Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand
Three times a lady

The cabin top is fairly flat giving access to the mast and foredeck. Continued - Lady Hawk pg3

Apart from a little timber trim around the table and galley, and the varnished floorboards and steps, all surfaces are painted for a seamless, low maintenance finish, with an emphasis on coved and rounded corners. The cockpit has a choice of seating either side, or centrally facing aft, still leaving room to stand at the main winches. The sailing controls run back in three groups: one either side, and one central, and each group has a bank of Easylock jammers and a stainless steel Anderson winch - the outer two being self-tailing. As an aside, I can personally recommend these winches having rescued three of them from 14 years out in the weather without use. After a clean and grease they are operating perfectly two years later, still with the original springs and pawls. The windscreen and radar arch were added 12 months ago, but look part of the original design, a canopy can be added in between, virtually making another cabin. The helmsperson has the best seat in the house perched up behind the stainless steel wheel; the pedestal contains the steering mechanism. The side decks are black trampolines and are firm underfoot, courtesy of an aluminium framework with a hidden tensioning system underneath. This material is quite a close weave and weeps any spray. The cabin top is fairly flat giving easy access to the mast. Lowish lifelines lead to the bow area, with a Manson plough anchor mounted in a roller, and the all-chain rode disappearing via an electric windlass into its self-draining locker. A permanent wooden bowsprit holds the two-meter aluminium prod; this takes the overall length out to 13.1m from the main hull length of 10.66m. The floats have twin daggerboards and rudders, designed after Edlin experienced a loss of steering on Red Alert when the main hull left the water at more than 20kts. I found the foils easy to raise and lower in their cases with one hand: a pin locks them in place and all foils are interchangeable in case of breakage. The steering is hydraulic and the rudder cases are mounted on a stainless steel framework. These frames are braced back to the main hull to take side loads, and act as mini pushpits for the safety of anyone adjusting the rudder blades underway. I didn't find the aesthetics of the framework particularly appealing, but there is no doubting its strength which is obviously far more important. I had some doubt about the value of the low lifelines at the edge of the floats, but Giles assured me they are designed only to stop children's feet slipping off the edge. Setting the drifter / reacher brought LadyHawk to life.The floats have bulkheads fore and aft for buoyancy, while the centre portion is available for lightweight storage, with access via Weaver hatches. Lady Hawk has 200% floats, meaning each float can support twice the weight of the entire vessel. The higher the float buoyancy, the more the sail carrying power and ultimate stability, and that means more safety in strong winds and/or rough seas.

The JT Spars-supplied mast is keel-stepped - slightly unusual because trimarans typically deck-step their masts, utilising the daggerboard case as a compression strut. But on Lady Hawk, with the daggerboards out on the floats and a rotating mast rejected in favour of simplicity, keel-stepping gave added stiffness and ease of construction. The double spreader rig is stayed to the main hull, and backed-up with cap and masthead shrouds out to the floats. To an extent, both staying systems overlap - not such a bad thing with the high rigging loads.

Continued page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5