Sails for the Modern Cruising Multihull

Updated: Sep 13, 2018

Published in Sail Magazine November 2017

Modern cruising catamarans and trimarans have unique requirements in terms of sail design and construction. The reason for this stems from the stability provided by their wide beams, which in conjunction with their lack of heeling can make it difficult to determine when to reef sails. It is therefore not uncommon to see cruising multihulls carry full sail much longer than monohulls of the same size. This, in turn, means that the loads on multihull sails can often be double that of the sails aboard a comparable monohull.

Of course, multihull sailmakers know this and make a point of selecting materials and construction that are up to the task. What follows are some of the design ideas and sail options I have come upon over the years that work best aboard boats with two or three hulls.


Read the full article here.

Elliptical heads also offer good performance and are easy to handle. Photo by David Calvert

David Calvert has been sailing and racing catamarans and trimarans for years and is the owner of Calvert Sailmakers LLC, which specializes in building sails for multihulls of all sizes.

MHS Fall 2017

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