail on. How does one get from the curved mainsail track area to the main saloon interior? Does the helmsman also operate all the winches whilst helming? He would have to be pretty agile, alert and quick would they not? The berth in the floats with Toilet. In such a small area. It would pong a bit would it not. No air vents. Pitty if you wanted to use it whist sailing with the hatch closed night sailing.

    On the side watcher.

  8. Kurt your analysis and opinion.
    Crossbeams straight. When did they begin to reappear? Are they stronger or designed so as to be easy for the home DIY boat construction person?

  9. Not sure what you mean by straight? The key to light weight and stiffness is to have uninterrupted 0 degree fibers enough to do the job. any break in those fibers extracts a penalty in weight and/or stiffness. with enough money and carbon one can do almost anything. but continuous fibers take much less of both of them. the R60 looks to me like it was intended to be a folder, but didn’t. Seastays probably would have helped a lot too.

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