Ian Farrier first started sailing multihulls virtually by accident, being a twenty year old New Zealand engineering student and monohull sailor, looking for a keelboat to do some offshore cruising.
Nothing suitable was available, but then an unfinished 30’ trimaran was advertised, and was purchased after some research. After two years of hard work and rebuilding, his first multihull was launched in 1969.
It was not a perfect multihull, but it was reasonably fast and forgiving. It was also good enough to sail single-handed from his home town Christchurch to Auckland, surviving two mid-winter ‘roaring-forties’ storms on the way. However, some design limitations were apparent, and confidence was lacking for a long ocean voyage, so he jumped ship to a 38’ keelboat bound for Tonga. The contrast in comfort, handling and safety aspects observed during this trip convinced him that a well designed multihull was the way to go.
In 1972 he arrived in Brisbane, Australia, where the growing popularity of the monohull trailer sailer was noted while crewing on a local trimaran. A trailerable trimaran appeared to have many advantages over trailerable monohulls, so he decided to look at what could be done. The Farrier Folding System™ was then invented, patented, and the prototype Trailertri 18 was built and launched in 1974. It worked beautifully and he then built five more Trailertris of various sizes, while trying out many different configurations. Over this period the folding trailerable trimaran slowly began to establish itself as a practical and exciting option, to eventually become one of the fastest growing segments of sailing.
In 1984 Ian and his family moved to Chula Vista (San Diego), where financial backing had been found to set up Corsair Marine. He then designed the F-27, built the prototype, and developed and established Corsair’s full production system and quality controls. With 100 boats being produced every year, and an excellent reputation established, it was time to concentrate on new designs, so he resigned from Corsair in 1991, and moved to Bellevue (Seattle). Corsair was subsequently licensed to build the F-24, F-28 and F-31 designs, in a productive ongoing relationship, though rocky at times, with varying ownership/management at Corsair.
Ian ended all relationship with Corsair in December 2000, finding himself once again working on his own as Farrier Marine, Inc., and concentrating on new projects via other avenues. In 2017, he sold Farrier to Daedalus International.
Sadly, Ian Farrier passed away suddenly in early December 2017. He is survived by wife Alicia and sons Michael and Steven. The multihull world is reeling from Ian’s loss and we are grateful for the hundreds of kind messages of support we have received. The Farrier brand continues as Ian would have wanted in our Christchurch factory. A small team of F-Boat enthusiasts will work to ensure the F-Boat sails well into the future.