Adapting a Weta trimaran for solo dinghy cruising - José Carlos Sánchez

January 14th, 2019

Gijón, Asturias, Spain.

"Weta is made for speed" and it is a compact and light trimaran. Besides tris are stable platforms that can offer the most comfortable sailing. So, you have it all. Just control your speed in all winds and inhabit the boat.

1 Reefing
One or two reefs can be installed on the dacron mainsail. Copy the original aluminium plate for the mainsheet hook (2-­-3mm alu sheet and some inox bolts). You will be able to face winds from F1 to F5, go fast or slow, reduce splash, maneuver in harbor, go trolling, take pictures, etc.

2 Oars
160 cms. oars can be rowed without hitting the amas and can be stowed under the outside crossbar of the trampolines, where they do not bother at all. They can be used as long paddles as well. The "rowlocks" are simply bungee cords attached to the aft aka. Rowing position can be on knees or seated on a traversed board. Rowing the Weta has limited effectiveness: oars are short, the position is not centered and it is difficult to progress against the wind.

3 Outboard bracket
I designed this one because it only needs to drill one hole on the Weta´s fiberglass. It can be installed in less than a minute, does not interfere with sailing and does not load the boat too far back. Wood is not a single block, it covers an internal steel frame.

It is worth considering to install an electric outboard if your local conditions allow it. It will reduce pollution and you will not suffer noise and gasoline smell.

4 Stowage

4.1 Inspection hatch. Weta´s standar inspection hatch is too narrow. A 200 mm aperture hatch is wide enough to put ten-­-liters drybags inside the Weta´s cavernous locker. Mine is a Barton 40081 hatch. A bit wider could be even better.

4.2 Ten liters drybags. Six units of these drybags can stow almost all the gear for 2-­-3 days (sleeping bag, tent, food, water, stove, spare clothes, anchors, fishing gear, cameras, electronics...).

4.3 Headlamp support. A hook attached to the fore bulkhead can be used to tentatively hang up a headlamp to illuminate the locker. It will be useful not only at night.

5 Chest Made of 4mm plywood, it stows a lot of items you need instantly. Its two upper doors do not interfere with the tiller. It is portable and lets the water come out.

6 Bed The central cockpit is a comfortable niche to put your sleeping bag. It only needs to be dry.

6.1 Bulkhead. A wooden bulkhead adjusted with precision to de cockpit inner shape prevents to a large extent water entry. Adjust it tightly to the boat´s shape (save the Weta gelcoat with a plastic sheet and adjust the shape by using polyester putty). Add some neoprene, rubber or foam tape on the edge to seal any gap. I put the bulkhead right in front of the chest (not showed in the photos).

6.2 Plastic sheet. Now you can extend a plastic sheet (1.8 x 2,5 meters approx) to cover all the cockpit and the bulkhead, and make a dry "nest". Make sure there are no holes on the plastic sheet.

7 Tent A pyramidal tent fly can be hoisted by the mainsail halyard and fits the "round" surface of the Weta decks. Mine is a chinese "Flame´s Creed" 2-­-3 people hexagonal pyramid tent (bought from Aliexpress). A row can be used as a pole to plant the complete tent on the ground.

8 Stove The Trangia 27 stove fits perfectly into a 10 liters drybag and goes through the 200 mm inspection hatch. May be you can even make a cofee while (slow) sailing.

9 Anchors
9.1 Bottom anchors. The 200mm inspection hatch is wide enough to stow proper anchors for the Weta (I carry a 2.5 kgs. folding Grapnel and a 3.5 kgs. Britany).

9.2 Floating anchor. It is a must to be able to stop the boat on the water, face to the wind, to reef/hoist the mainsail.

10 Daggerboard case reinforcement Made by adding strong epoxy putty to the rear union of the daggerboard case to the hull. Just in case. Epoxy putty is incredible strong once hardened. I am not sure about what would happen but I would prefer to break the daggerboard...

11 Miscellaneous  Auxiliary stay to raise the mast. It permits to raise the mast by one person without risk of falling. Once the jib is installed, the auxiliary stay can be attached to the base of the mast. It will be used again to lower the mast.

Jib halyard quick tensioning system

Halyards bag

Stowage of the halyards inside the upper mast
Having the halyards in place saves a lot of time. They can be stowed inside the upper mast. A bungee cord set them secure and tight.

Long rope and open climbing blocks to recover the boat whatever the situation you face (slope, sliding floor, mud...). Much better if the car does the traction although you can do it by hand as well. The complete kit remains in the car. You will also need a trolley front wheel.

Trolley front wheel 

Long items storage. Use the amas to stow your rods or long items. Tie them to prevent they go out of reach.

Rod holder This one fits into an aluminium tube (mine is from an arrow shaft) attached with duct tape to the "leg" of the rear aka.

Hope giving some help
Happy Weta cruising!

Photo album here


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