Rapido Trimarans recently launched the Rapido 60, the world’s fastest production blue water cruising trimaran.
Designed by Morrelli & Melvin and constructed by the former Corsair Marine team, the team that has built more production trimarans over the last 20 years than anyone else, the Rapido 60 features carbon fibre construction, Southern Spars high modulus rotating carbon spar, EC6 Diamonds, Future Fibres shrouds, torsional stays for furlers, C-Tech carbon battens, North 3Di sails and a T foil carbon rudder.
The trimaran has an innovative family friendly social layout with exceptionally large light airy spaces, massive storage spaces, 360° views and an emphasis on safety.
The Rapido 60 maiden voyage of 1200nm proved her to be highly responsive and ultra fast with amazing stability, comfort and a helm position that puts you in command while being part of the social group. This beautiful machine, like its hard core racing cousins, can be pushed to the limit on the race and rally circuit if one desires, yet unlike the others, after the honours are duly accepted one can moor in a glorious cove and enjoy sundowners and a gourmet dinner in peace, tranquility and splendor.
We have had really positive feed back on the Rapido and those who have been on board are all truly enthusiastic. At present there is no other true ocean cruising trimaran like it!
Paul Koch, the co-founder of Rapido Trimarans, has been in the multihull building business for 30 years first in Australia and then as owner of Corsair Marine in the USA (and later in Vietnam) for 16 years.
He has built about 1500 trimarans and 80 cats over those 30 years. Corsair moved to Vietnam in 2006 and when Paul sold the business a few years ago we started the Rapido venture along with some other former Corsair Marine staff (plus myself ... a trimaran enthusiast!). The factory is in Ho Chi Minh City. Why Vietnam? Positive experience building boats in Vietnam which is a maritime country with a ship building history.
Excellent skilled adaptable workers, good wage structure and various free trade agreements. Personally I think Vietnam will become a major pleasure craft building centre.
Why a 60ft ocean going trimaran?
Paul has had a vision of this for some years and I had the first Corsair 37ft all carbon trimaran and one day while cruising on my boat we said why isn’t anyone building a 55-60ft ocean going cruising trimaran? We want one! Then and there the initial design was done on Paul’s computer (we wanted the cockpit and saloon on one level, open bright airy with great visibility and excellent space and storage and of course speed and safety were top priorities!). We retained Pete Melvin of Morrelli & Melvin, who Paul had worked with over many years, to do the detailed design and engineering (except the interior).
It is a niche market and the Rapido will appeal to those who have done the monohull bit and may have tried cats but don’t like the motion underway and the back of the bus helming (now many cats are trying helm positions on the coach roof making them ungainly). The crew and guests in cats tend to be stuck at the ‘back of the bus’ behind the bulkhead so you never have the same participation feeling that a mono or tri offers. Of course the cat or tri argument is as long as cat/mono argument! But as Nigel Irens I think said, a tri has all the great performance sensations of a monohull but with stability! Tris don’t have the pitching sensation of cats and beat to windward extremely well with no bridgedeck to slam into the waves and are safer given the width and righting moment. Once a cat begins to lift the windward hull you are entering the danger zone. Tris overall give you more feeling, feedback and warning and are a real pleasure to sail. The acceleration sensation always puts a huge smile on my face, I love it!
The Rapido is very much an owner operator boat and currently Paul and his girlfriend are in Phuket and just the two of them sail it. I find the Rapido easier to sail than my 37ft tri for a number of reasons including self tacking jib, roller furling on the jib, reacher and stay sails, electric winches, bow thruster a very robust Jefa steering/auto pilot and a helm position that enables you to see the whole boat. You feel very secure and in control. It is the most comfortable boat I have ever sailed.
We also have a day charter version for those who want to provide guests with more than mere transport to a nice beach and this promises to give guests a real sailing experience. This is on hold while we concentrate on the ocean cruising version. Hull two of the ocean cruising version has been sold to a couple who plan to do the Caribbean circuit and be at Bermuda for the America’s Cup. Hull one is the show boat demo model and the aim really is to sail it from Thailand to the USA to attend a couple of the boat shows. We are offering a show boat deal on this! The factory in Vietnam, Triac Composites, is also doing other work besides the Rapido including a DSS foil for a 100ft maxi, components for the transportation industry and other interesting multihull developments, which we will keep you posted on. The factory has a 8m autoclave, CNC machine and skilled workforce and is set up to take care of outsourced work under first class Australian management while passing on substantial savings due to location.
A Rapido 60 after sea trials and commissioned ready to cruise the oceans ex Vietnam ranges from about US$1.4--1.65m depending on the options selected. We can also arrange delivery, or shipping (but why ship if you can sail!).
The Rapido is easy to sail but for those who want to hone their multihull sailing skills we can arrange for a pro who knows the boat to accompany an owner for the desired period of time.