Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand

Overdrive. Boating NZ - August 2004
by John MacFarlane
Pictures by Mike Hunter

TE Lawrence noted the difference between those who dream by night and those who dream by day - dusty vanity versus reality. The immaculate finish and carefully crafted detail of the trimaran reviewed here show her builders were no night dreamers.

The people:
Meet Rupert and Karen King, and their 10.66m three-hulled creation Overdrive. Rupert King started dreaming during the 1999 Round North Island Race, when he decided something more stable and solid was required for offshore than a light displacement, 9.75m monohull. He gravitated to a multihull after seeing the Richard Edlin-designed, 10.66m trimaran Lady Hawk. After further research, the Kings bought and resited the shed in which the catamaran Earthling had been built. Nice linkage.

The 10.66 is an evolution of Edlin's first trimaran design, the 9.8m Red Alert. The second generation upgrades were minor - shifting foils to the floats, changing to keel-stepped mast, and increased use of carbon fibre for beams and chainplates.

An experienced boatbuilder, Edlin draws plans from a practical perspective to suit the home boatbuilder - enough detail to build, not enough to confuse. High Modulus provided additional engineering assistance for the hull lay-up, beams, bulkheads, dagger board cases and foils.

Overdrive took the Kings just over three years to build, from resiting the shed to launching the boat. Between them they averaged nearly 80 hours a week boatbuilding, nights and weekends, while holding down fulltime day jobs throughout. It was a grind and there were difficult times.

Rupert King's worst moment was towards the end of the first year. He'd spent three weeks fairing the main hull and believed he was ready to turn it over and glass the inside. The day before turn over, he discovered the main hull had moved, wasting all his fairing work.

“I could've set fire to the bloody thing and walked away at that point,” he says. But, after a day or two regrouping, he turned the hull, glassed the inside, then refaired the outside again, but this time working against gravity, with the hull overhead - it was hard on the shoulders. Karen found it difficult living in a caravan and working full time while also building a boat. Worse, was being unable to escape the boatbuilding dust after she developed an allergic reaction to it.

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