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

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more