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I first heard about the Philippine Paraw trimarans, possibly better known as Paraw double outrigger sailing canoes, from Gary Deirking. He said some of these simple designs hit 18 to 20 knots in the right hands and under the right conditions.

That’s pretty wild, especially in a watercraft constructed out of simple, inexpensive of materials. (As a side note here, wouldn’t it be cool if Gary used the Paraw as inspiration for a new double outrigger sailing canoe model and offer plans for homebuilders at this website :-)

You may also click here for updates of Gary’s work, including a new video of one of his designs called Tamanu, which can be set up as either a single or double outrigger sailing canoe.

A Paraw “regatta” is held each year in the Philippines and it appears the festive celebrations associated with these boats match the colorful boats themselves. Every time I see photos about the Paraw Regatta I’m reminded of what a rich history that double outriggers such as these (small trimarans) enjoy in the East.

A few more “Paraw Points of Interest” are:

— nobody knows for sure how many centuries these boats have been in existence
— Hulls are very slender and long (up to 20’), keelson is carved, front and back of main hull is pointed, sides are plywood
— Outriggers are made of slender, light pieces of bamboo, the crew will try to balance the boats and keep the floats just skimming above the water’s surface to maximize the boat’s speed
— Sails were originally constructed of “woven matting,” but now they’re made mostly from “synthetic awning materials”
— Many of these boats can sail close to wind speed
— When it comes to racing, the regatta allows sailors to make their sails as large as they want them to be … i.e., no limits upon the size of these sails
— These boats are still used by many owners/sailors for commercial transport of goods

Below are a few photos (gleaned from the following website) that feature the Paraw double outrigger trimarans … click here to read more about them and see the full picture gallery.

Colorful Paraw Trimarans

Paraw Trimarans are Simple, Yet Fast

Setting Up for the Paraw Regatta

Fastest Native Double Outrigger Canoes on the Planet

Paraw Hulls are Extremely Slender