Hartley Trimarn Designs – About

Hartley Trimarn Designs – About

About The Designer


I am a sailor I was born upon the tide where sea and land do collide. I Started building boats when I was 6 years old, from our wood shed I gather all the building materials. A plank was the mainhull and a stick the mainmast, a piece of paper the sail. I carved the plank forming the hull, inserted the stick in a drilled hole and slide the paper over the stick to form a square rigged sail. 

Not being close to a lake or stream I sailed these simple boats on  mud holes in the backyard. I have had many obsessions and interest, but my prime interest was electronics. My father was an inventor and collected everything imaginable.  He had cigar boxes filled with all kinds of parts. From these boxes the parts came for my experiments in electronics, most of which went up in smoke. Seeing that derived empirical knowledge can burn up a lot of hardware, I went to the library to learn. In those day I did not have a library card for the city library and had to sit and read or copy the information. With this new knowledge I built and modified several radios and later obtained my FCC Radio Operators License.

Taking all the science and math courses available in high school, I joined the Navy after graduation from High School. My basic battery scores, qualified me for all that the Navy had to offer, of course I chose electronic.  After graduating from Electronic Technician School, I went to submarine school, qualified on a diesel submarine and then went to nuclear power school.  After graduation from nuke school, I served on SSN 589 (Scorpion) as a reactor operator for 3 years. After discharge from the Navy, I worked for several electronic design companies, starting out as a technician and later becoming  the head of the design department (For any of you out there who understand Navy lingo, I am a Mustang, which translates I worked my way up through the ranks).

In  1975 I wanted to build a Trimaran, I looked at all the design available, none quiet suited me. Using a pocket calculator, I wrote a program to derive a hull mathematically, but the calculator was not up to the task.   At that time personnel computer were in their infancy, I had to wait for better hardware,. so I put this idea on hold and built a Cross 28.  The design concept  formed then, was later to become the basis for my designs

In 1979 I took a position with ARAMCO Oil Co. as a computer engineer, in Saudi Arabia.  We spend 11 years in Saudi.  During this time I started writing the boat design program (The PC came out in the early 80’s and I bought one) .  Having taught myself computer programming and with a knowledge base of many years of sailing  and reading  naval architecture books, I embarked on developing the algorithms for the design.   I have to admit  this was a pass time, not a serious endeavor at first, I had time on my hands and was bored. I went through many attempts before getting any positive results, many different approaches were tried and they failed (The road to success is paved with failure).  My reach had exceeded my grasp, the   math was beyond me, so I went to the books.  Then behold the number started to click, the algorithms were giving believable results, now I became seriously committed to completion of this project.  After five years of coding, I had a workable design program, but how do I  export this information.  Now I had to write all the drivers for  printers/plotters and the listing programs.  I had to go back to school and learn the protocols for peripheral devices.  I have rewritten the entire program from scratch many times, going through all the improvement in software and hardware, this has been the evolutionary process.  The question comes to my mind am I there, the answer is that we only approach perfection by  half.

Godspeed and a safe voyage:
    Allan J. Hartley

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Last modified: May 10, 1999