John Marples and Jim Brown have collaborated for over 40 years developing a world-class line of multihulls, including Searunner trimarans, and the Seaclipper economy trimarans, and the Constant Camber series of multihulls. Jim’s sense of design paired with John’s technical expertise have produced more than 40 sail and powerboat designs for both private and commercial use. These designs have evolved from more than 90 years of combined multihull experience—on the drawing board, in the boatshop, and at sea.
A design virtuoso and mechanical engineer who graduated from California State Polytechnic University, John Marples has drafted more than forty sail and power vessels, pleasure and commercial, ranging from 7 to 64 feet.
His sailing experience includes five Pacific Ocean crossings and one Atlantic crossing as well as racing, cruising and deliveries for more than 30,000 blue water miles. Aboard BACCHANAL, his Searunner 37 trimaran, he set a corrected time record of just over 8 days in the 1972 Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii.
His boats won the OSTAR Small Boat Class in 2005, and also bested the fleet in the Virginia to Bermuda Trawler Trek in that same year. His 27’ DC-3 Swing-wing trimaran design won WoodenBoat magazine’s 2011 Design Challenge. Mike O'Brien reviewed the Seaclipper 20 design in WoodenBoat issue 217, November/December 2010. In WoodenBoat 227, July/August 2012, Jim Brown shared the joy of sailing the Seaclipper 10.
John is recognized by the sailing community as the author of numerous magazine articles and he’s taught with Jim Brown several times at WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine. He’s built five vessels longer than 20’, including two U.S. Coast Guard certified passenger power catamarans. In addition to building boats, John has built three experimental aircraft and spent over 700 hours flying on both coasts and across the country.
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. 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, most of the time with John Marples, taught classes in constant camber construction, and built a Seaclipper 20
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.