The Trimaran Trials

T3 was designed and built to sail the islands of the West Coast of Scotland.  This was the third generation of trimarans developed over several years for this specific purpose and T3 was designed by Ian Biles and built in Devon at Baltic Wharf, Totnes.

Sea trials began in June 2021 after the decision to launch Maritime Film being a useful training platform combining practical elements of a sea trial with the filming and production of a short video.

The sea trial began at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth where the vessel was assembled ashore and then sailed out into Plymouth Sound.  The trials took place over a two-week period with the Trimaran being the focal point.  The primary objective was to test the boat to see how well it sailed and how easy it was to handle at speed under sail.  A secondary objective was to test the organisational and filming skills of the new crew of Maritime Film in a practical environment.  This included our commercial drone pilot Helenka Boden who having obtained all the necessary approvals and licenses to fly in a military zone took amazing shots as the Trimaran underwent testing.

The Trimaran Model T3 is a fast, lightweight, low volume boat made from pre-impregnated carbon fibre using an adapted 49er rig and a short bowsprit/asymmetric pole.

The trials were a major success achieving both objectives, but several challenges were also identified.  The speed of the Trimaran was perfectly balanced with the steering making for an incredibly easy to handle, controllable vessel.  Speed and acceleration were impressive as was manoeuvring and steering from the trapeze position.  The asymmetric was powerful and added significantly to the speed of T3.  The original asymmetric carbon pole was found to be too long and flexible but after being shortened and refitted the asymmetric really helped power the vessel across the water.

One unforeseen challenge with the boat with it sailing low in the water meant it was very wet on the trampolines which would be incompatible with traversing the icy waters of the Scottish Isles.  Consequently, Model 3 was not as successful as was hoped.  Although still viable for fun days out in warmer waters the boat was retired to make way for Model 4, which was purchased recently and will be given the same upgrade treatment as Model 3.

So, after two weeks of team building down in Plymouth the film crew was sent away to edit the original footage and has been making regular posts on our social media about the Trimaran Trials.  The footage from our talented camera operators is setting a precursor of what is to come from Maritime Film in the future.

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