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SWATH - It all started with this tiny model, made of paper and cardboard. It floated perfectly as a submerged central hull, with outriggers just skimming the water surface, to provide stability.


In the years that followed a swing wing system and wind turbine boom were developed on a land vehicle. The idea is to combine a rotary sail generator with solar panels to allow faster blue water transits, allied to advanced computer navigation for green lanes.



The 'Elizabeth Swann' is an in-progress design study, under development, in the hope of defining a technical/cost compromise that will allow the vessel to beat the present water speed record for solar powered vessels.  For this we need minimum frontal areas in and out of the water, and superior hydro and aerodynamics.


There are 2 possible designs we are evaluating cost and complexity wise:


1. A single central submerged hull stabilized by outriggers - or Small Waterplane Area Triple Hull (SWATH).


2. A single central wave piercing hull stabilized by outriggers as a trimaran.







The Autonomous AI solar and wind powered ship Elizabeth Swann


WAVE PIERCING HULL - In this CAD drawing the simple cylindrical hull design we started with has been revised to further reduce weight, air & water drag. The outrigger sponsons are ride height adjustable with a proprietary drag reducing system (not shown) that keeps them out of the sea for much of the time, further reducing water resistance.




V WINGS - CALM RUNNING - In calmer seas with a following wind and the sun overhead, the cantilevered sponsons may be lifted out of the water, with the V-foils. Small 4-point sailing craft benefit the most from hydrofoils, overcoming their speed/length ratio restrictions as they take to the air, also achieving speeds equivalent to wind speed. Whereas, larger craft reach twice wind speed for long periods, dependent on conditions.






TRIMARAN - The trimaran wave piercing hull design in plan view without solar panels or wings, is identical in general layout to the SWATH proposal except that the main, central hull is roughly half the diameter of the surface configuration.




200mm small scale model paper and cardboard copyright design


FAITHFUL REPLICA - You can see from the 1:200 model, that the CAD version of the proposed design closely resembles the original concept.

















Click on the sections to see details/dimensions
















Click on the sections to see details/dimensions



Both of the proposed hull designs share the same:


a) Ultra light superstructure purposed designed to harvest energy from nature via b) and c) below,


b) Solar wings that track the sun and fold for storms, in concert with


c) A turbine generator on a mast that tracks wind conditions and furls for storms.


- Hull drag estimates

- Interior design

- Propulsion

- Weight analysis









A trimaran is a boat, yacht or ship with three hulls. A catamaran has two hulls, and a monohull, just one hull. Hence, a submarine is a monohull, as are most cargo ships and cruise liners. Whereas, some of the faster ferries are catamarans, and a very few trimarans. Most trimarans are yachts.


Also known as a double outrigger, the arrangement is specifically comprised of a main hull with two smaller hulls that are attached by lateral beams to the central (main) hull. Some trimaran designs in this class are used as warships. Originating in the South Pacific, the double-outrigger style of the trimaran was first used for fishing and ferrying between the islands of Madagascar and Southeast Asia.


The Elizabeth Swann is a triple hulled yacht, specifically designed to be faster, but not to carry sails as the main power source, instead to carry solar panels for most of the energy harvesting - one of the first to do so. The Swann is also designed to carry wind energy harvesting apparatus, that could be collapsible sails, a HAWT or VAWT wind turbine generator. The same mounting frame can be used for either wind collector, interchangeably, such that experiments in real world situations might be conducted. The wind harvesting element is ancillary to the vast solar wing capacity.


Is a trimaran faster than a catamaran?


When sailing, a trimaran is better at getting upwind than a catamaran, which is more prone to drifting. Trimarans are therefore faster than catamarans and this difference is very significant when sailing into the wind thanks to the centering of the weight in the central hull which limits pitching. As a result, trimarans are generally more efficient than catamarans.

Trimarans offer several capabilities to bridge the gap between monohulls and catamarans. Most of the comments below on different websites, concern sailing trimarans:

- Excellent for high speed.
- Moderate weight carrying capacity.
- Good seakeeping capability.
- Larger available deck area.

Which is more stable trimaran vs catamaran?

The La Rochelle company argues its trimarans are more stable than cruising catamarans. They say Cats, reach their peak righting moment at 12º heel, beyond which sail needs to be reduced. That peak for a tri, however, is not until 27º heel – an unusually steep angle for cruising.

Can a trimaran capsize?

40 years of sailing trimarans and catamarans didn't prepare us for how Coconut sails. It's practically impossible to capsize her! The first time we went up (like in the photo below), we thought we were flipping over!

Is a trimaran safe?

Trimarans are safe, powerful and have the speed when you need it. Even in the storms of the southern oceans, trimarans are safe, easy to handle and faster on all points of sail due to their wide beam and light weight.


The long length of the center hull also offers great advantages for seakeeping. This length greatly reduces pitch motions in a wave, and the narrow center hull reduces chances of slamming. To improve things even more, the side 'amas' reduce roll motions.

What is the fastest trimaran?

An astonishing new solo 24-hour record has been set by French sailor François Gabart. The single-hander covered 851 miles in the South Atlantic in his 98ft trimaran MACIF. This equates to a day-and-night average speed of 35.4 knots.15 Nov 2017

Like all boats, the performance of a sailing trimaran depends on the sail surface and wetted hull area, such as the Neel boats @ around 17m2 per tonne.

How much does a trimaran cost ?

Trimaran sailing vessels for sale on YachtWorld are available for a range of prices from $10,000 on the lower-cost segment of yachts all the way up to $7,000,000 million dollars for the most luxurious model vessels.

Reference YachtWorld, the average capacity for trimaran sailing vessels is 10 people with a maximum capacity of 30 passengers, and the average length overall (LOA) is 35 feet. Listings range in size from 16 feet long to 85 feet long, with an average sail area of 1,140 square feet and a maximum sail area of 2,657 square feet. There were 172 trimaran yachts for sale on YachtWorld in June 2021, with 68 new vessels for sale, and 104 used and custom yachts listed. These vessels are all listed by professional yacht brokerages and new boat dealers, mainly in the following countries: United States, France, United Kingdom, French Polynesia and Australia.




M. Hanlon, “U.S. Navy Orders a Second Trimaran Littoral Combat Ship,” New Atlas, 21 December 2006.
Defense Industry Daily, “LCS: The USA’s Littoral Combat Ship,” Defense Industry Daily, 20 Mar 2018.
R. Lamb, “High Speed, Small Naval Vessel Technology Development Plan,” Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warface Center, NSWCCD-20-TR-2003/09, Bethesda, MD
Naval Technology, “Triton Trimaran,” Naval Technology, 05 Apr 2018.
Aker Maritime, “Aker ARC 131 Trimaran Harbour Icebreaker,” Aker Arctic, 2014. 
“Pixabay,” Pixabay, 01 Nov 2017.
Wikpedia Contributors, “Trimaran,” The Free Encyclopedia, 31 Jan 2018.





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