Saturday, 22 December 2007

Key Seaon (trimaran) parameter: WPSA - and Seaonal Greetings!

Every now and then our “weight paranoia” is brought up again. Obviously we have some regular internal “Hansei” (reflection) on our eternal weight chasing…..and the result is the same every time: Yes it is worth it!

We are not solely in the trimaran performance business – we are in “the sailing is a fantastic experience” business, easy to handle for all …..sailors for now. However everyone in this business has an obligation to mission sailing as a “Climate Smart Leisure Activity”, something I strongly believe we will hear more about going forward.

So, what ‘s the issue with the weight? Before stating our view again, let me first say there is “no one model fit all” solution. Every company has its belief and target believers for their products, so there is no reason to debate who is wrong and who is right.

Our belief: The balance between performance and a boat easy enough to handle. Obviously you could think maximum performance would be our main belief since the Seaon 96crb is fully built in carbon – but it is not. We could have added another 1-2 meters of mast length, thus increased the power of the boat even further. Designing the Seaon 96crb the target was however the opposite – how can we decrease the sail area to make the boat as easy as possible to handle, but still maintaining sailing characteristics enough to also attract the hard to please sailor (which includes ourselves!) or potentially some one that likes the sea but thinks sailing is a dull experience? The answer: focus on weight.

For us WPSA (Weight per Sail Area) is one of the key parameters to evaluate the “sailing experience”. However as stated before – adding sail area to maintain the ratio is not our preferred way to go, since you could very quickly get into heavy and potentially dangerous sail handling issues.

“WPSA:s lines” for a few trimaran models (weights taken from LYS rating certificates in Sweden and sail area from standard boat configuration sheets) would look like the following:

Making a “Pareto” analysis on the WPSA parameter (i.e. not comparing other parameters such like water line length, wet surfaces etc) one could e.g. compare how much additional sail area a certain model A at the given weight would need to achieve the same WPSA line as model B.

At this time I would also like to take the opportunity to send the very best Seaonal Greetings to all of you from all of us at Seaon.

We all hope Santa Clause will be nice to you (usually written as “From Me to Myself” on the package….) bringing something new “absolutely must have" for the boat ……as long as it is light weight!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Sailing Experience Year!

/Jan et all

Sunday, 25 November 2007

“Power reflections” from METS from a multihull perspective

Being out of the office for almost two weeks due to extensive travelling, we are now catching up with all the todo’s. One of the reasons being on the road was visiting METS in Amsterdam, the biggest marine equipment trade show in Europe. As always there is a lot to see and discuss. During the past years the electronics portion of the fair has increased considerably, now also seeing some gain into switches and the wiring itself. Not to mention LED:s in all shapes and colours. Finally we get some useful warm white LED:s as opposed to the older not so cosy cold white ones. Now you can even get “champagne” white….

Power on a multihull is obviously a major issue, considering the battery weight (and of course cabling) as part of our continuous weight chasing mission. Even though our sailors are battery power conscious, the increased use (need…!) of electronics spells some careful planning of the installation and consumption. Except for the Radio/CD/MP3 player (what would one do without it in speeds over 15 knots!!), VHF and instruments, the GPS plotter, AIS transponder and auto pilot seems to become more standard than exception. Not to mention the need of charging all the crews mobile phones, cameras and even PC.

Our LED navigation lights from Lopolight

Except for the navigation (LED standard) and interior lights (LED option), solar cell installations (cabin top solar cell option, however regulator and socket for a second not fixed cell) we need to work even harder on the power equation, especially since most of us really prefer sailing as opposed to motoring (and charging with the alternator) in almost all conditions.

One of the solutions, however due to price still limited as an option, could obviously be the use of fuel cells where 13 kg (8 kg for aggregate and 5 kg for 5 litres of Methanol) could give as much as 400 Amps. More efficient and lighter solar cells obviously will also improve the power equation. We hope to see more “within reach” at next years METS.

Considering the need for careful power consumption I guess that multihull sailors are climate smart in more than one aspect.


Friday, 2 November 2007

More yellow trimarans….

No, it’s not the same!

It’s Flexodus!

Peter’s "Flexodus" was test launched this week. It looks very similar to Bernard’s "Eureka", but if you look closely it is not exactly the same. However yellow seems to be the very popular trimaran colour. Since we are in the end of the season, we eagerly have to wait until next season for more Flexodus sailing reports from Denmark.


Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Trimaran Big Catch?

In our pursuit of “Muda” weight (Muda = waste, a key term in the Toyota Way) every small kilo (or actually fraction of kilo) counts. As Stefan says: “You cannot reduce weight by addressing one single area only". Consistent weight chasing and maintenance in all areas of the boat is needed. All major parts are measured and potential deviation is analysed ……and then we have to add filler (of course as little as possible), primer and finally paint, glue and be measured on weight again.
On the picture you see Mr Frolow, our team leader for filling, fairing and painting with what looks like a big catch - but it is actually not so big, from a weight point of view at least. It is the horizontal bulkhead in the forward part of the float with a weight of 3,2 kilo. Muda hunting in all areas continues…


Tuesday, 9 October 2007

A different day in the trimaran office

Having had the opportunity to test new sailing waters again, I have to say there are truly many beautiful places to sail and they are really different. We were invited to sail with Sebastian, Kerstin and their daughter Olivia on their Seaon 96crb SUI-1 in Lausanne on Lake Geneva. What a beautiful place! My experience so far from this region is passing by on the high way in winter time on the road to the Alps (well, they are virtually on the other side of the lake). I have always wondered how it would be to sail on this lake.

As always there are regional winds patterns. Sebastian explained light winds are dominating (estimated 60-70% of the time). There are days of northerly “black” (my direct translation….) stronger winds, there are “white” (my translation again…) winds from the south. Maybe I did not properly understand, but a few days before our visit there was a sandy wind (from Sahara) visible on boats (not so nice…) and cars, but is was “sandy” rather than white. Most “different” to what we are familiar to, are the sudden “gusts” of 30+ knots (remember - Sebastian has the two minutes above 25,6 knots on the GPS). Due to this there is an audio visual warning system ashore.

We had however an excellent weather with +20 degrees sun and light winds sailing 2-9 knots of speed at 2-6 knots of wind the higher speeds achieved with the Screacher which with the furler this is a very convenient sail to handle. I wonder however how I would do in racing here….wind was shifting 20-30 degrees (or more) every now and then and wind speed was varying between almost zero and 6 knots (what a feeling to glide in 4 knots of speed with no visible wind on the water and mountains reaching up to more than 2000 meters aside).

Picture: Sebastian, Kerstin, Olivia and Ulrika enjoying a day on the net

Also very different to our sailing waters is that lunch apparently commonly is eaten ashore at some nice harbour at a convenient distance. You can also choose whether to eat in a French or Suisse restaurant. In proper winds France is only an appetizer away.

Even if Lake Geneva is the home of the Decision 35, a multihull “parked” outside the restaurant is always a spectacular view and invites to many spontaneous new contacts and also offers a few minutes of fame, as in this case a blue metallic trimaran is something very “different” which demands a photo to be taken by stunned families passing by on their walk.

Obviously Sebastian also has caused quite a “head spin” for many performance monohull sailors as he passes them beating upwind in his “relaxed monohull headspin position” on the net.

On Sunday we made quick visit to Jacques and his Seaon 96crb SUI 2 (also at Lake Geneva) to check on some general and local improvements suggested by him. Amongst others Jacques thinks there is even some more sail area to be added to the Max Jib.

Another very nice takeaway from the Lake Geneva experience is that I learnt that Mr Bertrand Cardis manager and owner of Decision, the boat yard building Alinghi, Decision 35 and amongst others has been on board on Sebastian’s Seaon. Obviously we are delighted to hear he very much liked the boat and our construction (….Alinghi, Decision 35 using the same pre-preg technology and supplier).

All in all a delightful weekend, even meeting and sailing together with Seaon co-founder Jan Wallmark (now also living at Lake Geneva). Jan as always, is helping out and servicing in all kinds of situations.

Picture: Sebastian, Jan and Jan trimming furiously....

Thank you Sebastian and Kerstin for your kind hospitality!


Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Updated Seaon website Seaon

As some may have noticed we have updated our website slightly (as always - excellent work by Jonas and Anders at agency "Svensson" ( Objective being amongst others:

  • High lighting blog/news, where we communicate new pictures, news, events, thoughts and more. (Thanks for comments and feed back! Please continue– it is highly appreciated, potentially also using blog comment facility.)
  • We have taken away the forum on the main menu due to little activity and some confusion about when to use the Forum as opposed to Blog. The Forum still exists but will be used for special purposes and on request.
  • Also we have uploaded a movie – Experience 1 (old friends of Seaon will recognise some edited footage they may have seen before).

I would also like to take the opportunity to high light that we speak Swedish (or even “Scandinavian”), English, German and to some extent French (mainly written with some assistance). We always enjoy “speaking Multihull” and it is “Multinational”!

We speak English!
Wir sprechen Deutsch!
On parle Francais!
Vi talar ”skandinaviska”!


Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Multihulls in Bretagne – Travel report and lessons learnt

Picture: Michelle, Bernard and Ulrika enjoying life! (And yes - the boat is moving forward!)

Just back from Bretagne with Ulrika (my lovely becoming wife, still having the record of 19,8 knots in Stegesund, a very narrow sound. Only one trimaran can pass at a time – Stockholm sailors know!), having had the opportunity to spend two fantastic days on board of Eureka together with our busy sailor Bernard (owner of Seaon 96crb Eureka) and his wife Michelle. First hand impressions:

1) What a lovely place on earth!
2) Brittany sailors are a tough breed.
3) Some waves (in their terms probably flat sea…) and 15 knots of speed must absolutely not interfere with a proper lunch (measured by French standards)!

Starting off on Saturday just west of St. Malo we headed towards the Ile of Brehat some 40 nm westwards. Initially we had very light winds, less than 5 knots. Later the wind picked up to between 4-8 knots and we set the “Furling Genacker” (new development in last year) logging between 5 and 9 knots in easterly winds (yes – we had to make a few gybes!)
Picture: The Furling Genacker and Bernard meditating or just plain relaxing

Also calculating a change in current direction due to tidal waters….(occasionally up to 3 knots, nothing we are very used to in Stockholm – to say the least) . The “Furling Genacker" is basically a Code Zero, but in order not to mix it up with the Screacher it was named the Furling Genacker.

Picture: Favorit position on the beam - Very light winds....Ulrika focusing on keeping speed above 6 knots (and the famous extra outborder!)

Arriving at Ile de Brehat we very conveniently used the dinghy with a small out border to come a shore from the mooring (now I fully understand why Bernard vigorously has been arguing for the inflatable dinghy on board.....with an extra out border – it is definitely worth the extra kilos even though we are always fighting to reduce weight even with our dear customers). Again sea and shore does not look as we are used to…..up to 12 meters difference between low and high tide. What would we have done without the dinghy….no Taxi around.
Picture: This time Bernard did not need the dinghy..but one is not always lucky to find mooring and timing like this!!

After an excellent dinner, a good night's sleep discovering Bernard’s new innovative companion way night hatch (his foul weather jacket) we were ready for the trip back. The wind now picked up to approx 8-14 knots now from the south. Initially we set the heavy jib for convenient sailing, expecting the wind to increase further (it looked like it would), but then later changing back to the self tacking jib as the wind decreased a little. A part of the trip that took us almost three hours the day before we now managed in one hour at 12-16 knots.
Picture: Bernard and Jan on the windward beam enjoying more wind on the second day

Lunch, a fantastic salad with a delicious dressing (of course home made on the boat!), wine, cappuccino, cookies and chocolate (very far from the usual sandwich and water lunches I am used to!) was served at 15 knots which caused some small problems to keep the smaller salad pieces in the bowel in the aft part of the cock pit. As we got closer to Cap Frehel and home for Eureka the wind pick up again. Speeds up to 19 knots was the perfect “Grand Final” of the marvellous trip and made everybody smile on board (if I get my Firewire driver to work properly I will put up a short footage from my DV cam from the “Grand Final”)

Epilogue – getting closer to shore Bernard took the helm and speeded through narrow passages, made an elegant tour around moored boats, windsurfers and a close 90 degrees gybe at the beach (people were running out of the water….). I was obviously not trusted with this kind of manoeuvres – as I said: Brittany sailors are a tough breed.

Lessons learnt:

* Not many liveable multihulls around (except for the Orma 60 we sighted in St. Malo harbour however a lot of beach cats – Hobies, Darts and 18 footers around) This must be an opportunity!
* Always listen to the customer! Bernard’s strong requirement for the dinghy and out border for this is absolutely righteous.
* We will recommend Bernard his Eureka as “professeur” for the Seaon Sailing Academy
* A few improvement opportunities discovered - more input into Seaon product development
* Some annoying rust stains (however polish able) on various stainless steel equipment (not only one suppliers equipment to be fair)

Again thank you Michelle and Bernard for a fantastic weekend!


Monday, 17 September 2007

New visit at Ericsson Volvo Ocean Race 70 Racing Team boatyard

Yesterday we visited the Ericson Volvo Ocean Race 70 shipyard again guided by our team rider Mange Olsson – what a progress since our first visit! The whole boat yard, virtually placed next the Ericsson Head office is now fully operational with products coming out of the ovens. There is even a separate visitor area behind glas overlooking the whole shipyard where there is a constant flow of impressed visitors looking at this very high tech boat building project. There are routers, ovens, freezers (for the carbon pre-preg) various rooms for various type of milling, lamination, lathing etc operations. It is a complete real professional shipyard building a 70 fot high tech ocean racer in midst of Stockholm Telecom city Kista! (Want to know more about the secrets about the Ericsson Racing team boat yard ? Check )
Obviously there is an envy from our side on the scale of operation, however there are also as mentioned before some strong similarities with our production: Freezers, ovens, different kind of QA tools such as curing temperature supervision, adhesion testing equipment, loadcells etc paintbox, fairing and filling room etc …..and we use the same supplier and carbon pre-preg system from Advanced Composite Group in the UK ( also supplier to Americas Cup winner Alinghi).


Tuesday, 11 September 2007

A report from a "typical" Lake Geneva trimaran day....

Sebastian reports from yesterday:

"Just came back from a record breaking family sailing.
Start at 1 pm wind speed 7 knots from SW heading just north of west averaging 9.5 knots on the GPS. Wonderful weather and rapidly catching up with ESSE 8.50 on same course. We tack and head east moving on at around 10 knots under full main and screacher and then go back towards Pully in decreasing wind speed. We observe boats along the Swiss coast move with lots of wind from n-NE, we are still with a southerly less than three miles away. Screacher taken down, self tacker unrolled and within 3 minutes we have a north easterly at 35 knots steady with gusts well above 40 knots. Two reefs taken rapidly but no smaller head/sail than the self tacker. Thanks Matte for keeping the small jib in your loft!! Course 320 degrees, speed mounts to well above 20 knots with peak on the GPS of 25.6 for over 2 minutes. Constant spray over the leeward forward cross-beam but the leeward bow is well above the surface and the boat runs like a TGV across the French countryside. Stable like a rock. For once we take the sails down outside the harbour and motor in. Good reason to run over to the restaurant and fetch a bottle of iced champagne, a cooler and four glasses. Olivia was playing on the windward net all along, Kerstin was scared to death but the two guys on board thought this was terrific."

Kerstin - cool at the helm

Well - what to say?

1) We hope Kerstin got a lot of champagne
2) A fine trimaran day
3) You do not always need to sail at 25+ knots.....there are slower gears (if not left with the sail maker)


Monday, 27 August 2007

Multihull sailing - Racing or Cruising?

Multihull sailing - Racing or Cruising?

Every now and then the issue about “multihull sailing for who” is brought up, meaning what are the characteristics of the typical multihull sailor. As always there is no black and white answer. However what we frequently see is that speed (….even in our story telling…) is emphasized a lot and with speed comes racing. In our case this is actually not true, potentially we have not fully brought forward what it is about – an experience which makes sailing and nature even greater.
Yes we have a lot of action and racing pictures and movies, however the vast majority of the time our Seaon sailors just sail for fun and great pleasure – with their families including children and even grand children from age of a few months to grown up. There is Alex and Henrik who sail with their families and young ones across the Baltic from Sweden to Finland, there is Bernard who enjoys the waters outside Bretagne with his grand children, there is Sebastian in Lausanne who is sailing with his family as much as times permit (almost daily that is…. And actually always docking with sails – Captain Sebastian principally does not allow the use of the engine except if there is absolutely no wind).
This is why we get somewhat astonished when we get the question: “Can you go cruising with a Seaon? Can it be sailed by a “normal” (!? Let’s not define “normal” at this time!) sailor? Do people sail with their children? Obviously the answer is YES! And obviously it means we have to think more about the “evangelism” we are preaching (we are not religious ….but very passionate!)

We have mentioned it before – we designed the Seaon 96crb to satisfy our sailing (and to some extent racing) vanity, but mostly to fulfil a joyful (with families!) sailing experience, where amongst other the production technology we use help us to make the boat easy to handle due to less need of sail area. The high stability and high speed of trimarans demand very hard work by the crew when handling large genoas. Beating upwind in a narrow strait with our self tacker jib is a real pleasure.


Friday, 17 August 2007

Stockholm Archipelago – explored from a trimaran

Stockholm Archipelago is truly a beautiful place. Obviously coming from Stockholm we are “slightly” biased, however Herve Hillard from excellent French magazine Voiles & Voiliers seemed to be very excited about the Archipelago having explored it on a Seaon during a week this summer. We are looking forward to his report in Voiles & Voiliers later this autumn!


Tuesday, 24 July 2007

An unexpected trimaran visitor...and fortunately a camera

Our busy Seaon sailor Bernard in Bretagne got an unexpected visit a few days ago. Fortunately he had a camera with him...

But so had fortunately also the visitor...


Sunday, 8 July 2007

Factory on wheels – trimaran moving towards lean production

Not only that we challenge the traditional yachting market conceptually with function (probably an understatement - being a trimaran ….and folding) and design, but also using new advanced production technologies, we continuously have to challenge ourselves as well. Having the first year and a few boats of experience in our new production facility, we introduced a “Bible” - the “The Toyota Way”. In order to stay competitive, being able to develop new features and models, we need to work even harder with improvements. Part of this is improving our lean production thinking (that’s where the Bible comes in – however read and implemented in our way - “The Seaonata Way”). Not that we have converted to a new religion – but instead of having several religions and bibles (with all the problems and discussions this can cause) we get a common belief (and services!).

Even though the only very first few “Evangelisms” have been preached and discussed, the first results can be seen – on wheels. The staff has literately interpreted “flow” (being one of the key principles) …..We now have toolboxes on wheels, gigs on wheels, a new smaller oven on wheels…. Why? To be able reduce “Waste” which has become an “un-sacred” word …to say the least. We rather spend time on new features, technologies,… etc.

For those of you who are familiar with the term “Andon calls” I can tell we encourage to pull - in our case actually “push”, the Andon button frequently. In fact, without Andon stops it would be strange…no Kaizen = Improvements.

“It is the journey that is the objective”/Witek-san

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Carbon trimaran – “carbomania minded” staff

Producing a high tech carbon trimaran has its sides….
Of course quality and productivity is key, but obviously as a manager half the battle to progress is won if the staff takes pride in their product. Not only to the extent that they take their families to the show the production and product, but also in the participation in the “look and feel” of the product”. Working with carbon cloth and especially with various fabrics that give almost a magic look and feeling creates a state of “carbomania”. In some cases it is almost hard to resist proposals for new developments with a carbon finish – balancing of the staff “R&D” time is needed. Not that a carbon finish may be everyone’s desire, however some constraint less “creative projects” are important to keep an open mind, continuous development and testing of new concepts going, not only hard facts productivity and functionality. The latest developments that have left the “creative studio” on the floor are amongst other the companion way carbon stairway, the carbon boarding step and the carbon saloon windows frames.

But it is not only about the finish, as always for us …it is about the weight - and on the production floor we do understand the importance of weight. More than often Stefan (Design) has explained the importance of getting into the positive weight spiral (less weight requiring less reinforcements, requiring a lower mast and less sail area, requiring less material…..) or as marketing puts it:” the weight of the interior for free”.


Monday, 11 June 2007

Trimaran colours

Last week another metallic painted Seaon96crb was launched in Lake Geneva. Sebastian’s SUI-1 caused quite significant attention. It seems the interest for multihulls is growing immensely, but also the trend away from the traditional colours such as white and marine blue is increasing.

To be noted – painting large surfaces such as boat with metallic paint is not an easy task and is also an extra add on feature. A popular direction right now seems however to be yellow….


Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Multihull / trimaran mindset in Europe?

Having our office in Stockholm Sweden we are of course influenced by local multihull activities, which as I wrote in a previous blog entry are growing substantially. Of course multihull entries in races are still a fraction of the total however it is being generally recognized that in the last one or two years a lot of races now as standard are open to multihulls. Racing is done according to the Swedish LYS rating rules. This rating also allows to appoint a total winner among all classes (mono and multihulls), an opportunity which many organizers use.
Of course it is quite tough to win overall with a multihull, however it adds to your ego passing through fields of monohulls classes, especially since one the last few years enjoys admiration rather than a puzzled or scared UFO encounter facial expression.

Multihulls also are quite active on Lake Geneva with their big racing event Bol d’Or coming up. Obviously Mr Bertarelli and the Décision 35s catamarans are an attraction ( on the lake, however on the very extreme end of multihulls. Soon having two Seaon 96crb on Lake Geneva we of course would be delighted to grow a fleet for racing and high performance cruising there.

Obviously there are a lot of multihull activities around Europe – it would be nice to share some experiences on the multihull mindset among monohull sailors around Europe. I assume many of us at least initially have encountered arguments such as “multihulls cannot sail upwind”, “multihulls cannot tack”, “not appreciated in harbours” (due to space needed) etc. however I assume we have passed this first level of “scepticism”.
What is your experience? Are multihulls gaining admiration and interest? Once tried most sailors are “hooked on the feeling”? What is the multihull mindset among monohull sailors?


Saturday, 19 May 2007

Carbon epoxy laminate for multihulls

Our Seaon 96crb is fully built in pre-preg carbon fibre (for more on information on our building technology please check production” on our web site). Occasionally we get comments that suggest a laminate based on carbon fibre is more fragile than a glass fibre polyester laminate and carbon there fore not being suitable for normal boat handling e.g. when docking.

Let us look at some “theory” behind a laminate.
Most modern boats are built with a sandwich laminate meaning that instead of a solid laminate it is built with a laminate on each side on both sides of a foam core (early days balsa was used – and to some extent still is). Separating the inner and outer laminate skin by a foam core gives a lighter laminate than building a solid laminate.

When dimensioning a laminate, considerations have to be taken to the various forces that will impact on the laminate such as structural loads and practical boat handling e.g. local impact when docking. Furthermore the type of fibre and resin (normally polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy) selected will affect the dimensioning of the laminate. Typically carbon fibre is approx 1,5 times stronger and approx 2,5 times stiffer than glass fibre compared to weight, i.e. a carbon laminate of the same weight is 2, 5 stiffer than the glass fibre laminate meaning it will distribute physical impact over a wider area of the core. Practically this means if the same force is used for impact on a glass fibre and carbon fibre laminate of the same weight, it will create a deeper deformation in the core of the glass fibre based laminate.

The total laminate strength however is also determined by the combination of fibre and resin (the matrix). Polyester has a maximum elongation of approx 1,5-2% before it breaks. The equivalent value for epoxy is approx 4-6%. This means that a polyester based laminate will be limited to a deformation of 1,5- 2% before breaking. If the laminate is based on epoxy it has the potential of making use of the full strength of the fibre.

The rumour of carbon fibre being fragile may be based more on an imagination of a thin eggshell layer of carbon than on real life experience. For practical reasons however, it is not always possible to use the full advantages of the additional strength of carbon fibre and thus saving weight because of the laminate strength needed for practical handling (e.g. docking, walking on deck etc) of the boat exceeds the dimensioning due to structural forces.

In addition to the above it is sometimes claimed it is more difficult to repair an epoxy carbon fibre laminate. Thin laminates in general are more difficult to repair whether based on polyester and glass fibre or epoxy and carbon fibre, however it is not more difficult to repair an epoxy and carbon fibre laminate.

Summing up - An epoxy carbon laminate is ideal for a light weight boat since it is considerably stronger than the equivalent polyester glass fibre laminate. This is also the reason why we have used an epoxy carbon laminate for the Seaon 96crb. Using carbon fibre for a racing monohull may well be worth the efforts since every 1/100 of a knot counts, however the weight gain in percent is considerably smaller for a monohull than for a multihull since the keel weight is a major part of the total weight. On a multihull every saved kilo has direct impact on the performance. As an example, saving 350 kilo on a multihull such as the Seaon reaching a total of 1400 kilo is a weight reduction of close to 25%. Saving 350 kilo on an e.g. 34 foot monohull performance cruiser/racer coming down to a total of 4000 kilo is only a saving short of 10%.

We strongly believe using an epoxy carbon fibre laminate for the Seaon 96crb has been very well worth the effort. Together with polyurethane painted instead of gel coated surfaces, we have decreased the need for power equivalent to approx. 13 square meters of sail area which also allows us to use a shorter mast. A light boat is more fun to sail in light winds and the reduced need for sail area and mast length will make the boat more comfortable to handle at increased wind power.


Monday, 14 May 2007

Lidingo Runt – Stockholm’s major opening race of the sailing season. "HiQ" a 60 foot trimaran 2006: 55 minutes. "HiQ" 2007: 5,5 hours!

On Saturday May 12th the annual Lidingo Runt race was held in very light winds, if any wind at all. Last years race caused a problem for many boats due to very heavy sudden gusts of 30+ knots. This year only 51 boats out of 450 managed to cross the finish line within the maximum time set to 7 pm. A large part of the boats that managed to fulfil the race were multihulls….

Lidingo Runt is gathering more than 60 trimarans and catamarans thanks to many multihull missionaires like Magnus Olsson (60 fot trimaran and Volvo Ocena race sailor) Mats Leander (Chairman of Swedish Catamaran and Trimaran Sailors Association) and Mats Johansson (of Gransegel).

An excellent site for more information on Lidingo Runt and sailing News in “Scandinavian” is

Monday, 7 May 2007

Trimaran float (ama) buoyancy

From time to time we get questions like: “Can you sail on one hull only” or “On one of the videos you can see a float almost submerged in the water, does it not indicate to little buoyancy”. (In one of our old videos a sequence was shown where the float was partially submerged. This we thought would show how kind the Seaon behaves, however it seems to have caused more questions than answers.)

Basically these questions boil down to: Why don’t you have more buoyancy in the floats? This is a relevant question. I will try to elaborate on this.

Already at the requirement specification phase the float displacement is to be defined by the intended use of the boat: Racing without interior, racing/performance cruising etc.

For racing purposes only, the float buoyancy would be generous enough to be able to lift the main hull out of the water and the leeward float will carry the whole weight of the boat. So why are not all trimarans designed this way? Sailing on one hull will obviously improve performance due to reduced wetted area, however you will also sail very close to the stability limit of the boat, meaning you will be sailing close to capsizing. A small increase in wind force could turn the boat upside down.
Obviously this needs very active and proper sailing by an experienced racing crew. There is little indication whether being on the right side of stability (and yes….there is occasional capsizing with racing trimarans and in rare cases also with cruising trimarans).

Another important consideration is the volume in the float compared to the length. If you design a light weight racing boat to a certain length and want it to fly on a hull it is possible to achieve this with a slender float design that cuts the waves nice and even in lights winds. On the other hand, if you design a heavy cruiser with the same objectives, the float will be blunt and will have to much reserve buoyancy in light winds, witch will cause the boat to respond to excessively to wave action and slow the boat down in choppy light wind conditions when sailing upwind.

How much displacement and its distribution through out the float is part of the sailing characteristics of the boat. Amongst other it influences performance for upwind sailing, power reaching etc. Furthermore it defines the “predictability” of the boat. It is very important to design a predictive and smooth behaviour of the boat. One does not want a boat that reacts with surprises. To achieve this it is important to have the longitudinal buoyancy distributed in a suitable way. For power reaching you need a lot of volume in the bow, but not too much to affect upwind performance. When pressing the boat hard upwind, it is also very important to have enough reserve buoyancy in the aft part of the float to avoid that the boat trims excessively backwards in longitudinal direction, when the boat is hit by a hard wind gust (due to sail center of effort moving excessively backwards when e.g. trying to luff to depower).

Summing up: There is no one single design that is right or wrong – it is the intended use that decides the design. A boat intended for top speed power reaching will look different than a boat optimized for upwind sailing and as mentioned, total weight of boat (building technology i.e. weight of laminate, interior, cruising amenities etc) also is part of the design strategy.

The Seaon 96crb design objective was to create a high overall performance (…if I remember correctly the marketing spec was: “The damn fastest boat with interior that a family can handle”) and to be as versatile as possible in various winds and courses. Also the objective was to minimize the power needed (mast length and sail area) for easy and safe handling, which is why we put some real efforts into the building technology (carbon, pre-preg etc. – for more information check our web site under “Production”). A light boat is fun to sail in light winds and the reduced need for power will make it easier to handle in tougher conditions.

We spent a lot of time and energy in designing the floats (and the rest of the boat of course!) and are extremely pleased with how well the performance, kind and predictable behaviour of the boat came out.


Wednesday, 2 May 2007

New web site!

Here we are live with our new website and very excited about the new the “Blog” and “Forum” functions, which hopefully will allow more dialogue and discussions! We though have to admitt these functions are quite new to us – so I hope there is some patience and understanding while we are getting in to this.

There has been little news from us for a while. Major reason for that is due to establishing our own production caused by unsatisfactory outsourcing acitivities. This is a chapter for itself - some of it is addressed earlier in this blog and is also why the website is somewhat more production oriented now.

To launch the new web has been a challenge and as always it means hard work defining and fulfilling: "What is it that our web visitors and potential customers really want to know and see?" We have to admit that we for sometime have been so overwhelmed by our own almost religious experience in multihulls, that we potentially forgot that it is not so obvious for everyone, especially if you have invested in an upmarket monohull.

The major challenge is to present the advantages of a multihull….and of course our Seaon 96crb.

Characteristics like SPEED, COMFORT, TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN….and on top of that CARBON are not enough to justify the advantage. Obviously this can be applied to a lot of yachts. So how do we tell we are twice as fast (sometimes three times…)? And about our technology – how many yachts are produced in “pre-preg” to achieve top quality light weight laminate….and not only “carbon reinforced”, but 100% carbon? And sailing with very little heeling but still with great power etc.?

Usually when thinking of multihulls many sailors think of top speeds….and yes they are fast! So far I have logged 24, 2 knots (not to steel Mats Leander’s official record 24,8 knots in SWE-1) with the Seaon 96 with 4 persons and (limited!) luggage for a week of racing. That was of course fun, but I much more enjoy sailing in 15-18 knots with Ulrika on a nice day in a sea breeze (approx 10-14 knots of wind in Stockholm on a good day) or even sailing 6-10 knots in very light winds. That to me is the feeling! Before when racing with larger monohulls I did not go cruising. It just wasn’t fun with the kind of yacht the family can handle. Now, when sailing multihulls it is almost the other way around. Everyday sailing is great fun, almost like a dinghy (but not as wet…) and I have the full interior with bunks, galley, marine head and the freedom to go virtually anywhere – remember, with rudder and daggerboards up there is very little draft.

And about design – trimaran is a challenging concept, especially since many of us have a touch of vanity in us. You want a yacht that sticks out at the dock….in positive way that is! Having (over)heard someone describe the Seaon “as hot as a Ferrari” (and that with a full interior) certainly appealed to my vanity.

However, all the above are just the underlying parameters to achieve….we certainly looked for the expression that describes it all and we could not find another way to say it than the “FEELING”. It is really about that.

Have we succeeded in conveying this “Feeling”? How many more out there "feel" the same?


Thursday, 19 April 2007

Ericsson Volvo Ocean 70 project

Sharing offices with Atlant Ocean Racing headed by Rickard Brisius and Johan Salén, being the team behind (with Mange Olsson as well of course!) Volvo Ocean Race entries EF Education, Assa Abloy, Ericsson and organizers of Nokia Oops Cup and Archipelago Race obviously opens a wide spectrum of discussions and also the opportunity to meet intresting persons such as e.g. John Kostecki and Juan K (designer of ABN Amro entries in last race and now designer of new Ericsson entry ) who we discovered is a trimaran fan!

Today Stefan and I had the opportunity to meet the team working on the next Ericsson Volvo Ocean Race entry. It was good to share some experiences on light weight laminates, various preg and core issues. The workshop (actually in Ericsson facilities, virtually on shouting distance to Ericsson head office main reception!) is really impressive, amongst other with an oven three times our size! But apart from that - there are a lot of similarities on how we build our boats.

Thank you for the tour Andy and Calle!

Read more about the Ericsson VO70 project on


Thursday, 5 April 2007

Geneva experience

Back from Geneva having helped Jacques to launch SUI 2 was an experience, especially seeing the new Max Jib in action. A beautiful sail (Well done Mats! I have been in opposition to this sail for a long time - but then again you always get smarter with age….), easy to control the leech by operating the traveller car on the roof top. A few glitches (amongst other – do not forget to attach the double geared mainsail and screacher halyards…there are more fun things then taking the mast up and down!) and time consuming administration (amongst other inspection by Geneva lake authorities) reduced the sailing hours. Anyhow the boat looked really nice in the water and I was very proud!
The only bad thing about the whole experience was the having to go back without a beer and a picture with myself, the “Old Mug” and Bertarelli! We actually launched from “Societe Nautique de Genève”, but the Americas Cup Trophy was already shipped to Valencia leaving only an empty stand and a disappointed Stefan. I was one week to late!


Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Grey metallic Seaon 96crb in Geneva!

So finally (dark metallic paint was more than painful for the production - but it looks very nice!) Jacques's grey metallic Seaon 96crb is launched in Lake Geneva! Stefan was there and assisted during the launch and managed to sail a few hours. More to come on that.

Picture is actually taken by Sebastian (thank you Sebastian!) who is waiting for his blue metallic Seaon 96crb with first stop Lausanne/Lake Geneva.


Thursday, 22 March 2007

New sail design - the Max Jib

The main and self tacking jib has certainly been more than enough for new Seaon sailors and still is in most conditions. However it seems the "need for speed" will always grow when becoming more experienced. In very light wind conditions, approx less than 7-8 knots the more experienced sailor (and the racing crew probably up to 10-12 knots) will enjoy the added approx 9 sqm sail area of the new overlapping Max Jib developed by Mats at Gransegel (also a Seaon founder). On the pictures you can see a furling version (the Gransegel "Glider" concept) of the Max Jib. This means the Seaon 96crb will carry 70 sqm sail area upwind on approx 1400 kg.


Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Seaon Stockholm Event

On March 5th we had a meeting with Stockholm Seaon owners (and close friends) with main objectives to discuss and inform about:

  • Critical and difficult manoeuver handling issues. Discussion was led by our "Seaon Team Rider Expert Magnus Olsson" - one of the most merited Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Racing sailors and 60 fot trimaran sailors in the world.
  • Racing program 2007
  • Seaon status on production, developments etc