After a long anticipated wait, I was lucky enough to get out for a sail recently onboard the all new Corsair Pulse 600 trailer trimaran following its world launch at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show. Designed by Francois Perus of Perus Yacht Design, the Pulse 600 is designed as a simple, safe and exciting one design day sports boat made to easily store and trailer after sailing.
Corsair has had a long history of building innovative sports trailer trimarans, with over 2,000 having been built and sailing around the world and now also the manufacturer of the famous Seawind catamaran brand. The question was, could they take their engineering, performance and trailer-ability of the larger Corsairs that range from 24 to 37 feet and package this into a bite size chunk under 20ft?
We slipped the Pulse off the purpose built trailer at the boat ramp, sliding off easily with the floats tucked under the hull. After unloading, the pontoons were pushed into their horizontal position and bolted into position. A process that took all of about 60 seconds. This is all made possible by using the same folding mechanism as used on the larger Corsair Trimarans, allowing floats to fold up under the boat and retain enough tension in the rig so that the mast can remain raised.
With a little 2hp outboard pushing us out into the bay, we raised the mainsail, unfurled the jib and sailed the boat into the grove. As a 10 knot breeze built and a slight chop, the conditions were perfect, and as the sails filled the windward hull lifted, the leeward hull sliced through the chop, the stern lifted and the boat took off. Hitting 10+ knots, the boat felt great sailing to windward. The tiller was perfectly balanced, light and ridiculously responsive. You gotta love a trimaran when it comes to tacking.
What has always been impressive on land was the waterline length and inbuilt floatation of the floats. Despite being seemingly huge, on water they slice through the water with ease and you can’t help but feel confident as you bare away off the breeze and pull out the top down furling kite, crank on sails, and hot it up.
Using an endless furling line back to the cockpit, the top down furling system worked a treat and would have to go down as one of the easiest kite deploys I have ever done. Though initially it felt a little underpowered as the breeze had dropped to around 8 knots, the Pulse later fell slipped into the grove as the breeze increased to over 10 – 12 knots and became easy to hot up and get some apparent wind working, allowing the boat to be driven further off the breeze at speed.
Hitting 12+ knots of boat speed, it just started to fly along and hum beautifully off the breeze and started to feel closer to an F18 than a Dash or Sprint…it was getting real fun at this stage. We started to drive it pretty hard down wind for the conditions as the apparent wind continued to increase. The float design just continued to impress as we flew through some chop and you could just see the buoyancy on those babies keeping the boat planning. Moving weight aft a little popped them out more and it became more of a sled.
With three guys onboard, the boat was moving nicely, but you could easily sail with 2 onboard instead. All of the lines are fed conveniently back to the cockpit, which is comfortable and BIG. With padded non-skid on the floor, deck and floats, the Pulse is ridiculously comfortable, though do expect to get a splash every now and then on the deck as you crank her up. But hey, that’s half the fun!
Sitting out on the floats is not too different than hiking on a trapeze on a small boat – you get great leverage out there to provide ballast, but it’s a good distance off the water and a heck of a lot easier than hiking.
Inside the front cuddy cabin, you have surprisingly good storage. The bonnet can pop off to load gear into, or easier access forward for lake racing, though I prefer it one to offer some shelter. Beneath the floor, you have a cool little hatch that opens giving you access to quite deep storage below to keep personal items completely dry and protected.
The cockpit has an open back allowing it to self drain quickly. The centerboard slides through a hole in the cockpit floor and sits beautifully flush to the cockpit floor when in position. There is a simple aluminum rotating rig, boom furling on the mainsail and dyneema side stays to keep weight down.
All in all, sailing the Pulse was just wicked fun. The kind of fun I haven’t felt since racing sports cats, yet it feels bigger and is robust – it’s a proper boat. I could see myself going out with the family for a day to the other side of the bay, or throwing in the esky and tent for an overnighter. Or even drag the boat up the beach and camp on the tramps. I can also imagine some awesome racing around the cans on the weekend and I can’t wait until the other three boats including mine, arrive in Australia. I can’t wait for some more wind and time on the water.