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In this post, we once again hear from sailor (and DIY boatbuilder) Hans Schipper. He shares his recent experience building lightweight amas out of foam, along with the motive behind their creation in the first place.

He attached these to a kayak he named “Watermouse.” About this kayak with double outriggers Hans writes:

Inspired by my sailing with Breeze (the “nearly a trimaran”) I started this winter with making amas as light as possible for a trimaran as small as possible. In a container around the corner I found beautiful styrodur xps foam strips which are the base of the amas.

With some sawing, cutting and sanding I made 3.7 m long hulls and covered them with two layers glass-fibre epoxy. Together the hulls have a weight of 14 kilos The seat shelf, also made of xps foam weighs 3 kilos.

Building with foam does give a light and strong result, but it is difficult to get a tight result. I do not recommend the material for perfectionists.

During making the amas I found an old kayak on Craigslist which, I think is perfect for the centre hull. I got some aluminum tubes from a friend for the akas. I used aluminum road sign mounting hardware to connect the tubes to the floats. For mounting on the canoe I again used plexiglass fittings.

I added stability foils to be able to have a bigger sail. Now I am working on the rig, which again has special requirements because you can no longer reach everything while sailing on such a small boat.

Of course I am curious how this tri will sail. To what wind force can I sit in the canoe or do I stay the most on the seat board? How wet does it sail? Is the stability enough? Does the whole have sufficient lateral resistance for the upwind course without a daggerboard? Before that happens I have to solve some technical problem.

In a while I will inform you about the answers to the above questions. I will also tell you when it becomes a disaster.

Kind regards,
Hans Schipper