Jim's home | Trimaran home

Best Guess - The canoe-trimaran's successor

Buest Guess newly constructed
First launch
A nice, breezy day in October
Retrofit 2012-2013, see the ama planes
Retrofit 2013-2014
Sail camping on Tivoli Island in Lake ozette

Buest Guess is a 20 foot plywood/epoxy trimaran that I desgned and built in my garage and have since sold. My goal for this boat was to be safe, dry and fast. Sailing in the northwest can be cold and dangerous. Water temps average in the mid-50s and swells can be large in Puget sound and Hood canal. My canoe trimaran was not dry and was only marginally safe. Its amas provided floatation, but the aluminum canoe wouldn't, even though there was some foam in the bow and stern.

Since I moored this boat at the Poulsbo marina, I had to have a survey done to get the required insurance. I hired Tom Rose, a marine surveyer here in Poulsbo to do that. He appeared to enjoy doing that and thought it was pretty well built.

Early video of Best Guess sailing.

Latest video of Best Guess sailing.

Recent photos of Best Guess, before I sold her:

The center hull (vaka) is a flat-bottom "V" design, with scoop and rocker intended to allow it to plane in high winds. After a season or so of use now, it has proven itself to indeed be safe, dry and fast. We've had it planing (really) with 2 people in 15 mph or so of wind. I could verify this by looking down at the side of the hull. Marine growth clearly showed the waterline on the side of the hull, which I knew was about 6 inches deep at the rear of the boat. While planing you could see all 6 inches of the hull sitting on top of the water. Funny humming noises came from the rigging too. It was a hoot! My oversized daggerboard make it point like a monohull, and it tacks easily. The rudder is retractable, so the boat can float in about 8 inches of water. Handy for beaching and shallow bays and inlets. It holds a ton too with plenty of storage.

Some interesting technology that this boat uses includes a rotating mast, a wishbone boom similar to what's used on a Nonsuch sailboat or on windsurfers, and slung seats made from truck tarp vinyl and pieces of carbon windsurfing booms.