Continued - Lady Hawk pg5
The boat felt solid under sail, the three hulls acting as one unit, with no creaking, groaning or signs of stress, just the bustle of water leaving the lee rudder. Conditions were hardly those to check for signs of nosediving, but Edlin reports the smaller Red Alert has been buried back as far as the main beam; on a reach while racing at 20kts - it just popped back out and took off again. Lady Hawk has more buoyancy proportionally than Red Alert - the ultimate stability of a trimaran this size is high. While no boat is completely idiot-proof, Lady Hawk would have to be seriously badly handled in strong winds to get into difficulties. In this respect, a trimaran is more forgiving than a catamaran. I found the steering station excellent for comfort and safety: visibility ahead was panoramic, the screen channels wind overhead, the radar arch provides shade, and by turning 90 degrees either way I had an easy reach to the double ended main sheet and traveller controls, with a winch to back up arm power. The cockpit was big enough for the five we had aboard without tripping over each other, but two can sail this boat easily, while three would be ideal for racing. There's something about helming a trimaran when it's nicely in the groove, in a good breeze, on flat water. On the way home, as we slid smoothly down Tauranga's harbour at 11.5kts in 13kts apparent, the grins of delight on the team aboard Lady Hawk told the story - absolutely magical.
The ever-smiling Giles told me Lady Hawk has well exceeded his expectations, which is surely the most important objective for a one-off boat. Likewise, I came away impressed. As a fast cruiser for one to two couples it has all you could want in a 10.6m boat: the handling is positive, and the boat gives a tremendous feeling of power and stability. Given the relatively limited sail wardrobe, performance is excellent. The addition of a couple of extra sails would further increase this. It's always a pleasure to sail on a boat built predominantly for the joys of sailing fast without drama - well done to all concerned.
Suppliers to Lady Hawk include - Richard Edlin (RE Marine): design/build; High Modulus: engineering specifications; JT Spars: rig; Power and Marine: Yanmar diesel auxiliary; Nordic Marketing: winches, traveller; Quality Stainless: stainless steel work; Weaver: hatches; Marine Direct: Coursemaster 700 auto pilot, Navman: GPS, chartplotter; Marvel Distributors: stove, sink, califont, taps; BEP: switch panel; Akzo Lusty & Blundell: instrumentation; Noble Coatings: paint, resins; Southern Cross Paints: non skid; Touch of Gloss: paint application; Doyle Sails: sails; Richard Howe Upholsters: upholstery; Hydrive: hydraulic steering: