W17 Sailing Trimaran

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For more descriptive information on the W17, CLICK on one of the links below…

Preliminary Design Concept & Development
Review of W17 Hull Forms
Intro Part 1—The W17 Design
Intro Part 2—Building the W17
Intro Part 3—Build Manual & Plans
W17R—Racing Rig

Further Information…

What Builders are saying about the W17…
What Sailors are saying about the W17 ...
World Map of W17 Builders & plan owners
LATEST NEWS on Building the W17
Sailing Pics and Reports of the W17
CNC-cut Plywood Kit for the W17 (February 18, 2011)
Links for Sailing photos and Videos

March 16, 2010, updated Dec 2020

Study Profile of the W17 Sailing Trimaran

Many sailors are intrigued or already bitten by the multihull bug, but not everyone is ready to put thousands of hours into building, or dollars into buying boats now on the market. So for those seeking to experience the pleasures of sailing flat and fast, getting on a beach cat has commonly been the way to go. But though exciting, they do tend to be very wet, have almost no storage, are often uncomfortable and come with a tendency to flip with little warning.

Today, from racing around the globe to the prestigious America's Cup, winning boats are commonly TRIMARANS, so a small trimaran is clearly an attractive alternative way-to-go and the W17 has been designed not only for home construction at relatively low cost, but also to improve significantly on the attributes of a beach cat without many of the disadvantages.

With all my designs, I am personally looking for 'Overall Performance' and by that I mean a blend of attributes that makes my boats a real pleasure to own and sail. First of all, I want them to feel and perform efficiently. I also want them cost effective, comfortable and drier than their competitors and to provide a sailing satisfaction that brings the lucky owners home with undeniable smiles on their faces—and we now know that the W17 is such a boat.

This boat readily folds to only 7'-3" (2.2 m)—less than most day catamarans and can be trailed on a flat-bed trailer or sat on the sand. She is stable and roomy yet still moves with the ease and fine feel of a thoroughbred. She is designed with a rotating wingmast in mind; one that can be homebuilt with plans available via this website, for either a wood-glass wingmast for the cruise rig or for a fine carbon-fiber wingmast for the Race rig that has received enthusiastic reviews of its own.   And I'd wager that the W17 Plans and Build Manual are more detailed than any previous 17-footer out there on the market! So take a read through the other articles in the W17 Main Page and take a serious thought about giving a small trimaran a try. There is something extremely satisfying about building your own boat as many in the past have learned. But there are not many designs out there that still use familiar material like plywood (that's available almost the world over), yet still retain a professional look to the design, rig and physical boat.  Its combination with epoxy and glass using the unique ABC System, makes for easy maintenance that goes a long way to prolonging its life when used as directed.  With space for 3-4 to daysail or by enjoying some fast sailing for 1-2, this boat will change the way you think about sailing.  With her dryness, high stability, self-draining cockpit and great upwind performance in a wide range of conditions, she makes a super camp-cruiser. And for anyone who thinks the hull shapes are too basic or unsophisticated, I urge you to read the tech. articles about these shapes and the sailors reviews.    I guarantee you will have zero sensation of 'sailing on a box' when you sail a W17.   The smooth, quiet efficiency is a shock to many.

CLICK HERE to download and save or print this Study Profile in PDF-format.

  Only the CRUISING RIG shown here


Displacement at DWL:  780 lbs
Maximum displacement:  ~1000 lbs
Buoyancy of Ama:  700 lbs
Estimated weight:  ~410 lbs (185 kg)
Estimated construction time:  450–600 hrs

Estimated cost of materials:  $4200–$7900 (2020)
     depending on country, source and quality

     Reacher/drifter:  9.6 m² (103 ft²)
     Assymetrical:  12 m² (130 ft²)

Designed by:    mike waters n.a.
LOA: 5.20 m (17'-1")
LWL: 5.14 m (16'-10")
Beam sailing: 4.25 m (13'-11")
Beam folded: 2.2 m (7'-3")
Main: 11.1 m² (120 ft²)
Jib: 4.4 m² (47 ft²)
Total upwind: 15.5 m² (167 ft²)
Wing Mast: 7.35 m (24 ft)

Wing Mast adds 10 ft² to shown
Cruising Rig. Optional Racing
Rig has 200 ft²

W17 Sail Plan

W17 Deck Plan

W17 Section
W17 Folded
Description Quantity (main items only)
Plywood 4' x 8' (1.22 m x 2.44 m) x 4.5 mm 9 sheets
Plywood 4' x 8' (1.22 m x 2.44 m) x 6 mm 7 sheets
Plywood 4' x 8' (1.22 m x 2.44 m) x 3 mm 1.25 sheets
Spruce/Pine/Cedar (stringers) 30 bd-ft (2.5 ft³, 0.07 m³)
Hardwood - mahogany 6 bd-ft (0.5 ft³, 0.01 m³)
Epoxy resin & hardener, fillers 4–6 gallons - depending on sheathing
Fibreglass cloth (6-oz) 50–80 sq-yd - depending on sheathing
Fibreglass - 45/45 Bias and Unidirectional cloth  small quantities
Paint - Varnish to finish

W17 - 01 SailPlan Cruise + 01R Sailplan for Race Rig
W17 - 02 Main Hull (vaka)
W17 - 03 Main Stempiece
W17 - 04 Deck structures
W17 - 05 Amas
W17 - 06 Ama stempiece
W17 - 07 Building Platform
W17 - 08 Daggerboard Case
W17 - 09 Deck Plan
W17 - 10 Aft Beam (aka)
W17 - 11 Forward Beam
W17 - 12 Curved beam ends
W17 - 13 Daggerboard, boom, rudder arrgt. & tiller
W17 - 14 Spade Rudder
W17 - 15 Fwd beam fairings

     Detailed Build Manual is over 100 pages with

                   100+ photos and sketches 

Manual Sample

Study Profile

CLICK HERE to download your own copy of the Study Profile

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