WestlawnMasthead27_Sept2013H.pub - page 1

Volume 7, Issue 3
Sept. 2013
Inside This Issue
The Masthead
Multihull History
Pg. 1
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The Journal of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology
this article we will examine the history and evolution of multihulls, showcas-
ing some their curious features (not all of them successful) and we will delve
into the inventive mind of the speed-crazed mariner. We will discuss the origins of
the type, through the major evolutions in 19th and 20th century, all the way up to
the 34th America's Cup.
Considering the current, drag-racing machines built for the 34th America's Cup, it is
interesting to pursue their history—the history of sailing multihulls. Their origins lie
in the Oceania pirogue: These catamarans, trimarans and proas were already de-
scribed as "flying objects" by Antonio Pigafetta, who, serving as Magellan's assis-
tant during the World's first circumnavigation, was the first to describe these boats
in 1521.
To understand the geographical distribution of these craft and how their design
evolved, I have plotted the island-hopping movements of the Pacific peoples on the
chart below, from Madagascar to the furthest reaches of the Pacific ocean:
The migrations were carried out in consecutive waves over a period in excess of
50,000 years.
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Part 1
By François Chevalier
1 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,...36
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