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New Boat: Weta

2009 August 1
This small trimaran measures in at just under 14 and a half feet long, but it serves up a big dose of fun for all kinds of sailors. Attempting to fill a gap in the small boat market, Kiwi father-and-son team Roger and Chris Kitchen designed the boat to be stable, easy to rig, easy to stow and provide good performance without scaring beginning sailors. It's a tall order for a little boat.

The boat weighs in at 211 pounds and a variety of crew configurations, including a few kids, a couple of adults, an adult and a kid, or even a solo sailor, should work out fine. The fiberglass boat has carbon fiber arms that extend to a beam of 11 feet, 6 inches, and retract to 5 feet, 7 inches for storage.

The Weta also features a fixed carbon fiber bowsprit and mast. What you won't find on a Weta is a boom; the mainsail has five full battens for support and the lack of a boom means fewer thumpings upside the head when you forget to duck. All of this makes for a nice little package that its creators say will easily attain speeds in excess of 15 knots.

Even with that performance expectation, the designers go to great lengths to make sure the Weta is a comfortable boat for less experienced sailors.

According to the Web site, the boat is "all but impossible" to capsize in less than 12 knots of wind and it is easy to reduce sail when necessary.

The Web site also offers a lot of support for owners, including the one-design class rules, which could come in handy if the Weta takes off in popularity in the United States as it has elsewhere.


LOA 14'5"; Beam 11'6"; Draft 10" (board up), 3' (board down); Weight 220 lbs.; Sail area 123 sq. ft.; SA/D 54; D/L 32.76; L/B 1.25

Sailaway price: $10,995

Weta Marine
+64 9 479 5302