I have sailed all my life. When I was kid (3 years old) I sailed with my grandfather in an old double ender with heavy sails. In time, I sailed in all kinds of other small sailboats, like Optimists, Cadets, Snipes, 470's, Tornados, Solings, and Lignthings.

Now I have an 8 m Van de Stadt Bries which I often sail with my kids. They had only sailed in this boat and wondered what would happen if you don't have a heavy keel. My big kid took sailing lessons at the club but she didn't like the instructors and wanted to learn with me so I started looking for something we could both sail.

First I thought of a Snipe. I raced one for five years, but I was afraid that if she took the rudder, she could have very big problems... then a Lightning, I had one for two years but it was like a cow in the water.

At last I designed something that is 14 feet long with a little bed and cabin that you could steer from in any kind of weather. It does not have a deep keel, only 30 cm., and the rudder continues the line of the keel.

The keels, as you can see in the pictures, are the double ended hulls. It can sail like a proa or like a "biplane rig".

In all conditions of wind and water, the rudders respond exactly the way you want, because they are three meters apart.

I spent 110 hs. of design, building a scale model and trying it in scale wind and waves.

I built it using the switch and glue method.

The two hulls have 13 bulkheads and are very strong.

Fernando Daroqui, of Puerto Madryn, Argentina modified the plans a little and built one with some kids in his club. See their website for more information.

In the case of Tres Marias, I have +/- 500 pictures taken of the construction, but I dont want to show them all as some are very personal.

The total weight is 140 kg.

It is made of plywood and epoxy.

I didn't use James Wharram's designs but rather looked at a lot of different Polynesian cats then I designed my own to sail in 35 cm of water.

It has two berths.

It salis very fast on a run and very close to the wind.

I have sailed her in all kinds of wind, and with numerous passengers aboard. The worst was with the wind on the nose and blowing 35 knots. The cat, NEVER, flew a hull with the biplane rig, and when I wantd to slow her down, I simply took one sail down and she went like a normal monohull.

Martin Stern