Articles, and Letters, From Owners of Farrier Trimarans

I love the F -boats because of the family atmosphere that they create. Its just real easy to go fast, be comfortable, and have a great time. What convinced me to buy one initially was when I crewed for Don Wigston in Pensacola. I was sitting on the leeward bow net under the jib, eating a sandwich and calling tactics….. I thought to myself…. this CAN’T BE SAILBOAT RACING…. I’M TOO COMFORTABLE.
I took my older brother and his wife with me to the Abaccos last year on my F-31. ( He is an avid mono sailor). I told him on the way over ( as we were motoring into the wind, and current) that we would be going 20 knots, and he would be steering, and drinking a coke.. Lo and behold, at Green Turtle Key race, on the first reach, there we were,the 3 of us, with the screacher up, going 21 knots passing all those leaners about to broach…. He ordered his F- 31 on the way home.
Doug Harkrider, F-31R, Georgia, USA

I own a Farrier designed Tramp and she is the best boat I have ever owned. We had her out Wednesday night on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. The wind was a sustained 15 knots gusting to 25 and she was flying under control. I hooked my two nephews on sailing for life that night. They were stinkpotters. I have owned a Stilletto 27, a Cal 40, a Cal 25, a Southcoast 23, a Hobie 16, a Hobie 14, a Rhodes 22, a Sunfish, three canoes, a 17′ kayak and a 14′ pirogue. The Tramp is the best boat I have ever sailed.
Hugh Penn, New Orleans, USA

I find the F-9A to have everything you could ever want for coastal cruising. She is not just a weekender, but spends many days chewing up the miles to our North and South. Its the first cruising boat I have sailed that regularly gets to her destination ahead of our planned arrival.
Brad Lawson, F-9A Trillium, Maine, USA

Once again I am blown away by the fact that concerns of owners are answered promptly by the designer on the F-boat forum. Thank you again Ian (and for the joy I get from my F-27). This must be a unique situation
Barry M. Salter, F-27 #221, Silver Bear, New Hampshire, USA

There’s no better in the industry – thanks a million
Barry and Sandi Warburton, F-27 #96 Little Wing, Texas. USA

Hank Brooks’ F-31 at Rolfe Cove, San Juan Islands
..and cruising in Princess Louisa Inlet, Canada. Building your own boat can take a while, but the results can be worth it.

Email from Alex Virr, Sydney, Australia (October, 2004)

Hi Ian. I just wanted to let you how much we love our F-24 Time Out. You may recall that I was on the F-22 waiting list for a while. In June I bought an Ostac-built F-24 Mk2 (originally Trioomph, then Dog Catcher (Phil Day’s boat), then Tri’n Catcher, now Time Out). Since then we have sailed every couple of weeks and are slowing building up confidence and competence. The boat is on a swing mooring on Sydney Harbour.

One reason for buying one of your designs was their apparent ability to be both a great cruiser and a speed machine. It seemed from what I had read that they were able to fill both roles – but I wondered if it was a bit too good to be true. Time Out has demonstrated this ability beyond all reasonable expectations! This long weekend has been a perfect example.

On Sunday I took my 5 year old daughter and a friend out for a sail. The breeze was very light indeed. I sailed the boat by myself, back and forward across a convenient bit of Middle Harbour like a beach cat, while the kids sat one on each float bow and pretended to ride horses. At the end we sailed back up to the mooring and my daughter caught it without any dramas. The boat is so light and manoeuvrable that we never have any trouble in mooring.

TIME OUT on the hard and being anti-fouled in Sydney

Today I went out with 3 friends from work. The wind started at 10 knots and freshened to 15 – 20 knots from the South East. We sailed from Mosman to Balmain, mostly under main and screacher. I have never sailed so fast for so long in my life! At times we seemed to be barely in contact with the water, skimming across it without fuss – and yet the harbour was choppy from a strong breeze and lots of traffic. The feeling of smooth power was skiff-like – only of course it didn’t tip over. One of my friends is an accomplished sailor with a long history in Cherubs and Elliot sports boats. He steered for most of the time and was astonished at the boat’s speed and good manners. We all ended up with grins from ear to ear, jabbering about the wild ride.

It really is just about the perfect boat!

Many thanks

Alexander Virr
F-24 Time Out
Sydney, Australia

Email from Bevan & Barbara Crighton (September, 2003)

Hi Ian,

A long time ago (well about 2-1/2 years ago) I sent you an E-mail asking if you were “really”, “really” sure that if I followed your plans, the bunch of cardboard boxes sitting in our garage, containing sheets of Foam, Cloth, and Epoxies could be turned into one of your creations. You replied that indeed it could.

Well, just to let you know, you were right. We have just launched our F-9RX “Montrose” here in Connecticut, we still have much work to do, but decided that sailing before winter comes to New England was the highest priority. Being able to bring the boat home means that we can continue with projects in the workshop over the winter months, just rushing out to the boat for test fittings. We are still awaiting our jib furling system (due next week) we don’t have any electrics (use flashlights) but we do have a working head.

Launching went without a hitch and we are delighted with the boat, she handles so sweetly, finger tip control on the rudder. For our first sail we entered our local yacht clubs fun race and ended up with a second and first place finish. We are not racers, we are cruisers who like sailing fast, so we will not be able to send you weekly updates on our racing triumphs, but I know that we are going to have some wonderful sails on “Montrose”. We are already planning a road trip to Florida, from where we can sail over to the Bahamas.

Thanks again for a wonderful design, and for answering questions promptly when they came up. We look forward to many happy days passing mono slugs on our way to the best anchorages.

All the best,
Bevan & Barbara Crighton.
Oakdale, Connecticut

Email Forum Message from new F27 owner Jim Bathurst (January 2002)

I was out yesterday in just the conditions you described… well, OK, the wind was gusting above 30 kts. We had some really fun speed runs in the Brownsville shipping channel… very protected from the prevailing SE winds and the northers, good wind with very little wave action. From there, we went out to the Gulf – about 8′ swells, some steep and close. The F-27 handles this with no problem… we just reefed a bit more to match boat speed better with the wave action. Easier to make a fast boat go slow than vice versa.

Incidentally, the only other sailboat we saw out yesterday was a 40+’ mono sailing with just a reefed main… and yes, as we sailed by him I had one hand (fingertips!) on the tiller and a sandwich in the other. At one point, as we surfed down a wave, my wife said, “Whee, just like a roller coaster!” Tough, fun, maneuverable. Yeah, these boats can handle it. My best advice: sail one and then decide. Good luck with your buying decisions.

Happy Sails to You,
Jim Bathurst
Wide Open, F-27, Texas

Email Message from new F-28 owner Dale Paul (December, 2001)

Why I Own an F-boat

Having spent 6 years on one of Uncle Sams “Greyhounds of the Sea” (Destroyer), I have sailed the Atlantic from the Arctic Sea to South America, the Med, Caribbean, and Adriatic Seas. I have seen “Green Water” 100′ off the waterline on our bridge in the North Sea. I have seen Typhoons in the Indian Ocean. I rode out the “Perfect Storm.” I am both a Shellback and a Blue Nose. I have seen men die in the sea.

One day off the coast of Italy, we were dispatched to a sinking Italian Frigate. We pulled the stops out on the propulsion plant. As I stood there on the weather deck, watching the beautiful coastline of Southern Italy and Sicily wiz by on the deck of a 600′ ship doing 35+ knots, I could only marvel at the beauty of the sea and the sensation of this elegant craft cutting through the water, leaving a 40′ rooster tail off the fan tail. It was one of those defining moments in life that will always occupy a spot in my soul. While I have been on jet boats doing 100mph, this was a totally new sensation. The feel of something that large going that fast cannot fully be described.

Last summer, my bride and I had the thrill of going on a performance cruise on a cat out of Maui. We both fell in love with the feel of a sail boat blasting thru the waves. We were hooked. Good bye 8 knot leaner and hello F-Boat!!!

This summer, we had the opportunity to sail an F-27 as a test ride in San Francisco Bay. The feeling of this craft cutting through the water at 20+ knots reminded me of that day off the coast of Italy. Seeing a SAIL BOAT throwing a rooster tail touched my soul again. I knew I had made the right decision on purchasing an F-Boat. For those of you who have taken your boat to 20 knots, you probably know how I felt that day off the coast of Italy.

Tomorrow, I launch and christen my new F-Boat. I will not sleep tonight. My soul now has more company.

Dale Paul
F-28CC #133
San Francisco

Email Message from F-9A builder/owner Rod Tharp (August, 2001)

Last Wed. evening my wife and I took Strider out on a Wednesday night race. Typically we pick up different couples to go with us. Some times they are experienced and sometimes they are novice. This last Wed. the arrangements fell through, due to my laziness, and we were alone on the boat. No problem, I said in my usual manner. We launched late due to me being late and Susan being later.

After motoring out a ways, we raised the main and genoa and headed to the start line. The wind, which had been dead all day was building from the west and was probably hitting 15+. We reached out to the starting line at 12-15 knots and were there in plenty of time. Usually in heavier air when I can’t handle the boat by myself, my wife steers and I run the sails. When we got to the line my wife announces that she is not going to steer when the wind is blowing so hard. Later I found out that she meant that she did not want to steer at the start. I ended up steering and trying to handle the main for the whole race. Emphasis on crew communication here.

Any way at the start we were close reaching behind every one else who were fighting for the line, mostly at the boat end. I saw an opening and headed for it as the gun went off. We had two boats to leeward as we hit the line with speed and a bit of clear air. Flying Circus, an Express 37 was to leeward. We sheeted in to stay clear and pointed as high as they were and hung on. In about thirty second we rolled over them, and cracked off a bit and we were gone. The first leg was about a mile up wind. We rounded the mark with almost a 1/4 mile lead over Circus. I don’t know who started the rumor that multis can’t go to windward but they are wrong.

The next leg was dead down back to the start boat. With only two on board we did not want the spinnaker up, so we reached down wind with the main and genoa. Still well ahead we rounded the committee boat and as we headed up wind we got a tremendous over ride on the genoa sheet. This has happened before and the easy solution is to cut the sheet while tacking. I need to talk to the builder of the boat about the fairlead/winch lay out. If he wasn’t so hard headed he would fix it- but you know how builders are. Any way we tack and find that due to wind shifts we can make the windward mark on one tack. Almost that is as the wind is really fluky at the mark. With luck we just make it around with out smashing the boat on the mark.

The next leg is a reach south. The land to the west blocks the wind some but after we round the mark we have a close reach in cleaner air ( if that is possible in Budd bay). A quick look at the GPS shows 16+ knots and we feel good and are flying. After the committee boat, we head up wind again. With the pontoon buried we are moving good. We round the wind ward mark and head to the finish well ahead, of. We finished the 7.2 mile course in 1:02 with, the next boat at 1:18. That was three upwind, legs, two leeward legs (sans spin) and two reaching legs on a 31 foot boat with a crew of two. I don’t mean to rub it in to the mono guys, as they are great about letting me race, but less hassle and faster sailing is my idea of a great time!

by John Partridge, Sydney, Australia (July, 2001)

As a young lad I wasn’t much interested in boats. I loved playing football and boxing. There was not much time left for other things. But in my 20’s I bought a Soling, and I was hooked. This was followed by a Hood 23 and then a Clansman. Then a friend, Guy Keon, and I started Cavalier Yachts in a factory in the Western suburbs. My main business was a Real Estate Co. run by myself and my brother Kerry, which was called (you guessed) Partridge Bros. Real Estate. Obviously I then had a Cavalier 32, in which Guy and I did a Hobart with some friends, and then a Sydney/Mooloolaba in which we ran second on Handicap. Started doing lots of Ocean Racing. The next one was a Farr 1104, which I over rigged, and which was real fast. We won lots of races on it, the best result being in an overnighter from Sydney to Port Stevens when we got the gun over the big racer “Ragamuffin” by about 10 yards in a huge Regatta. And then won the Sydney to Pittwater Race, followed by an acceptable race to Mooloolaba again. I had owned the Roseville Bridge Marina for 20 years, and my wife Margaret and I decided to sell up and live on a farm for a while.

It was then that I found “multies”. The first was a little Farrier “Tramp” in which I tore around in Queensland from Surfers to Cairns. Then in Pittwater to where we had then moved. I approached the R.M.Y.C. for permission to start a Multihull Division in Pittwater, and the Directors agreed. And the Multihull Division was born, and has prospered to become a substantial part of our Club. Anyway the “Tramp” was quickly changed for a 24ft. catamaran in which I raced each Saturday with the R.M.Y.C. Multihull Division.

But I really wanted a fast Tri. So I bought a 26ft. Grainger Tri which I called “A.P.C.” She was extra fast, and still sails in our Division under the excellent skipper and sailor Barry Allertz. But what I really wanted was a Farrier born trimaran. There are things about their designs and sailing qualities that are quite unique. Ask anyone who owns one. My best friend and the best sailor I have ever seen is a Kurt Ottowa, our local champion. He had an F-27, but was happy to sell up and buy a new racer. We chose the F28R, and so did three other guys. So we did a deal, and ordered five of them. They arrived in due course from America, and off we all went putting them together, buying sails, an outboard motor, and all those millions of other bits and pieces that yachties need.

I can honestly say that not for one moment have any of us regretted our purchase. These yachts are blisteringly fast, easy on the helm and always feel stable. Mostly we can blitz nearly all the fleet, which contains some big and fast multihulls. The only way I would consider changing boats would be for me to buy a bigger Farrier, but I am restricted by two things…..the cost in $A against U.S. dollars is almost prohibitive, and our Waterways Authority won’t let me have a much bigger yacht on my jetty. From my wife Margaret (who does all our starts and finishes, and also our computer results, and never complains about anything) and myself, our friendship and hopes to all those multihullers whom may read this note.

Email message from Trailertri 720 owner Greg Bate
In response to discussion about high resale value on F-boat Forum

Has anyone not read Robert Kiyosaki (‘Rich man Poor man’, ‘Cashflow Quadrant’ etc.) or John Burley (Money Secrets of the Rich’). Get rid of those boats boys they’re a liability and they will eat you alive! And I’m sure that they are correct but life is short and when I get too old to sail and I reflect back on my boats and hours spent sailing I am sure that I will not begrudge a cent. Perhaps Robert or John never sailed an F-boat?

Great sail last Sunday in my old TT720 ‘Tri to Fly’, 20 kt southerly blasting out through the Clarence River bar (Yamba, NSW, Australia), surfing back in rounding up the monos’ sailing in the river and heading out and doing it again. Flew past one mono and the skipper yelled out ‘gee, you’ve got that thing cranking’. Na, just another day on my boat!

Cheers – Greg Bate, NSW, Australia

Email message from F-25C owner Matt Scharl

I recently purchased an F-25C #28 after an entire life (I am 31) of sailing 100’s of different boats from Lasers up to maxi’s, but never a tri. Three years ago I got the opportunity to sail the Chicago to Mackinaw race on a Condor 40 (Redstar), granted it was way overweight, but opened up an entire new world to me. Up until then I was sailing up to 150 races a year, but after, sailing mono’s were just not the same. In those three years I didn’t stay idle, I did 3 ironmans, 2 marathons and adventure races. I also took up the quest to find the right tri for me, I finally found the F-25C.

After a number of sails the day I had hoped for came, 20-25knts from the NE which means big waves for Chicago (6-8 feet). We (there was just two of us, but we’ve sailed 15 years together, given the choice of Mark or a crew of 3, I would take Mark) left the harbor with full main and jib, the boat handled it well, but it just seemed a little over powered, So we reefed

Once we got going again the boat was just as fast but in much better control. We sailed up wind for about an hour, during which I made a few observations. This is the most powerful boat I’ve ever been on, this is the stiffest boat I’ve been on (I am shocked that the stiffest boat I’ve sailed has 3 hulls), honestly I could not stop smiling. Upwind in 22 knots of breeze at or above 10 knots of boat speed (no speedo on boat so just a guess) into those waves. Ian, it was like riding a rodeo bronco, or more like trying to keep a chained up pit bull at bay, nothing would slow this boat down.

The access you give of yourself to your boat owners is unprecedented, thank you. I must say this turned out to be a long winded way of saying that with the F-25C you have designed a fantastic boat.

Matt Scharl, Chicago

Email message from F-27 owner David Paule

Yesterday just before we closed on the sale, the previous owner and I took some folks for a ride. The guy owns a Catalina 22, which as you probably know handles like a traditional monohull and a 16 foot Apollo dinghy (I have one too – that’s how I know them). The Apollo is light, quick, fast, responsive and agile. Sound familiar? His wife and 13 year old daughter came along.

He was amazed. He had the same expression most of the time we were out: a mix of disbelief and delight. The water is low at the local reservoir here in Colorado, and the winds were fluky due to the mountains and an approaching storm. We only got to about 8.9 kts. His wife and kid were out on the net, sometimes dangling their feet in the water but mostly just enjoying the ride. Afterwards they looked thoroughly relaxed, and he looked like he needed to get some money together to go buy a boat. He insisted on making sure that I knew how to get hold of him for crewing, when he left.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say, is “Thanks, Ian!”

Dave Paule, Second Chance, F-27 no. 80.

Email message from F-27 owner Randall Johnson

Just got back to my email after a 6 day trip to the island of Rota 75 miles north of the boats berth on the south end of Guam. I thought that I would send a short note about the fun of sailing this little F 27 in some big tradewind driven swells in the “Rota Channel.” I am still new to this multi-hull stuff so my travel speeds don’t compare with all of you more serious speedsters but I cruised north to weather averaging 9 knts. and back to Guam on a broad reach at 11 knts. (The swells were steep faced 20+ ft. and I was concerned about overtaking them and a possible pitch-pole). For the last 20 miles down the west coast of Guam I was shadowed from the swells and picked up speed to about 15 knts.

The only difficulty was that the boat is so unique that I couldn’t sit outside while moored in Rota because i couldn’t get any peace. Both adults and children wanted to wander the deck and ask questions. A spaceship wouldn’t have drawn much more attention.

Great trip, great boat, AND (and this hasn’t happened often in the 6 other boats I have owned) not a single broken or failed item on the boat!

Randall Johnson, F-27 hull #14, Guam

Email message from F-24 owner Thom Davis

Why do I love this boat? I can race competitively with only one other person without being limited. I can single hand easily despite my weaknesses (I’m getting older and my strength isn’t what it used to be). The boat handles like a dingy. I mentioned before some of the $$ reasons that I prefer the smaller boat over the longer Farriers, but it is a Farrier designed boat that provides all the same benefits (excellent resale, instant recognition, excellent construction, sound engineering…). Basically, it’s an excellent toy that I never tire of taking out of the box to play with.

Thom Davis, F 24 Mk II # 284; Puppeteer, California

News from Dean Snow, (March 2001) On his first major race in his newly launched F-9R

The Marlay Pt Race was a real “event” for us. It started off bad and got worse.

When pushing the boat off the trailer into an onshore wind on a steep ramp at Paynesville, the boat gave us a real fright by trying to tip over, it went over about 35 to 40 degrees, one of the crew gave the shroud a shove and the boat went over on the other tack, at the same angle. As this was going on the bow slipped off the guides and sat on a main hull side rail forcing this to rotate exposing an angle bracket that punctured the hull.

Launching into the straights hid the real wind strength, a strong wind gradient above acting on the wing mast, of 2.5 sq meter area, a light boat with the bow sitting on the trailer, and a steep ramp was the cause.

Taking it easy and catching up on some reading

Eleven multihulls entered, ten Farriers and one International 23 cat. We thought our main rival would be the F31R, Party Time, and the rest of the fleet 1, F24, 3, F25A, 3, 680, 1, 620 would follow. The sail up to the Marlay Pt start area was hot and slow, a gusty southerly change was expected, this became very apparent a few miles before dropping anchor, we were now doing over 20Knts, the sky to the south was turning black, raised dust miles wide with isolated dust devils.

Quickly dropping sails just in time as the change come across the lake with great violence, it was short lived, dropping to a pleasant 10 knots by start time, the disturbing point was, we were told, that this was not the change, it would come later that night!

We got off to a great start, leading the fleet by a good distance, but half way to the first mark the spinnaker in its bag blew over board, a quick bit of m.o.b drill taking no more than 15 seconds, we had it back on board. That problem was soon to fade to insignificance because of what was about to transpire, the mark we were sailing for, a flashing yellow light, had gone out!

We sailed on looking for a 300mm diameter post in the dark, to add to our frustration we noticed, red only then white nav. lights, boats were turning the unlit pile in the darkness about 2 NM behind us! The mood on the boat had gone from egotistical happiness after the m.o.b. drill, to complete and utter depression, very few words were said, most not repeatable here.

As the nice 10 knot breeze dropped to about 3 knots, leaving us to drift back to the tail end of the fleet, we didn’t even bother to replace the screacher with the more appropriate spinnaker, we thought the race was over for us.

On arrival at the unlit mark area there was one boat left out of the hundred or so boats still looking for the non existent flashing yellow light. With our spirits still low we kept passing monos, until we came across the smaller multis, suddenly our competitive spirit revived us as we realized the multis had been slowed by the light downwind conditions. It was too late to set the spinnaker, as we were about to round the bottom mark, sheeting in and continuing on the starboard tack, for a little too long, we found the end of Marlay Point! Raising the dagger board had us off quickly, we really didn’t need this!

Having rounded the last triangle mark in Lake Wellington the breeze freshened a bit , enabling good reaching conditions and passing a couple more tris we considered ourselves to be back in the race. The triangle around Lake Wellington is usually the easy part of the race, but with what had happened in the lake we were feeling a tad apprehensive about entering the 80 meter wide by 5 NM long McLennans Strait, filled from one end to the other with the slower divisions, they only had to sail across Lake Wellington, no triangle. Another hundred or so boats to pass!

Approaching the entrance there was a glow above the trees from the stern nav. lights, with no leading lights, just a flashing green light near the shore it was very easy to get disoriented, and we did, finding the bottom once again. Raising the board and sliding off we entered the strait in light reaching conditions to be confronted by wall to wall stern lights. But to our amazement the smaller masted monos were sailing the leeward side of the strait for more wind, leaving us a narrow passing lane, too easy!

You can imagine the carnage if it were on the nose, with a hundred boats darting everywhere! Some of the skippers were getting very serious, a bunch of sports boats chasing wind and the inside boat calling for water, all he got was bushes on the bank!

FULL BORE at Paynesville

With us doing about 5 knots and the strait about 5 miles long it took an hour to glide past the monos. To amuse himself, Dale, standing on the port float to get close to the boat being passed, sometimes as little as half a meter, would introduce himself, and then enquire, “are you enjoying the race”? Then as we slipped past, bid them a pleasant evening. I didn’t hear any responses from the boats we were passing, I was too busy watching for snags on starboard side, and watching the awesome sight behind us, it was like being chased through the strait by a giant gurgling Christmas tree!

Exiting the strait we asked the last mono how many boats were ahead, to our surprise they told us only two boats ahead. Now the pressure was really on, one of the boats must be the F31R, we set the spinnaker and with bursts of 16knts down Lake Victoria , passing a fast mono, only one stern light remained a few miles ahead. Entering McMillans Strait at Paynesville we lost sight of the stern light ahead, the spinnaker now becoming a hand full in a freshening southerly we changed to a genoa for the beat around Raymond Island.

Flying up wind at 14knts and then toward the finish at 21knts was a great consolation for what had happened during the race, but having not caught the light ahead we resigned ourselves to the fact that we were second over the line.

We tied up quietly and had some much needed sleep after a very stressful night. But after seeing times the next day it became apparent we had been chasing a ghost ship, we crossed the line first about half an hour before the next boat Sidefx To an F24 MK II. So the morale of the story is, THE SHOW AIN’T OVER TILL THE FAT LADY SINGS!

Thanks once again Ian for a great design, there are not many people around fortunate enough to win line honours at Marlay Point three times in three Farrier designs.

Dean Snow
F-9R, Geelong,
Vic., Australia Ps. Time taken to build FULL BORE was 1800 hours, and this includes beams and folding system, plus two trailers (one for a friend’s F-82 being built at the same time)

Dean has previously built an F-9A and F-82R. Note that his figure for building hours is excellent, and probably represents the minimum required. Most builders will probably take longer (up to 3000 hours). This is a difficult figure to give, as it is so dependent on the builder’s skills, available tools, and the degree of finish and fitting out.

Email message to Multihull Forum from Lincoln Rowley, October 2000

Hello all, judging by the number of interested responses to my trip I am posting this to the entire group. Thank you for all your weather prayers – we got incredibly good weather, and the hurricane missed us completely. Mind you, my mates are still out there, so keep up the good work!!!!

The Boat

The F-36 is a Farrier Designed TRIMARAN that in this case is wonderfully maintained by its current owner Dr. Mike Marshall. Mike had begun construction of his own and found ‘unconditional’ for sale for less than the completion costs of his own. So he sold all his bits off to Finland (less 5 packages of core material which are available for purchase if you are interested.)

First, the central hull is significantly more spacious at 10 foot width than the trailerable F-boats that I am used to racing. Down below this translates to a very comfortable living environment where the three of us each had our own personal space, provisions that could have lasted to CUBA, and functional access to the 2 burner kitchen and nav layout. This is made more amazing, when one considers that we made the trip with the amas empty, and that the inflatable, stores, anchors, warps and drogue, etc. were stored in the main hull with us. The space comes from greater width at the water line (though not really much more depth). I suppose this translates to greater wetted area, but even overweight at about 8k pounds,we were able to exceed windspeed at only 50 degrees off the wind and hit 18 knots surfing in the gulf stream.

Layout has a large aft sleeping cabin that we had set as 2 doubles in a U. A crouchway goes under starboard side of the cockpit, with access to the escape hatch and diesel, and runs forward to the main cabin where it continues on past storage, hanging locker and head to the forepeak v berth. Under the port side of the cockpit is the refrigerator and some tanks, with the diesel and saildrive directly under the steering station. There is a 4 winch setup (2 jib, one main, one halyard, 2 screecher), wheel, and traveler on the aft bridge. Screacher/spinnaker tracks on the rear beam, and jib tracks and halyard clutches on the cabin top. The cockpit also has hatch access to the rear and main cabins.

Down the main hatch you are in the galley directly facing the sink. The 2 burner stove to the left and the refrigerator under the port cockpit seating. On your right is the nav table and electronics. The galley abutts a square seating area that runs forward to the daggerboard bulkhead, would make for a good sized booth in a restaurant and converts into almost a queen sized sleeping berth. Starboard of this is a couch / berth that runs from nav to bulkhead and fits my 6 foot 2 inches of deck ape-ness. I had standing headroom in the main cabin, despite bilge tanks under the entire area. For a man who is rarely impressed – I was, and could easily live on the boat for extended cruising

The rig is a fixed, double diamond with large roach main, furling jib to the bow, and screecher on a pivoting 8 foot sprit. A spinnaker could run to the end of the sprit, but we didn’t have and didn’t need it. The amas are probably the most beautiful of any that I have seen from Ian, with plenty of reserve buoyancy forward, and his safety v shape aft. I would guess about 250%, but I would more pragmatically rate them by mentioning that I rarely could stuff the ama under, even when pivoting between cross seas and slamming into the back of a wave. They just got to about 6 inches from going under and popped up onto the surface. And trust me, I tried to put them under. I was impressed by how stiff the boat was. There must be a lot of carbon in the beams, because I jumped up and down on the bow of the floats and nothing wiggled. I have done the same on Ostar boats, boats in The Race, and round the buoy boats (including my a-cat) and found more flexibility. Thank you Ian for another solid design, I bet you had fun stretching beyond the trailerability constraints.
Overall, she performed like a champ. We made approximately 680 miles in 4 and a half days of easy weather sailing that never really saw more than 20 knots of breeze for any extended period. The big cross seas of the hurricane, gulf stream, and northeast wind pushed the stern around a bit when they hit on the aft quarter, but there was nothing uncontrollable, and I do so love hunting for waves to surf. The real joy was cutting loose on flat water in the cape, and south of Hatteras, where the boat zipped along like an aircraft carrier, with only the slightest wiggle of her hips in response to slapping chop. It was quite a surprise to look down and see 11.8 on the knot meter, with only the rarest of whitecaps visible in the moonlight

I had high expectations going in, and they were exceeded. The boat, if executed strong and light in construction, would put up quite a fight if raced against the production trailerables, and has enough space for 4 or 5 to cruise comfortably for a month or so. I want one. And as I thankfully said to Mike when we parted, “Thank you for working 80 hour weeks for so long, so that you could buy a great boat like this for me to play with. “

It is a great tribute to his character that he laughed.



Cruising an F-28 in Wales

(an article by Barry King)

Email message to F-Boat Forum From F-24 Mk II Owner Steve Marcham

Hi Mike & Jodi:

I thought I’d respond because the questions you asked are exactly the ones I puzzled over before I bought my F-24 Mk. II. We previously owned a Hunter 31. Do I miss the galley? Do I miss the head? Do I miss being able to stand up? Yes to all three.

On the other hand, my wife always complained that the Hunter tipped too much and went too slow. At anything over 6 knots she was sure we were going to die. By comparison, 9 knots on the tri is so easy and relaxing that you’ll never want to go back to one hull. Want thrills? Try 15 knots. (Yes I know that the big boys say 20 knots, but I’m not quite that brave–yet). I don’t care how much of a pure cruiser you may think you are, there is no more smug satisfaction that trolling around your favorite sailing area looking for 45 foot monohulls to sneak up on and humiliate.

Sleeping over on the 24 is definitely camping out, but we’ve done it. The important thing to me is that we’ve done it snuggled right up to beautiful beaches in tidal bays which in the Hunter we could only sail by. And during the day those great trampolines make mighty fine hammocks for the afternoon siesta. Life is full of compromises. For the same money I’ve experienced 7 more feet of monohull, but I think I made the right choice. The fun quotient on the F24 is much higher.

One other consideration. It cost me in excess of $5000/year to maintain the Hunter. Because the F24 is trailerable, I spend less than 20% of that now. …..Hope that helps in your thinking.

Steve Marcham

Email message to F-Boat Forum From Bert Kornyei about his voyage on an F-36 to Bermuda

I’ll need more time to write up the adventure, but here are some quick answers to your questions:

The F-36 is an awesome design. It is Ian’s ocean going tri. Not trailerable, but demountable for cross country transport (if you don’t want to go via the Panama Canal), or if you’re bi-coastal 🙂

It is amazing how much more room it has than the F-31!! The extra 5 feet of length and the lack of limitation on the beam results in a spacious boat. Large aft cabin with king sized double, main salon with nav station, galley, refrigerator, dining area that makes into a double bed, settee berth, large standing shower and head, and forward V-berth. To those of us who’re used to the trailerable Corsair designs, the boat feels HUGE! The amas are about the size of a McGregor 36 hull. One could easily put some pipe berths in them. BTW I have some pictures of the boat. I’ll be happy to email them to anyone who asks.

It was awesome in the storms (yes there were many) I only felt a momentary twinge of fear once – but more about that later. Yes I’d do it again, and again, and again.

Farrier boats as offshore boats have proven themselves many times. Ian’s designs, as he always says himself are first and foremost safe family cruisers. At least three F-27s have crossed the Atlantic (not recommended by either Ian or the factory – don’t try this at home folks). One of them if memory serves me correctly encountered 30 foot seas and 50+ knots of wind and came through unscathed. Two or three have also done California to Hawaii. Last year an F-36 built in South Africa took line honors in the multihull class of the Capetown to Rio (3500 miles?) race.

I was most grateful to Ian and whispered many a silent thanks to him on my first deep-water trip on an F-27 last year when we were in 25-30 knots of wind and 12-14 foot seas. That seemed like a lot then, and when below, it sounded and felt quite scary. Thin skinned multihulls get very noisy below when pounding through large seas at 16+ knots. Topsides though the boat behaved extremely well and always rode on the tops of waves never taking green water over the bows, just the good old fire hose spray that is probably familiar to most of you who’ve sailed a Corsair tri at speed.

This last trip was extraordinary in that we were battered by storm after storm (some were only gales) for a week. I will write up the trip as soon as I get some time, I need to do it for our newsletter anyway.

Well, this was going to be a short answer, but I got carried away. Oh did I mention that the F-36, like all Farrier designs, is also very fast? Even though, unlike some performance fanatics, Ian doesn’t go for the highest possible length to width ratio on his main hull. The Corsair boats and the F-36 as well are around 7:1, quite a bit below the “ideal” 12:1 (Did I say this right?) On its maiden voyage, not burdened by extra gear, food, etc., we hit 21 knots on the knot meter, which may have been 2 knots fast. So we only did 19 knots in about 25 knots of wind without really trying.


Bert Kornyei

Email message from Tom & Diane Preston to designer

Just a short note from hull #241. For six years + have been wanting to thank you for creating the F-27. Wife Diane & I have enjoyed the boat for 6 + years now and are still in awe of its speed, handling & construction.

Again, thank you for the years of extended cruising, racing, and memories you have given us.

F27 #241 “Diatom”

Tom & Diane

Email message to F-boat Forum from Roger Ford

I just joined the F-boat list and would like to introduce myself. My name is Roger Ford and I live in a condo (more time to play), on the water, in Havre de Grace, Maryland which is at the top of the Chesapeake Bay. My wife and I sail a Corsair F-28 named “Life is… Tri-mendous”. We previously had a 25 ft. 1980 MacGregor monohull. We took delivery of the new F-28 in May, 1997 and it just gets better with every sail! On July 4th, with a warm west wind, we twice hit our highest speed of 20.9 knots. With the higher speeds (many days averaging 8 to 11 knots), we can travel in a morning what used to take all day. This weekend we sailed from Havre de Grace to the Maryland Chesapeake Bay Bridge and home (slept on the boat Friday and Sat. night) — about 120 nm. Being new to multihulls, I hope this group will add to my education — thanks!!!

Roger Ford

Email message to F-boat Forum from F-28R owner Robert Gamble

Hello all,

I wanted to pass along my experience racing PHRF in our round the buoy Thursday night sailing events. I’ve provided my handicap rating of 21 to the race folks and they 1) were amazed and 2) were happy that a new boat was joining the fleet. My crew consisted of 2 8 year olds, 2 non-sailing adults (parents of Alexander) and I. My wife was writing her thesis….

Our first race was in light 5 – 10 knot winds with gusts hitting 12 – 15 and our objective was to stay out of the way of the fleet and have a nice leisurely sail. We started last. After spinning around towards back of the start line, yes, just holding the tiller over I could just gybe in almost perfect circles, we started and took a closed hauled course to the first mark about 1/2 mile away. We caught up to the leaders (2 J30’s I believe) halfway up, passed them and rounded the first mark. Our next move would have been to set the asymmetrical and unfortunately we chose not to rig it. So we just sailed downwind under main and jib alone. Of course everyone caught up with us. The wind started to die at the next pin and we found ourselves in the middle of the fleet. The wind picked up just a bit and we were able to steer our way out of the fleet and in doing so we asked people where they wanted to go and obliged. We rounded the mark and headed towards the finish line finishing third on corrected time. As an aside note, the serious racers didn’t know what to make of someone asking them where they wanted to go. Their initial reaction was to ‘think’ race rules in their responses and when they realized we were serious they didn’t know what to make of us.

Now here’s the neat part…..while racing, our kids were playing match boxes on the nets, they would occasionally get up and practice their karate moves and knockout punches (while looking at themselves in the windows), they would occasionally handle jib lines on tacks and finally they’d sit on the forward nets reading books. Imagine passing serious hiked out racers with this sort of thing going on…..I had to hide the sheepish grin on my face 🙂

Following the race, my perception was that people were genuinely happy to note the new boat in the fleet and there was a lot of talk about our start and performance upwind. I too was amazed at how well we pointed and how balanced the helm felt while hitting the first mark with no tacks. Personally, I do feel that if I were to seriously compete and stick our 20 foot beam on the line I’d create some problems with the serious racing folks. Oh well, we’ll simply have to start last and just play catchup…..

Finally, not related to our racing experience, the lot of us (wife included) also had a chance to cruise over the weekend and explored lots of shallow nooks and crannies on the Chesapeake and had a blast. I’ve owned a Hobie 17 and 18 magnum, a JY15 and a J24. I can honestly say our Corsair provides our family and friends sailing experiences none of these vessels could provide.

Happy Sailing,

Bob Gamble

“3’s a Gamble” F28R #31

F-24 in the Netherlands

Niels Tempel’s F-24 Mk II ‘Trojka’ in the city of Groningen in the north of the Netherlands on the ‘Reitdiep’ a former river, leading towards the sea

Email from Gerry Deakin, January 12, 1999

My name is Gerry Deakin and I live in Brisbane, Australia and have recently purchased the F-82R ‘Redshift’. The boat has an Aluminum rotating mast, boomless main, jib, screecher and asymmetrical circus tent. Most of my sailing has been in dinghy’s and trailerable yachts although I owned a catamaran around 18 years ago. I also sailboard for fun.

For the record, we have had one race in the boat where the boat acquitted itself really well but could not make up for the idiot at the back… we started in a mixed fleet of around 16 boats – 3 multi’s 13 mono’s in a passage race of around 20 nm. The rest of the fleet took it upon themselves to start 6 and a half minutes ahead of us (we were trying out an untried home-built screecher furler on the way out to the start) and we crossed the line in about 6 knots of breeze looking very very silly. I also neglected to check the committee boat which was also flying the shortened course flag, so we took off for the wrong mark as well (it was the excitement of it all , honest).

We made our way thru the fleet and noticed that the leading mono was gybing around a mark that was a fair way to leeward. Quick panic, checked the course in the notice of race, hurried gybe and headed down to the mark low and slow. Rounded in 4th place, passed the next two boats (all mono’s) fairly early on and headed back to the finish some 8nm away. The leading boat was a 40 foot mono which we could not make an impression on until the last 10 minutes when the wind kicked in at 12 knots and we took off at around 16 knots with the screacher on a close reach (yee haa). The big mono got across the line 1 minute and 15 seconds ahead of us , so we missed out on line honours, but the look on the afterguards faces (visible at 2 miles) as they all looked back to see this shower of spray bearing down on them was priceless.

The only other two multi’s in the race were a Grainger 075 ( 7.5m racing tri who started 3 minutes ahead of us) and a 24 ft cruising cat. The third boat across the line was the Grainger 075 (10 minutes behind us) and the 24 ft Cat was an hour behind him

Best speed to date – 19.8 knots two sail reaching in 15-18 knots in flat water

Most ridiculous speed – 17 knots two sail reaching in 10-12 knots in flat water.

And now some questions anyone can answer..

1. How do I explain to my wife the permanent glazed look in my eyes since we bought the boat?

2. Will my smile muscles ever recover ?

Gerry Deakin
F-82R #21

1997 Clearwater Cup – Florida

By Don Wigston

We raced my F-28R in an 85 mile overnight race in early November off the west coast of Florida. The boat was absolutely fantastic. Four F-boats started under spinnaker and rapidly reigned in the monohulls that had started earlier. Lyman White’s F-25C with Randy Smyth and Peter Wormwood on board eventually caught and passed us, but we put some distance on Eric Arens’ modified F-27 and Steve Marsh on his new F-28R. We found we were able to hang on to the F-25C, and even made some gains on it for a while, something we had never been able to do on my F-27.

After 17 miles of some of the most exciting sailing I have ever done we rounded the first mark and began what turned into a 40 mile beat into large waves and freshening breeze. The wind slowly built to around 20, the waves got pretty big (although it was hard to tell exactly how big in the dark) and frankly it ceased being fun. It was hard to anticipate when the waves would hit and so we pounded pretty badly over some of them. But the boat felt solid and was obviously taking this punishment a lot better than we were. In fact we were a pretty sorry looking lot by this time.

Unfortunately for us about 2 miles from the windward mark our main halyard gave way. The jib halyard seemed fine. Anyway, we retired from the race and returned to base under jib alone, reaching 13.3 knots at one time (surfing down a wave). Speeds were consistently around 8-12 knots most of the time. Quite honestly I was kind of glad to be heading home.

I think the most impressive thing of the whole event was the fact that Steve Marsh showed up at 11 am at the launch ramp (the race was due to start at 2 pm), raised the mast on a new boat that he had never sailed before, launched it and sailed straight out to the starting line off the coast for this 85 mile overnight offshore race. What other kind of boat could you possible do this in? After finishing the race at around 2.30 am, which was in pretty extreme conditions so none of us felt too fresh, he motored back to the launch ramp, folded his boat, pulled it out of the water, took down the mast and drove off. Even my crew, who are pretty used to the ease of use of the F-boats, were incredulous (we had just tied up at the dock and gone to sleep). One of my crew who has been thinking of buying his own F-28 and was so impressed with this and how my boat handled the conditions that he says is going to put in his order in a few weeks.

Lyman won the race, Steve Marsh finished second, but Eric Arens corrected over him and took second place on corrected time. The chafed halyard was traced back to overlong machine screws used on some saddle eyes added to base of mast after delivery.

Don Wigston’s F-28

An F-25A in New Zealand

Dear Ian

I want to say how much I am enjoying building my F-25A. I just can’t keep out of the garage. It’s a great challenge never having done any boat-building before and with the fantastic plans and super-detailed drawings, it’s so easy. To date I have built, faired and painted the floats and have started on the main hull.

I’ve done everything mainly by myself. The only time help is needed is when planking.

My present monomaran crew members are even more impatient than myself to get on the water, therefore they are summoned to help me with the dirty jobs – glassing, fairing, shifting the hulls around etc.

I use an electric staple gun with 24mm x 4mm wide spaced staples for strip planking and this is perfect into particleboard frames. Fairing strips between frames were not required, strips being held in place by firing staples thru into the next strip – perfect. Using this method three of us did one float half in 6 hours. I found it best to use a slow hardener as this gave us time to scrape off all excess, leaving a nice tidy job, minimizing sanding later.

I went up to Picton with two friends and we chartered Michael Cambridge’s F-9A MEGABYTE before I started. What a beast! An incredible boat. Impeccable handling – even at warp speeds the tiller was a one finger affair. No frights, we had about 20 knots of wind and tried everything that you just wouldn’t do on my Ross 780 (25′ monohull). Top speed for the day was 22 knots, one reef in the main and jib half furled. Totally safe, totally predictable. Yes the trimaran is the way to go – for me there is absolutely no doubt. The speed, safety, stability, room to move with the wingnets – it all makes so much sense. Monohull trailer yachts are stone-age in comparison.

All the best, I feel you have certainly hit the nail on the head with your designs. Kind regards from the southernmost Farrier builder in the world.

Colin Walkington, lnvercargill, N. Z.

Colin Walkington’s F-25A on Lake Manapouri, New Zealand.

A Happy F-27 Owner

Dear Ian,

I have been going to write to you since the end of Summer ’92 to say thanks for designing and building such a great boat! I’ve now had one summer sailing my F-27 (YUKON H0! Hull No.114) and I wonder how life even existed before I purchased it.

This past summer I spent many enjoyable hours day sailing, weekending, and racing YUKON HO!. I was also able to spend eight days aboard during my vacation. What a great boat!! During the vacation sail (solo) I encountered six to eight foot waves on Lake Michigan. While these waves may be small to many people, it was my first experience with seas this large. After about ten minutes at the helm I was completely comfortable with the boat. It handled the waves like child’s play. This topped off the vacation …sailing in a fun, seaworthy vessel.

In November ’92 1 was fortunate in that I was able to attend Rick White’s sailing/racing seminar where the F-27’s were used. This has greatly increased my sailing knowledge and confidence. What a pleasure to sail with such experienced sailors as Randy Smyth, Carleton Tucker, Dick Tillman, and John Burnham. Now the only problem is outlasting winter here in Michigan. Again, thanks for a wonderful boat

Kenneth L. Frymire, Traverse City, Ml

Comments by the Sailing Press on Farrier Trimarans

…..it has the best sailing characteristics of any trimaran we have tried.. Australian Seacraft, test of original Trailertri 18, January, 1976.

….when I found the groove or a little puff hit, it felt really sweet – the boat accelerated fast enough that your tiller hand twitched and your stomach noticed the change in speed. Sailing World (U.S.), F-27 trimaran test, September 1987.

By far and away the most interesting and exciting performer, as you would expect, was the F-27. It shot about Chichester Harbor at up to 20 knots….It was totally maneuverable, even under mainsail alone…. Surprisingly the boat that seemed to have more of its emphasis on performance, not accommodation, turned out to be generously roomy below….. The F-27 shows that speed, safety, and accommodation are available in the same package, and can still be managed on the road. Yachting World (England) comparison test of several multihulls, September 1989.

Tacking was as easy as any monohull I’ve sailed, with normal loss of speed but no hint of stopping dead head to wind, followed by rapid acceleration as the sails filled on the new course. Further off the wind this boat is sensational. Pacific Power and Sail, (Australia) F-27 trimaran test, December, 1989.

To many folks, multihulls are the future of sailing, and one of the leaders towards that future is the F-27….there’s not a similar sized production monohull in the world that can match its speed on any point of sail, in any strength of wind. Northwest Yachting (U.S.), April, 1990.

Designer Farrier really seemed to understand the sailor’s demands – not only must a boat sail well, it must also be a joy to gaze upon…this is the most exciting and innovative boat I’ve seen in quite some time…. it’s fast safe, attractive, well built and cleverly engineered. Telltales (U.S.), F-27 test, August 1991.

In five short years Ian Farrier’s F-27 folding trimaran has grown from just another good idea into a speedy, sought-after cruising machine that has taken the sailboat industry by storm. Cruising World (U.S.), August 1991.

It’s no exaggeration to describe the F-27 trailerable trimaran as the greatest success story to come from the North American sailboat industry since the J-24. Pacific Yachting (Canada), December 1991.

It’s difficult to describe the sensation of sailing a modern, cleverly-contrived trimaran such as this. Everything is so fluent that your senses become overloaded with the excitement and enticement of it all. Modern Boating (Australia), F-31 test, January, 1992.

The only PHRF boat in Seattle that consistently beats my friend John’s F-27 is a Santa Cruz 50! This has not made the little 27 footer very popular with the local PHRF officials… Sailing this tri was similar to renting my first Japanese car. I really did not want to like it. But the bottom line is that it’s just another sailboat that gives you all the same feelings of delight at being under sail. Only this boat rewards you with acceleration and speed at very low heel angles. The F-27 is a fun boat with serious performance. Robert Perry in Sailing (U.S.), June, 1992.

Sailing upwind towards Tiri, I was interested to compare speed with a similar size keelboat. A victim was soon found, but it didn’t prove to be much of a challenge as we cruised past at twice their speed, and the same pointing, receiving a few disgruntled looks in the process….The speed, comfort, and ease of the day’s sailing had left me, a previously diehard monohull sailor, very impressed. Boating World (New Zealand), F-9A test, April, 1993.

…what you get is one of the sleekest and sweetest looking sailing craft afloat. Also one of the swiftest. …..Tracking was faultless, as was tacking ability, both offering crisp and responsive helms……at the heart of both these boats is simply brilliant performance. Modern Boating (Australia) Test of the F-25A and the production F-24 , August, 1993.

I’ve never seen a boat go that fast under control for so long….We were staying in the high teens and hitting twenty over and over again for thirty five minutes or so…..There will be more of these boats on the water as more and more people try them first hand. They’re fun to sail, fun to show off and they face no competition from the used boat market. Northern Breezes (U.S.), Test of F-24 Mk II , September/October, 1995.

…the F-28 proved a stunningly exhilarating boat to sail, upwind and down. Blessed with a stiff breeze rising at times to near on 25 knots we were able to make distance crunching progress in any direction with ease. …Before any of us truly realizes what is happening, the log shoots up into the high teens and stays there. Faster it may be, but more difficult it is not. Balance and responsiveness are, if it is possible, improved still further. The F-28 simply points where you want her to go. Surprisingly – even on what must be declared a roughish sort of day in the Solent – this is a very dry boat. At least one of our testers forswore his oilskins for the day and appeared none the worse for the experience…..Her motion, both upwind and down is much kinder than a similar sized monohull and of course she never heels over significantly. Yachts and Yachting (England) October, 1997

“the boat is a blast to sail” said Carl Schmacher. “It’s lively, fast and responsive,” added Betsy Allison (four time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year) …”I now have a strong appreciation of multihulls”. “I think it would make a great cruising boat, but the fact that it can race offers a lot to a young family” said Greg Fisher (holder of fifteen one-design national titles). Sailing World (U.S.) Test of the F-28R for Performance Multihull Boat of the Year contest (which it won), March, 1998.