Small Trimaran Design

About the Author


Picture of Michael Waters
About Michael Waters

Michael Waters started to sail at 10 years old in his native England and built his first small sailboat at 12 after reading Arthur Ransome's Swallows & Amazons. He went on to successfully compete in several National Championship events as both skipper and crew. He lived and sailed in the famous Solent‑Hamble River area, sometimes racing against the likes of Uffa Fox, Ian Proctor, and John Westell (of 505 fame). He designed several successful dinghies, one being the 'Flying Moth' that was a forerunner to the single-handed Europa dinghy and started a company in England to build them, called Singlehanded Products.

After graduating as a Naval Architect and Marine Engineer and then teaching for a year (both in Southampton, UK), he came to Canada, in his mid twenties. He then spent 30 years designing large cargo liners and tankers, etc. for international markets, as one of Canada's most noted and successful naval architects, but meantime, always sailing for pleasure, and dabbling with small boat designs that he often built and sailed himself.

Throughout his career, Michael was an established Member of the Society of Naval Architects, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects and the Professional Engineers of both Canada and Quebec, up until taking retirement from the industry. He was also author of several published papers, covering a range of things from cargo liners to the design of sailboards. Always the inventor, he designed and built one of the first centreboard boats that readily permitted the angle of attack of the centreboard to be varied in relation to the boat in order to reduce leeway.

About 30 years ago, he became convinced that the concept of multihulls was the way to go and for sailboats under 35', became an ardent supporter of trimarans as the most ideal format if performance means anything to the owner. Over a period of 20 years, he has owned two Crowther Buccaneer trimarans plus being a long time owner of the most famous Dragonfly, 'Magic Hempel'. Over the last 25 years, he has taken every opportunity to sail other multihulls from 12 to 65 ft, and has also sailed the F24, F25A, F28 and F31 folding trimarans by the noted Ian Farrier.