From the Editor: Welcome to the New Multihull Sailor - Sail Magazine

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

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more

albinheaters

Albin Pump Marine: Marine Water Heaters

IN HOT WATERSweden’s Albin Pump Marine has introduced its line of marine water heaters to the United States. Complete with 130V or 230V AC electric elements, the heaters can be plumbed into the engine cooling system. They feature ceramic-lined cylindrical tanks in 5, 8, 12 and ...read more

03-squalls4

Squall Strategies

Our first encounter with a big squall was sailing from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico. We left at 0200 to ensure we’d get into Ensenada before our 1300 haulout time. The National Weather Service had forecast consistent 15-20 knot winds from the northwest, which was perfect for the ...read more