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Topic-icon Thom's copious Triak Mods

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1 year 1 week ago #24 by multithom
multithom created the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
I'm the former owner/moderator of the previous Triak Owners Group. I discontinued moderating mostly because it became pretty disused after everyone got their boats shaken down.

I continue to modify my Triak. I acquired a second wing and another set of amas thanks to a former owner. I took his old amas (they were of the original build without the rib on the outside and the drain on the top. I cut them in half.

I made a bunch of errors in modifying the floats...the end result, though, is I no longer have to worry about capsizing in winds up to 20 kts. I even had to change the rudder jam cleat for a spinlock cleat because I couldn't keep the rudder down since I was moving pretty fast at times. Here's one of the videos I made recently...


Currently I'm trying to find someone willing to take another set of triak floats and do the same thing only skip the foam inside (makes them heavy and the foam expands in the heat which burst my epoxy seals). Hopefully someone who can also make them pretty. If I can't find someone willing to do it for $1K per ama or less, I'll try making the mod myself again but take more time (truth to tell, though, I'm not a careful person so my likelihood if improvement is slim).
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1 year 1 week ago #27 by 3Hulls
3Hulls replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Thanks Thom, thanks for the input.

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1 year 1 week ago #28 by rojai1
rojai1 replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Hi Thom; I was interested in your Triak ama mod. I was thinking about buying a set of Hobie AI amas ($325 each) and using them with the rear Triak wing and a set of AI front akas. Like you, I have found that the Triak amas do not seem to have enough volume. I think I could come up with a wing to Hobie ama attachment for the rear - if I thought about it long enough. Or maybe even ditch the wing as it is rather heavy and use the AI aka for the rear.

How much deeper did you make the amas that you modified?

I am also considering making a new set of amas for my Triak from scratch (I have built a strip kayak - not that difficult) but I think that i would need to add a front aka in any case as it seems like it may make more sense to have longer amas as opposed to deeper - like you have done. I have a tentative design (11' long and about 150lbs of displacement). But paddling with a front ama remains a consideration - as does the added weight.

I would hate to cut up my current amas (as you have done) especially as Triak appears to have gone out of business. I use my Triak alot when I am up in the Pacific Northwest, although I only live about 100 miles from you.

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1 year 1 week ago #29 by multithom
multithom replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
One of the things that attracted me to the triak was the fact that the aka is behind the driver so there would be no splash into the cockpit from the front aka. You probably could modify your boat to allow use of Hobie's amas, but you would lose out on that aspect. I like a dry boat when sailing.

Thayer periodically goes into hibernation, dunno why, he just does. He can disappear for months or years but then show up like nothing has happened. But I certainly would not rely on him for anything.

I figure my modified floats have about 150 pounds of displacement. That appears adequate for up to 20 kt winds. The main hull itself is a displacement hull so the boat can't go much faster than 10 kts unless you also get a taller mast and that means probably having to repair/replace/modify the mast step. It is what it is. It won't be a speed boat.

I'm having a second set of triak floats made bigger by a local guy in Sacramento...gonna cost about $2K. After I get that done, though, I won't have use for these ugly ones I made and you are welcome to them if you come down and get them. They were always supposed to be a prototype. These are the original design floats that fail around the cup...these are showing signs of failure but will last until I get a set of new ones. If I were to repair them I'd put a glass saddle over the top to hold them together (or maybe even do a glass wrap). They leak after each sail (about a pint or so) even though they are filled with foam.

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1 year 6 days ago #41 by rojai1
rojai1 replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Hi Thom; I understand the issue regarding a front aka. That is also why I like the Triak. But when I have been out in rougher weather with my Triak, I have questioned the integrity of the aka to ama connection (I have the new style amas - which as you note are improved somewhat over the earlier version).

But I, like you, seem to believe that the Triak amas should probably have about 1 1/2 to 2 times the 80lbs or so of displacement of the current design. But I am not sure if the single point connection of a bigger ama will work with just a rear aka.

I would be very interested in knowing how your new design works out. I live about 60 miles from Sacramento. Are you just making the current ama deeper and if so - how much deeper are you making them? I could not tell from your earlier post about how much depth you added - but it looks like 8 to 10 inches?

I have worked up a couple sample ama designs using KayakFoundry (a great shareware kayak design program that can downloaded from the net for free) and am thinking about stripping up a new set later this year. It is somewhat time consuming, so if you found someone in Sac willing to do a one-off set for 2K then that is probably a fair price. Do you have a design for the new ama that you are getting made?

I also took the current ama design (as best as I could measure it) and scaled up all the dimensions using Kayak Foundry just to see what that it would look like (KayakFoundry auto calculates the displacement of each design).

As I indicated, I am also considering buying a set of Hobie AI amas (they run about $325 each) - but Hobie last year increased the size of the AI amas which not may be overkill for a Triak. I think, though, that it is possible to still buy a set of the older smaller AI amas for the same price.

Chesapeake Light Craft also offer a kayak ama kit using 3mm ply and those amas have about 200lbs of displacement. That is also another option that I am considering.

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1 year 6 days ago - 1 year 6 days ago #42 by multithom
multithom replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
I'm not getting a new ama for 2K, just another modification of an existing ama. I am fortunate to have 3 sets of amas. One set I modified already, the next set will be modified by "smoothasglass" in Manteca (actually riverbank).

I added exactly 6" to the height of the existing triak ama. It was about 8" tall, the modified ones are about 14" tall.

I worried about the additional upward stress on the aka, so I added big washers to the hold down bolts on the aka to main hull frame. The aka to ama connection is the weakest part of the boat. It's just not rigid so the float wobbles fore and aft as you step over waves. The repeated stress there is what destroyed the original amas and I expect the second generation will fail there as well eventually...however, you can easily reinforce the connection by a saddle of fiberglass once you start to see failure. It'll probably fail again...but this is a day sailor, you can do it as long as you want to keep the boat.

Before doing this mod to the float, my next project was to make bigger floats and/or floats with flat bottoms and/or wider akas. BUT, I would have used the existing aka hold down location and add two new aluminum poles extending out probably about 10 feet total width (I would have bought 1 20 foot aluminum pole from Alco). I would have attached this to the top of the existing aka after cutting off the wings. It would have restricted paddling, but I don't paddle much.

That being said, I'm very happy with the boat performance with the taller amas, so I probably won't pursue any further modification. Then again, I love to fiddle with boats!
Last Edit: 1 year 6 days ago by multithom. Reason: meant ama not aka in last para.

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1 year 6 days ago #43 by rojai1
rojai1 replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Hi Thom; As a further follow-up. I just ran a profile in KayakFoundry taking the current Triak ama (6" x 8" at the biggest section) and increasing the depth by 5" (6" X 13"). That would be similar to what you did, I think. The design program now shows the displacement as 150lbs. So is 5" about how much depth you added to the amas that you modified? It looks like more than that in your video.

When you get your new amas completed, I indeed would be interested in taking the ones that you already modified and open them back up again. I would try to reinforce them better and do the increased depth in a somewhat more solid manner so that they would not leak. My gut feeling is that one would be better off expanding all dimensions of the ama - but just adding depth would certainly be easier (as you have done) as one would not be working from scratch in that regards. I have to give you some kudos for experimenting with this concept. I live about 100 miles away from you if you live somewhere in the Benicia area.

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1 year 6 days ago #44 by rojai1
rojai1 replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Hi Thom; You answered my question before I got the follow-up to you. I think 6" would give you more than 150lbs.

But yes, I have always thought that the ama to aka connection is the weak point of the boat. I have even thought about opening up my current amas and adding some glass reinforcement and adding a bulkhead at the connection point - although i doubt if I would do that unless the connection failed.

I have a friend in WA that had his wing and amas stolen (I do not think that they knew what they were taking) - so now all that he has is a boat and no way to replace the stolen items as Triak appears now to be defunct. His insurance company let him buy an AI as a replacement.....

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1 year 6 days ago #45 by multithom
multithom replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
You are welcome to the modified amas after I get my second set modified. They work well (you've seen the videos) but they are heavy and that exacerbates the ama/aka connection issue. Send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll let you know off list when they are available for pickup.

If your friend in WA is willing to drive down to CA, he can have my spare aka, but I won't have an additional set of floats for him since you'll be taking the first modified set, I'll be using the second modified set and I'll still want to keep the original ones for use in light wind or lakes. It's too bad his stuff was stolen...same thing happened to a local Weta owner, someone stole his sprit and spinnaker...gotta wonder what they did with it...

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11 months 3 weeks ago #49 by multithom
multithom replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Follow up...the folks I had lined up to modify my floats bailed out. So I'll be using the set I modified for a while longer as I figure out my next move. I did reinforce the cup by 2 layers of Eglass front and back. That should help hold it together for another few months.

I still plan on modifying the second set of floats, but I will probably do it myself more toward fall. I'll try a completely different methodology and use styrofoam to make a mold. I haven't been successful with gelcoat in the past, so I may look for a gelcoat contractor, but I expect I'll find that no one wants the project at any sort of affordable price.

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11 months 3 weeks ago #50 by 3Hulls
3Hulls replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Hey Thom

Let me know what you want done, do you have drawings/plans or just stretching out what you have.

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CHS X19 website @ www.CharlotteHarborSails.com
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11 months 3 weeks ago #51 by multithom
multithom replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
I appreciate the offer...but shipping fragile floats across country isn't a good idea.

My current plan is to build a plug from stryofoam (actually a half plug), then glass the foam. Apply mold release and create the spacers for either side leaving flanges facing to the interior. then create mating flanges on the inside of the floats below the cut. Mate and epoxy the four pieces. after that is done, apply another layer of glass or two on the outside of the hulls and the bow. Then apply gelcoat.

Good thing I'm retired as this job will probably take quite a while and probably won't work like I'm planning.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #150 by multithom
multithom replied the topic: Thom's copious Triak Mods
Just thought I'd follow up and let everyone know the status of the float mods. I did make a second set. I used 6" of rigid styrofoam (3 layers of 2" styrofoam) in between the halves. The second set used the new design floats which are much more robust construction being made from corecell of some sort. The mod turned out pretty well. MUCH lighter than the foam filled ones and a lot prettier. I have been getting some bubbles rising, dunno what causes that, but periodically I can scrape that off and re-epoxy and/or add some glass (as you can see, I am not experienced in glass work).

I still have the first expanded floats and the spare wing available if anyone wants to come get them in Benicia. They are currently for sale on Craigslist for $100 for the floats and another $100 for the spare wing. I had to reinforce the top of the original expanded floats using a saddle of glass over the top. I also covered up the drain hole since the floats are filled with foam.

If you look at the videos section, you will see that I used full mainsail with these big floats even on a day with 25kt winds!! I still have the small triak floats but I probably won't ever use them...but if I ever sell the boat, the new owner might want to see how it was originally.

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