Proa at sea - CLICK to ZOOM Virus Plus - PROA (sloop rigged 
with small (8 sq m) 4 sided lugsail 
secured to a yard). CLICK to ZOOM

VirusPlus Proa dinghy (Prao)

Sailing the 16ft Polynesian style proa (prao in French) brings a whole new dimension to sailing dinghies. It is stable, manoeuvrable, fast, interesting, unusual, exciting. You can sail it with crew or on your own. You can plonk and outboard motor on it and buzz around the harbour, out to sea, up river, through awkward channels and passages. Ferry passengers or your family around. Go fishing. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Even more exciting than the Trimaran

Discard one of the trimaran's floats to rig your Virus Plus as a PROA sailing dinghy and you completely change the character of the boat. You see, when rigged as a TRIMARAN the leeward float acts like a kid's bicycle's stabiliser and stops the boat from heeling over. Take that float away and you have a bit more of a handful!
Notice the longer cross beams in the Proa - click to zoom

To help you, the Proa's cross beams are longer than the trimaran's and have lead weights in the outboard end so they are equivalent to a 100kg man sitting on the gunwale! Sit out on the trampoline as well and you are well in control.

Notice that the shorter trimaran beam has a kink in it to lift the float off the water so that only one of them is in contact with the water at a time.
Proa and trimaran cross-beams
But you can have more fun too. See how you can play with the balance in this VIDEO CLIP >>> Playing in a Proa - 1.3MB movie clip
The Proa dinghy is cheaper to buy as there is generally less boat. You can start with a small sail and use bigger ones as your confidence grows. Nevertheless we have been surprised to find that almost ten times as many people prefer the symmetry, safety and adaptability of the trimaran, despite the extra cost. However, if you are thoroughbred adrenalin junky who requires an adrenalin fix to keep you happy then the PROA is for you. It is fast lively and fun without being petrifyingly overpowered.

Can be sailed single handed

Once you have set your course you can set the jib using the jamming cleats. This image also shows clearly the shackle securing the mast shrouds to the eyelet on the gunwale. Click to ZOOM in on use of jamming cleat
The tiller has a universally jointed extension, which allows you to sit further forward making handling the Virus-Plus on your own easy as pie. So, indulge yourself. Go faster by reducing the all-up weight; throw your crew overboard! Click to see tiller in ACTION

Manoeuvres well

The Virus Plus PROA tacks well, unlike some catamarans. A lot of catamarans can be cumbersome to tack but the Virus Plus is swift and slick. Check out this video. Tacking the PROA - 1.3MB movie Clip
Gybing too is smooth and calm and readily achieved on your own. Gybing the PROA -1.3MB movie clip

Multihull proa

Progress to the Proa when you feel you have adequate sailing skills, something that you will quickly acquire if you sail the trimaran. Or start with it if you feel that the trimaran will stretch your budget too much. The Virus Plus really is the ultimate family boat. Safe reliable, fast and fun, varied and exciting. It offers so much you will never tire of it and the places you can go in it.
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