Boat of the Month - Piver 38

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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The Piver 38 cruising trimaran <I>Tradewind</I> is back in Brisbane after a three-year sailing odyssey. Owner FRANK ROBSON details her credentials, history and abilities. Now she’s ready to go again...

Boat of the Month - Piver 38
Boat of the Month - Piver 38

Tradewind is a comfortable, seaworthy cruising home, just back from a three-year liveaboard voyage of the Queensland coast. Designed by the ever-popular Arthur Piver, and built by the experienced John Lovell at Coomera, near the Gold Coast, in 1981, she is one of the roomiest 38-foot (11.6m) cruising trimarans in Australia, ideal for extended liveaboard adventuring.

"Trady", as she’s fondly known, featured on the cover of Trade-a-Boat in 1997, when my partner Leisa Scott and I were looking for a sound, reasonably-priced multihull in which to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Tradewind was the first tri we inspected, and despite checking out quite a few others before buying, she proved to be the benchmark: we’ve never regretted our choice.

It took much longer than anticipated to realise our cruising dream, and — by the time we set off from Brisbane in mid-1997 — a lot more had been spent on upgrading and replacing equipment than we could ever hope to recover when she was resold.

We had the elderly Perkins motor professionally replaced with a 60hp Nissan diesel from Diecon, the manual steering replaced with a Sea Star hydraulic system, while the Borg Warner velvet drive transmission was re-geared for more thrust. We fitted a new Navman 7000 VHF, had new electronics from Raymarine installed — including a C80 chartplotter, autopilot, and digital depthsounder — and a new ProFurl headsail furler.

Trady has berths for six (eight at a pinch), hot and cold running water, a three-burner gas stove with oven and rotisserie, a Danforth refrigerator with built-in icebox, an electric toilet, a shower and (believe it or not!) a stainless steel bath — which we use mainly for storage.

She has a starting battery and a separate bank of four near-new deep cycle house batteries; a Tru-Charge 40amp battery charger, two solar panels (120 and 80 Watts), a Yamaha 1000W portable petrol generator, water capacity of 420lt in stainless steel tanks, and diesel capacity of 220lt.

Yeah, okay, we over-capitalised. But after safety and seaworthiness, comfort was our priority. Which is why, just before leaving, we had marine-strength opening windows installed to maximise air-flow in the tropics, and a deck-shade cover (with plenty of room beneath for loafing about) custom made for the boat’s layout.

Like most Pivers of this vintage, Tradewind is of stringer and frame construction, covered by fibreglass sheathed plywood. Less typically, her hulls are epoxy treated inside and out for maximum durability. She has a double chine bottom, asymmetric floats, and a deadwood keel with an extended shoe that gives the propeller extra protection.

Her raised wheelhouse cabin is massive by tri standards, with a six-seater dining/socialising table that folds down into a queen-sized bed for extra guests, and a separate, built-in sofa. The all-weather steering position gives ready access to all instrumentation, with decks accessed via a helm hatch directly above the wheel.

Tradewind is a masthead sloop, with a recently fitted storm jib on the inner forestay. The rigging is solid, sound and well-maintained, with six winches including two Barlow two-speed self-tailing primary winches, an alloy spinnaker pole and a curved mainsheet track with car. She is responsive and easy to sail with good bridgedeck clearance and no bad habits.

The Alloy Craft 2.55m dinghy (with Yamaha 3hp outboard) is easily launched and retrieved from stainless steel davits with rope tackles, and the non-slip decks are fitted with rigged webbing safety jackstays. Storage space abounds within the main hull and the floats (accessed by hinged, screw-down hatch covers), and the wide, flat decks are ideal for socialising.

With shallow draft (0.9m) and float skegs that allow her to sit evenly aground, Tradewind is ideal for coastal cruising and inshore exploration. (Tuck into some beautiful lagoon or inlet and watch the monos roll helplessly in their deeper, more exposed anchorages!). Yet she’s also a proven sea boat, capable of deep-sea passagemaking, and — as the name implies — is never happier than when running under sail before a stiff following wind. With no inclination to broach, Tradewind is surprisingly fast (14kts was our record under such conditions), and is ready to set off on her next adventure.

Tradewind, insured and Queensland-registered, is for sale at $95,000 and available for inspection in Brisbane through the owners. Phone (07) 39021921, or 0422 448 453.


Piver 38 "AA"

FOR SALE: $95,000
TYPE: Recreational cruising trimaran
LENGTH: 11.6m
BEAM: 6.09m
DRAFT: 0.9m
DISPLACEMENT: Approx 5 tons
ENGINE: Nissan diesel
TOP SPEED: 7 to 8kts
DETAILS: For sale by the owners in Brisbane: phone (07) 39021921, or 0422 448 453.

Cruising multihulls are a popular choice in Queensland waters and the South Pacific, and Tradewind is typical of the great trimarans that grace our tropical coastline. She has spent three year’s journeying the State’s coastline with her current owners and is kitted for comfort. Naturally, she has a shallow draft and can be beached, opening up a variety of mooring options. The owner’s replaced the old motor with a Nissan diesel, added hydraulic steering, new electronics from Raymarine, and a new headsail furler. Easy to sail, she is lying in Brisbane awaiting her next adventure in paradise.


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