My wife Laura's 16' trimaran with 84 sq.

ft. sail on a homemade unstayed mast.


Welcome to...



A Web Site For Do-It-Yourself 

Small, Homemade Trimarans


Presented by "Dr. Frank" Smoot, and

dedicated to DIY boatbuilders everywhere!


My 16' trimaran No Commotion with its

optional 124 sq. ft. rig from a Laser II.



Florida's "Sunshine Coast"

is small boat heaven!



What's On This Site:

1. Why I have come to believe that small trimarans are the only way to go. [click here]


2. A Brief History of the 15 or so homemade boats and rigs I have build over the past two years [click here]


3. Our first "trimarans"- made from kayaks (includes construction photos). click here


4. Building our first "real" trimaran: the tandem rig (includes construction photos).  click here


5. Building the first lightweight, single-seater trimaran, "No Commotion" click here


6. Building Laura's 65-lb "ultralight" trimaran - see 50 construction photos! click here


7. The Amazing "Planing Amas"- see 40 photos! click here


8. No Commotion Gets A Slick New "Sliding Aka" System! click here


5. Building my first single-seater tri, No Commotion...


- Page 3 -


Photos 21-30 Below



21 - Why are there two mast holes? I do this in all my "experimental" boats (which is

all of them) because I really don't know yet which location will be better, and because

if I add a jib, then I can shift the main mast to the aft location. Works great!


22- Rudder's not in yet, neither is the seat. But otherwise ready to go!


23. Good things really do come in small packages.


24. The first time out sailing, it went OK, but the addition of two (connected) leeboards

greatly improves tracking, pointing, and coming about (both tack and gybe).


25. Can these really be called "leeboards" if they are on both sides and go

up and down together? I wouldn't recommend this approach on a monohull,

but tris sail so flat that both boards are in use all the time.

26. These worked great, but were designed to ride too low.  They caused much

splashing at high speeds in wavy conditions. I have since reengineered them to be

3" or so higher at the low point, but still sticking just as far down into the water.

I really love being able to "fine-tune" rig balance with leeboard angle adjustments.


27. Here are the two amas I made just for my tri. They are 2" higher and 2" wider than the

earlier ones, and provide twice the flotation. They are now pretty much perfect for my tri.


28. Here's my tri with our smallest rig. It's a modified Sunfish sail, now about

74 sq ft, mounted "differently" on a carbon fiber windsurfing mast. I have eliminated

both the upper spar and the bad tack. Ugly? Yep. But I just discovered that

 Philippine Paraw trimarans all have mainsails like this. And they go fast!


29. Here's my "normal" day-to-day rig for this boat. Mainsail = 84 sq ft, jib = about

22 sq ft, for a total of about 106 sq ft. But rigging and running the jib as a fair

amount of complication without a really noticeable improvement in performance. So most

often, I just run on the main, with which I can get 12 mph in any kind of decent wind.


30. Here's the "big rig" - from a Laser II. Main = 89 sq ft, jib = 35 sq ft, for a total sail

area of 124 sq ft. Definitely quicker in less wind, but the current hull / ama combo just doesn't

seem able to use all the power this rig can deliver. It won't move the boat any faster than the

rig above (12-13 mph) which means...back to the drawing board to design my next hull!!



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