We took our latest acquisition, the Astus 20.5 trimaran, on her maiden voyage in Chichester Harbour in Hampshire last weekend and she did not disappoint. The little trailer sailer was easily rigged with use of a clever mast raising kit which provided leverage and stability even in a side wind. Preparing for the water was simple, just hang the rudder off the transom and pull out the floats mounted on their telescopic arms.
Once on the water we were quickly able to experience what makes this little Astus trimaran so popular in mainland Europe. The 20.5 rapidly accelerated away once we raised the powerful main sail. With the 12 knot wind behind us, we were able to unroll the gennaker straight away. Another burst of acceleration. Luffing up to a broad reach, and then a beam reach, you sensed that the 20.5 really came into her element. The humming from the foils was audible as the Astus skimmed through the water, overtaking a procession of other boats. Yet, at no time did the little trimaran feel out of control. With just two fingers on the helm, our Astus 20.5 was easily steered, either seated in the cockpit or, with the tiller fully extended, enjoying a grand stand view sitting out on the trampolines. Effortlessly rolling away the gennaker as we luffed up further, we took a chance to look at her genoa. Again, the 20.5 behaved impeccably. No listing of course (the benefit of 3 hulls) but more than that, the Astus pointed remarkably high and accelerated through 15-18 knot gusts of wind effortlessly. No wonder these little boats do not need to reefed until they hit at least 20 knots of wind. We stayed dry and comfortable both in the cockpit and out on the trampolines, thanks to a good spray deflective shape to the main hull and the fine entry of the massive floats. As we tacked up a narrow channel on our homeward leg, sail management was a doddle, the genoa being small enough not to require winching. The 30 foot monohulls which we left in our wake started their engines to motor back. Not us, we were enjoying ourselves too much.
As darkness threatened, it was time to drop the sails and come back into harbour. We reversed the purpose-built trailer down the slipway, the wheels only just kissing the water – no salt water needed to enter the precious brakes or the bearings. Being so light and floating on top of, rather than in, the water, the Astus lifted out easily. We dropped the mast and secured for the road. The end of a lovely autumn afternoon on the water; the beginning of many more to come…
If you want to find out more about the Astus 20.5 further details are available via this link. Or why not give us a call: 07967 308757? Our demonstration boat is available for viewing and trial sailing on the Solent. We look forward to welcoming you soon.