This new folding racer- cruiser is primed to take over the title of most popular trimaran from its predecessor
Without a doubt, the Corsair F27 has been the most popular trimaran design of all time. It’s in the Sailboat Hall of Fame. But the Corsair group thought it was time to replace that model and has come up with this interesting 29-footer with the same folding ama design originally developed by the late Ian Farrier.
No designer credit is given for the new 29-foot 880 so we’ll just have to assume it’s an in-house design. My good buddy Doug on the next beach has an F27 and I have sailed frequently with him, so I know the boat quite well. It’s a hoot to sail, and if the new 880 is a better boat that will be very impressive.
This is an aggressive-looking design with reverse raked wave-piercing bows. The main hull is sort of a margarita glass with a chine in the topsides, and is shaped in section much like the 27. This is to reduce BWL on the main hull while flaring the shape out to gain volume needed for the interior and deck. An interesting detail is how the ama nestles right into the hollow below the chine when folded.
The entry is very fine on all three hulls. And while not having an actual chine, all three hulls have an extremely hard turn to the bilge at the transom. It might as well be a chine. The D/L is 69.38 using the promotional material’s “unladen weight” figure. I’d assume that’s a bit optimistic. So let’s be pessimistic and add another 1,000 pounds to the boat. That’s still a very low D/L of 88.35. This is a light boat.
Beam with amas folded is 8 feet 2 inches, making for easy trailering. With amas extended the beam is 22 feet 3 inches. Draft with daggerboard up is 1 foot 5 inches and down it is 5 feet 3 inches. With the amas deployed they are splayed out about 12 degrees. I wonder if that is the theoretical optimal heel angle for the boat. There is a lot of volume aft in those amas. They are a very different shape to the fine ended amas of the 27.
Interior accommodation design is tricky on these tris. In order to make them perform you need three skinny hulls. But the main hull needs volume for accommodations. As I said earlier this is gained by the flared hull form and is quite effective. Going below there is a small galley to port. It is minimal with room for a sink and a two-burner stove and almost no counter space. To port there is a small chart table. Forward of this there is a long settee that tucks around and butts up to the daggerboard trunk. Adjacent to the trunk and to port is a small seat.
Forward of this area is a head that in one rendering spans the hull and in another rendering has a centerline bulkhead coming off the daggerboard trunk. Forward of this there is a double berth. But wait. There’s more. There is an aft cabin. Not sure cabin is the right word but you can drop through a hatch aft of the cockpit and enter a sleeping space that has a generous sized berth.
Two rigs are available. One is the stock rig with Dacron sails and an aluminum mast. The performance package rig has a carbon wing mast and racing sails with a SA/D of 37.06. That’s very generous and should insure good light-air boat speed. The performance rig comes with a retractable sprit. Both rigs use a square-top main.
One complaint I had after sailing the F27 is the cockpit is dinky. It looks to me like they have remedied that on the 880. I see room for four to be comfortable in the cockpit. But there are those huge trampolines if you want to spread out. There is an anchor well in the foredeck.
Construction on the tooling is now complete. The factory is in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Maybe my pal Doug will decide to move up. He keeps talking about it. I just might get a ride if he can slow down enough to let me jump on as he zooms by my shack.
LOA 28’8”; Beam 22’3”, 8’2” folded; Draft board down 5’3”, board up 1’5”; Displ. 3,659 lb.; Sail area 554 sq. ft.; Auxiliary 15-hp outboard; SA/D 37.06; D/L 69.38
Our best estimate of the sailaway price: $118,000