1955 Time Machine - Woody Brown Catamaran

15 August 2014     Editor    14 Comments.

This is an interesting time capsule - a 1955 Manu Kai class 20’ catamaran, designed and built by the legendary Woody Brown. According to the seller, the original owner has passed away. He special ordered the boat direct from Honolulu and it was made specially for him. The catamaran has been stored inside and has not been used for years. From the included paperwork:

Manu Kai Catamarans are built to the highest construction standards by S. Funai Boat Shop and are exceedingly strong, yet light.  Every square inch of hulls and decks are fiber glassed with multiple layers at all stress points and joints.  They come complete with Dacron sails and bronze heavily chromed hardware and fittings.

The boat shows the classic design details of an early Hawaiian beach cat, including deep asymmetrical hulls, canoe stern and integrated rudder. The mast appears to be stayed by spars in an A-frame configuration, instead of wire stays. Find it here on eBay in Green Bay, Wisconsin with a $3000 opening bid.

 history / dock ranger / catamarans 


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15 Aug - 18:18


Thanks for posting this, Michael. A beautiful boat... at a steal of a price. Not even a fraction of its' replacement value. Rudy designed and built awesome vessels. claudio

16 Aug - 12:49


Sort of like finding a Wright Brother's Flyer or a Dymaxion car in your grandpa's garage. How else would you describe one of the very first modern multihulls! So, Hull #2. Do we know how many 20s were made? Any pictures of them sailing? What's the story with the A-frame? Very cool find.

16 Aug - 13:41


It's also rocking a serious Batmobile vibe with those spray dodgers!

05 Jan - 13:35


I have a 20 ft of this Manu Kai design with wire stays. I also have the original blueprints. I am present restoring the fiberglass. Everything else was in excellent condition. Whitebeard

11 Mar - 14:14


This Catamaran was not sold and was subsequently donated to Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London wi. It is now on sale on our ebay site. http://www.rawhide.org/donated-vehicles-for-sale-on-ebay/

24 Mar - 14:35


The boat has been sold and was purchased by a surfer, surfboard shaper/designer with a shared kinship to Woody Brown. She will have a good home is very appreciated.

25 Mar - 07:36


Thank you for the update! I believe she got a good deal on it and I hope that it is all she anticipated it to be. I appreciate knowing the boats we sell go to good homes, and I wish her the best!

25 Mar - 17:02


I heard a surfer acquired this boat..I have one too. I would love to chat. I am currently restoring it to prime condition. What a beautiful piece of work. I do not know of any other. How can we communicate? Francisco

25 Mar - 17:30

Ned McMahon

Francisco, Ned here nmocean at gmail

25 Apr - 08:34


Hi Ned I tried .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) without success. Can you provide owner contact info on Manu Kai? I would love to exchange photos, info. Whitebeard

25 Apr - 09:39


Hi Francisco, You have the correct email. I don't know why you were having trouble. Perhaps send me your info and I'll get an email to you. I would love to exchange info. Aloha, Ned

25 Apr - 22:17


Ned, Contact me anytime. Whitebeard

26 Apr - 07:46


I am happy to contact you Francisco but have no contact info

26 Apr - 09:16


Perhaps I can help getting you two connected. Send your email addresses to me via the Proa File contact form, and I will forward them on to the other party. http://proafile.com/website/contact