The F-22 is a new design that has been developed in New Zealand by Farrier Marine (NZ) Ltd. The production F-22 is now available and is being built in the United States.
The F-22 was initially available in plan form for those who wished to build their own, but the production version is now readily available, so plans have been withdrawn from sale in order to concentrate on ramping up production.
Folding trimarans are more complex craft and difficult to build at low cost, particularly when combined with the desired low weight. Some trailerable multihulls are available for much less, but can often be no more than two or three very narrow fiberglass hulls, with little or no room, all tied together with a couple of basic aluminum or fiberglass beams.
Value is hard to find with many such boats, and the quality or configuration frequently does not justify the expense to buy, or the time required to build. In some cases it is surprising that they can cost so much when one gets so little. The F-22™ is intended to solve this problem, as a brand new entry level design, and intended to be a light weight, roomy, low cost trailerable trimaran, which is available as a full production sail-away boat.
The F-22 comes in two basic models, the full cabin cruising version as per current production version, with a standard rig, or taller racing rig.
Overall, the main design object was to achieve just the right balance between room, performance, and safety. Like all Farrier designs, the F-22 is a true and practical cruiser, but one that also happens to perform very well. The other main requirement was to keep both cost and building time low, and, to help achieve this, many aspects of the F-22 from design and building to marketing are being done quite differently.
The F-22 is intended to be a modernized version of the Farrier Trailertri 680/720, which pioneered the folding trimaran concept back in the seventies and eighties. Hundreds of such Trailertris were built from scratch, by many who had never built a boat before, and these first generation Farrier designs proved that the trailerable trimaran had a great future.
The production F-27 then followed, this being the first ‘second generation’ design and represented a major leap forward in hull shapes with its low rocker, and planing center hull, while retaining the same basic well proven beam structure and folding system. Construction also advanced significantly with round bilge hulls and foam core becoming standard. It was also one of the first production boats in America to use extensive aerospace vacuum bagging techniques for most parts, along with significant use of carbon fiber.
The F-22 features an even more integrated and further improved third generation beam and folding system, as developed for the F-32 and F-33. It retains the current and well proven hull lines, with evolutionary improvements, coupled with many detail upgrades.
The F-22 has been designed as a very versatile boat. It has more usable room the F-24 due to the many design refinements, and being a light and very simple boat, it is also towable by a 4 cylinder car, a very important factor with high fuel prices.
Hulls: Main hull lines have been optimized further with a higher displacement being achieved, but with a lower wetted surface area, while it has a slightly flatter bottom with less rocker so it will plane earlier. More interior room has also been created by optimizing main hull ‘underwing’ shape to exactly match the folded float sides.
Floats: These are significantly larger, with much more buoyancy lower down and further forward, for the maximum performance, and a lower heel angle.
The extra buoyancy in the bows is very important for today’s taller rigs, as just adding a larger rig onto an older hull design can generate bad habits and control problems. In comparison to the older F-24, besides having greater buoyancy overall, the F-22 floats have 43% more buoyancy in the first 200mm (8″) of float bow immersion for significantly greater fore and aft stability.
Floats are also flangeless as with the F-32 and F-33, for a cleaner, smoother look, along with less drag. Flangeless floats have significant structural advantages with the join seam being loaded under compression, rather than shear or peel, which means that water pressure will actually supplement the join seam glue, holding it together, rather than trying to break it apart as is shown by the following comparison:
Deck: The cockpit is very long and a little wider than earlier designs, for a more spacious feel. The usual cockpit mid-bridge is to be eliminated by some careful engineering, and replaced by a removable compression strut for when needed (such as racing). This will leave the aft mounted traveler as the only obstacle across the cockpit, but one that is well out of the way.
The cabin roof camber and edge rounding have both been reduced to make cabin top more user friendly, safer to walk on, and easier to build. For lower weight and cost, only one winch will be required on most models, and this will be able to control all sheets and halyards.
Beams: The new F-33 style third generation beams and folding system are probably the biggest difference over earlier designs, with slimmer, more curved beams, that are set significantly higher. Beam tops are wide and relatively flat, for convenient and safe walking areas, while the wide overlapping flanges deflect any spray down, and cover lashing gap along wingnet edges, eliminating any chance of feet going through this area.
Folding struts are anchored directly to the beams (no metal brackets), but using an even simpler system to keep costs low. The shorter beams are mounted externally to the cabin, for more interior room, and give a significantly lower trailering height with less windage when towing (less fuel required).
Compared to the F-24/C24/Sprint750, still the best benchmark for this size boat, the F-22 beams have 18% less frontal area, are higher off the water (see drawing further below), and are significantly lighter at only 10kg or 22lbs each. This, coupled with the F-22’s larger floats, all add up to a faster, and much drier boat.
Rig: This is very simple, with rotating mast, all synthetic shrouds – turnbuckles and all metal parts have been eliminated wherever possible.
Sails: Three sails are standard, for simplicity and ease of use, these being main, jib, and a larger screacher. Mainsail is boomless, to save both weight and cost (and sore heads), while the longer luff of the boomless main is more efficient, and gives a lower center of effort. A roller furling boom is also optional if desired. Jib tack and/or furler (if used) is mounted partly below foredeck, for a deck sweeping jib for maximum efficiency, while also keeping sail area low down where it should be. Screacher mounts to the end of the aluminum bow pole, which can be pivoted up when needed.
The standard F-22 performance level is quite high due to the light weight, but not scaringly so due to the efficient low profile rig. This rig is designed to be very suitable for the average cruiser, and not over powering as can be the case with some more extreme designs. However, for experienced sailors who like to sail more on the edge, the F-22R with its taller racing rig is optional, and this is even faster than the F-24, and competitive with the much longer F-82 (26′ 10″).
The F-22 has more beam and more buoyancy further forward than any other Farrier design, and while this makes the F-22 very safe, it should be noted that the 35.1′ (10.7m) F-22R mast is very tall, and with a very powerful sail plan, so the F-22R is not a good choice for cruisers in heavy wind areas.
Foils: Daggerboard or centerboard options are available. The daggerboard is the simplest and most efficient and its case helps to support the mast. The centerboard can be more convenient, its offset case taking up less room in the cabin, plus it will kick back should it hit bottom. Tapered foils are being used, as these can be longer with less wetted surface area – or more efficient. Daggerboards are never used in the floats as these have major drawbacks, including being twice as complex, and heavier. They also do not save any interior space compared to an offset centerboard, which is much more practical and simpler.
Directional control is via the latest transom mounted retractable daggerboard rudder system, for maximum efficiency and simplicity.
Auxiliary: An outboard of 4 to 8 HP is recommended, and this is mounted on an offset pivoting bracket, forward of the stern, to minimize cavitation.
The basic interior layout is very similar to the F-24, with a double forward and two single berths on each side, which will also extend down the cockpit sides as quarter berths.
CRUISING CABIN VERSION
Galley expands out into cabin for when used, and can folded away when not in use, for more cabin room (full details in Specifications). Head can be located as shown and a full width screen across cabin center can give basic privacy when needed. An additional aft berth is also be possible under the cockpit for those who don’t mind limited headroom (plenty of width). A future aft cabin option will however make the aft berth very comfortable.
Cabin sides have been moved outboard to be more parallel to centerline than earlier designs, which creates more interior storage room. The early Trailertri designs had wing berths, which work well, except there was no storage underneath. Thus, when one loaded up the boat, gear tended to be thrown on the wing berths, and this then ended up on the floor or settees when sleeping, creating a very messy boat. To overcome this on later designs, the wing berth areas were turned into dedicated storage areas while the settees were used for berths, and this has worked out far better.
There is standing headroom under the large pop-top. This can also slide forward for quick cabin access, have the aft end only lifted to act as a dodger, or lift completely up to considerably increase comfort and room below. Sides can then be fully enclosed/screened.
The new externally mounted beams increase the interior room significantly, and a good example of this can be seen with the forward beam bulkhead opening. This is now a min. 6″ (150mm) wider than earlier models (at 4′ 4″ or 1.32m), giving a very spacious feeling to the cabin, and making the forward double berth area noticeably roomier.
Folding and Trailerability
The F-22 uses the well proven Farrier Folding System™, easily the most popular folding system world wide, and now further improved with the new ‘third generation’ beams and folding system. Besides making building easier, the new configuration uses shorter beams and eliminates the ‘nuisance’ beam recesses in the main hull deck of earlier designs, improving safety, while giving a much cleaner look.
Early designs, including the F-27, always had longer beams than necessary, with more hold down beam bolts than required structurally, in order to provide a ‘fail safe’ folding system. The beams actually ended near the center line, and took up as much interior room as telescopic beams. Double or even triple beam bolts were also used which made the beams strong enough on their own, even if the primary structural member (the lower folding strut) failed. This ‘fail safe’ factor was very important to help reassure early buyers that this totally new type of craft would be strong enough, but this is no longer a factor.
The Farrier Folding System has now proved itself beyond doubt, and there has never been a single failure of any lower folding strut, in over 30 years. Thus it was possible to begin eliminating beam bolts and shorten the beams, as with later designs such as the F-24 and F-31. The F-22 goes even further, with beam length set at the minimal optimum, with no interior intrusion at all. The resulting short beams, braced by the lower folding struts, are the most efficient beams available for a trailerable trimaran.
The F-22 third generation beams are shown above. These are much cleaner, with a lower trailering height, plus they eliminate the nuisance recesses into the cabin as shown below (F-24/Sprint 750). This gives the F-22 more room inside, plus any need for awkward covers as are sometimes used is eliminated. Such covers also tend to get in the way when folded, and are easily broken.
The old style beams also have the join flanges along the lower edge, and any spray from wave tops hitting the beam fronts is deflected upwards. The F-22 join flanges are instead on the top, where they can trap any such spray, and deflect it downwards, away from the crew, giving a much drier boat.
The wider deck of the F-22 can also be seen, with less rounded corners, which gives a safer walking area forward beside the mast, as well as more room inside. The rounded corners seemed a good idea for the F-24 at the time in 1991, but proved to be a mistake, as walking along the deck became more difficult and riskier, particularly when on the trailer. The F-27 was always right on the mark here, with its flatter roof with smaller radius corners, and thus it was decided to use this again for the F-22. Similarly, the F-22 beam tops are flatter making them significantly more comfortable to both sit and walk on.
The F-22 beams and folding struts have also been lifted higher than earlier designs, with lower folding struts now being anchored inside the beams. The struts are thus even higher, and this will help eliminate any nuisance spray that can come from folding struts on occasion at high speeds. The differences are shown by the following comparison drawing of the F-22 and the F-24 design (blue lines).
F-22 to F-24 Comparison
The significant improvement with the F-22 can be clearly seen, along with the F-22’s wider overall beam, and larger floats.
More information on the many advantages of the Farrier Folding System can also be seen at:
For ease of use, everything is being designed so that rigging and launching can be done single-handed. The target setup time from arriving at ramp and having boat rigged, and in the water, is 25 – 30 minutes.
Production F-22 Availability
The F-22 was initially available only in plan form, but is now only available as a full production sail away boat. This will come as a ‘boat in a box’, that can be shipped anywhere around the world and can be assembled by anyone, or by a local boat builder for those without the time or inclination to do it themselves.
The production F-22 will be marketed differently from earlier designs, with enthusiastic owners being sought, who are willing to buy their own boat, and then use it for demonstration sails, and/or local promotions, in return for a commission on sales. This could become a very enjoyable part time business for those interested, and may be eventually be setup as full time F-22 franchise opportunities.
An Important Note On Performance
Like all Farrier designs, the F-22 is intended to be a comfortable, safe cruiser, and one that can also be fast, but the performance is achieved by efficiency, not excessive power. However, many competitors over the years have put a great emphasis on performance and race results, with very tall rigs and minimal room. It would be easy to make the F-22 faster than the F-31 for instance – just eliminate most of the room, and put on a big rig. But what is usually not mentioned with such boats is the greater danger of capsize or pitch pole, with wind capsize speeds that can be lower than 25 knots.
Such boats have very little practicality, are scary to sail, their crews soon get tired of the lack of comfort, lack of room, and the need to rent a nearby motel when participating in race events away from home. They also get tired of the hours trying to assemble them, or the hassles in retracting the floats.
Others have found that if they really want to go fast with no comfort, a cat with a couple of slender 30′ (10m) hulls with a tall mast is better value (eliminate the center hull altogether), and such a cat may be able to at least sleep two in each hull instead of just two in one. However, while such boats can be cheap, they are not good all round performers, and remain very impractical for cruising or safe family sailing. One currently available appears to have a wind capsize force of less than 15 knots, and capsized during a recent race in only 14 knots. Not a good feature and any multihull that needs such a big rig to compete is not a very safe or efficient boat.
All Farrier designs (except racing versions) use a minimum wind capsize speed of 30 knots or more, to ensure safety for crew and families, plus provide both room and performance. Even racing ‘R’ versions seldom use a wind capsize speed of below 25 knots. A few good race results are just not worth the extra risk and discomfort.