The Strike 15 trimaran is a high performance dinghy designed to be easy to sail by older or less experienced sailors and easy to launch from the beach. Designed by renowned multihull sailor Richard Woods, it is fast but stable and has folding outriggers for easy transport.
Compared to a monohull racing dinghy, the outriggers and wide overall beam give greater sail-carrying power and less likelihood of capsizing offwind. The addition of the jib and asymmetric spinnaker easily offset the extra weight and drag from the two outriggers, so it is a fast boat! It will take two people when daysailing but is really intended to be raced as a singlehander.
Even if it does capsize, the Strike should be easy to right by simply folding the outriggers forward to make it narrow enough to be righted like a conventional dinghy.
The cockpit is 1.8 m × 1.2 m (6′ × 4′) so is large enough to sleep in under a cockpit tent. This makes the Strike 15 suitable for racing in raid-style events or even coastal cruising.
The Strike 15 is a complete trimaran design, unlike the Strike 16 and 18 which use parts from other boats. The main hull is hard chine while the outriggers are rounded-v tortured plywood. Although it is just light enough to cartop, trailering is a much more sensible option.
The outriggers fold for transport. This is a common arrangement, but on most boats the outriggers fold aft. Richard decided to make the Strike 15 outriggers fold forward for a more fail-safe method. It also means the mainhull is further back on the trailer, nearer the water and thus easier to launch and retrieve. The mast is keel stepped with a mast gate. That means it can be left up with the outriggers folded.
In theory the outriggers will rarely be in the water. Nevertheless, Richard designed them to minimise wave making (more important at speed than wetted surface) and to avoid the windward outrigger slam that is common to round bilge outriggers when sailing in a cross sea. They also have plenty of reserve buoyancy. The rounded-v shape of the outrigger hulls gives the Strike the ability to sail off and onto a beach without the daggerboard.
It sailed just like a performance dinghy, tacking quickly and accelerating fast. Very manoeuvrable. So exactly the ‘geriatric dinghy’ concept I was hoping for.
After sailing around in light winds for an hour I sailed it back straight onto the trailer at 6:05pm. At 6:30 we drove away, slowed considerably by arguing over how best to lash the boat down, it being our first time. Clearly it will get much quicker once we have the trailer sorted. But definitely an easy boat to rig and launch singlehanded.
Richard Woods, designer
With practice, launch and recovery are feasible in 15 minutes.
The Strike 15 is very easy to build with a stitch-and-glue hard chine hull and flat panel plywood decks. Estimated build time ready to paint is 150 hours. It is designed so that each stage can be broken down into 2 hour segments, making it an ideal project for evenings after work.
You can see Richard doing a dry fit of the prototype main hull in the video below. Note that it is all one camera shot, proving it really is an easy boat to put together. The build of the main hull prototype was completed in 100 hours.
The cross beams are simple wooden trusses, which are strong and light, but more importantly they have a big ‘hole’ at the hull end so water won't slam against the beam. The outer ends are set well above the outrigger deck, to reduce wave drag. The stays attach to the main hull so the outriggers can be folded in with the mast left up for storage in a dinghy park.
Richard Woods has also designed three other trimarans in the Strike range: the Strike 20 is a larger version of the Strike 15; the Strike 16 and Strike 18 are designed primarily for day sailing and cruising, not racing.
The main hull with fittings weighs about 60 kg, the outriggers 12 kg each, the crossbeams 2.5 kg each.
Richard has also designed a forward mast step which takes a standard unstayed Laser rig, for those who want a simple boat to sail, with less performance.
The Strike 15 trimaran plans include detailed specifications for building the main hull and outriggers. The quality and clarity of the plans ease the construction of this boat, though you still need to be confident of your plans-reading ability.
A complete materials list is supplied with the plans. All dimensions are in metric units.
An electronic version of the plans in PDF format that can be viewed using Adobe Reader. After credit card authorisation the file will be sent to the email address put on the order form.