Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand
Three times a lady

LadyHawk looked sleek on the marina berth with her arced and flaired beams. Boating NZ - November 2001
by John MacFarlane
Pictures by Mike Hunter

Even tied up at the bridge marina in Tauranga

looked sleek: the arced and faired beams, rounded sensuous hulls; the low screen, and powerful rig and front prod: were evocative of a bird of prey with speed and power. But not in a brutal, masculine way - this lady has class.

The 10.66m trimaran, LadyHawk, began as Peter and Barbara Giles' desire for a performance cruiser that didn't heel. After discounting catamarans in favour of the central living space of a trimaran, a test sail on the Richard Edlin designed 9.8m trimaran, Red Alert, quickly led back to Edlin with a request for a bigger version. Edlin favours big volume boats - in vogue for monohulls; less so in multihulls, where big volume can be synonymous with undesirable attributes such as weight, and high beam-to-length ratios. Edlin gained performance with an 8:1 beam-to-length ratio at the waterline - and the required interior space, by strongly flaring the hull outwards above the waterline.

The project began in Hamilton five years ago, but 12 months later the three hulls were moved to Auckland and the boat completed by Edlin and his team. Construction is mostly strip planked cedar: the main hull being 12mm cedar, with 600g double bias (DB) glass inside and out; the outer hulls are 10mm cedar with 430g DB - all laminated with Epiglass HT9000 resins. Beams are laminates of ply, carbon fibre and DB cloth, while the cabin top is a sandwich of ply, glass, foam and more glass outside. Carbon was used for the chainplates, backed-up by foam knees and cedar stringers in the outer floats for longitudinal stiffness. High Modulus supplied engineering assistance in the critical areas of beams, bulkheads, daggerboard cases and lay-up specifications. The boat is more than strong enough for offshore use. The biggest challenge in multihull design, if speed and accommodation are required, is keeping it light - which means expense. After talking to Edlin and Giles it would appear that Lady Hawk has cost around 35 to 40% more than a 10.6m keelboat of a comparative standard: a significant investment for the Giles family.

Layout - interior:
I started my inspection inside from the bow, where I found a snug double berth, with shelves either side acting as strengthening members, and head room aft of the bunk for undressing. Ducking back under the substantial main beam: to port, a door led to the enclosed toilet/shower. This has a large bench top, lockers and vanity unit, and features a sit-down shower for use underway.

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