Three Hulls on the Road - Sail Magazine

Three Hulls on the Road

To Tony Smith, the word "retirement" doesn't have quite the same connotation it might have for less energetic people. There'll be no pottering around in the garden for this longtime boatbuilder and designer. Instead, Tony and his wife Sue are heading for the Pacific Northwest, towing a 28ft Telstar trimaran that's been modified for an unusual cruise.For nearly 30 years Tony owned
Author:
Publish date:
telstar.1

To Tony Smith, the word "retirement" doesn't have quite the same connotation it might have for less energetic people. There'll be no pottering around in the garden for this longtime boatbuilder and designer. Instead, Tony and his wife Sue are heading for the Pacific Northwest, towing a 28ft Telstar trimaran that's been modified for an unusual cruise.

For nearly 30 years Tony owned Performance Cruising, the Maryland-based company that builds the ever-popular Gemini 105MC catamaran. When daughter Laura Hershfeld took over the concern last year, Tony and Sue saw an opportunity for adventure. But first, the backstory. In 1970s England, the multihull-obsessed Tony designed and built a 26ft folding-wing trimaran called the Telstar. He sold nearly 200 of these simple, quick boats before upping stakes and shipping the molds Stateside, where a vast new market awaited. To cut a long story short, the molds were destroyed in a boatyard fire and Tony started building the Gemini catamaran instead.

Although the Gemini became a great success—over 1,000 have been built—Tony never stopped thinking about the Telstar. In 2003, he finally had the time to flesh out his dream boat, and the result was the Telstar 28, a trailerable tri with folding amas. It was a clever design, but never really caught on the way it deserved to; some 60 examples were built before Tony stopped producing the Telstar last year.

Meanwhile, Tony had conceived a grand adventure: trailer a Telstar up to Alaska, then sail/tow the boat down the West Coast to the Sea of Cortez over the course of a summer. The boat’s double-digit speed potential under power or sail makes it possible to cover long distances in a short time; and sitting on its trailer, it can whizz between cruising grounds at 60mph.

Tony is an inveterate thinker and tinkerer whose love of boats in general and enthusiasm for this one in particular can’t be concealed. He spent a winter working on his Telstar and ended up with a boat that is no ordinary trailer-sailer. You don’t see many trailer-sailers equipped with a watermaker, for instance; nor with a water heater and enclosed shower.

There is more volume in the Telstar than you’d think, but stowage is always an issue on a boat this size. The watermaker precludes the need for big water tanks, which in turn frees up space for other equipment: an extra battery, charged by a pair of solar panels and feeding low-draw LED lighting, a chart plotter and sailing instruments, and a drawer-style fridge that’s tucked away under the companionway steps.

Related

SouthernOcean

The 50th Anniversary of the Golden Globe

Here we go! The 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe, the first singlehanded nonstop round-the-world race, is upon us. On July 1 one tribute event, the Golden Globe Race 2018, will start out of Les Sables d’Olonne, France, with a fleet of 19 amateur skippers setting out in ...read more

180621-X01-Landing-Page

Volvo Ocean Race Cliffhanger

After racing over 44,000 miles round the world and battling their way past the world’s great capes, including the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, it’s all come down to the final 700-mile leg from Gothenburg, Sweden, to the Hague. Brunel, Mapfre, Dongfeng: going into the ...read more

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozens of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more