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Saturday January 9 at 9am - Designer of the Corsair 880 w/ Minutes Appended

posted Dec 22, 2020, 5:44 PM by Mark Olsoe   [ updated Mar 9, 2021, 6:07 PM ]

We had a special guest this month in François Perus the designer of the Corsair 880 Trimaran.  It is the update and replacement for the ~13 year old Corsair 28 which was the update for the Hall of Fame Corsair/Farrier F27 designed by the late Ian Farrier.  Last meeting during our gab session F31 owner Vince wondered how cool it would be to talk to the new designer of the 880 and learn about the evolution of this popular multihull.  We said “make it happen” and he did.  Thanks so much Vince.


Since François is in France the meeting was Saturday Jan 9, at 9 am which is 6 pm in Paris.


Commodore Scott began the business part of the meeting where we elected officers for next year.  Though we had advertised to members the positions last month Scott called for any last minute volunteers.  With no reply we basically approved the slate by lack of dissension, (is that acclamation?).  Voting via zoom would have been cumbersome and time consuming.  All the officers agreed to continue in their positions though a few would appreciate someone stepping up to take their position.  The one notable exception was Paul Serafin will be filling Andrew Rice’s shoes as Membership guru.  We thanked Paul for taking on that important position.  We also thanked Andrew who has done a great job for several years.  The 2021 officers are noted at the end of this report.


Vice Commodore Diane introduced new member Dennis F who lives in Alaska.  Paul Serafin will mail a burgee to him. 


Scott spoke about the cancelled R2AK due to Covid and that we will probably not have the June meeting at the Port Townsend Yacht Club on the eve of that event.  I think we will reserve it again for 2022 though.  He spoke of the new Washington 360 race put on by the same R2AK folks at NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend.  The WA360 will not cross the covid closed Canadian border and will comply with our governor’s covid regulations.  Its course is 360 miles encircling Puget Sound from Pt Roberts to Olympia.  A cool course with a few options for competitors; Swinomish Slough vs Deception Pass, E or W of Bainbridge and Vashon Islands, etc…   There are 3 classes, Fast, Cruisers and Non sailing boats.  Unlike R2AK you can keep your motor in the boat but are DSQ if you use it.  I like Sailing Olympian Paul Elvstrom’s famous quote; “You haven't won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors”.  I think it will be as popular as the R2AK for competitors and tracker junkies alike.  Spectators too as there ought to be some beaches where you can go for a walk at the right time (check the tracker) with the hope of seeing a bit of the action.  See


A few further points of business were: 


Treasurer Mark reported the bank balance at $8249.  This is pretty high as we haven’t needed to rent the yacht club in the last year.  No discussion was had regarding this balance.  We’ll look into it after covid has subsided and we get back to normal club meetings and sailing events. 


No Safety at Sea course this year.  Some of the large races are cancelled for this coming summer due to covid.  But a lot of the races are still happening.  See racing calendar.


Diane noted the January Seattle virtual boat show has many seminars that you can join for $5 each or for $30 you can join them all or view their recordings for up to 30 days after.


  We recorded videos of some of this year’s presentations.  Some recordings are on our club’s YouTube channel at     Feel free to take a look and then we hope you will help our club by clicking to subscribe.   Andrew E noted that if we get enough subscribers to our YouTube channel we can enter the rarified universe of a “branded channel”.  I had to google that.  A branded channel can:

-  Convey to viewers when you post new videos to your channel.

-  Communicate to viewers what they can expect on your channel.

-  Allow you to seamlessly post your channel on various social media outlets.  (I wonder if we can link to our website this way)

-  Improve upload time.

-  Permit a dedicated banner and icon to make your profile stand out

-  Have a description to add useful information about your business and contact details.


Some other club presentations are recorded at


I’ll editorialize here in that It seems to me that managing multiple social platforms is not trivial and will take a dedicated effort.  But even if untended, social platforms help to send folks to our website who are interested in the club.  I’m for having them.


We heard from Stuart J. who bought Sigi’s beautiful pro built F33 a couple years ago.  He lives in Calgary but the boat is in Vancouver and he sails there when he can.  We discussed ways to make sailing easier after he noted the boat came with a Milwaukee Hole Hawg cordless drill and winch bit to raise the main halyard.  We discussed precautions to take as those can break an arm faster than you can let go of it!


Finally it was time to hear our speaker François Perus, One of the founders of YDC, the naval architecture office responsible for the new Corsair 880.  Vince gave him a nice introduction.  There is a video link on our website of the presentation.  I have also put it here; .   To find it on out website you scroll down thru the meeting announcement.  That is where this written report is archived too.  Here’s a link about François:  and his website  And here is a link to 2 boat designs of his;  


 First things first:  He likes the Polynesian heritage of these boats and the use of their terms aka, ama and vakas.  He even has designed and is having built a cool, simple light plywood 4 meter trimaran using lashings for his personal use.  It is called Kanka.   In France they use beams, floats and hulls so that’s what he uses with an occasional slip back to the old words.  He grew up sailing monohulls but after Engineering and Naval Architecture school he worked with multihull designer Tony Grainger in Australia to learn the middle ground between condo cats and 60’+ ocean racers.  He came back to France and founded his company with a partner.  He’s designed some cool looking multihulls, big and small including 42’ Blue Saga for a couple in Seattle. has technical info about this interesting sailing cat with hybrid electric propulsion.  Then François designed the Corsair Pulse 600, redesigned the 760 and now the 880.  He’s working on a new project at this time which I suppose will be up on his website when the time comes.


I can’t take notes fast enough to get all the cool tangents that evolve from these type of presentations but here’s some highlights.  You can probably parse a lot more from the video recording but that will take some effort and time.  


François started out by designing and building, with a “carpenter”, his own cat in Turkey called Pandora 850 which he still has.  Then came a couple cool looking fast cruising cats.   Corsair tapped him to do the Pulse 660 in 2015.  Then to redesign the 760 in 2017.  I guess things were going well so in 2018 they had him design the 880 to update the venerable Farrier/Corsair 27/28s.  He had cool overlays of plan and section views comparing the hull shape of the old 28 to the new 880.  The hull sides (freeboard) are raised (I think he said 6 or 7”) so the boat now has standing room.  He didn’t like the old cabin so it has a more delineated house without the sloping foredeck. He wanted the boat to look sexy.  (whodda thought a Frenchman would want that?).  I think it looks good.  Vince, who’s seen it in the flesh, says it looks as big as an F31 but isn’t, but it seems as big inside and in the cockpit.  François must be a clever designer, he certainly is a pleasant young man who enjoyed spending some time with us discussing his boats and design philosophy.


There was a comment from a member that the 880 is 1000 lbs heavier than the 28 but that was not confirmed.  It is heavier though, because of higher freeboard, more accommodation, bigger floats, etc, but is faster.  The aft seating is higher.  The floats have more than 100% buoyancy of the entire vessel.  This reduces pitchpole tendency and with the now popular reverse float bows it slices through waves better but not wetter, (see below).  There is a video of the boat sailing just after completion where it was pushed fairly hard in the moderate wind.  (At this point there was some discussion about the Corsair  Pulse 600 that his company also designed in that the 600 has 300% ama buoyancy and has been pushed very hard in the tough conditions around Hawaii where it hit 26 knots in big swells).  François has not sailed the 880 due to covid travel restrictions but others have hit 17 knots in 15 knots of wind with genaker.  It felt comfortable and in control at 20 knots boat speed.   He said when a gust hits it tends to just “glide” rather that heel over.  I assume that is the French way to say it just accelerates (planes faster) with a gust.  The mast is further back than the 28.   I don’t remember why but I think it was to make more room for accommodations but also one parameter was the ability to remove the dagger board without removing the mast and step.  The dagger does have a lot more angle than the 28.  The mast now rests on the same bulkhead as the beams.  The aft beam is now further back, (discussion on racking and float stays was here).  Corsair’s experience is those stays are needed on the older boats but on the 880 the stiffness was enough to get rid of them.  Both beams are higher and with the greater free board and the new aft beam placement spray is reduced in the cockpit despite the float axe bows.  It’s a dryer boat.   The hull is very similar to the 970 and is flatter and wider at the stern than the 28.  At rest the stern is immersed but underway this gives it a longer “virtual” water line so is faster.  He talked quite a bit about the conflicting design parameters; it has to fold for trailering, lightness for Euro/Australian roads, bigger inside, dagger easily removable.  


Members asked lots of questions which he encouraged and clearly enjoyed as they led us down various rabbit holes.  (He spoke for over 2 hours with us for goodness sake).  Some questions were:  Why it’s not designed to fold without adjusting the shrouds (can’t do that with larger volume hull and 2.5 beam limit), Is the axe bow sacrificial? (no but the first bulk head is 1.5 meter aft and that should help matters).  How about float rudders?  (can’t do it without a lot of complication that’s hard with a folding boat, plus the boat is designed for the hull to go no higher than just kissing the water and the rudder is very deep, so no need).  We also had some discussion about rudder T foils.  Due to old-guy-operator-error that Zoomed over my head, except for a comment that the new one design racing catamaran TF-35 has rudders that turn opposite directions.  That must be like those 6 wheeled military HumVees that can crab sideways.  The meeting video may reveal more than my notes here.   


Someone asked what he thought of canting masts.  I only caught that he hadn’t studied them as the really racy high tech boats have foils so they sail pretty upright and he didn’t see much need for canting.  Also a righting moment discussion was had here, which I missed while scribbling  notes.  


We asked about hitting logs & debris.  He said in some boats he’s molded a stainless steel rod at the back of the dagger board trunk which is designed to cut the dagger (so as not to breach the trunk or hull integrity) if it is slammed by an object.  I’m not sure this is in the 880.  I’ve heard that the Farrier daggers would possibly self retract if struck due to their aft slope.  I have a hard time conceptualizing this but it may be more likely with the increased slope of the 880’s daggerboard.  François didn’t mention, nor was there any discussion of this possibility.


We had some interesting discussion on design technique.  He uses some FEA (finite element analysis).  It’s expensive to use for everything on the boat though.  He also uses CFD (computational fluid dynamics) studies.  The description of the extensive destructive testing on the 880 that the factory did was pretty interesting.  François sometimes does use outside engineers to determine hull stresses, lamination schedules and such.  He was obviously impressed by the 30 year knowledge base old timers at Corsair had.  When his analysis came up with a 600 gram hull lamination schedule Corsair said we’ve been doing 500 for 30 years with no problem.  He got the ship building regulators to accept 500 due to demonstrated sufficiency of Corsair’s 30 years of manufacturing.  He admiringly acknowledged that sometimes when the old dog says ‘I think you’re gonna need a few more patches of carbon right there’, they are probably right.  It was nice to see a smart young designer that also listens to the voice of experience. 


 It was asked what he does when he gets a new commission.  Other than budget considerations he obviously asks the client what he wants the boat to do, what are the objectives.  What is the history of the clients concept or previous boats.  Then he considers looks, esthetics, as that is important to him as well as the client.  Then he dives into the engineering and renderings.


All in all this was a really fun and informative evening to get inside the head of young talented designer.  François was engaging til the end.  We thanked him profusely and wished him well as we all bid au revoir. 


In these zoom meetings you (I) just can’t catch everything.  I think I heard that next month we will have a presentation by a Caribbean-sailing couple.  Their 41’ Crowther Spindrift catamaran is for sale.  They’re sailing a Corsair 880 that was loaned to them.  Nice work if you can get it.  I hope you can join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, February 2 at 630 Seattle time.  Look for announcements a week prior from the NWMA google group, Multihull Anarchy, Cruisers Forum and the FCT (Farrier Corsair Trimaran) group on IO.  


Below are the club officers for 2021


Commodore - Scott Wallingford (continuing)

Vice Commodore - Diane Johnson (continuing)

Rear Commodore - Jeff Oaklief (continuing)

Secretary - Eric Lindahl (continuing)

Treasurer - Mark Olsoe (continuing)

Web Curator Newsletter (aka electronic media team leader) - Mark Olsoe (continuing)

Membership - Paul Serafin (new guy)

PHRF Director - Jim Miller (continuing)

PHRF Handicapper - Vince DePillis (continuing)

Race Captain - Jonathan Kalley (continuing)

Historian  (open for volunteer)

Publicity Chair (open for volunteer)

Tool Librarian - Jonathan Kalley (continuing)

Digital Team - Bill Quigley, Shaun Heublein, Jessica Aarhaus (all continuing)

Why are we meeting at 9 in the morning? Because our speaker is from France and it will be evening there.     

The Northwest Multihull Association meeting and elections will be online using the "Zoom" app, info is at end below. Plan on joining us from near and far! 

 9:00 am PST  brief club Meeting including elections, then Francois Perus, designer of the Corsair 880 trimaran will talk and be available for questions.  More at  and  François Perus: multihull designer profile - Yachting World


Virtual Brunch after presentation  

Photo from

Club Elections

Here are the officers we had this past year.  All are willing to step up again but Vince and Diane would like a break if anyone is interested in helping out.  I think any of us would step aside if someone else would like to throw their hat in the ring for any position.  None of the jobs involve much time and we are all willing to get you up to speed and help out if needed.  We would love to have more members get involved.  Please let us know if you'd like to help our club as one of these officers.

Commodore - Scott Wallingford continuing or _______you?___

Vice Commodore - Diane Johnson continuing or _______you?___

Rear Commodore - Jeff Oaklief continuing or _______you?___

Secretary - Eric Lindahl continuing or _______you?___

Treasurer - Mark Olsoe continuing or _______you?___

Web Curator (aka electronic media team leader) - Mark Olsoe continuing or _______you?___

Digital Team - Bill Quigley, Shaun Heublein, Jessica Aarhaus continuing or _______you?___

Membership - Paul Serafin (new) or _______you?___

PHRF Director - Jim Miller continuing or _______you?___

PHRF Handicapper - Vince DePillis continuing or _______you?___

Race Captain - Jonathan Kalley continuing or _______you?___

Tool Librarian - Jonathan Kalley continuing or _______you?___

Historian  _______you?___

Publicity Chair  _______you?___

Hope to see you there!

Northwest Multihull Association