Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand
Red Alert review continued - pg4
The emphasis on this boat is simplicity while still providing the basic cruising amenities. Outboard power certainly goes a long way to achieving this, but it does present a problem for battery charging. The owner considered solar panels, but in the end chose to import a high-output 60-amp alternator from Canada that attaches directly to the outboard at a cost of around $600. The fridge unit is cooled by a Tropicool thermoelectric system: cost effective and easy to install, and draws only 1.5 amps. The pressure water is heated by a gas califont and there is a 200-litre water tank under the the L-shaped settee.
The compact but very well thought out galley.

Edlin describes the boat as "built to last" and it felt like it during sailing trials. He has laminated the strip cedar core with double-bias cloth inside and out using Epiglass HT 9000 for all laminating work. The deck and cockpit are Amex foam sandwich. Careful thought has gone into minimising the weight of interior structures. Foam has been used where possible including bulkheads (foam and ply). Even the table is foam. Elsewhere Edlin has chosen plywood of the minimum thickness possible.

The beams are glassed ply-wood box structures integrated into the main hull and glassed heavily. Originally the beams were going to be demountable so that the boat could be trans-ported to the sea from where it was built in the backyard of the Ambrose's Whenuapai home. Instead it was decided the beams would be fixed and a crane hired to lift the boat over the house and into the water.

Following the well-respected Mix T Motions, Red Alert shows the versatility of a young designer from whom I am sure we will hear a lot more. Presently Edlin has two 10.5 metre fast cruising monohulls underway, and just to prove beyond any doubt that he won't be boxed into any particular design corner, he also has a 10m launch on his drawing board. Red Alert shouldn't just be judged multihull against multihull (although in that respect it must stack up exceptionally well as a cruiser racer). Rather it should be judged against all other coastal cruising craft in this size band. A couple or small family would find themselves well served by its accommodations plus the exterior space for summer lounging that multi-hull are renowned for. And let's not forget the not insignificant advantages of shoal draft and a level ride. With outboard power and simple systems the boat should stack up well against similar length monohulls. In short, people who have always been attracted to the speed of multihulls but put off by their cruising limitations should think again.

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