Bio Composite Materials

in my Automotive Design/Production magazine I read about a new composite being by the University of Portsmouth in UK. They are using a date palm fiber biomass for things like bumpers and liners. The products are reported to have better tensile strength and better low velocity impact strength.
Date palm fiber polycaprolactone PCL bio-composite is completely biodegradable and recyclable…”

Mechanical properties.

I get a bending strength of about 50,000 psi which is impressive.

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Technology From the Spaceship

While it is obvious all the boat tech things that have gone into the lunar lander dwelling, several ideas from that spaceship have helped my multihull design.
The first is a new view of lighting and interiors. My designs have always leaned toward vehicle and less to habitat. The interiors were flat white and throw in a few lights.
The spaceship has allowed me to take advantage of the new design freedom allowed by all the new LED offerings.


Another is the use of Foamular insulation foam for non structural core. Things like shelves or seats can use a ply/core/ply sandwich with much less cost and much easier edge finishing than the usual Tricel materials.

I read in my auto magazines that electric cars have their batteries punished by resistance electric heaters. Expect auto sized ductless heat pumps in a couple of years. I have been seeing the results firsthand at the spaceship. Energy costs are about a third of resistance heat.

52′ Tri Hound

I was shown this 52 Mcconaghy trimaran with an interesting hound arrangement. Composite rigging guru John Fanta advises against any hidden composite rigging arrangements.

It also had an oddly large masthead plate and an oddly small and badly chewed up exit for something there in the picture foreground.

Reliable LED Lights Inside

One more better equipment choice from the lunar lander dwelling project.

New LED Lights in the Bathroom.

My present battery powered LED lights in the bathroom stopped working. I will investigate, but probably the moisture.
So these are the replacements I will try.  Waterproof.  Battery powered.
Moisture is more of a problem on a boat than a spaceship even.

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Chaak Pic Again

Chaak recently popped up on the Classical Sailing Multihull page. After she ran hard on the beach, destroying the original amas, I was asked to design new amas and beams for Chaak. ’85 maybe? They have proven to be tough. It did a run to Hawaii and back. It was campaigned harder than most PNW boats at that time. I recall Tim mentioning one time when the route back from Hawaii was by way of Alaska. Tim started to realize that when the shadow parted from the boat every few waves, it meant they were airborne.

USCG aircraft above asked if then needed help. “Nope”.
I recall that there was a Constant Camber 44 designed that was supposed to beat Chaak in racing. In fact it was nicknamed “Chaakduster”. Was not even close.

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On the Way to the NEMA Event

I rode down to the event with former crew and amazing sailor David Osteen. As we were leaving a marina, he spotted an ama sandwiched up on the hard in between a dozen varied craft.
We got out for a closer look. It was my 46 performance tri design Pipe 3 (formerly Faamu Sami).  It was the first time I have seen the boat.

Quemarla Has a New Home,

Back to it’s first home after a lap around the world.

Nice note from the new owner, Paul.
“Paul Willison
January 6 at 4:46 PM
When Kurt Hughes designed this boat he really got it right. Tacking strongly into big Western Australia seas and wind. We are comfy and dry and pointing high biggest problem is trying to slow down. Thanks Kurt”

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Speaking at NEMA Dinner

A nice note from Andrew. I hope my builders in the area can show up and talk about their projects.

Kurt Hughes, Multihull Designer

Kurt Hughes, a prominent multihull designer and builder based in Seattle, Washington, will be our annual dinner speaker at the Cambria Newport Atlantic Hotel, February 2, 2019.
Kurt has a long list of significant multihull designs that are scattered around the globe, including trimarans, catamarans, and proas, both sail and motor powered. He has also lectured extensively on composite construction techniques and multihull design. He’s built three substantial trimarans – 26, 32, and 40 feet—and a 23 foot proa. And he’s applied composite boat building skills to the construction of a “lunar lander,” a “retrofuturist tiny house being built using advanced boatbuilding methods.”
Kurt will talk about the history, development and construction of his designs and take your questions about what works on the water and in the construction process.
We will also have our seasonal trophy awards, good food, a cash bar, and we expect some North Sails swag will be available. You can register at the hotel at, or call 1 401-236-2020. The hotel is giving NEMA members a special $99.00 room rate on Feb. 2, so you can check in and enjoy yourself without worrying about the drive home Saturday night. Register for the annual dinner through the website. We look forward to the annual gathering, some tall stories about the 2018 season, and seeing friends new and old.

Andrew L. Houlding ”

They have an amazingly luscious newsletter.  .

And in the group photo a ways down, what a crowd of multihull celebrities. I will be so honored to be talking to them.

Kurt Hughes on Catamarans, Trimarans, and Boat Design