Her performance under sail is excellent. She is faster and more weatherly than most serious cruising dinghies of similar size, even many well-known highly regarded modern designs. Her fittings and gear are strong, sound and serviceable. The rig is simple and, on dry land, the mast can be raised and lowered singlehanded. The new sails are of the highest quality.
In very rough seas the closed-off cabin and self draining cockpit largely eliminate the risk of swamping. The cockpit will free itself of water automatically within a couple of minutes while the boat sails on. However, even in the unlikely event of a disastrous total flooding, Salvo’s hull contains enough buoyancy to remain afloat.
Salvo sails well under reefed sails. In very severe conditions Salvo is capable of making safe harbour under sail with 3 reefs in the main and the small jib set, like a cutter’s staysail, well back from the stem head.
The Tricorn is designed for fast coastal cruising. Relatively high freeboard helps shelter the crew from spray.
The lockable cabin provides permanent onboard dry storage.
The draining cockpit enables the boat to be left unattended on a mooring indefinitely.
Cockpit lockers are lockable and weatherproof. The outboard motor can be stowed out of sight and out of the way in the lazarette.
The hull design offers good load carrying capacity for heavy camping or extended cruising equipment.
The electric outboard is powerful, ready for instant use without any starting problems, and has forward-neutral-reverse modes.
What are the weaker points?
Salvo’s cockpit drains let water in as well as out, so you often have wet feet. Fitting new bailers that seal properly would probably solve this problem.
Cabin access is awkward through a small hatch. It can be a tight squeeze for a person of average size, and requires flexibility and agility. Once in, there is just enough space to shelter 2, maximum 3 persons, though, on the plus side, it is dry and warm and you don’t need a cockpit tent.
Pretty much like most other boats that don’t have a centreline outboard well, manoeuvring Salvo under outboard motor, transom-mounted on the starboard quarter, can be tricky. The turning circle is large unless the plate is down, the rudder becomes ineffective at low speed, and the bows tend to blow off. The outboard prop can come out of the water and lose traction if there is a man on the foredeck.
The Tricorn is initially a relatively “tippy” boat for its size. Onboard you need to trim correctly and not jump about. On the other hand, once sailing, she feels steadier and her generous freeboard means you would have to be very, very clumsy or very unlucky indeed to suffer a capsize.
Salvo is not equipped for rowing or sculling. Paddles are used when necessary.