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:
Updated on
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

Pestilence

Sailor-Punk and the State of Cruising

Back when I was a young man, sailing back and forth across the North Atlantic in an old fiberglass sailboat, it seemed fairly obvious to me how all that was wrong in the world might be set right. Everyone should be issued a boat at birth! Or so I declared to any who would listen ...read more

promoOnTheHorizon600x

Cats On The Horizon

Dragonfly 32 Evolution Denmark’s Quorning Boats has been systematically upgrading its line of folding, performance-cruiser trimarans in recent years as part of a long-term effort to incorporate the latest developments in yacht design, with the latest to receive this treatment ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The double range  Every skipper knows about ranging two objects in line to keep the boat on track in a cross-current. What’s less obvious is monitoring both sides of a gap such as a harbor entrance. ...read more

FamilyCruise

Bareboating on Puget Sound

Depending on where you are, Puget Sound can look no bigger than a mountainous version of the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s what I thought when I first laid eyes on it from the lighthouse at Mukilteo Park on a sunny day last July. Then I went to the top of the iconic Space Needle ...read more

Bali4point1

Boat Review: Bali 4.1

Coming fast on the heels of its predecessor, the Bali 4.0, the Bali 4.1 adds a number of improvements, many of them inspired by feedback from owners and charterers. She’s an evolution of a concept that has already proven popular and very many benefits from its builder’s ...read more

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more