Proa or Trimaran? Which is better for me?
|If safety is your major concern then plump for the trimaran. This is a very forgiving boat because the unsinkable float on the leeward side will hold the boat almost level, whilst you sort yourself out with the seating arrangements on the windward side. To give you an idea of the reduction in risk of capsizing that this float provides let me tell you that in order to conform to regulations the manufacturers had to demonstrate that the Virus Plus could be righted from a capsize - but they had such extreme difficulty capsizing the trimaran that eventually they had to resort to half filling one float with water before it could be immersed enough for the boat to capsize! Could it then be righted with the float half full of water? Yes of course. Easy-peasy!
Another advantage of the trimaran is that with the addition of a Family Pack you can quickly convert it to a Kataram or a Proa.
|If excitement or affordability are your main criteria then choose the Proa. It is a lot of fun seeing how high you can get the float off the water when the float is on the windward side. You can capsize a Proa if you want. Children love capsize drills. Give them wet suits and they'd spend all day capsizing for fun. And of course being lighter the Proa is also a little faster than the Trimaran. And at the end of the day it is cheaper because there is less boat to buy. That said, we sell almost ten times as many trimarans as proas.
How fast is it?
|The top speed of the VirusPlus is about 12 knots. Here you see Trimaran with a 10m2 sail running with a 20 knot wind! The more powerful 14m2 sail will not have a higher top speed. It will merely reach the top speed when the wind is not so strong. If you want to go faster have a look at the sleek new MAGNUM 21.
Will it turn?
You may have heard that catamarans can be difficult to tack and gybe. Not so the Virus Plus. Whether in trimaran mode or proa the boat is nimble and maneuverable. Check out the video clips on the trimaran and proa pages.
Which sail will suit me best?
There are three different sails.
- 8 sq m Lugsail
- Only used on the Proa, this is the smallest and least powerful sail.
- The head of the sail is attached to a pole called a yard.
- It is an unusual rig that is fun and challenging to sail with.
- It has a safety advantage as there is no boom with this kind of sail so you do not have to beware of being knocked out during gybing.
- 10 sq m Gunter Sail or Houari
- This is the most popular sail sold with the Virus Plus.
- It fits snuggly onto a pole called a gaff that has a hook on the end of it for attachment to the mast.
- It can be used on either the trimaran or the proa.
- In the photographs you can distinguish the 10m2 sail from the 14m2 by the boom.
- The boom of the 10m2 sail has what looks like a black rowlock in the end of it to locate it in the mast and that is exactly what it is, a rowlock.
- 14 sq m Gunter Sail or Houari
- This is the biggest and therefore most powerful sail, it can nevertheless be used on either the trimaran or the proa.
- However, above force 4 or 5 it should be reefed in to reduce its power.
- It also fits snuggly onto a gaff.
- The boom has a hole in its end that fits onto the gooseneck on the mast.
- 14 sq m Marconi rig
- A more modern type of rig where the bolt rope of the main sail slides up a slot in the mast. This makes hoisting the main sail and also taking a reef or shaking it out much easier especially when these tasks are done on the water. The drawback is that the mast is therefore all in one piece and not quite so easy to handle. But still this is not a big mast by multihull standards.