Multihulls Match

A different way of sailing: on a transportable or with a charter-management boat?

Published on 24 may 2018 at 0h00

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For the transportable trimaran

By Pascal Dutronc

After numerous cruises, and a year on a catamaran (a 12.5 m Punch) as a family (Perrine and myself, with our four children, Gaelle, Basile, Jonas and Fantine), from France to Guinea Bissau, then to the West Indies and Venezuela, before returning to St Malo via the Azores; many experiences of raids in Hobie Cat 16s in Brittany; trips into the countryside where I discovered an inordinate passion for ‘wild’ camping…my taste for adventure and voyages of discovery in a boat developed to such a point that it turned into a genuine philosophy, which associates cruising with nights in a tent. The Mediterranean seemed to be a superb playground for a good adventure after our Atlantic year; we had to find a boat and I chose the Tricat 23.5, small enough to slip in everywhere and be transported simply behind a car, and big enough not to capsize and to be able to carry an anchor and a few dry clothes etc, and allow camping on the trampolines. The voyage began on the charts, plotting the itinerary: where should we leave from? Where should we choose to stop? How long? In the end, I chose to set off from Giens, heading for Corsica, then Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, the Cyclades, Athens, Corinth, Corfu, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, and finally Venice. The 3,000 miles in the Mediterranean, over 14 weeks in 6 months and 6 episodes were planned: departure in April 2016. The adventure began as soon as we left the house – we had to transport ‘Si Malo’ from Brittany to Giens by car. The drivers took it in turns over 1,100 km; a dozen hours, just like a nice night passage. This part of the trip was fully part of the adventure, and preceded the launch episode, where the unknown and the unplanned came rushing in. The adventure on the water began immediately: ‘Si Malo opened up anchorages to us which were inaccessible to others, as we had a shallow draft and narrow beam! Corsica and the Lavezzis, the Egades to the east of Sicily, or the Strofades to the east of the Peloponnese delighted us: our difference allowed us to enter the small Sardinian or Greek fishing harbors (we were tolerated among the local boats!) or quite simply to beach the boat on some remote, heavenly beaches. These little shelters allowed us to increase the fall-back possibilities in case of bad weather after long hours of pure sailing pleasure, which is relatively frequent in the Mediterranean. Light conditions lasting several days can also be encountered; in this case, sailing aboard 'Si Malo’ is a real delight, it only needs a light breeze to get it moving, with or without the spinnaker! We can hear the sweet melody of the water on the bow - rare, magic moments of gentleness and serenity which will remain engraved in my memory for ever. Our little 3.5 hp motor has nevertheless allowed us to reach the pontoon in Mikonos under a powerful Meltem, do the grandiose crossing of the Corinth Canal, cope with long hours of flat calm in the Patras Sea. ...

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