From the Editor: Welcome to the New Multihull Sailor

I distinctly remember the first time I ever sailed a cruising multihull. It was a gray summer morning on England’s south coast, and a frigid 25-knot easterly was putting the boot into a fast-running east-going tide, kicking up walls of water that clashed and fell in all directions.
Author:
Publish date:
HR1-MHS13-Bridgedeck

I distinctly remember the first time I ever sailed a cruising multihull. It was a gray summer morning on England’s south coast, and a frigid 25-knot easterly was putting the boot into a fast-running east-going tide, kicking up walls of water that clashed and fell in all directions. We, of course, were also headed east, delivering a 1980s Snowgoose catamaran from Brighton to Dover, a run of about 65 miles. I mostly recall the incessant slamming as the water pummeled the solid foredeck and low bridgedeck, and the odd, twisting motion as the confused seas pushed and pulled at the hulls. You couldn’t have picked worse conditions for an introduction to multihulls. Smart guys would have turned back, but I was with a pair of Brits. We motorsailed into the wind and rain the whole way, munching bacon sandwiches and quaffing tea by the gallon. When I gratefully stepped off in Dover I would not have cared if I’d never again set foot on a catamaran. Nor a monohull, come to that.

Twenty-five years later, I stood at the helm of a friend’s new Outremer 5X, slaloming through fields of lobster pots off the southern shore of Cape Cod Bay as we reached lazily along at 10-12 knots, feeling the boat responding to slight changes in wind strength and direction, answering immediately to the helm, and in general behaving like a boat that’s a lot of fun to sail. What a difference a few generations of boat design makes!

In between times I’ve chartered a dozen catamarans, test-sailed a bunch more, enjoyed the hell out of all the beach cats and trailerable trimarans I could get my hands on, and watched multihulls in general emerge from the shadows to become accepted as mainstream sailing boats. The same goes for my colleagues at SAIL. From revolutionary America’s Cup boats to record-setting racers to fast, comfortable cruisers to adrenaline-fueled daysailers, the multihull scene has impressed us as it overflows with energy and innovation, diversity and excitement—which is why we’ve created the publication you now have in your hands, Multihull Sailor

We’ll be back next year with issue #2. In the meantime, let us know what you think about this issue—what you want more of, what you want less of—by completing our reader survey at sailmagazine.com/mhs-survey. To purchase a copy of this issue click here.

Peter_Nielsen2011-thb95x120

Peter Nielsen is SAIL’s Editor in Chief.
He keeps his boat in Marblehead, MA
and sails wherever there are boats to
be sailed

Related

shutterstock_543237994

The Slow Route to Cabo

Each November, cruising boats start leaving California for “a winter of fun in the sun down Mexico way.” And having spent the summer and autumn on a leisurely passage down the West Coast on board Distant Drummer, our Liberty 458 sloop, my husband, Neil, and I were now in San ...read more

MHS-GMR_3549

New Multihulls 2018

Farrier F-22 New Zealander Ian Farrier ushered in a new genre of sailing with his folding-ama trailerable trimarans, the best-known of which are the Corsair designs. Farrier’s last project before he passed away last year was this sweet little tri. Available in three versions, ...read more

shutterstock_373701682

Cruising: Island Comeback

The U.S. Virgins Islands have surged back from the devastation of the 2017 hurricanes, with new infrastructure plans that will benefit charterers and cruisers alike. After hurricanes Irma and Maria roared through the Leeward Islands in September 2017, it was impossible to ...read more

albintoilet

Gear: Albin Pump Marine Toilet

Head Start Is there room for a new marine toilet? Albin Pump Marine thinks so, having just introduced its line of Swedish-built heads—ranging from compact to full-size models—to the American market. The toilets feature vitreous porcelain bowls and either wooden or thermoplastic ...read more

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more