See the modern multihull movement take shape
through the eyes of one of its pioneers

You Know About Searunner Trimarans,
Now Discover the Historic, Nautical Life-
Journey Of Multihull Designer Jim Brown

   PLUS, enjoy Jim's personal online audio narration of illustrations for each chapter in the book as an added bonus (Details below) ...

A young schooner bum, thrilled by the ways of a Windjammer, resolves to acquire his own boat and follow the sea in search of pals and gals and utopian freedom …

     It is the mid 1950s, he is in his early 20s, and while building his own boat, he rather suddenly finds himself to be a family man.  Undeterred, he and his bride, now 5 ½ months pregnant, sail out through the Golden Gate in an experimental contraption and turn left for Mexico. 

      They don't know it at the time, and they wouldn't have cared, but their tiny boat is the first 3-hulled watercraft to go to sea in modern times.  Soon the author becomes an unintended "instant expert" in what would become (50 years later) an absolute sea change in marine architecture.

     This book (the first of 2 volumes) tells the first part of the story from those 50 years.  This includes the people, the boats, the foibles, the fables, the history and the lore that -- despite a sometimes fierce resistance from the Corinthian community -- comprise the origins of today's modern catamarans, trimarans and proas. 

     Told as a memoir of a septuagenarian sea dog whose failing eyesight causes him to "see" his memories, Jim Brown recounts the multihull milestones of the 1950s to the 70s here in Volume One (the first of Two).  He highlights the pivotal multihull pioneers, and relates the controversial advent of their what would become their eventual ascendance today. 

     This rich nautical, however, runs as but a thread through the fabric of how the multihull phenomenon shaped the lives of the writer and his family and friends.  As you will see, his obsession is fulfilled in ways far different from the youthful promise he made to himself ...

  • Recalling the early days of 20th century multihulls ... a period of "anti-yachts" and "sailing reptiles."  p.9
  • What primal need home-built boats (especially multihulls) fulfill in human males  p.14
  • Adventures with a young family in Big Creek Canyon, California ... including swimming, playing, camping & boatbuilding  pp.15-21
  • Why building a multihull offers enormous practical potential for its owner  p.16
  • Fundamental human emotions connected to seafaring ... what primary desires drive multihull sailors  p.16
  • How SCRIMSHAW (Jim Brown's famous, personally-built cruising trimaran) served as "glue" for his family ... hunting for an "authentic adventure" p.17
  • Frantic multihull scenes from the early 60s ... at-home "vocational" training for Jim’s sons p.17
  • What were "planking parties" at the Brown homestead?  ... life under a "cathedral of redwoods" ... and campfire gatherings filled with potluck, playing children, and folk music  pp.18-19
  • Jim Brown's "seasteading" philosophy ... writing for early multihull publications ... learning how to self-publish (while enjoying the fruits of a growing business)  pp.20-21
  • "Deal of a Lifetime" ... forming a legendary partnership with John Marples ... planning to go cruising (full-time) for 3 years at the age of 39  p.23
  • A frantic launching for SCRIMSHAW ... foibles galore ... coming to grips with fears of extensive offshore sailing in foreign lands with family in a "backyard boat" pp.24-27

Events That Shaped An
  Amazing “Nautical Lifestyle”

  • The beginning of Jim's "Life Among Boats" ... job on a Floridian tourist schooner ... sailing to Batista's Cuba  pp.30-33
  • The first multihull encounter ... A German multihull pioneer named "Wolfgang" ... steady pay for sailing and diving  pp.34-35
  • How a friend survived Nazi Germany and discovered ancient Polynesian watercraft inside a museum (then crossed the Atlantic in a homemade catamaran after teaching himself how to sail)  pp.37-38
  • Moment of decision (to live a "cruising life") ... planning to build a "trri-marran" ... and forging a "life-purpose"  pp.41-43
  • Early multihull racing victories and ocean crossings ... dazzled by a Hawaiian catamaran ... pushing new multihull craft to their limits  pp.47-48
  • Uncovering multihulls' Pacific past ... discovering remarkable sailing benefits of a multi ... plus, postwar materials that revolutionized modern multihull construction.  pp.49-51

Modern Multihulls Begin Taking Shape
(Continuing Forces Upon Today’s Boats)

  • Who was Author Piver and what attracted him to the "trimaran" concept? ... The start of a backyard boatbuilding revolution  pp.52-53
  • Romantic first date aboard a Nugget trimaran ... finding a partner-for-life ... taking off to the Caribbean with a pregnant wife  pp.54-55
  • Sailing the first modern trimaran to venture offshore ... flying through open seas in a 24-foot Nugget (while navigating to Mexico) ... experiencing a new kind of seafaring  pp.56-57
  • Temporarily stranded in a foreign land ... the first "real adventure" ... a breathtaking sailing scene  pp.60-63
  • Venturing into a tropical storm ... surfing through rough waters ... rescue by friendly hands  pp.65-68
  • Making a terribly hard decision ... end of a boyhood dream (temporarily)  pp.69-70
  • The trip back to Sausalito ... no money, no job, no place to stay ... firstborn son enters the world  pp.70-71
  • Retrieving a Piver Nugget from Mexico … landing in a spectacular cove ... playing Robinson Crusoe ... partying with Mexicans  pp.73-74
  • Heading to California with Portuguese fishermen aboard a Tuna boat ... feasting on fresh fish and steak ... setting up a small trimaran for fast sailing in San Francisco Bay  pp.75-77

Starting a Boat Business – Deciding To
Become a Boatbuilder and Designer

  • PR success thru adventure storytelling
    ... selling Piver trimaran plans  pp.77-78
  • First trans-ocean crossing in a modern trimaran ... James Wharram's "Polynesian cats" create controversy  pp.78-79
  • Catamarans move from "back yard" building to the forefront ... Hobie Cats become "the most ubiquitous of all small sailboat types ... dangerous multihull racing action  pp.79-80
  • Moving to the coast of Big Sur ... life among the giant Redwoods ... "plunging creeks, roaring rivers and crashing seas"  pp.80-81
  • First meeting with a (lifelong) friend ... private concerts with Joan Baez ... boatbuilding for Arthur Piver's clients  pp.82-83
  • Attracting gawkers by building boats ... Jo Hudson's cartoons inspire would-be multihull enthusiasts ... launching newly constructed trimarans  pp.84-85
  • Working for a master tradesman/mentor ... salvaging a desperately damaged Piver Nugget ... acquiring knowledge of woodworking and drafting skills  pp.87-89
  • "Imagineering" the first Brown trimaran design ... audacity (and the power of naiveté) ... an end to being Piver’s "protégé"  pp.88-91

Fascinating Facts Of Multihull Culture …
Hidden Motivations Of Some Cruisers

  • Cultural progression (from Bohemians to Beatniks to Hippies) ... multihull development in response to cultural changes ... pursuit of freedom and adventure at sea  pp.93-95
  • Unspoken, real reason many sailors are attracted to the idea of cruising ... how untrained backyard builders produced lightweight multihulls of amazing strength and stiffness ... why 1960s multihulls were "accessible" to virtually anyone  p.95
  • Why monohulls are "technically absurd" regarding relationship to the wind ... how multis convert abundant wind power into abundant driving force ... 3 design characteristics of multis that are actually less efficient than monos  p.96
  • Why multihull capsizes and monohull sinkings are few (yet must not be ignored) ... common design flaws in early 20th century multihull vessels ... how thousands of experiments by pioneering individuals quickly propelled multi development forward  p.97
  • Multihull escapism in the face of cultural disillusionment ... moving from Big Sur to Santa Cruz ... competition among multihull designers for market share  pp.97-98
  • Accurate criticisms of some early multihull designs ... playing tricks on genteel monohull sensibilities ... building a nautical business  p.99

Serving Sailors in a New,
Thriving Niche Boat Market

  • Learning how to promote boat plans ... profiting with rolls of paper ... having lots of fun  p.100
  • Blowout launching of a large Searunner trimaran ... a 3-hulled disaster among rocks ... one couple's successful plan to sail around the world  pp.101-102
  • Testing a Brown Searunner for "ocean crossing" ability ... frightened, constipated priest at sea ... a good “reverend” helmsman  pp.102-103
  • Building a "racing" trimaran ... competing against a monohull almost twice the multi's size ... sickening boat race  pp.104-105
  • Important lesson about how multis climb-to-windward ... deciding between inferior accommodations or performance ... why "retractable" keels are so important  pp.106-107
  • Advantages of a "center cockpit" layout ... a few disadvantages of the same ... pondering advanced design solutions  pp.107-108
  • A unique (and especially safe) Searunner trimaran attribute ... conceiving of a "captain's cabin" within a trimaran ... designing a 25-foot "pocket cruiser" with offshore capabilities  pp.109-110
  • Wild ride to Hawaii ... prodded into drawing a bigger Searunner model ... caught in a multi-development frenzy  pp.110-111

Escaping Mayhem In a Turbulent Era
- The Brown Family Begins An
Incredible “Seasteading” Adventure

  • Planning to "bug out" from cultural mayhem ... losing a colleague at sea ... the "most momentous multihull event of the 60s"  p.112
  • Casting off in California for a great family adventure ... foreshadowing experiences throughout Meso-America ... hitting the "briny trail"  pp.115-116
  • Going to jail (with family in tow) ... prisoners discover trimarans ... best multihull "Q&A" session ever  pp.118-119
  • Wonderful "avenue of freedom" ... briefly sailing around southern California ... prominent trimaran & catamaran designers at the time  pp.120-122
  • Glorious wave-sailing to Baja ... looking for old friends in Mexico ... making new friends among yachties and the impoverished  pp.123-124
  • Living aboard a cruising vessel with active boys ... towed by a giant manta ray ... venison wrapped tortilla beach feast (with tequila)  pp.124-126
  • SCRIMSHAW's low-tech cruising advantages over many other boats ... helping broken down yachties ... participating in a Mexican-Indian festival  pp.126-129
  • Scenic volcanoes (and very sick with hepatitis) in Guatemala ... in search of a foreign doctor ... stuck in the mouth of a great river  pp.130-134
  • Consuming a natural "juice cure” for sickness ... critical help from a friend ... "living magically in a magical land"  pp.134-136
  • /Seasoned cruiser offers great advice ... finding your place (in any part of the world) ... difference between being "a tourist" and "a traveler"  pp.137-138

Unexpected Illness Leads to
An Extended Stay Among
Enchanting People In An Amazing Place

  • Living among villagers in Guatemala ... cross-cultural relationships ... family time in language school  pp.140-141
  • Immersed in a wonderful native society ... the best birthday party - ever! ... acquiring colorful handmade textiles ("story cloths")  pp.141-142
  • Participating in thriving Indian marketplaces ... breathtaking vistas and broad valleys ... hilarious "native language" mistakes  pp.144-146
  • Amid religious festivals and fireworks ... civil strife and civil government ... wild traffic frenzy on land  pp.147-149
  • Roasted, fresh-ground highland-grown coffee (would probably qualify as a controlled substance in North America)  pp.150-152
  • Family travel throughout Central America ... savoring local cuisines ... first glimpse of Rio Dulce (Sweet River)  pp.152-154
  • Heading out to Sea (Again) ... busting thru dangerous breakers ... "eternally grateful for having come down with hepatitis"  pp.154-156

A Rich, Cultural Journey Few
Will Ever Get to Experience

  • Desperate poverty and rich relationships ... moving south, along Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and towards Costa Rica ... overdosing on fresh, local lobsters  pp.157-160
  • Making friends with yachties in western Costa Rica ... challenges with schooling teenage boys at sea ... train ride to San Jose (Costa Rica's capital city)  pp.160-161
  • Trading homemade apricot jam for Panamanian shrimp ... appreciating clean, fresh water ... conspicuous consumption and remarkable generosity  pp.165-166
  • Approaching Panama’s Canal ... tense family moment ... a night-sail to always remember  pp.167-176
  • Encountering Western Panama’s “sport fishing” center … learning the Panama Canal … new friends in the “Canal Zone”  pp.177-180
  • Entering the locks of the channel … running out of gas in the middle … illegally sailing through the Canal  pp.181-182
  • Arrival at the Caribbean Sea ... Cuna Indian women visit Scrimshaw ... Brown family sails in ancient dugout canoes  pp.184-187
  • Spearfishing with Indians ... island hopping (sightseeing from village to village) ... attending a spellbinding primitive ceremony  pp.187-189
  • Exploring a colonial Columbian fortress
    ... overland excursion to the tip of South America ... harrowing travel upon the Ecuadorian Andes  pp.190-193
  • Hard sailing against trade winds ... heading back to a special place (where a youth's dream had taken shape) ... self-inflicted pain (and joy) at sea  pp.194-196
  • Big disappointment ... help from a Captain ... charting for Guatemala  pp.197-201
  • Husband-wife tag team celestial navigation ... precision sailing with the boys’ help thru dangerous reefs ... Brown family beats a squall  pp.202-206

A Little Slice of Paradise …

  • Sailing past Guatemala’s limestone cliffs ... family rental in a personal "Shangri La" ... using SCRIMSHAW for jungle exploration  pp.206-208
  • Meet up with a Searunner friend ... 8 months of jungle coast adventure (and boat work) ... stuck in an underground cave  pp.209-214
  • Aboard a flying pickup truck ... smuggling contraband booze ... dodging buzzards in the air  pp.215-217
  • Florida bound ... hard goodbyes (treasured memories) ... a cruising experience "far finer and more authentic than all the imaginings" that inspired it to happen  pp.218-220

     And much more!  Get your copy here at by clicking here.

     Jim Brown is easily one of the most celebrated figures in the 20th century's modern multihull movement.  And after reading this first volume of this memoir, you'll feel like you've come to know the man in the same way you know a personal friend.

     Many memoirs are meant to embellish the “life work” of the author, which often means playing loose with the truth about the past, being selective about what “facts” to include (and which ones to bury) and producing an endless amount of “positive spin” meant to always put the writer in a positive light.

     Not so with this memoir. 

     If anything, Jim Brown tries hard to separate facts from fiction, and offers a deeply personal account that includes notable mistakes (both career and personal) in the midst of many great moments throughout his life.  For this reason alone, his memoir is destined to forever endear him to its readers ... including you. 

Special Bonus: Audio Narration of Illustrations
By Jim Brown For Each Chapter in the Book

     Jim has a vast collection of graphics -- everything from snapshots and cartoons to design drawings and even some "decades-old" videos.  But how to include them in the book? 

     Well, he decided to try out a new idea.  Offer readers the ability to go online and enjoy them all ... PLUS hear Jim personally offer audio commentary on them. 

     This format allows you to watch and listen as Jim shares even more knowledge and insight about his multihull experiences, as well as his unique historical perspective on the development of trimarans, catamarans and proas throughout the 20th century! 

     Note: Jim is still putting the finishing touches on these audios.  When you get the book and go to the URL address given inside it for these audio narrations, you can register to be notified as soon as they're available. 

      Click here to reserve your own unforgettable copy of Jim Brown’s “Among the Multihulls” at

     Jim Brown genuinely recounts his life story among the modern 20th century multihull revival in a way you’ll never forget.  You’ll experience the “cruising life” with Jim Brown and his family … and become even more deeply immersed in the beloved world of multihulls at the same time.  Order your copy at by clicking here.

     Click here to read a review of Among the Multihulls from Southwinds Magazine. (Note: Document is used with permission from Southwinds Magazine and is in pdf).

      And click here to read a published review of this book that appeared in the May 2011 Issue of Living Aboard Magazine.
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