Jim Brown, Multihull Pioneer
Well-known to the world sailing community, Jim Brown has been designing multihulls since the 1960s, following his association with designer Arthur Piver. Best known for his Searunner Trimaran series, he is also the author of several books about trimarans, along with a recent a two-book memoir, Among the Multihulls.
(Below) Jim in Virginia, on his dock on the Chesapeake.
Starting with Dick Newick’s “Master Mold”, Jim invented the Constant Camber construction method. He has conducted boatbuilding training programs for USAID and Save the Children Foundation in Burundi, Tuvalu, and the Philippines. At the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine, Jim taught classes in constant camber construction, and built a Seaclipper 20.
(Below) Jim’s personal SeaRunner 31 Scrimshaw, in which he and his family spent 3-1/2 years exploring the Pacific Coast, down through the Panama Canal, then up the East Coast of Central America and into the Caribbean. What an education for the kids!
(Below) A “Constant Camber” lagoon bus in Funafuti, Tuvalu Islands. This is one of Jim’s favorite subjects: transferring the epoxy-and-laminated wood boatbuilding technology developed in the West to the island nations who developed the original multihull concepts and operating techniques.
(Below) One of Jim’s SeaRunner 37’s in Hawaii. The 37 is a safe, fast, unsinkable, and durable family cruising boat (this one happens to be Spice, Tim Mann’s SeaRunner 37, in 1976, with the Big Island in the background).
In late 1990s, Jim designed the Windrider 16 and 17, both radical roto-molded sailing trimarans for Wilderness Systems. These were the first roto-molded production trimarans, and more than 3,000 of these boats have been sold. Wilderness Systems was previously known for its kayaks, but the Windrider introduced many of these kayakers to sailing in this fast, exciting design.
Jim started building multihulls in coastal California. In 1974, he and his family cruised from Santa Cruz, California for a 3½ year odyssey through Mexico and Central America aboard SCRIMSHAW, their Searunner 31 trimaran, eventually settling in Virginia where they now live.
In 1996, Jim and his wife, Joanna, returned to the sea in SCRIMSHAW, visiting the Bahamas, Cuba, and Mexico. He is currently managing the OutRig project to document the multihull history of the United States. Jim can be contacted for consulting and advisory projects at [email protected] : remove the SPAM!