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Introducing the Searail 19 Trimaran (19′ Trailer Tri)

The new Searail 19 Trimaran is a brand new, 19-foot trailerable sailboat designed (in large part) by Nigel Irens. The entrepreneural force behind this production boat, however, is sailor Phil Medley, who has worked in the marine industry for many years.

Phil’s experience with multihulls really stands out with the development of this new boat too. As you read his comments and description of the craft, it’ll be evident that he has probably labored countless hours in order to bring it to market.

One of the main goals was to make a high-performance trimaran available to sailors for much less than they’d typically pay for similar production boats. You can check out the new Searail 19 Trimaran website for more information after reading Phil’s introductory comments here.

The impages below are from the Phil’s website, and are used with his permission. It’s great to be able to showcase this new trailer tri production model here!


Introducing the Searail 19 Trimaran
by Phil Medley

For the past 2 years I’ve been working with Nigel Irens and his team on a 19′ Trailer Tri design. Our goal was to build a light weight, affordable, hassle-free trailer trimaran which would appeal to a broader range of sailors.

We feel we’ve surpassed all these goals with the new SeaRail 19.

The SeaRail 19 will makes it’s world debut at the Newport, RI Boat Show in Sept. and is a nominee for the “Sailing World 2013 Boat of the Year” competition at the Annapolis Boat Show in Oct.

I was first introduced to sailing and multihulls in 1991 when I took a job with Corsair Marine. After 20 years of service, several ownership changes, a relocation to Vietnam, and 1700+ trimarans later – I finally called it quits to pursue my own interest in multihulls. (I’m currently living and manufacturing the SeaRail 19 in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam — the new hotspot for boat building).

I wanted to build a trimaran which would be financially obtainable to more sailors and offered some of the same sailing and trailering characteristics of some of the larger tris. Most challenges to developing this new model were overcome by working with one of the best designers in the world (Nigel Irens). Nigel and his team did an awesome job.

I first contacted Nigel in May of 2010. We built a full set of production molds and shipped the 1st boat in Jan 2012.

My personal enjoyment of this sailboat will come from daysailing on the Saigon River, while trying to develop a local sailing scene. The boat is a dream to sail – she is extremely well balanced and very responsive.

The Searail offers a performance similar to that of an F-18, but it’s a lot less frantic to sail. She is very stable and does not require the same level of athleticism the beach cats do. So, you get the same thrill with a lot less effort and stay dry doing it too.

The 1st boat is currently located in San Diego where the wind is generally light. We had her blasting across Mission Bay effortlessly at 14 knots, which was very exciting.

The Standard SeaRail 19 Trimaran Package includes the following:

-> F-18 Rig – watertight w/halyard lock
-> North Pentex boomless Main w/window (F-18 Main)
-> R/F Jib Self Tacking
-> Cunningham system
-> Traveller Track with single line control car
-> 6:1 Main sheet system
-> Rotator control tackle
-> Tiller extension
-> Dyneema knotless netting w/hiking straps (100 ft2 total netting)
-> Synthetic cap-shrouds
-> Mast Raising System
-> Forward and Aft mast supports
-> Composite Daggerboard/kick-up rudder
-> Composite rudder case and tiller handle
-> Lockable watertight companionway hatch
-> V-storage/single berth/location for a porta potty
-> Demountable/Folding System – folds on the trailer only
-> Galvanized Cradle with wheels, axles and foam covered fiberglass hull supports

Optional Gear may include:

-> Spinnaker Kit – Furling Spinnaker, Spinnaker pole, Ronstan continuous line furler and 2 ratchet control blocks
-> Cradle/Trailer conversion kit – includes spring kit, lights, hitch coupler, fenders, license bracket
-> Padded D/B Bag
-> Bunk Board
-> Second Tiller Extension
-> Outboard Mount
-> Porta Potty

Click here to find out even more about the Searail 19 Trimaran at www.searail19.com.



  1. Nice boat, but geez, $30 grand for an 18 footer? Wow! Must be the priciest one on the planet! And the goal was to make it “less costly” than similar production boats? Does it make come with its own tow vehicle?

  2. As you know, there is definitely a price differentiation between self-built boat and production boats. This boat is going to appeal to sailors that have a bunch of disposable income … and spouses that let them spend a little of it :-)

  3. I can’t even imagine what it would cost to set up a fully approved, inspected and 100% legal commercial boat building facility anywhere in a CA coastal area these days, not to mention the ongoing costs for permits, licenses, insurance, etc. and payroll for someone to do all of the administrative data collection and reporting required by various governmental agencies for having or getting rid of stuff like waste resins, solvents and similar toxic materials.

    I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has done it in the last 10-20 years or so what percentage of their out of pocket costs were a result of this stuff…it has to be staggering.

    The world’s largest surfboard blank manufacturer ceased production over what they concluded was an insurmountable maze of agencies and byzantine environmental laws that were actively being used to drive them out of their manufacturing plant in Orange County, noting that even selling the plant buildings and equipment was pointless, as you could by an entire facility outside the USA for the cost of permits to even begin attempting to get this one compliant in CA-


    Truly sad that the new generations of Hobie Alters and Bill Lees and Norm Crosses and Gordon Clarks are persona non grata here and being saddled with this kind of BS that is a huge part of what makes an an 18″ boat cost 30K and even a cheap surfboard cost $300-500…by federal alphabet soup agencies making work, and a state whose (former) riches and (former) positive reputation as a vacation destination owe a huge debt to the commercial boat building and surfing industries that have simultaneously been scapegoated and driven out of business by extremism and intransigence.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now, but first, this seems apropos…google it if you don’t recognize the source.

    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

  4. All I can say is amen, brother. But if there’s a plus here, it’s that more home-builders will be encouraged to make their own boats. For $1000 or less and a few hunderd hours of your own labor, you can have a 16-20′ tri that will go fast enough to be genuinely exciting. And if anything breaks, you can fix it!

  5. If 30 K USD is considered in first place to be inexpensive for a trailerable dayboat under 20 ft …the crazyness mentioned in other comments certainly did not strike only govt agencies in western world… but the entire “market”

  6. I absolutely agree, Stefano. You can get two decent brand new cars or one really nice one for under $30,000.
    What amazes me most is the fact that this 18′ tri is manufactured in Viet Nam and is STILL ridiculously expensive. How much would it cost if it was built here in Florida? I can’t imagine it would be all that much more.
    In any case, none of the folks I know have enough “disposable” income to dispose of that much of it on an 18′ tri. Must be aimed at the Middle East buyers?

  7. Hey, let’s not forget there is a market for this boat. A financially successful entrepreneur, for example, will measure the value of their time against how long it would take them to build their own boat (assuming, of course, that they even want to learn how to build a boat like this). And such guys would gladly pay the money to get this sort of trailerable tri.

    That’s my favorite example of who would be in the market for a Searail trimaran. (I won’t mention my “least favorite examples” of guys who’d be in the market for it. :-)

    I wish Phil every success!

  8. I hear what you are saying, Joe, but in the context of a startup boat building enterprise it is dangerous and all too common assumption to decide that a viable “market” exists because *some* people will buy a product regardless of its price, usefulness, etc.

    Put another way- a million people willing to pay a dollar for something they need is a “market”, one person willing to pay a million dollars for something totally unnecessary may technically be a “market” but it’s a very small and fickle one.

    Sure, there are people who will pay big money for ultra-specialized toys, but the financially successful entrepreneurs I know didn’t get there by being cavalier with their money, and all of them have an almost congenital dislike of paying more than is necessary for the value received.

    Even before the economy really tanked, the market for existing used boats was soft, the market for used multihulls is pretty much always soft to begin with, and there are all kinds of very nice, complete boats out there going for pennies on the dollar…it’s going to be an especially hard sell when those entrepreneurs make the final judgment of whether this boat will deliver, say, six times the speed or convenience or fun of a used, well equipped Cross 24-26 that can be had for around 5K…

    True, that Cross isn’t trailerable, but don’t forget we are talking about people who can afford a $30K daysailer- that extra 25K could pay for a lot of slip fees, the kind that well off people pay all the time, in many cases for the convenience of not hassling with a trailer.

    Also don’t forget that rather than learning the skills necessary to build something custom, a person wanting a very specialized boat like this could employ some of the many skilled but currently unemployed US boat builders out there to put something together, and could fairly easily come in under the $30K mark AND would have a custom boat.

    Even if they didn’t care about price and paid the full amount this boat costs, they’d still have the benefits of customization…maybe I’m totally off base, but having been involved in the worlds of big bucks yachting and boat building, my gut tells me that of the pool of people who would even consider paying big money for a boat of this size, the vast majority are going to be the type to make the most of their cash outlay, and the numbers of people willing to just cut a check for $30 K just so they can have it off the shelf is simply not going to be sufficient to support this offering.

    I take no pleasure in saying this- it’s obviously a very nice boat designed and produced with great care and no doubt is fun as hell to sail, and in a perfect world such an offering would be back-ordered from day one…I hope they are wildly successful with it and prove me wrong in spades, but history and economic reality just don’t point that way.

  9. Yes, the “market” may be very small. Time will tell. The number of potential customers, current economic conditions, availability of disposable income, marketing savvy, etc., will all play a role and affect how much success will be achieved. I often wonder if the “new rich” (meaning the growing base of wealthy entrepreneurs in places like China and other parts of the East) will get into multihull sailing. I’ve read where they are buying big ticket “sports and lifestyle” items in a big way.

  10. On dealer’s page not much info. No price on a dealer’s page. No tech data. Video on folding short on important detail. Appears primitive. Can anybody move as fast as the demonstrating person?
    Good idea but the price mentioned at $30,000 sounds like a joke.
    I hope similar in size and weight designs will appear at reasonable price.

  11. I watched their “first sail” video and their “assembly” video. It’s a shame they couldn’t have had some decent wind that day, as a good kayaker could have passed them at any point.
    The assembly video had so many breaks in it that you have to wonder how long it *really* takes to put it all together and get out on the water. I do kinda like the aka/ama assembly part, but I notice he struggled with it a bit. The mast raising, on the other hand, looks like a total PIA. All in all, I still can’t see anything close to 30 grand there.
    – Frank

  12. boat looks nice,a larger and more refined version of the weta ,which i have sailed and set up before.30k versus 10k for the weta .windriders are in the affordable and FUN catagory at about 12k for a new 17 and used for anywhere 3k and up.i had always liked the europa 20 and there are still quite a few tremolinos out there. a few 27ft corsairs have gone for around 30k. corsairs are the true trailerable type trimaran.i have personally owned stiletto 23 prindle cats hobies 25ft searunner, windriders 16, 17 and a rave . a heavily modified sailbird 18 which i did see the need to have a watertight compartment up fwd, and did use a lot of catamaran parts on it to do what i wanted.i curently own a corsairf28r which i truly love and it has surpassed all my expectations.
    now we look at the definition of trailerable and demountable which has a direct impact on the fun factor and the amount of time to set up and derig the boat at the end of the day.the corsairf28r(trailerable) by myself takes an hour and 10 min from trailer to water to set up by myself and 55min to derig and go down the road.windrider 16(demountable) about 25 min the 17 about an hour.the rave about an hour and a half(demountable)most beach cats about 30 to 45 min(trailerable)the stiletto 23 4 hours to set up(demountable)

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