PORTLAND — The Portland-based manufacturer Sea Bags is launching a line of men’s swim trunks called boardshorts, made from vintage sails and quick-drying nylon.

Like the company’s signature tote bags, the shorts feature design elements cut from old sails.

“We like to use the sails up as much as we can,” said Amy Geren, wholesale sales manager for Seas Bags. “We’re using the pieces that have the numbers and logos on the sail originally. A lot of our bags that we make involve just using the plain white part of the sail and we applique an anchor or a star. We save the vintage materials and numbers for special projects like this.”

A company in San Diego is manufacturing the shorts. Sea Bags declined to name the manufacturer.

The shorts, which retail for $98, come in two styles: the Scuttlebutt, with a 17-inch inseam, and the Cat Head, with a 19-inch inseam. Waist sizes range from 30 to 40 inches, and the shorts come in red, blue, black and green.

Each pair of shorts is unique, but all include the addition of a “tell-tale,” a lightweight rope or fabric used to gauge wind direction on a sailboat.

“They are reminiscent of something my father would wear in the ’70s,” said Alex Rheault, who teaches fashion illustration at the Maine College of Art in Portland. “The style itself will probably always be classic.”

Co-owned by Hannah Kubiak and Beth Shissler, Sea Bags was founded in 1999 and is based on Custom House Wharf in Portland.

In addition to tote bags, the company manufacturers wine bags, pillows, cosmetic pouches, place mats and coasters. About 700 retailers carry Sea Bags products worldwide, including Pottery Barn, J. Crew and Tommy Bahama.

Sea Bags gets used sails from sailors all over the world, often in exchange for a tote bag, and employs a full-time sail acquisition manager. The company has 20 employees, and that number swells in the summer. As a privately owned company, Sea Bags does not share revenue information.

Initially, the boardshorts will be available through the Sea Bags website and at its stores in Portland and Freeport. The company will offer the shorts to retailers that carry its products, and boat shoe brand Sperry Top-Sider has agreed to carry them.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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