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IROQUOIS: Vintage catamaran for good DIY-ers

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Launched 55 years ago, the Iroquois was certainly a revolutionary catamaran at the time. Reasonably fast and seaworthy, it inspired owners to take up racing or go blue water cruising. But is it still worth a look today?

The first version of the Iroquois, retrospectively christened the Mk 1, is certainly the most elegant and vintage. This polyester catamaran is undoubtedly the ancestor of our modern multihulls. The different elements - hulls, deck and underside of the nacelle - were all bolted together and then laminated. A simple construction method that doesn’t necessarily age all that well... The strong point of the Mk 1 is its compact rig, at the heart of which is a fully-battened mainsail. On the other hand, there is no trampoline. As early as 1968, the British boatbuilders Sail Craft Ltd. revised their product with the launch of the Mk 2: this catamaran was constructed by lamination; the freeboard and the bridgedeck clearance were increased, the coachroof was less prominent, and the hatches were improved. An aluminum beam was fitted between the bow of each hull, and this now held the forestay – a big very advance compared to the previous version - and offered a trampoline. The rig gained extra horsepower with an imposing genoa - up to 200% overlap - but the mainsail saw the loss of its roach. The daggerboards, simple sheet metal on the Mk 1 were thicker and profiled, now being made in plyw...

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