Multihull Man

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(Source: Future Fibres) Future Fibres has been involved in the multihull sector for over a decade and had considerable success, for example, with Franck Cammas’ record breaking Groupama trimarans. Earlier this month the company welcomed Torbjörn Linderson as product manager for the multihull sector. His arrival and extensive experience has already begun to pay dividends – helping Future Fibres win its first complete multihull mast and rigging package for the Nigel Irens designed A65 catamaran, currently in build and due for launch in the spring of next year.

Torbjörn Linderson began his marine career in the early 1990s and has spent the last 15 years consulting in the field of performance multihulls. In 2010 he joined the Nigel Irens design team as a multihull specialist, responsible for general performance characteristics and predictions, deck layouts, loads, sailplan and rig design. Here he explains a little about how the industry has evolved and why Future Fibres is ready to make a real impact.

“The multihull sector has been through a dramatic and transformational journey since the summer of ’91 when I first got involved. In those days the market was very different and was full of homebuilt enthusiast boats from the 1970s. The industry’s reputation was not what it is nowadays and unless you were French, multis were considered as far removed from ‘real sailing’ as kiteboarding would be today.
However, even then some multis were capable of out-sailing a Volvo 60, and while the monohull game has made some major leaps forward, multihulls have taken even greater strides. Today, a SeaCart 30, for example, still offers you six bunks but has the potential to beat a Volvo 70 over the line, while Banque Populaire V has slashed the Jules Verne record set by Commodore Explorer – down from 79 days to 45!
The industry’s development is not only about the boats, it is also about how the professional sailing community has embraced multihulls as the best way to go fast and deliver really exciting racing.
I believe the main reason for monohulls’ continued domination is, to a large extent, conservatism by owners, drivers and sponsors. However, there is definitely a clear and growing undercurrent from pro-sailors wanting to dump the lead and go for cats and tris.
This is why I feel so confident about what we are looking to achieve at Future Fibres. Although the company’s multihull experience is relatively limited to date, the desire from within the industry to push the boundaries, combined with the potential of Future Fibres’ products to deliver major performance improvements means it’s the perfect time to make a real impact. We want to utilise the knowledge and experience of the Future Fibres team to enable a more scientific approach to R&D. Only then can we drive the next level of multihull development, for both spars and rigging.
By positioning ourselves as key technical partners, working with designers and yards, offering an integrated approach to sailplan design and superior integration between the spars, rigging and the deck, we know we can make significant performance gains. In any industry, when there is that potential, it’s exciting to be a part of it and even better when you are leading the way.”

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