Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand
Red Alert review continued - pg2

The main hull trims right back on its aft sections at speedThere is a large, open anchor well and extra storage in the pontoons, although as yet these have not been required. The cabin top is broad, flat and gently sloping, permitting an easy walk forward if you choose this route. The nylon tramps are attached via bolt- rope tracks and lashings. I found them a little slippery when wet and perhaps not as taut as they could be. For coastal work, short lifelines on the pontoons and across the transom would be a good addition for security. There was no weather for lounging during our test sail, but with tramp space from bow to stern, it is clear there will an excess of comfortable spots for summer reclining. The JT Spars three-quarter single-spreader rig is conservative in its dimensions and the spar solidly supported. The sail wardrobe is by Paul Page and includes both masthead and fractional gennakers in addition to mylar furling jib and full-roach, fully-battened main. A feature of the mainsail that caught my eye were reeling eyelets sewn to short lengths of webbing to make hooking on to the gooseneck easier.

My sail on Red Alert was one of those experiences that made me happy to be a boating writer.
It would have been hard to pick a better day for it: northeast winds of 20-25 knots with flat water in the harbour and lumpy swells off Auckland's East Coast Bays. Power is by Honda 9.9hp outboard that is lowered though an opening in the hull on a pivoting bracket inside the port seat locker in the cockpit. It pushed the Red Alert away from the marina at six knots. There is no remote throttle control: I thought manoeuvring and berthing might be a slightly tricky operation with the low position of the engine in the locker (a long reach down there to the handle). There are many examples of KISS (keep it simple, stupid) on this boat to keep the costs down, and this was one of them. In multihull terms, upwind is where a tnmaran is at its best and Red Alert confirmed that theory.
The simple but roomy cockpit.
The boat tacked quickly and maintained good speed through the manoeuvre. It could also be sailed at a variety of angles and speeds and still do well, although we preferred to crack off a little and go for speed because it was more fun that way. On what would have to be one of my faster beats to Rangitoto lighthouse, the Horizon instruments read 11-13 knots at 45 degrees true. Ambrose is still learning how to get the best out of his boat and it was noticeable as we played with different headsail traveller and mainsheet settings that there are big rewards for getting it right. Graham insisted I steer virtually all day, which was just fine by me. The helm had a positive feel, not heavy but enough to let the helmsman know when he was pressed. There seemed to bit too much flex in the fibreglass stock and Edlin had plans to strengthen this and and also increase the distance between the gudgeons on the transom. Otherwise it was impossible to be anything but impressed with Red Alert's sailing performance. Ambrose intended the boat to keep pace with the Turisimos in the New Zealand Multihull Club's regular racing, and early indications are that this has been achieved.
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