Skateaway for sale/sail

Y’all have read our frequent references and thanks to Keith at Skateaway Design for his help in outfitting and optimizing Ravenswing. Today we’re going to talk about HIS boat, Skateaway. I had the pleasure of visiting Keith & Val’s waterfront property on the NJ coast for a sail on their catamaran and a thorough walkthru of the amazing trimaran Skateaway. They had successfully built other ocean boats before this, but Skateaway seems to me to be a life-achievement project. Rarely do you see someone think through their use-objectives, design to those needs, personally build in very high quality, execute and refine year after year, and actually use the object for many enjoyable years.

This boat is light, strong, seaworthy and fast. Fully outfitted it sails at about 6,000lbs. Geez, that’s 3,000lbs LESS for 4′ longer than Ravenswing, and our boat feels rather sporty. There’s a long list of racing accomplishments available. And it was a treat to look at the photo albums of Val’s documentation of the building process.

Here are two walk around videos of the boat:

The interior is clean, comfortable and simple. Everything inside is about as low maintenance as you can get; it’s meant to go sailing long distances and not spend time fussing with gear.

Look closely and notice details like the dining table storing up on the coachroof, with a simple thumbscrew to bring it down in position. The bunks look great. Secure at sea, and your choice of daylight up in the wing areas of central cabin or snug in the forward and aft cabins.

Head is in the fore peak. No thruhulls or tanks needed = light weight and easy to maintain!

The cockpit area seems like a serious ocean safety place – it’s actually twin stations set very deep alongside the massive spine of the boat.

Clearly Keith has sailed many miles here and optimized the sail handling controls for solo or short handed work. It all made sense immediately looking at it. And he’s spared no expense on keeping up the finest hardware on this boat.

I was very interested in the rig, as Skateaway was one of Composite Engineering’s earlier big-trimaran custom carbon mast builds. These are the people building our mast, and we’ve also seen the quality of their work on Rick W’s Explorer 44 Round Midnight. These stiff, light, strong masts hold sail shape so well, making the boats very responsive to their sails. Skateaway’s mast is 58′ and has been through a couple of upgrade cycles. It’s currently outfitted with high end Hydranet sails.

What a treat to get to know this special boat. After so many successful sails, Keith and Val have decided to sell Skateaway. At this point he says they’re ok ‘de-tuning’ the whole high performance gig in favor of the cruising cat lifestyle.

Skateaway needs to find that special buyer; the sailor that wants serious ocean performance along with no-frills amenities. This is a pure sailing craft with seemingly zero regard for today’s distractions like fancy swim platforms, dolphin-watching bow seats, big hard dodgers, etc.

Who do we know that wants to do a major solo ocean race, or super fast minimalist cruising, or jump right into campaigning a crewed boat in coastal series? Help me get the word out for Keith about his one of a kind beauty boat. She needs to make another tri-mariner very happy. Send your comments and I’ll pass them along. Thanks!

PS. Next time we’ll update you from the visit to Composite Engineering, 10 months into Ravenswing’s mast re-do ordeal.

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Boom, version 2

Happy July to you. We did a bit of work on Ravenswing in June, so here’s a recap.

The daggerboard got the bottom paint for the section that rests below the standing water line.

Griffin and I took it to the boat, and darned if it didn’t get stuck in the case. It’s about a millimeter wrong, so we have a bit of shaving to do for a proper, snug fit. Nuts.

Next up is a set of upgrades to the boom. The outboard end with the turning sheaves for the outhaul and clew reefing lines didn’t do a proper job of separating and fair-leading the lines. Now it will get a proper fitted sheave box:

Under heavy sailing, we’ve had some flex in the boom’s walls, so we’re beefing up the bottom side bridges with carbon uni straps.

The reefing lines for the sail’s clew points were terminating on the boom with clutches and the winch to crank in the reefs. As Jim will tell you, that was a less than ideal set up. We’re now going to bring the mainsail reefing controls back to the cockpit. (Similar to Round Midnight’s setup, Rick). So off comes the custom pads we built a couple years back.

Back on deck, various sail handling details continue. Showing you a new cleat for the reacher sail’s furling gear to explain the new way we’re putting any holes in the deck or cabin sides. Drill oversized, swab the hole with epoxy, and bond in a bit of fiberglass tube whose inside diameter fits the part’s necessary hardware size.

Finally, a note for Arno for his fantastic new Thriller. We’re really happy with these Armstrong deck inspection hatches. They fit and seal really well. But because they don’t have any frame, they’re untethered when removed. I imagined dropping one of these at sea, and ran for the drill and a bit of string. Just a thought, Arno!