Nautical Lore – Modern | Oral narratives of modern seafaring watercraft with multihull pioneer Jim Brown

Oral narratives of modern seafaring watercraft, their concepts, creators and crews. This ongoing series of “capers” tells of epic voyages, castaway survivors, swashbuckling characters, family cruises, cultural setbacks, technical breakthroughs, racing triumphs, and the “seasteading” lifestyle. Revealed within these stories are many details of design, construction, operation and seamanship. Since World War Two, the emergence of truly modern, lightweight vessels – recreational and commercial, multihull and monohull, power and sail – constitutes a sea change in marine architecture that may well persist for generations to come. Because modern seafaring has advanced so fast, and yet history often neglects its oral heritage, now is the time for us to gather and share this legacy. See more at
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Nautical Lore – Modern | Oral narratives of modern seafaring watercraft with multihull pioneer Jim Brown




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Apr 8, 2019


In this 34-minute podcast, the listener is plunged into a detailed description of EAGLE, a 53’ catamaran designed by Paul Beiker and just launched by Fast Forward Composites of Bristol RI.

The backstory of the EAGLE’s conception is told, and some key details of this bellwether boat are described in depth: Her configuration and structure, her Hybrid Wing rig, her two kinds of hydrofoils, her Control Nacelle and her Carapace. Jim’s purpose is to come as close as possible – in the spring of 2019 – to the leading edge of modern multihull development, and to reveal the machinations required of the designer and builder attempting to advance multihull technology in the current era. The boat’s performance emphasis is juxtaposed with her practicality.

This podcast is illustrated in a companion 17-minute video on, with Jim’s voice-over narrated captions to photos.

Apr 12, 2018
This Caper tells of many Capers -- Too many to permit our weekly schedule from continuing right now, but enough to bring you a new Caper now and then. My Podcast is not going away, and after all, there are over 80 of them posted and accessible any time. But current involvements, as brought on part by the Podcast, make it necessary to break from the weekly schedule.
I hold you listeners in high regard, and thank you for your participation. Please note that Jim Brown's OuRrig Capercast is not going away, and you will receive a brief email from us (if you're signed up to receive our emails) whenever a new one is posted. Thanks for listening, and FAIR WINDS!
Apr 5, 2018


Part Three of this flirtation between monohull and multihull, this Caper continues the conversation between Havilah Hawkins, Larry Fortunoff and me aboard the classic sloop VELA.​

Revealed are the levels of commitment, persistence and conviction that are inter-layered with the design, construction and operation of any significant sailing vessel of any type. Here's how you can actually come aboard.

Mar 29, 2018


Talking again with Havilah Hawkins Jr. aboard his monumental gaff sloop VELA, we approach the subject of parting with one's boat of many years. We then revert to all the things he has done with those many years of vessel stewardship, and inevitably return to ending that era of one's life.

"Haddie" has a lot to say about it, with an eye to his next boat, a "creek crawler." With use and years, it, too, will come alive.



Mar 22, 2018


This Caper deviates. ​

It is a conversation with a real schoonerman, largely about a very traditional, single-hulled vessel whose designer, builder and skipper tells the story of how a man and wife with a "real" boat can influence -- in an inspired manner -- the lives of many.


Mar 15, 2018


Here are a few more Sterncastle Stories with my buddy Larry, which makes this capercast a Part 2 of the Part 1 portion of this chat.

Tied to a dock in Maine, with no anchoring worries, with a good friend on a good boat, it is time to tie one on and gather the yarns that make cruising a tapestry.

In this brand of blather, Larry and I ramble about the past, present and future of modern, lightweight seafaring. The Hybrid Wing is paired with hydrofoils to behave like a downhill skier, and Woody Brown watches from above — disapprovingly perhaps — but he was a teetotaler. Listen in?

Mar 8, 2018


In this second of two conversations with Roger Hatfield, we learn the backstory of about the most bizarre, yet commercially successful, multihulls ever. And get this: Gold Coast has already started on a second one!

If that ain’t “The Ancient Future” now! Listen and learn.

Please enjoy this Caper about the four-hulled “Tandem Catamaran”.

Mar 1, 2018


This Caper has all you need to know about the four-hulled “Tandem Catamaran,” at least enough to really understand it from the next Caper. Roger Hatfield, the co-designer and builder of this futuristic configuration, tells us how the concept, which comes from his client Mr. Warren Mosler, may indeed point the way ahead for the smoothest-riding offshore ferry boats — and who knows what other applications are latent in this extremely inventive watercraft.

To apprehend this potential breakthrough, you need to hear this Caper and the next. Welcome!

Be sure to visit our show notes page for this podcast episode on for a few images of the Gold Coast two-hulled “Wave Piercing” catamarans, predecessors to the “Tandemaran,” I discuss with Roger Hatfield in this audio.

Feb 22, 2018


To the tune of "Yes, we have no bananas," we have no video today. Or tomorrow, but maybe someday, even if I have to make it myself. There's a story here, and I'm just trying to get it, and tell it, straight. Nevertheless, there IS video today -- if not much -- as per the link listed below.

Suggestion: To placate your justifiable bummer, save this teaser 'till last and watch it on the show notes page for this episode at OutRigMedia.

Feb 15, 2018


This Caper is mainly a report on the current status of the OutRig Project. It describes the cast of characters involved in determining that status, plus something of how these individuals have come to be involved.

While there is no conclusion on the main issue — how the Project will integrate with the Mariners Museum — still there is cause to be excited about the possibilities. And speaking of possibilities, it just may happen that four-hulled watercraft will take over the world.

Listen as I tell you about a brand new 4-hulled boat.

Feb 8, 2018


This Caper tells of evolving a small catamaran for taking two big boys fishing, with nine chances to get out and back.

Those chances are: one breeze, two batteries, four legs and two hulls.  These hulls are set just wide enough apart to permit real bubbas to really bounce around.  This combination of features is unprecedented, and as multihulls go -- past, present and future -- this bucket is a real boot in the butt.

Bound aboard!

Feb 1, 2018


This is my first attempt at looking back on our contemporary multihull stories from the fictional vantage of about 150 years ahead in the future.

It is an experiment, done mostly for the fun of it, but hoping to suggest the role that multihulls may play in the long term saga of man's relationship to the sea, to the Planet, and to himself -- ourselves.

In order to decide how much of this frolic you want to hear, we really need your feedback on this Caper. Please drop a line to me at Come on, let's OutRig!

(Note: This show episode is what Jim has termed an "Ancient Futurecast" - Jim's attempt at a fictional Capercast)

Jan 25, 2018
To assure our new listeners that these capers are about people as much as they are about boats, this issue  starts with an old boat making news.
It's an example of how the postwar "Can-Do Generation"  dragged multihulls from "the lunatic fringe"  into the main stream. It brings old boats into the conversation again, and then stands back for a wide view of "The Multihull Phenomenon," then and now.
Jan 18, 2018
This is Part Two of the audio update to Chapter 5 of Among The Multihulls, which concludes the evolution -- in the 1960s and 70s -- of the Searunner Trimaran design series. It finishes with a highly qualified appraisal of this type of vessel.
This story is not intended to convince anyone to build a Searunner today, but instead to explain why a visit to the "Classic Multihulls"  thread on Facebook reveals quite a few of these vessels still in use.
For example, Bruce Matlack and his son Charlie crossed the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas last Saturday night. They had to push SCRIMSHAW pretty hard to windward, in strong winds and square waves, on the starboard tack. This put the newly repaired portside float hull (badly damaged in a hurricane last fall) "practically underwater" for 13 hours. This attests to the efficacy of repairs made by Jeff Gof to that float. He restored this 46 yea-old plywood trimaran, built before epoxy, tor "Gulp Stream" service.
I wish I could have been there.
Jan 11, 2018


This caper takes me back to Mexico to retrieve Juana from the canners at Sabo. We then stumble into a delightful cove on an island where we are not supposed to be, but there is nobody around.

We play Robinson Crusoe, catch a lift home, and meander towards the days of Searunner trimerans. But we don't get there because of computer problems, and I may not see you next week. If not, Joe Farinaccio will let you know why.

Jan 4, 2018


This is the audio update for Chapter 4 of my book “Among The Multihulls - Volume 1.” It tells of our coastal voyage in the 24' trimaran Juana, probably the first modern trimaran to venture offshore, 1959.

It's an old story, told here with some new details -- let's call them embellishments -- intended to help place the early-modern multihull into the historical context of the time. With the boat sadly overloaded, sailing in the storm season, and with my wife Jo Anna over five months pregnant, we made every mistake possible, yet our surfable, beachable boat -- and the gracious, local fisherfolk -- saved us from harm.

Dec 28, 2017


In this audio version of Chapter 3 of Among the Multihulls, I attempt to go a little deeper into the "deep history" of how the modern trimaran came into being.

It sets the scene for the explosive advent inf the 1960s by describing the ebullience and confidence that brought the seafaring multihull into the main stream.

*NB (Note well, an Important Note, take notice): Some bad language.

Dec 21, 2017


Well yes, I made a promise to myself, that night at Old Providence Island over sixty years ago. I would fasten myself to a life with boats and sailing. And I suppose it would appear that I have kept it, but I'm not suggesting it 's for everyone.

For me, the stimuli were so strong, the fulfillment so co complete, the identity so clear, that nowadays I am telling those old stories again and again -- sometimes with a surprise ending. This is such a telling.

Dec 14, 2017
(An Audio Afterword)
Here begins a series of Capers stemming from my book AMONG THE MULTIHULLS. They also stem from a text Afterword called THE NEXT LAST CHAPTER, which is posted on Now, just two years later, I am adding further commentary to update and re-focus the text version, hoping to reach those who would rather listen to the latest skinny than read the history.  I've been surprised by how much new material has resulted, and I hope this approach gives us all -- me included -- a new vantage from which to appraise the modern multihull.
Dec 7, 2017
"Put yourself out there," is the theme of this caper, with three examples of how it's done. Danny Mydlack, our new media consultant, put himself in here by taking the initiative to contact us and make two trips down from Baltimore for gathering footage for our upcoming video "tractor."
Doug Jayne has put himself out there for years by building eight large cattlemarans in Constant Camber, selling some and operating others. Danny and I were able to attend the launching of number eight.
My father, Ralph Brown, was pretty much forced, -- by the 1930s depression -- to put himself in the line of fire. Listen in to get the story.
Nov 30, 2017


 Wishing that I had collected more voice recordings when my subjects were alive, this caper is offered while the subject IS alive, miraculously.  My particular friend Bruce Matlack tells of just one of many youthful exploits from back when he was trying to get to Tahiti without his own boat.

He eventually made it, in his twenties. Now he is contemplating going again in his 60s, in his own boat, SCRIMSHAW.  

Also here is a report on the status of The Outrig Project, now at a crucial juncture.

Nov 16, 2017
This is what happen when two or more old  boat nuts find themselves in a secure anchorage with old friends, a lobster in the pot, and "...A little more than enough to drink, for thirst is a dangerous thing."  (Jerome K. Jerome)
Nov 9, 2017
Here's a guy who sailed in multihulls as an infant, and now owns DELPHYS, a 34' Searunner trimaran which has been called, by John Marples (one of her designers), "The most developed Searunner in the world."  And her usage? Well, with her owner/builder crew of Mark Johnson and his wife Mariam, the boat has visited  some twenty countries.
To learn what Mark would do -- if indeed he had it all to do over again -- listen-on!
Nov 2, 2017


After doing several interview capers, we have here the results of some interesting comparisons, resulting from hurricane damage, between good old sheet plywood construction, and "cold molded" or Constant Camber (CC) construction.

Design differences between the Searunner 34 and the CC 35 are discussed, as are the challenges of getting good wood for these boats today. And, oh yes, the virtues of epoxy!

In the end, if you want to go NOW, buy a good, used monohull. There are lots of them around begging to go cruising.

Oct 26, 2017


While I'm away appraising the hurricane damage to Scrimshaw, I hope you will enjoy the conclusion of my telephone conversation with Lee Bullock, which exemplifies the committed lifestyle of those many individuals who invested substantial portions of their lives to creating the modern multihull.

Then, please offer your critique of my seemingly fanciful predictions of the possible conformation of the NEXT modern monohull. Something new -- under the sun??

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