We promised you Ryan Breymaier’s look at the newest racing trimaran on the market, and here it is; it’s the Diam 24, a ‘mini MOD-70’ from the desk of the guys who gave you some of the biggest big boat racing successes of the past decade. Be sure to check out what Breymaier’s up to lately over here.
Imagine a Melges 24-sized boat that sails 14 knots upwind instead of 7, and 30 downwind instead of 18. And all without any nerve-damaging hiking at all!
Meet the Diam 24; a beautifully built, impressively simple trimaran designed by multihull masters VPLP and built in Port La Foret, France, about 10 minutes from my house.
Vianney Ancelin is the man behind the project; I met him about 5 years ago while looking for a place to keep my newly acquired beach cat. Turns out that my Diam F-18 was built by him, and his factory is right next to a beautiful launch ramp, while his parking lot is full of small multihulls, Tornados, F-18s, A-Cats, Multi 23s, whatever you can imagine, all within minutes of my front door.
Anyway, Vianney’s trapezing days at the helm of an F-18 are over, and he had always dreamed of building an easily launched, easily sailed trimaran; something to race, to raid, or just to island hop through the Glenans.
The Diam 24 OD is the result, and it doesn’t disappoint. Carbon beams and mast, glass/pvc sandwich hulls, 3 sails, and a beach dolly, and with the minimum of extra equipment and the maximum of design know-how from VPLP. In looks and performance, this boat is a baby brother of the MOD. Overall dimensions: 24 feet x 18.5 feet, with a 37-foot mast. It weighs 1000 pounds, with 515 square feet of sail downwind.
The amas and beams are demountable for trailering and storage; set up is quick and easy, and the two-piece mast completes the easy-to-move package.
The foil package is simple; kick-up, transom hung float rudders and a central dagger board. The boat deliberately does not have lifting foils in an attempt to keep it simple while sailing, as well as to keep the price down to a bare minimum.
Sail handling is easy as well, the jib and gennaker on Karver KF2 furlers, and the mainsail on a conventional halyard with clutch at the mastbase.
Jibsheet is 4:1 self tacking, mainsheet is a 7:1 gross tune on the traveller car connected to a 3:1 fine tune under the boom for a total of 21:1, all while keeping the block sizes and prices to a minimum. There are two winches, one on each floater, used only for the gennaker sheets.
As this is a one-design race boat, there has been no attempt to create usable interior, simply a storage space under the foredeck, and a trench cockpit from the mastbase to the aft beam. Again – think of it as the triple hulled version of a Melges 24.
One thing that annoys me about many dinghies and small race boats is the time it takes to set them up and break them down; it often seems like you spend as much time building and dismantling as you do sailing! Designers of the Diam 24 have taken extra care to keep that time to an absolute minimum. Each beam bolts into place with 4 bolts, with a locating pin to keep them in place. The floater/beam connection is a highly engineered double cone to keep it stiff, but uses just one fastener to keep it in place. The trampolines have loops at 2 corners, along with track on the central hull so that they can be done up without any knot tying.
All in all, I am confident that the whole boat can be fully rigged in the same or a bit less time than an F-18 or other beach cat, and this is quite a bit more boat.
The Diam is sold with everything one needs, right down to the Kevlar/membrane sail package, for 49,900 euros. For 5400 euros extra, you can pick up the custom trailer with ramps that allow you to load the beach dolly directly onto it.
If I was looking for a great boat to race in the light airs of my native Chesapeake, or I wanted speed with the occasional high-speed family picnic, I would be seriously considering this one.