Wētā Trimaran

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Wētā Trimaran
Class symbol
Weta racing in the High Sierra Regatta
DesignerRoger and Chris Kitchen, Tim Clissold
LocationAuckland, New Zealand
NameWētā Trimaran
Crew1-3 adults / max 240 kg (530 lb)
TypeOpen trimaran
ConstructionCarbon fiber, fiberglass and foam
Hull weightApprox. 120 kg (260 lb) (fully rigged)
LOA4.4 m (14 ft)
Beam3.5 m (11 ft) (rigged)
1.7 m (5.6 ft) (on trailer)
Hull appendages
Keel/board typeDaggerboard
Rig typeFractional Bermuda or Marconi rig with gennaker
Mast length6.6 m (22 ft) → 6.6 m (22 ft)
Mainsail area9.3 m2 (100 sq ft) [1] (Sq. Top)
Jib/genoa area3.2 m2 (34 sq ft)
Spinnaker area8 m2 (86 sq ft)
Upwind sail area20.5 m2 (221 sq ft) (Square Top)
D-PN84.0 1-up, 86 2-up
Wētā racing on Huntington Lake California High Serra Regatta
2017 Wētā features

The Wētā 4.4 Trimaran is a 4.4 metre (14 foot) sailing dinghy conceived and developed in New Zealand from 2001-2006 by Roger and Chris Kitchen and others with original drawings by TC Design's Tim Clissold.


The boat is constructed from fibreglass and carbon fibre, and is popular as a racing boat or for recreational sailing.[2] It has added stability and righting moment from the trimaran amas or floats.


The Wētā Trimaran is recognized as one design class by Yachting New Zealand,[3] the French Sailing Federation,[4] and the Royal Yachting Association in the UK.[5] It has been approved for the Paralympics[6] and World Masters Games.[7]


In 2010 the Wētā Trimaran was awarded Boat of the Year by Sailing World magazine.[8]


There are two distinct builds of the Wētā Trimaran, the 'original build' and the '2015 Wētā' which was created from a new mold and included (mostly internal) hull revisions. In April 2017, Wētā announced the availability of a foam-core Wētā which as well as being stiffer is right on the minimum weight of 120Kg in the class rules.

Original build[edit]

Early prototypes were produced in New Zealand but from 2006 to 2014 the 'original build' was manufactured in China for Wētā Marine and sold internationally.[9] In 2020, 1300+ boats have been sold to date with the largest fleets in France and the USA.[10][11] The original sails were manufactured by Dutch windsurfing sail-maker, Gaastra.

The design evolved over time:

  • Color changes (Most boats were produced to four RAL color codes: Red (3020), Yellow (1018), Green (6018), Light Grey (7035). Some very early boats featured alternative red and yellow hues). Current 2020 colours are White, Grey, Blue, Yellow or Orange.[12]
  • Three rudders
  • New deeper daggerboard
  • Mylar sails (dacron optional)
  • Minor modifications to forestay tack fitting
  • Optional furling jib
  • Optional mainsails:
    • Small training mainsail
    • Heavy weather mainsail
    • 'Resort' mainsail (Dacron)


2015 Wētā[edit]

In 2014 the new 2015 Wētā was announced with a switch to a new manufacturer,[14] Xtreme Sailing Products (XSP), based in Singapore (with the factory in nearby Batam, Indonesia). XSP produced a new mould and made structural and cosmetic improvements, including:

  • Deck (screecher furler cleat on cockpit side, swaged stays, Liros ropes and optional hiking strap, enhanced grip, new raised foredeck detail for enhanced strength and durability)
  • Floats (Change to seamless construction and removal of rear lip. Switch to Nairn hatches.)
  • Sails (Switch of manufacturer to North Sails)
  • Centrecase (precision fit via nylon pile)
  • Trampoline (improved alignment via custom carbon pads)
  • Rudder bar and gudgeons (strength and durability enhancement)

In September 2014 the first of the new '2015 Wētā' build were shipped to customers in the US.

2017 Foam Core Wētā & Square Top Sail[edit]

In April 2017, Wētā announced the availability of a foam-core hull (right on the class weight limit of 120Kg) and bi-radial cut 9.3 m square top mainsail (compared to the original Pin-head 8.3 m mainsail. Nearly all Wētā built since 2018 have been foam core and the Square Top sail has been adopted as the standard sail for racing in most regions.

2020 Self-tacking jib kit[edit]

In February 2020,[15] Wētā announced the availability of a Self-Tacking Jib kit designed to be retrofitted to existing hulls or as an addition to new boats. The kit allows tacking without adjusting the jib sheets and includes a slightly smaller jib which is 3.0sqm. Around 6% less sail area than the standard jib at 3.2sqm.

2020 Twin Tiller Extension kit[edit]

In August 2020, a twin tiller extension kit was announced. The kit consists of a second tiller extension, bolts to attach both extensions to the tiller and a shock-cord and ring system to prevent the inactive tiller dragging in the water. The benefit is that you no longer have to pass the tiller around the stern when tacking.[16]

2022 Branding Revision[edit]

In April 2022, the branding was changed from "Weta: Fun. Fast. Easy" to "Wētā: Life's Better". The addition of the macrons was made to properly align with the Māori language definition.


  • Top recorded speed (best 10 second average): 21.4 kn (24.63 MPH) by Tom Kirkman, USA
  • Rigging time: 20 minutes


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weta dealer update April 2017
  2. ^ "Sailing World". Weta Trimaran Best Dinghy. Sailing World. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  3. ^ "Yachting New Zealand". Directory of All Class Associations. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  4. ^ "Federation Francaise de Voile". Les Associations de Classe. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  5. ^ List of boats with RYA Portsmouth Numbers
  6. ^ "Hansa 303 named as one of new Para World Sailing classes". 12 November 2016.
  7. ^ Auckland 2017 - https://www.sail-world.com/Australia/Weta-to-be-part-of-the-World-Masters-Games/
  8. ^ "Small Trimarans". How to Set Up a Weta Trimaran in 15 Minutes. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  9. ^ Link text, Access date 30/06/2001.
  10. ^ "Weta News & Events | Weta".
  11. ^ "Weta Community". www.wetamarine.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-02.
  12. ^ "Lightweight and simple, rig and launch by yourself in 20 minutes. | Weta".
  13. ^ "British Weta Class Association: The Boat - Development".
  14. ^ "Introducing the 2015 Weta".
  15. ^ "New Self Tacking Jib - A Game Changer!". Weta Marine.
  16. ^ "Twin tiller extension kit available now". Weta Marine.
  17. ^ "BoatDesign.net". Weta Trimaran-sailing worlds best dingy. Retrieved 2011-06-30.

External links[edit]

Wētā race start Huntington Lake
Team Wētā