Red Baron - French Trimaran

The Red Baron was built by Frank Pittelli in 1996 and is modeled after the CAP 33, a French Trimaran, that was designed by Jean-Marie Vidal circa 1972. The CAP 33 placed 3rd in a transatlantic single-handed race in 1972.

The model was built out of fiberglass from two home-made fiberglass molds, measuring 65 inches LOD. The pontoons are held in place by a pair of amrons that were built by bending and laminating 6 strips of 1/16" plywood. They are a little heavier than desired, but are very strong. A dagger-board was mounted below the main hull, modeling the center-board used on the real ship for lateral resistance. No keel weight is used on the model at all; relying solely on the pontoons for stability.

The Red Baron was built primarily to learn and experiment with a number of different building techniques including foam plug construction, fiberglass mold making, fiberglass hull production, linear sail winches, and sail making.

The most interesting challenge was that of developing a sail winch that would fit into the narrow main hull and that had enough power and motion to haul in the rather large sails. The resulting solution makes use of a $10.00 geared motor which is used to drive a 1.5" diameter drum. A continuous loop of steel wire runs around the drum and moves a small car back and forth between two cut-off switches. The entire assembly is about 16" long, 2" wide and 3" inches deep.