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posted Oct 2, 2018, 3:42 PM by PacificNorthWest MultihullAssoc   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 5:26 PM ]
Selling a custom-made catamaran/trimaran/proa kayak "tribrid-drive" (paddle/sail/motor) expedition vessel.

This vessel was conceived, designed and built to safely take my family of 4 out on shoreside camping adventures around the Pacific Northwest without fear of overturning and dying of hypothermia. The 13-foot beam ensures this. We have logged many thousands of trouble-free miles over 8 solid years on these boat(s)...many trips on the Salish Sea/Sunshine Coast/Desolation Sound areas, east inland on freshwater Lakes Roosevelt, Chelan, Pend Oreille, Flathead, and Hungry Horse Reservoir, and Yellowstone, a trip from San Francisco up the Delta to Stockton, and another down the Columbia to (and across) Cape Disappointment. Trips lasted from a quick weekend to several weeks each.

Kids now in college, and I am almost done building a larger custom power time to move on and sell this boat.


-Main hulls are (2) 20' 10" Seascape Expedition double kayaks with center storage hatch. These boats are a workhorse staple of the Northwest kayak touring scene, and are still made and supported. You can Google "Northwest Kayaks" for more info.

-The cheap original plastic bulkheads were removed and replaced with substantial foam/glass bulkheads to take the crossbeam loads and compartmentalize the hulls into 5 (each hull) watertight compartments.  The boat will not sink even if severely punctured.

-Amas repurposed from Hobie 14 hulls...stripped down, lowered 6 inches, and re-glassed with new foam tops/bulkheads, and stainless plates under the deck to take the load of the aka fittings.

-Boat designed around a modular system that uses standard 1.5" aluminum pipes and aluminum Speed-Rail fittings. One 3/16” allen wrench (included!) allows the lock down or release of the pipe into any of the hull or ama fittings. Careful alignment during the build allows all the pipes (crossbeams) to slide in easily, even when under load, even at sea.


Boat can be set up in 3 ways:

--- CATAMARAN. This was the original design. Two hulls and three crossbeams. As the crossbeams are NOT in plane this is by far the stiffest configuration. 4 sails, 2 pivoting leeboards and 2 motors. (One motor drives it fine but always nice to have a backup). Also a custom-made heavy-duty fiberglass "grating rack" can be installed in-between the hulls in this configuration which can be used to store massive amounts of gear and has even been used as a sleeping platform (for one person). Beam can easily be adjusted on the water for closer communication with the other boat or to come into a narrower area.

---TRIMARAN. This configuration was built from Hobie 14 hulls several years back to allow either one or two people to avoid having 2 or 3 empty seats when in catamaran mode. Boat sails very well this way with 2 sails, 2 boards and one (or 2) motors. Boat in this configuration traveled from the Grand Coulee Dam all the way up to the Canadian border on a 9-day long solo trip.

--PROA. After the trimaran configuration was proven it was found that the performance using just one ama and 2 crossbeams (proa) was surprisingly good. The weight of the extended hull is plenty to counteract the sail forces. Extra pipes were purchased to allow two 2-person proas to run at the same time, linked together via a very-duty hinge system. With the 2 boats linked the beam of the "boat" is about 20 feet, yet because of the articulation the boat does not rack in heavier water.


Boat can be paddled, sailed and/or motored:

---PADDLING. Boat is of course heavier than a simple kayak, so paddling is a bit harder, but it can be done. Boat was designed with this in mind and there is a clean sweep of the paddle on either side from all seats in any configuration.

---SAILING. Boats sails faster than you can paddle even in minimal wind speeds. High end cambered Balogh sails and proper daggerboards allow very good upwind performance. Sails are very nice and have an ingenious "zipper" reefing system that allows you to retain some semblance of sail shape (and thus boat control) in higher winds. Boat had seen 13 knots in trimaran configuration in swells off Tofino.

---MOTORING. Boat can be driven, in any configuration, at 6 knots with one (1) Honda 2 HP outboard at 2/3rds throttle. Gets about 32 miles per gallon, so all day on a gallon is quite possible. Boat comes with 2 motors and 2 adjustable aluminum/plastic mounts. I have often taken both just to have a backup motor but neither of the ultra-reliable Hondas have ever had a problem. Motors have been highly maintained with fresh fluids twice a season, and are air-cooled so there is no way for salt water to get into the block.

This is an overbuilt boat that has seen heavy water with no issues...rock solid construction. All critical bulkheads were rebuilt out of foam-core/bi-ax glass to take the loads of the large beam. Zero stress cracks in gel near fittings and no signs of any structural issues.

An article on this boat written by the builder/owner was published it the August 2011 issue of the (now dead) Sea Kayaker magazine...mostly on the design and build. I have copies of this to share, as it might shed light on the boat.


Sale Includes: Two kayaks, two amas, all poles, mounts, brackets, 4 battened sails, 4 masts, 2 custom pivoting leeboards, custom central storage/sleeping rack for use in cat mode, modified Trailex aluminum trailer (currently licensed/titled), Garmin color GPS with Salish Sea chip, emergency anchor, fuel tanks, 2 (two) Honda air-cooled long stroke outboards, 4 paddles, 4 skirts, dry bags, etc.

The only downside of this boat is that it is impossible to launch it without a bunch of people lining up and asking all about it!

Price includes a half-day session at/on the water near Seattle to show setup, sailing, usage tricks and breakdown.

If you show up with some kids who seem genuinely excited about the prospect of learning how to use these boats to navigate this area while sleeping under the stars on a pristine beach next to the salt chuck I will lower the price. I sincerely feel this vessel has been a transformative "vehicle" for my family and would like nothing more to see it used to that end in the future...

Contact David at or 206-747-4586