Ryan Breymaier takes you on another trip….
“I have not sailed on a boat with a higher size to fun ratio in years”. This was my first thought as we crossed the line in second place in the 90th Bayview-Mac Race up Lake Huron on the custom F-31 trimaran “CHEEKY”.
Take a stock F-31, watch what was happening in the ORMA 60 fleet for inspiration, and start modifying. The boat has a custom canting carbon wingmast, also adjustable in rake, and with about 75 degrees of rotation. Put lifting foils in the floats, capable of keeping the bows out of the water at almost any speed. Add 2 feet to the stern, both to increase the waterline and find a place for 400 pounds of water ballast. Finally, remove the stock interior, and add plenty of carbon to the inner skins and beams, extra bulkheads and stringers, and bowsprit structure. Oh, and get rid of 900 pounds over the stock boat at the same time!
Cheeky will do 11 knots upwind tacking through 90 degrees, and 18 knots beam reaching in 15 knots of breeze. Downwind, with the help of the lifting foils, the asymmetric kite can be flown as long as you dare, certainly up into the high 20s true wind speed.
Although this will probably draw protest from the peanut gallery, I would happily describe ‘CHEEKY’ as the “Cone” of multihulls. Perfect for short and long distance racing. Simple to sail, I’d have no trouble racing the boat to Hawaii. it would be great fun, despite having to live in a dry-suit for the 7 days it would probably take.
Our race to Mackinac Island was a fairly light wind affair, mostly due to the gradient being held aloft by a cushion of cold air from the still unseasonably chilly lake water. This allowed our closest competition, a 50 foot Newick design with a much taller rig to get ahead of us as they were able to get some sail area into the better wind up high.
Regardless, we had a great time VMG running to the Cove Island mark on the northeast corner of the lake, which ended with an 18-20 knot screecher run for the last hour as the wind headed us going into the mark in zero visibility fog and 15 knots of breeze. The adrenaline was pumping as we furled away the screecher and hardened up for the 120 mile westerly beat to the Pink Pony…..
The boat has limited electronics in order to keep battery weight to a minimum and being fogged in, it was impossible to see any landmarks on shore. A lot of the time I felt like we weren’t on the right tack. However looking at the tracker during our debrief, I was pleased to see we made great gains on the beat to pass ‘Ollie’ and catch up seven miles on ‘Lucky Strike’, the eventual winner.
After a short morning of de-rigging and putting the boat on the trailer, we are on the road to Chicago, happy that the long-range forecast for the Chicago-Mac Race this coming weekend is showing downwind conditions for more ‘CHEEKY’ entertainment!
It’s a testament to the pure fun of this boat that Rick Warner, the current owner, continues to race with Ron White (the previous owner) and Mike MacGarry (Florida multihull ace and long-term White/CHEEKY crew). Forming a truly solid team they are proof that time on the water and continuous sailing together produces the best race results. It was a privilege to be able to share in the fun, and I’m looking forward to round 2 this weekend!
Before and after shots of us de-rigging the boat and packing her up to go on the trailer and get towed to Chicago for the next race. Took us 2 hours from start to finish. Too easy.