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The Buccaneer 24 Trimaran

The plans for this great little all-ply boat are still advertised here for about $150, and include full size templates for frames (Go to this Forum for more info and track down 'OldSailor7' to inquire about these plans.). The boat demounts of course, and the aka tubes simply act as struts with virtually a ball joint at the main hull sleeve. Effectively, the mast holds everything up but it works and is light!

There were originally three models of the Buccaneer. The B24, B28 and B33 (?) if I remember well. A B24 in New Zealand (named Miranda—formerly Gulf Chariot), was extended in the stern to 28' to remove the excessive stern rocker that only worked well in light weather. They also removed the main hull daggerboard and added asymmetric foils in floats (angled at approximately 25 degrees) and fitted a new, underhung and balanced rudder, rotating mast and 78 rig. This made the boat much quicker than the original, even though it was too light to ever be slow (it could be even faster with a slightly taller fat-head rig).

After owning two, I can say the B24 was amazingly nimble in very light airs, as it could be sailed only on the center hull, and in mixed racing in light conditions, she would often keep up with 40' racing monohulls! However, the high dihedral that permitted that, also made the boat very tippy at mooring and permitted more heel than necessary. There's always a design trade-off or compromise to be made.

For those who like traditional ply on frame construction, is no doubt one of the best of the older designs still out there, with the boats by Norman Cross being another option from the same time period. I would however, recommend to modify the stern lines of the main B24 hull as was done on Miranda, as this can help the top end considerably. Otherwise, just follow the plans and keep it light. I've seen some that were overbuilt with too much epoxy etc., and added stiffeners with thicker ply and they never did sail well. Lock Crowther (aeronautical engineer) knew what he was doing! His son still runs a design business, but is into much bigger things.

"Designer Mike Waters previously owned two of these Buccaneer 24s in the 80s. His new, more up-to-date, higher performance (relative to length) W17 trimaran, was certainly influenced by the experience. See here for more info on the W17 and also Construction Tips for help in building one." —webmaster

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