More R2AK in Seattle

This Melvin and Morelli tri was hauled out recently in Seattle. It is intended for the R2AK race this summer.
I understand that it is all carbon fiber, which can make it light. And the amas look full length, which is good.

Now, I am assuming that the first 3/4 of the race after Victoria will basically be like sailing in the San Juans in the summer.  Light, shifty air.  Short tacking, and again, and again.  Through kelp beds.  Crew on the leeward side to drape some shape into the jib and pull the wider main hull out of the water.

If I may, those amas look to me like they were designed for tradewind conditions, not 4 knots true.  They look like they were designed by someone who had never sailed in the San Juans in the summer.   The fat waterplane down low is draggy in light wind.   And why don’t the amas join at the inboard side, instead of the middle.  That would save weight and make the beam and the join stiffer.

I would offer them some improved amas that would increase light weather speed compared to these.  They could slide right on, and even improve the BOA.  I won’t hold my breath.  With the MM plans costing 10 times what mine do, they surely have Stockholm syndrome and will ignore the physics.





11 thoughts on “More R2AK in Seattle”

  1. Fat floats probably make sense in the venue the boat was designed for in NZ. In general they have good average wind strengths. It took out a season of the competitive 8.5 class so it must have suited the task, in that locale anyway.

  2. I am a “fanboi” of you too Kurt! What you do has made it possible for many people to live out their sailing dreams at reasonable expense. Yes, you may be right on your points, but, I am no design expert. That’s why I come here… to learn. You critiques are usually spot on. The rub is that this critique assumes that M&M custom designed (for $ix figures+) this trimaran just for R2AK, and that they were incompetent in their design work of the amas, ie; “more stuff done wrong”. So, after the R2AK if the owner wanted to move to Hawaii, you would recommend using this set of amas? And then when he wants to go to So. Cal. put skinnier amas back on? Or are you telling the current owner to go home because the amas are too fat. Kurt, you are great at what you do. M&M are great at what they do. Too bad you can’t appreciate the difference. No doubt your work has influenced them sometime over the years. You both have your place. A lot of good info comes out of this blog from you and people like Owen and Dan, etc. . I just want to keep up with ALL the current trends. I have no dog in the fight. I like wood. I like carbon. It’s just so obvious that you resent M&M’s (and any other current big name) ability to charge what they do. I never heard Wharram make such insecure remarks about other designers. He was comfortable in his element and sold more plans than any other designer. No need to make it us against them. I’d like to stick around if welcome. It’s a good blog.

    1. I appreciate the follow up. Many people assume the rock stars must be perfect. I urge people to ask “what if?”. I want people to compare features and ask how they work. Maybe I wrongly assumed everybody had sailed summer in the San Juans and could relate. I think my analysis was right and am happy to debate that with anyone. No ego involved, just looking at how stuff works. And I do enjoy tweaking the rock stars. I often find people will accept inferior design if it has a famous name on it.
      I gather that you never met Wharram. At a conference in England I once asked him if the drawings on the wall behind him (Shuttleworth drawings) were his. You should have heard him shout and curse. And whatever its worth, I have done a co-presentation with Pete Melvin.

  3. I’ve no idea who TT is but he needs to take a chill pill. The boat is a bit distorted to fit the 8.5 box rule in NZ which isn’t especially favorable for trimarans due to beam restriction. The rule is based on the dimensions of a Malcolm Tennant GBE catamaran I believe but I’ve never looked into it much.

  4. Come on Kurt, tell us how you really feel!

    My take on the optimal R2AK boat is similar, unless we happen to get the unusual high wind conditions like last year. Since money is no object, carbon construction, mast & sails, PBO shrouds—- all the things sailboat racers love to spend money on.

    However a look at the additional power you could extract by carrying three crew would be worth evaluating. Think a very efficient large slow speed carbon propellor (retractable of course) with three bike racer types spelling each other on two hour shifts 24/7. Sure would speed up the light air sections and VMG. And an extra body on the windward hull would be significant on a very light carbon boat when the breeze is up.

    If you win the purse would pay for a whole new mainsail.

  5. This IS NOT an M&M tri. IT WAS purchased in New Zealand by Pete Melvin and used while he was living in NZ and writing the America’s Cup rules( I forgot, what year did you do that?). The original amas of this Tetzlaff (sp?) designed tri were replaced with the current Melvin designed amas, and used strip plank cedar. I don’t think he had R2AK in mind when designing them. But I’m sure he’ll appreciate your advise. He liked the boat enough to ship it back to the US and let his staff and son train on it and win a couple races before selling it to the person who is most likely using it for R2AK. You never miss an opportunity to talk smack about M&M, which obviously is a by-product of extreme jealousy. You chose to design mostly low-tech boats “for the rest of us”, as you say. They cater to a different client. One with deep pockets who wants the best. Every time you bag on M&M you indirectly insult those 1%ers, which may be your thing up in WA. Some people like Mc Donald’s…. Some like steak and lobster. I’ve enjoyed your blog but am sick of the Prima Dona whining. I won’t be back.

    1. i stand corrected on lineage. again i was told at the yard. and i apologise. i didn’t know discussion of various designs was sacred.

    2. and, in your opinion, those look like light weather amas? you have sailed in the San Juans in the summer yes? If I see stuff done wrong, I have to note it. And I forgot to mention, in the summer on nice days, powerboats will abound. the wakes will make a much worse snap roll from these amas than on ones intened for light weather.

    3. On reflection, TT you didn’t address any of my points. Am I wrong on any of them? If so, explain why. Being a fanboi is fine but stick to the points, if you will. I guess Stockholm syndrome is not limited to the plans buyers.

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