We built this 3.6m Ripple from a Gaboon plywood kit and had the opportunity to do some sea-trials in the boat. This is a widened version of the standard design, the same as previously built for a client in Duflex foam. The extra beam provides for good space internally and additional stability.
The outboard used for the sea-trials was a 9.9hp Tohatsu which powered this boat well. The boat jumps straight onto the plane very quickly and performs efficiently at half or full throttle. The sea conditions were quite choppy at the time of trials and the boat had a comfortable ride for this sized boat with 2 adults. The twin hulls offered good support and held the boat considerably stable side to side while on the plane through the chop. We found that the engine tilt optimised performance when adjusted to a more vertical position (moving the leg aft) and eliminated any prop cavitation. This also improved the ride by lifting the nose and kept the boat drier.
The boat is lively, very responsive and rides high in the water. Even with 2 adults and 2 kids aboard, the boat planed easily with the extra weight settling the motion in the choppy conditions.
A 15hp engine would have provided good extra top speed and the extra power would be useful for recreational activities like towing kids on tubes etc. We also had the opportunity to trial the boat for a day out fishing. We had 2 adults and two kids aboard and found that this size was extremely user-friendly with plenty of space for this number of people. The stability at rest was impressive even with all passengers on one side.
Ergonomically the internal space worked well and was comfortable. The bridgedeck proved useful for cutting bait or preparing lunch (opposite ends!) or stretching out for a snooze. As with larger catamarans we found that drinks stayed put even with some chop about. As reported from Brian in Tassie, the front locker remained dry and kept a surprising amount of gear out of the way. The boat also rowed well considering it is not a displacement hull in this configuration. The 2 rowing positions gave the flexibility to move the crew around to keep the boat trimmed.
This boat weighed in at 67kg's which is quite respectable and can be lifted by two adults.