Retrofitting Philosophy

Sue and I acquired our 18′ Sailbird trimaran just under 2 years ago.  At the time, we were actively kayaking and enjoying the water and outdoors together, as we we getting to know each other.  I’ve always wanted a Sailbird, and in fact, still have an old issue of Multihulls Magazine with the Sailbird ad in it, so I called Sue and told her about the boat, which we then went to go see.  The trimaran was a little rough, with a lot of low-budget fixes to damage and wear absorbed over the years, but there was definitely a diamond contained within!  We bought the boat just as the pace of our lives increased, and, aside from cataloging the repairs needed, we didn’t do much with her for a long time (I can sometimes be pretty bad about completing projects in a timely fashion).

Some of the things we need to correct are the completely missing and plugged hole that used to contain a centerboard,  replace the mainsail (the boat came with a very small mainsail and a shorter than standard mast), and basically go over everything from bow to stern!

As we are going to be doing a fair amount of adventure/expedition cruising and racing, a short rig is actually ideal, so we’ll be using the 17′ mast that came with the boat.  The hinged cross tubes are also stretched out, and I’ll need to repair or replace them.

The goal is to use as much of the boat, as we bought it, as possible.  This is for numerous reasons…. economic, the challenge, use of less material, and just the, well, elegantness of doing it this way.

We were given a mainsail from a Trac 16 catamaran that I’m going to cut down and re-sew into a square topped mainsail of just under 100 square feet.  We have the stock jib (56 square feet), and will be looking for a light air genoa, and a spinnaker or genniker.  Power will be via yuloh, oar, pole, and, of course, sail… at least during the races!

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