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Can one turn a Windrider 16 trimaran into a small cruising sailboat? Sailor Curtis Patzer shares a short story here, along with some practical details about what he did to turn his WR 16 into something more than a mere daysailer.

I love posting this kinda stuff (and I hope readers enjoy it too :-)


Curtis writes:

I thought I’d send an email to mention my Windrider 16 camp-cruiser.

After scrapping my previous DIY proa, I came across a project WR16. I fixed it up and started sailing it. Very fun boat.

I had really enjoyed camp cruising on my previous boats, so I figured out how to adapt the little WR16 for cruising too. I found a small, light backpacking tent (Eureka Midori 1) with a side door and vestibule, then constructed a side deck to just fit the tent, with knotches and knobs to hold and fasten the tent in place.

The deck is 3/8″ G2S MDO over 1×3 framing, with a 1×6 on the vaka side to compensate for the arched akas. It lashes to the akas over the trampoline. I built a slightly narrower deck for the other side to accommodate a 100W solar panel and 1hp electric motor (a 1.2kWh LiFePO4 DIY battery sits in the vaka behind the seat).

Because the WR16 has only a 500 lb payload capacity, I was very careful to minimize weight at every opportunity. In the end, I was able to set up the boat with enough supplies for a week of sailing and camping at anchor without overloading (the amas were just touching the water).

Dry food, water and a 12 pack cooler stayed in the vaka under the spray skirt, and everything else went on the tramps in dry bags. I did several trips of 2 to 5 days over the summer, covered about 200 miles, and had a great time.

Fair winds,
Curtis Patzer
Burnaby, BC, Canada