A new sailing multihull signed Rapido Trimarans is under construction. The shipyard, based in Vietnam, is now a benchmark for trimarans: the experience and passion of founder Paul Coch, who has been involved in building ocean-going multihulls since 1986, has become the builder’s core.
Rapido 53 XS, Aldo Fumagalli’s new boat
The future of Rapido Trimarans is called Rapido 53 XS, an acronym that stands for eXtra Space. Who is the owner? Aldo Fumagalli, an Italian engineer and former owner of the home appliance brand Candy. Fumagalli has an inordinate passion for sailing and crossings, and has already been the owner of the Neel 47 Minimole with which he has participated in so many adventure races, including the ARC(his account of the race here).
“My love was born almost out of nowhere when I was 40 years old, because until then my boating experiences did not go beyond the classic two- or three-week summer vacation aboard a charter with friends,” the former Candy brand owner tells us.
Rapido 53 XS, XXL spaces and speed
His new boat is designed for sailors who want ample space on board, but without sacrificing performance. “My choice is to have a boat that would take me to the Caribbean in about ten days,” Fumagalli confesses, “with a slow boat it would take about three weeks, and by that time, the vacation would be over.”
Developed by Morrelli & Melvin, the 53 XS starts from the already excellent base of the 50-footer presented in 2020, which, for the occasion, is expanded without being overhauled. Aldo goes on to tell us, “I chose Rapido because it makes boats outside the box, with non-standard spaces and dimensions. Together with my skipper Patrick Phelipon, we thought of a boat that would also be suitable for solo sailing; therefore, the choice fell on a size that would not go beyond 50 feet, so that we would not have too many problems handling the sails.
In the end, however, we got carried away: the mast is the carbon mast of an 18-meter and the sail area is like that of an IMOCA 60!”
The boat “with wings”
Big brother to the 50 XS, the Rapido 53 has a larger flare above the waterline of the center hull, which accommodates a salon that is not exaggeratedly large, but with a 360-degree view of the surrounding waters.This modified and expanded structure “weighs” the boat down by just 800 kg. The salient features of this new Rapido are many, but worth mentioning are the two rudder blades attached to the outer hulls and the total absence of a centerboard, replaced by two carbon C-foils always placed on the outer hulls: this allows safe navigation even in shallow water, since with the foils retracted, the draft is only 67 cm.
No worries about safety and comfort in navigation, because these “wings” can be extended to almost 4 meters in depth. The exterior spaces, in addition to the characteristic multihull nets, are enhanced by two sofas placed behind the central command post, which follow the lines of the aft stanchions.
Inside, however, in addition to the aforementioned salon, there are three double cabins and two bathrooms, as well as a C-shaped kitchen.
Compared to the “donor” 50-footer, the Rapido 53 XS has only one disadvantage, namely, the outer hulls are fixed and cannot slide toward each other to reduce the footprint in port, thus leaving the width of the boat unchanged at 10.36 meters-a fact to be taken into account for port entries and docking.
“I did not want to equip my trimaran with the heavy mechanism to slide the outer hulls; besides taking half an hour to accomplish the operation, special sea and wind conditions are required to keep the boat in a tight configuration, even in port.”
With such a tall mast, in effect a narrow hull would become unstable when stationary, with the risk that a gust of wind or a higher-than-expected wave could capsize it.
Rapido 53 XS – In the water in February
Aldo Fumagalli tells us that his boat will be ready by the end of February 2024: “I have recently returned from Vietnam and the boat is almost ready; by the end of February it should be in the water and I have assumed that I will be in Oman by mid-March.”
A lover of long, fast cruises, Fumagalli will take the boat to the Mediterranean by summer, without being overly concerned about the current situation raging in the Red Sea. “We will have to pass through the stretch of sea affected by the winds of war, but I really don’t think missiles and ammunition will be wasted on a cruising boat,” he goes on to tell. “To enter the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden, you have to go on convoy: just choose the right one and we will sail unharmed to the Suez Canal.”
RAPIDO 53XS – Data Sheet
Overall length: 16.1 m
Maximum width: 10.36 m
Draught: 0.67 m to 3.94 m
Displacement: 9350 kg
Sup. mainsail 117 sq. m.
Sup. asymmetrical 230 sq. m.
Sup. reacher 150 sqm
Sup. jib 73 sqm
Sup. Staysail 25 sqm