Above: Project Brighter World on demonstration day. The boat performed very well, sailing at windspeed even though it was about 30% heavier (due to the heavy batteries) than the normal sailing vessel design weight. The project was considered a tremendous success.
In early 2007 Impossible Pictures of London, U.K. approached me to participate in a boat demonstration using a Flettner rotor-powered trimaran. They were filming a demonstration for the Discovery Channel’s Project Earth series. Our program would be called Brighter World. Two atmospheric scientists, John Latham and Stephen Salter, had devised the Albedo effect, a way of changing the reflectivity of clouds to deflect some of the sun’s heat, cooling the oceans. It required a flotilla of vessels to seed clouds with small saltwater particles. Our trimaran would be a prototype for this type of vessel. Continue reading →
Above: The proa Slingshot was one of the true pioneers of speed, topping out at 40 knots.
There are those who believe sailing fast means advanced composites with high-tech fibers, exotic cores, and plenty of cash. Very few think of wood when they think of fast, but before carbon fiber, before Kevlar™…there was wood. Continue reading →
Above: Meade and Jan’s completed Gougmarans, shallow-draft power catamarans on Dick Newick-designed hulls.
Cover Photo: Brothers Meade & Jan Gougeon aboard their power catamarans with Dick Newick-designed hulls — GOUGMARAN and MAGIC CARPET.
In 2003, my brother Jan and I began talking about building a motorboat. This would be a first for the brothers, who up to this point have focused all our efforts on sailboats. Just a few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that we would ever take up powerboating. But time and circumstances change one’s views, especially as we enter our senior years. We have always regretted that major parts of our home waters, the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron, Michigan, have been too shallow for our sailboats. Some of the most attractive parts of the Bay with the best wildlife have been off-limits to boats that draw more than 18 inches. Continue reading →
Above: A completed L-37 multihull at the dock. Multi-Marine’s new 23′ folding trimaran kit features manufactured hull pans. The builder attaches plywood topsides to the pans.
What is the simplest way for a home builder to build a good, light hull for a catamaran or trimaran? A few years ago, we set about looking for an inexpensive way to construct a small trimaran that we had developed as a prototype. The answer we came up with was unique: to combine a fiberglass molded “pan” with plywood/glass/epoxy topsides. Continue reading →